Like many of my fellow liberals and Democrats, I’m still forming my opinion of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She’s said and done several things I agree with, and a few things I don’t agree with. She’s also only officially been a member of Congress for one day, so we’ll see who she decides to be once she settles into office. In the meantime, the jury is already in when it comes to one aspect: the Republican attacks on her are completely out of control, and need to be pushed back against.
Yesterday, some Republican folks on the far-right dug up a “scandalous” eight year old video of – get this – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dancing. That’s it. It’s just a video of her showing off some dance moves on a rooftop with some other people. Apparently, Trump supporters think it’s a startling revelation that a current Congresswoman had some harmless innocent fun during her college-age years. Next they’ll expose that she went to the beach, or had a beer.
Let’s be real about why this is happening. The Republicans keep inappropriately attacking Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for two reasons. The first is that her political views are on the far left edge of the Democratic party, and the GOP is hoping to paint the entire Democratic Congress as being as far left as she is. This is a dumb strategy, so I’d say let them go for it, if not for the second reason why they’re doing this. Ocasio-Cortez is a young outspoken ambitious woman of color, and insecure middle aged conservative white men just can’t allow that to go unchallenged.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez responded to this nonsense by posting a new video of herself showing off similar dance moves outside of her new office in the House of Representatives. It was the perfect response. She’ll be fine. She can clearly take care of herself. But the GOP’s decision to disingenuously attack her every move is sexist and racist in nature – and the rest of us need to push back against it for that reason alone. Whether you’re a fan of hers or not, this crap needs to be called out for what it is. It’s just wrong.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report