While pundits continue to debate whether Nancy Pelosi should pass the leadership torch to someone younger or more progressive, it seems one of her torches has already been passed. The never-coveted “right-wing bogeywoman torch” has been thrust into the hands of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez by the Fox News chuckleheads who can’t seem to keep her name out of their mouths.
Fox News’ latest attempt at a hit job focuses on an interview with Ocasio-Cortez where she says she had to save money to be able to make it the three months from the election to her first Congressional paycheck in January.
“I have three months before I’m a member of Congress. So, how do I get an apartment? Those little things are very real,” she said, highlighting a major obstacle to working class people who want to serve in Congress.
Fox News made a meal out of that soundbite, and just to give you a taste, here’s a sampling of the smorgasbord they feasted on for a 24-hour period.
The past 24 hours for @Ocasio2018:
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: H-
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) November 14, 2018
At least with all that practice they finally pronounced her name right!
Continuing the trend today, a truly miserable excuse for a reporter from the right-leaning Washington Examiner tweeted a picture of Ocasio-Cortez (allegedly sent by a Hill staffer) daring to walk down a hall wearing business clothes.
Yes, how dare she not wander around barefoot like a soot-covered street urchin, begging for alms and porridge! The gall of this one! It’s almost like she thinks she’s some kind of… Congresswoman! Surely her base of burlap-wearing Bolshevists will turn on her when they see how she’s transformed into one of the blazer-clad Bourgeoise!
To be honest, I don’t know exactly what these guys are trying to get at and that’s because neither do they. They don’t know what to say about Ocasio-Cortez, they only know her status as a Democratic rising star means they have to smack her down. And while she seems to occupy their every waking thought, the right-wing media crowd hasn’t settled on a specific line of attack. Is she an elitist phony, duping her supporters? Is she a working-class simpleton, out of her league? Is she a wild-eyed radical, determined to seize the means of production and institute martial law?
Obviously, she’s none of those things and her biggest weapon against the Fox News crowd is her disarming honesty. She effortlessly shrugs off any attack, and relentlessly hammers her message about wealth inequality, healthcare affordability, and other issues people actually care about. It’s refreshing to see an elected official excel at their own DIY rapid response that pivots to policy because they genuinely believe in something.
It’s also inspiring, and that’s why it seems like all of Twitter dot com had her back today. Several people pointed out the absurdity of the idea that struggling to afford rent in one of the priciest cities in the country means she can’t also afford to clothe herself.
Others rightly slammed the reporter for calling her “girl” instead of, you know, Congresswoman.
And the infamous tweet seems destined for the Ratio Hall of Fame, with over 10,000 replies to its pathetic number of likes and retweets.
But just because these buffoonish right-wing attacks are incoherent doesn’t mean they won’t affect Ocasio-Cortez’s public image. Despite eight years in office, Republicans never fully settled on a coherent criticism of Obama, either. One second he was a smug elitist, arrogantly lecturing the American people; the next he was a feckless coward, in way over his head; the next he was a dangerous radical, hell-bent on transforming the United States into a socialist dystopia; the next he was a crony capitalist, rewarding his Wall Street friends, an on and on and on.
Given right-wing media’s incoherent-yet-furious attacks on everything Obama said or did, it’s no surprise we got inchoate rage personified in Trump as the Republican nominee in 2016. And it’s no surprise he’s governing as the antithesis of the calm, intelligent, and cautious Obama as president.
Ocasio-Cortez is refusing to play Fox’s game, somehow rising above the attacks even as she mocks them—and they haaaaaaaaate it.