Progressive U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is not known for her ability to gracefully accept criticism, so it’s no wonder that, when New York Times opinion columnist David Brooks put her in the same “populist” basket as former President Donald Trump, she threw yet another public Twitter fit.
In a Thursday column, titled, “The Fever is Breaking,” Brooks pointed to the midterm election results and deduced that “performative populism has begun to ebb.”
“To his great credit, Trump reinvented the G.O.P. He destroyed the corporate husk of Reaganism and set the party on the path to being a multiracial working-class party,” Brooks wrote. “To his great discredit, he enshrouded this transition in bigotry, buffoonery and corruption. He ushered in an age of performance politics — an age in which leaders put more emphasis on attention-grabbing postures than on practical change.”
So far, one would think AOC would be pleased.
But in the very next paragraph, Brooks lumped the former bartender into the same category as the spotlight-seeking Orange Man.
“The left had its own smaller version of performative populism,” Brooks continued. “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became a major political figure thanks to her important contributions to Instagram.”
“The Green New Deal was not a legislative package but a cotton candy media concoction,” Brooks argued. “Slogans like ‘Abolish ICE’ and ‘Defund the police’ were not practical policies, just cool catchphrases to put on posters.”
It’s enough to make a Squad cheerleader cry.
“Perhaps David Brooks should actually read the legislation he’s insulting before referring to it as ‘cotton candy,'” she tweeted. “The Green New Deal was thoughtfully constricted alongside a coalition of scientists, academics, frontline communities,& more.”
“He wants me to be Trump,” Ocasio-Cortez concluded, “but I’m not.”
Perhaps David Brooks should actually read the legislation he’s insulting before referring to it as “cotton candy.”
The Green New Deal was thoughtfully constricted alongside a coalition of scientists, academics, frontline communities,& more.
He wants me to be Trump, but I’m not. https://t.co/P180Shid3F
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 12, 2022
Well, it’s better than thinking Brooks wants her to date Trump, but not by much.
“Green new deal is a giant money laundering scam… everyone knows it,” one Twitter user replied. “Meanwhile real costs to people and family skyrockets and y’all ignore it so you can press on with solar and wind which is a failure. Keep on giving money to other countries, yeah that’s a great idea! Traitors!”
“After watching you make fun of your constituents I lost all interest in you being anything less than just a bad person,” wrote another, apparently referring to AOC’s mocking of hecklers at a pre-midterm rally.
— Shannon Ford (@h0memadetweets) November 3, 2022
“You’re a socialist who always cries ‘me myself and I,'” charged a third user.
Green new deal is a giant money laundering scam… everyone knows it. Meanwhile real costs to people and family skyrockets and y’all ignore it so you can press on with solar and wind which is a failure. Keep on giving money to other countries, yeah that’s a great idea! Traitors!
— Mcfucius (@Mcfucius) November 13, 2022
After watching you make fun of your constituents I lost all interest in you being anything less than just a bad person.
— ronbissel (@ronbissel) November 12, 2022
You’re a socialist who always cries “me myself and I”
— Deanna (@deeg25) November 12, 2022
While AOC, with her cocktail-mixing Insta chats, may indeed have raised “performative populism” to a whole new level, what Brooks fails to acknowledge is, in many respects, her Green New Deal never died.
It was, according to Tucker Carlson, simply repackaged in the form of Biden’s $2 trillion Infrastructure Law (Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act).
“It’s a green energy, green new deal bill, it’s a reparations bill,” Carlson stated in April 2021.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) April 3, 2021
Under the legislation, which was signed into law in November 2021, $35 billion was marked “to spearhead climate science and technological development to ‘position America as the global leader in clean energy technology and clean energy jobs,’ according to the White House,” BizPac Review reported. “The legislation would also set aside $10 billion to create a ‘Civilian Climate Corps’ in order to advance ‘environmental justice.'”
So, “cotton candy” or not, may have the last laugh, after all.
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