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January 8 2019

The Congresswoman and the Columnist

by Charlotte Hays

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the congressional Democrats' new IT Girl, is 29, the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.

She's on the tippy top of the world, having a good time, and who can blame her? 

But you can blame New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, who is not 29, for a really juvenile and unserious take on Ocasio-Cortez and American politics in general. 

For Ms. Dowd, everything is all about being cool.

Dowd writes:

No longer content with Nancy Pelosi, the right craves a new she-devil. Republicans have mocked Ocasio-Cortez’s hardscrabble story, howled at her proposal to soak the rich with a 70 percent tax, scrutinized her clothes and booed her at Pelosi’s swearing-in. A.O.C. saucily tweeted back, “Don’t hate me cause you ain’t me, fellas.”

The frenzy reached new absurdity when a tweet popped up with a video of her with friends at Boston University doing a dance from “The Breakfast Club,” with this slam: “Here is America’s favorite commie know-it-all acting like the clueless nitwit she is.” Holy Footloose.

“It is unsurprising to me that Republicans would think having fun should be disqualifying or illegal,” she told The Hill.

Like many other attempts to ding A.O.C., this one boomeranged. The clip was the coolest thing in politics since Barack Obama tangoed in Argentina.

“That’s it, Alexandria you’re in the club,” tweeted Molly Ringwald, one of the actresses from the 1985 movie.

When Obama got to the White House, Republicans trembled at his midichlorian count, but their fear faded as he grew more professorial and remote. A.O.C., despite some stumbles and lacunae in political knowledge, is more adept at using the force, especially on social media.

She claimed the mantle of dancing queen, tweeting out a new boogie in front of her congressional office to Edwin Starr’s antiwar anthem “War,” and taunting: “I hear the GOP thinks women dancing are scandalous. Wait till they find out Congresswomen dance too!”

So cool.

Just for the record, nobody I know cares a bit if Rep. Ocasio-Cortez dances or roofs or anywhere else.

However, her "I hear the GOP thinks . . . " sounds like the age-old taunt flung by the cool kids towards the nerd with the pencil guard (who may deligently be trying to figure out if 70 percent taxes on "the rich" will be enough to support Ocasio-Cortez's lavish spending plans--it won't).

The IT Girl is new on the scene and the world is her oyster. I expect--hope--she is having a good time dancing on roofs.

For the New York Times columnist, on the other hand, a bit more seriousness might be in order.

It is to be determined whether Rep. Ocasio-Cortez will in the end be more of an advantage for Democrats or Republicans.



Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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