Establishment Democrats are absolutely melting down over the rise of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 28-year-old Democratic Socialist who defeated the 4th most powerful Democrat in Congress in an upset primary victory - becoming the "new face" of the DNC.
Except she's a total train-wreck; having been caught lying about her not-so humble upbringings, parroting anti-Israel sentiment before admitting she knows nothing about the subject, and most recently promising to flip a seat red in November while stumping with Bernie Sanders. As a result, establishment Democrats are in full panic mode as Ocasio-Cortez wins liberal hearts and minds.
Enter budding Democratic strategist James Comey - who just 48 hours after Ocasio-Cortez's viral "flip the seat red" gaffe, begged Democrats not to vote for the "socialist left" - which currently endorses 42 candidates running for various offices at the federal, state and local levels.
In a panicked Sunday tweet, Comey wrote: "Democrats, please, please don’t lose your minds and rush to the socialist left. This president and his Republican Party are counting on you to do exactly that. America’s great middle wants sensible, balanced, ethical leadership."
Democrats, please, please don’t lose your minds and rush to the socialist left. This president and his Republican Party are counting on you to do exactly that. America’s great middle wants sensible, balanced, ethical leadership.— James Comey (@Comey) July 22, 2018
Yes, Ocasio-Cortez plays right into Trump's master plan, according to Comey. Maybe Putin personally sent her to flub her way through midterms and finally fracture the already-dysfunctional DNC?
Either way, Comey is now saying that every single person voting for a Democratic Socialist has "lost their mind," which marks the second entire class of voters he's insulted.
Last week, he suggested that anyone voting Republican this November is un-American.
This Republican Congress has proven incapable of fulfilling the Founders’ design that “Ambition must ... counteract ambition.” All who believe in this country’s values must vote for Democrats this fall. Policy differences don’t matter right now. History has its eyes on us.— James Comey (@Comey) July 18, 2018
Not a great look for the former FBI Director.
Democratic Socialists on the rise
Whether it helps Trump or not (it does), the rise of Ocasio-Cortez has Democrats rattled - from Nancy Pelosi to Congressmen Alcee Hastings and Bill Pascrell, there has been significant pushback against her rise.
As the Los Angeles Times noted in March:
The surge of activism sweeping the U.S. since Donald Trump's election has energized the nation's largest socialist organization, which has tripled in size over the last year to claim more than 19,000 dues-paying members. That's a record for the DSA, which was founded in 1982.
"People really felt that they had to do something to combat the incoming Trump administration," said David Duhalde, the deputy director of the Democratic Socialists of America's national leadership, which helps coordinate chapters spread across 40 states. "We're not only somebody you can resist Trump with, we're somebody you can build a better world with."
The Democratic Socialists of America's membership spike seems driven by three factors: younger Americans, who polls say are more open to socialism than previous generations; the 2016 Democratic primary campaign of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a self-described democratic socialist whose race ignited a grassroots following but also left bitter feelings about the Democratic Party; and the galvanizing effect that Trump's election has had on left-leaning Americans, who have increasingly turned to grassroots activism. -Los Angeles Times
Since that article was written, the Democratic Socialists of America now claims 46,000 members, over double what they reported in March.
Op-eds have been written by the likes of former Democratic Senator and Vice Presidential candidate Joe Lieberman, and CNN's Chris Cillizza, who said "Ocasio-Cortez could well be a future leader of the party and, at present, represents the beating heart of its liberal, activist wing. But she is not the perfect politician. She is not the person who has the magic formula to reverse the Trump presidency or to win the ongoing fight over the future direction of the party in 2020 and beyond..."
Lieberman was a bit more direct - dismantling Ocasio-Cortez and her Democratic Socialist platform in a Wall Street Journal op-ed last week.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is a proud member of the Democratic Socialists of America, whose platform, like hers, is more Socialist than Democratic. Her dreams of new federal spending would bankrupt the country or require very large tax increases, including on the working class. Her approach foresees government ownership of many private companies, which would decimate the economy and put millions out of work.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez didn’t speak much about foreign policy during the primary, but when she did, it was from the DSA policy book—meaning support for socialist governments, even if they are dictatorial and corrupt (Venezuela), opposition to American leadership in the world, even to alleviate humanitarian disasters (Syria), and reflexive criticism of one of America’s great democratic allies (Israel). -Joe Lieberman via WSJ
Of course, maybe images of Ocasio-Cortez-endorsed activist group Abolish ICE beheading a Trump effigy probably won't be great optics for Democrats come November. Abolish ICE and their "Occupy ICE" protests emerged in June to protest the Trump administration's zero-tolerance policy of enforcing existing immigration laws. The group has been championed by Ocasio-Cortez throughout her short political career.
In a Monday interview with Democracy Now's Amy Goodman, the Democratic Socialist declared: "We have to occupy all of it ... We need to occupy every airport. We need to occupy every border. We need to occupy every ICE office until those kids are back with their parents, period."
That said - the group has become increasingly violent in their rhetoric. As Far Left Watch reports, Abolish ICE staged a disturbing beheading of a candy-filled Trump effigy, which the socialists fittingly swooped in to grab as soon as "Trump's" head came off (h/t FarLeftWatch).
As we noted on Saturday, the establishment left's alarm bells over Ocasio-Cortez will likely grow in coming months. On Saturday, AP noted in an article entitled Democratic Socialism Rising In The Age Of Trump," that the DSA is attracting hoards of young liberals flipping out over the President.
A week ago, Maine Democrat Zak Ringelstein wasn’t quite ready to consider himself a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, even if he appreciated the organization’s values and endorsement in his bid to become a U.S. senator.
Three days later, he told The Associated Press it was time to join up. He’s now the only major-party Senate candidate in the nation to be a dues-paying democratic socialist.
Ringelstein’s leap is the latest evidence of a nationwide surge in the strength and popularity of an organization that, until recently, operated on the fringes of the liberal movement’s farthest left flank. As Donald Trump’s presidency stretches into its second year, democratic socialism has become a significant force in Democratic politics. Its rise comes as Democrats debate whether moving too far left will turn off voters. -AP
“I stand with the democratic socialists, and I have decided to become a dues-paying member,” Ringelstein told AP. “It’s time to do what’s right, even if it’s not easy.”
There are currently 42 people running for federal, state and local offices across 20 states who have the formal endorsement of the Democratic Socialists of America, according to the organization.
As AP also notes, the there is "little distinction between the terms “democratic socialism” and “socialism” in the group’s literature."
While Ringelstein and other DSA-backed candidates promote a “big-tent” philosophy, the group’s constitution describes its members as socialists who “reject an economic order based on private profit” and “share a vision of a humane social order based on popular control of resources and production, economic planning, equitable distribution, feminism, racial equality and non-oppressive relationships.” -AP
Considering socialism's failure each and every time it's been attempted, it's no wonder Democrats are freaking out.