New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the personification of the radical left. If there was a congressional assemblage of the radical left in Congress, it would be referred to as the Socialist Caucus – with Ocasio-Cortez as the chairperson.
To put some perspective on the issue, you must understand that freshman members of Congress are rarely to be seen or heard. They are what is known as “back benchers.” They get the most dismal committee assignments, the smallest congressional offices and rarely are allowed to introduce legislation on their own.
The fact that Ocasio-Cortez ran as a disrupter came as no surprise. She is not the first so-called “bomb-thrower” on either side of the aisle. Normally they are held in check by the party leadership. That is where Ocasio-Cortez has proved to be different.
Ocasio-Cortez won a primary election over 20-year Congressman Joe Crowley -- one of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s most devoted allies. While still in freshman training, she even protested outside the Speaker’s office. She also formed an alliance with the Democrats most troublesome maverick, Senator Bernie Sanders. That should have made the fresh-mouthed freshman a bit of a pariah. That is not what happened.
Part of the reason may be the enormous amount of publicity rained upon Ocasio-Cortez when she won the primary. She was everything the left-wing media loves – young, brash and extremely left-wing. She is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but style trumps substance with the newsies.
Sensing the growth of the radical left within the base of the Democratic Party, leaders such as Pelosi caved. Yes, caved. Ocasio-Cortez became the tail wagging the dog. She was given good committee assignments and praised for her passion -- if not her grey matter.
Former Vice President Joe Biden has proven to be the chameleon candidate – changing his positions to blend with the colors of the day. This meant – as little as we can tell – a lurch to the far left. I say “as little as we can tell” because Biden has been isolated in his basement for months without offering anything more than rare and well-rehearsed “interviews” with the friendliest of reporters.
His recent one-on-one with rapper Cardi B was very obviously edited to take out any rough spots. Biden sits for a rare interview with a rapper but refused to take any questions at the press conference to introduce his running mate, Harris.
Even his paid advertisements only tell us that he sees himself – or at least wants us to see him – as the non-Trump. He has not even risen to the bland level of “hope and change.”
Fossil fuel is just one example of Biden’s “malleability.” In the Obama administration, Biden followed the President’s modest – and largely lip-service opposition for fossil fuels. As a newly minted left-wing presidential candidate, however, he initially came out against fracking and in favor of the demise of the coal industry. When he was reminded that his position would most certainly cost him such fuel-producing states as Pennsylvania, Texas, Wyoming, Oklahoma and Texas, Biden said he was not against fracking and coal mining – at least not for the next 50 years.
Biden’s current inner left-wing soul is evident despite is effort to be everything – or nothing -- to everyone. He has given Ocasio-Cortez a prominent role in his campaign to pursue her irrational and impractical Green New Deal. The Democrat Platform is likely to reflect her views more than Biden’s – or even Harris’. That means no fracking … no coal.
My suspicion is that Biden will take a more moderate position after he has won the votes of the Sanders/Ocasio-Cortez folks. That is what those moderate Democrat voters seem to believe.
Another example of Ocasio-Cortez’ influence over Biden and the Democrat leadership is the prominent speaking role she is being given at the Democrats’ virtual national convention. She will be on the scene selling her agenda and talking to reporters. Biden will not. He will most likely watch it all on television from his bunker and give his acceptance speech somewhere nearby where he will still be isolated from the people and the press. There will be no tough questioning of the presidential candidate.
As the Democrat convention drones on, it will be revealing to see just how far left Ocasio-Cortez & Co. will push the Democratic Party.
So, there ‘tis.
By Larry Horist