2:00PM Water Cooler Special: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ Victory and the Way Forward

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Here are a number of non-mainstream hot takes, mostly from the Twitter. I’ve thrown them into some conceptual buckets I had handy:

For those who didn’t get to savor the moment in real time:

The Candidate

Whatever else, it’s clear that Ocasio-Cortez was an excellent candidate. Here’s her candidate video which went viral, as well it should have:

Note the emphasis on canvassing (more below). This authentic, and very New York video is also reminiscent of Erica Garner’s video for Bernie Sanders, which also went viral.

Here is an excellent interview with Ocasio-Cortez in Vogue (!). And here is her bio in Ballotpedia, which answers some questions I had: She graduated Boston University College of Arts & Sciences in 2011. She worked in Ted Kennedy’s foreign affairs and immigration office from 2008-2009. She was a volunteer organizer for Sanders in 2016. Lots more detail, including her small press. Let the oppo begin…

The Platform

Just a Word document (though I don’t know the symbolism of the green background):

I wonder how long it will take for this platform to become conventional wisdom? #MedicareForAll and a #JobsGuarantee. (I could wish that a Post Office bank were on there….)


Cory Robin:


Canvassing beats money (until money figures out how to do canvassing). Makes you wonder what would have happened if the Sanders campaign of 2016, when it came time to scale, had gone for the ground war (canvassing) instead of the air war (television); I seem to recall a muffled dispute on this point in the campaign (and after, when strategizing for Our Revolution),

Occupy paid off down the line:

The Pundits

I think this is the best one. From CNN’s Harry Enten:

“My goodness.” Indeed!

But this is it pretty good. I’ll just leave it here:

The Losers

The donor class were losers:

The Democrat Establishment learns to know fear:

We like that.

The Way Forward

Right in Ocasio-Cortez’s classy message to Crowley. See paragraph two:

“A strong platform of economic, social, and racial justice for working class New Yorkers & Americans.” That’s not identity politics. (See Ocasio-Cortez on identity as a lens at NC here, which I for one found very re-assuring.)

Democrats should stop with the fear, already:

(Do click through to Robin’s link to Harpers; it’s excellent.) Note that two solid years of liberal Democrat messaging moral panics have been driven by fear: Russia!Russia!Russia! and Babies!Babies!Babies! (though only some babies, and only babies after Evil Entered The Shire on January 21, 2017.)

It’s not just Ocasio-Cortez:

We might also remember (IIRC) the four DSA members who won in Pittsburgh, PA and Lee Carter in VA.

Is it possible that Ocasio-Cortez understands and can defend MMT?!

* * *

I would love to know more about the district and in particular the canvassing operation, but that would take more research than I have time to do today.

In the meantime, enjoy!

NOTE Not quite 2:00PM; I had a router failure in the midst of it all.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Clive

    For the first time in quite a time, what a — genuinely — time to be alive.

    Her campaign video. Like, wow.

    Apologies for gibbering inanely, but sometimes you’re simply taken aback.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Wow. That’s just excellent. And that Ocasio-Cortez can pick up MMT-speak so fluently that Joe Weisenthal gives here a nice shout-out is even more excellent.

      1. BillC

        This, combined with her win, her platform, and her amazing communication ability is the best news I’ve heard since Obama fizzled out more or less the same day he was inaugurated. Now if someone can answer Michael Hudson’s question about how to get in touch with her in his comment in today’s victory thread, maybe we can even get a Post Office Bank as a platform plank in her general election campaign.

    2. ChrisAtRU

      #2 The Robby Mook School Of Political Strategy

      #Nitpick – You should have included Joy Reid’s tweet under “Losers” for good measure. The following tweet also captures the abject failure of mainstream “journalism”:

      Why MSM is obsolete… https://t.co/7JA6UtFp5G— Rebecca Bitton (@rebeinstein) June 27, 2018

      Note the inflated sense of self, wherein Joy presumes to speak for “pretty much all of political journalism”. Somewhat oddly, she then feels the need to explicitly include herself in the confraternity or those who have to brush up on #AOC. It’s a risible “Me Too” moment. We expected it, Joy … we expected it.

      1. sleepy

        Yeah, I'm thinking a congressional candidate from Queens and the Bronx will have exactly NOTHING to do with how voters in the midwest decide to vote in November. People barely know who their own congressperson is, let alone who the candidate is in an entirely different state.

        It’s issues Ms. Reid. Do you think Iowans don’t suffer from high housing costs, high education costs, high medical costs, and low wages like most other people?

        1. Carey

          Wishful thinking from Ms. Reid. Things are changing, and the Dems are going to need much better party hacks than her, even for a holding action.

        2. The Rev Kev

          I read Reid’s comment too and thought that at first it was sarcasm but it wasn’t. This is how she thinks. If so-

          Bwa! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

        3. voteforno6

          Yeah, because people in the Midwest don’t have TV or the internet, or anything like that.

        4. Merf56

          Joy Reid – haha! The poor dear has not yet learned the art of subtlety. Joy – here is a hint – don’t be quite so open in your disdain for any Dem who strays from your hero Clinton’s playbook.

      2. Left in Wisconsin

        I love that Reid has this quote on her Twitter bio:
        “Ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.” – James Baldwin

        I guess that explains the crash course.

            1. blennylips

              The only way to prevent that is if ignorance leapt beyond bounds simultaneously.

              A proper renormalization theory might show they cancel in the limit leave pure unregulated power.

    3. HotFlash

      Oooo, sounds like I would want to see this one. Unf, I won’t Facebook, and I can’t find it on youtube. Is there anywhere else I could see it?

  2. Katniss Everdeen

    Dear @joyannreid,

    Denial is not just a river in Egypt.

    And now Justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring.

    Yeah, I’m thinking that failed, dishonestly rigged elections have real, lasting consequences.

    1. Samuel Conner

      Former President Obama also surely deserves some credit for the 2010 and 2014 mid-term shellackings that gave Senate Rs power to deny the confirmation of Obama’s conservative nominee.

    2. SimonGirty

      Thank you. Aside to corey robin: Pittsburgh… Trump country? What the hell universe do these idiots live in? The Kleptocrats poisoned our air and water, tore down Black neighborhoods and thriving business districts, while red-lining, lined their own pockets as they sent our jobs overseas, indentured EVERYBODY while enabling wage theft, filled outsourced prisons while legalizing all sorts of obvious, criminal shucks & jives by their wealthy benefactors… fuck the Democrats… their base fed us to Reagan, the military, the FIRE sector, took our homes, stole our equity, sent our kids to kill, rob or enslave others, and it’s always legal, when they do it! Trump’s their side show, diversion, mascot, symptom, opening act.

    3. none

      Dear @joyannreid,

      Denial is not just a river in Egypt.

      Shh, don’t tell her.

      Do you know where @joyannreid went to to study up on Ocasio-Cortez?

      The Library of Alexandria.

      Sorry, had to.

  3. Pavel

    I note that Kirsten Gillibrand had endorsed Crowley. I guess she forgot Madeleine Albright’s reminder about that special place in hell…

    1. Big River Bandido

      I live in the Queens section of this district, and posted quite a bit earlier in the “Earthquake” diary.

      1. ChrisPacific

        Thanks. I went back and re-read your comments on that one. Your point that most struck me was the one you repeated below about the nature of the machine, and why it was vulnerable in this case. It’s remarkable how undemocratic democracy can be sometimes, although you could argue that in this case it worked the way it was supposed to.

        1. Big River Bandido

          It’s remarkable how undemocratic democracy can be sometimes, although you could argue that in this case it worked the way it was supposed to.

          I don’t think the Queens machine is much different from the Democrat machines in other places. Just about any place where one party is significantly stronger than the other, vote suppression tactics can be used to keep a machine in power. Indeed, this is how Democrats have come to be “represented” in Congress by right-wing neoliberals.

          The way to break the machine? Ocasio-Cortez followed the textbook example. Find out how many votes the machine candidate gets — then organize more voters for your side.

          1. Jaime Garfield

            that’s right.she went about it very systematically. first she decided how many votes she would need to win, then she went door-to-door and registered Independents and no party preference as Democrats in order to then make her goal..it took her a year and a half. she knew the deadline for New Yorkers to have to Change party preference. Great interview with her on TYT Tuesday night. Congratulations to all involved in the campaign!

    2. AstoriaBlowing

      I got five or 6 pieces of mail a week from Crowley, our city councilperson was at the foot of the stairs of the Astoria Blvd station a few times a week pumping for him but there were signs for AOC in store windows all over the neighborhood. I didn’t know a thing about her honestly but voted against Crowley cause he’s a slimeball and intervened in a local issue that was none of his business.

      1. Big River Bandido

        I assume you’re talking about the bike lanes in Sunnyside. As chair of the Queens County Democrat Party, Crowley almost certainly felt it was his place to intervene.

        I strongly agree with you. To me it’s unconscionably corrupt that a sitting member of Congress also claims the chairmanship of the local party. No one has any legitimate business holding down both of those two jobs, and Crowley hasn’t even lived here for 20 years.

    1. Kurtismayfield

      Everytime that question is asked, every Democratic socialist candidate should ask how we can afford $800 billion in defense.

    2. Jim Haygood

      She points out in the video that in a low-turnout (by design) election, it takes only a couple of thousand votes to change the result.

      In other words, New York State’s antiquated, anti-voter, anti-public participation, machine-friendly partisan primary just got spectacularly monkey-wrenched by a candidate who spotted its Achilles heel and moved in for the kill.

      Ocasio-Cortez’s demolition of New York’s elitist country club for incumbents is a metaphor for the hollowed-out brittleness of an American system that’s based mostly on lies, b.s., posturing and graft. Point out that the incumbent emperors have no clothes, and they fold like a cheap suit.

      Andrew Cuomo’s turf-out date: Sep 13, 2018. Bye-bye, Andy, bye-bye.

    3. relstprof

      God how empty Mika’s concluding thought is — Democrats need a message but go out and get your own, don’t take Ocasio-Cortez’s. What utter nonsense.

      The Mikas of this world don’t even know what the fuck they’re talking about — as if AOC’s message isn’t straight outta the Democratic Socialists of America and Sanders. As if it isn’t a platform that should be adopted across the board.


      Great day for progressive politics, though. There’s a slate of candidates running for Justice Democrats as AOC keeps pointing out. She isn’t the only one.


      1. JTFaraday

        I don’t know. It might not be a bad thing if these challengers are seen as being genuine expressions of their local communities, rather than being part of some big socialist political machine.

        You know, DEMOCRACY.

        And don’t get cocky.

      1. berit

        Metoo! I do like the video and Alexandria’s short, well-wrought message. Thank you! Keep on Alexandria!

  4. drumlin woodchuckles

    Since the campaign was probably run on a very small budget, the green color of the platform sheet might not symbolize anything at all. It might be that she could get a cheaper deal on some surplus green paper that the printer had hanging around and couldn’t get rid of.

    The way to find out would be to ask the Ocasio-Cortez people themselves, perhaps the candidate herself.
    If they had a symbolic-broadcasting/signalling reason to pick green, they might be happy to say what it was.

  5. Jonathan Holland Becnel



    Time for the People to decide what to do with Americas Wealth!

    So, first theres the Socialist on the City Council in Seattle, then Lee Carter and twelve others, and now whats the count at?

  6. Oregoncharles

    “(though I don’t know the symbolism of the green background)”
    I do.
    Realistically: using colored paper is a cheap way to draw attention to a flier, so the color may well be random.
    That said, drawing the attention of Green Party sympathizers might be a bonus, IF they can vote in the Dem primary; I’m not familiar with NY election law. More generally, it’s an appeal to environmentalists, though the flier doesn’t mention environmental issues at all. I would think they’d be quite important in that area, given the pollution problems.

    1. John k

      Good news is becoming more common.
      And IMO the trump election wasn’t the bad news, the bad news was that our owners offered the oppo that it did.

  7. Skip Intro

    Makes you wonder what would have happened if the Sanders campaign of 2016, when it came time to scale, had gone for the ground war (canvassing) instead of the air war (television);

    This quandary presupposes that the primary wasn’t rigged from day one, or alternatively that Bernie’s campaign wasn’t basically successful on getting votes, but was not prepared for the dirty tricks from the DNC to prevent those votes.

    Of course from day one, even Bernie expected to just be a footnote as the candidate that refused corporate cash. This is still only just beginning…

    1. JohnnySacks

      Oh yeah! When I hear the name Biden in the context of 2020 I cringe. And then pass some green into the Sanders coffer. Second time is the charm.

  8. Synoia

    In a new press release the DNC and DNCC have release a joint statement on the future candidates for the Democratic Primaries.

    Candidates must be endorsed by three living Democratic ex Presidents, unless they are incumbents running for a seat vacated by death.

      1. Poopinator

        Poe’s Law has become increasingly more pertinent to statements from Democrats in the past few years.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      By all means! “Not a dinner party,” and so forth. But this:

      The debate underscored the lack of any genuine, substantive differences between the two candidates. Crowley is an uninspired and uninspiring political hack who may prevail in the primary by sheer financial and organizational muscle. Ocasio-Cortez offers youth, ethnicity, and the label “democratic socialist,” but like Bernie Sanders she does not actually offer a single policy that could legitimately be called socialist. She is merely a new coat of paint on a dilapidated signboard.

      I think this post is part of the permathread on “inside/outside.” Clearly, Ocasio-Cortez not going to be advocating for democratic control over capital any time soon. But you can light a raging fire with a small paper match just as much as with a blowtorch or white phosphorus. I suppose we’ll find out how much of a class traitor Ocasio-Cortez really is, but for now (to mix metaphors very badly), let’s take the yardage gain, even if it’s not a touchdown.

      1. Carey

        Your last sentence sums it up for the moment, to my mind. What I had had expected
        from Crowley v Ocasio-Cortez was another one of those oh-so-close, we’ll get-’em-
        next-time losses for the Left. The ground is shifting, even if the Dollar Dems won’t
        be going away quietly, or any time soon.

      2. Carey

        Another thought is the the Dollar Dems are going to need to become much more
        tactically and strategically adept than they are now in order to temporarily stem the insurgency, and that they may box *themselves in* in doing so. I think there are little signs of this already.

      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I will second that ‘by all means!’ and the ‘we’ll find out’ and ‘for now.’

        Apparently, Nero, during his early reign, “promised to follow the Augustan model in his principate, to end all secret trials intra cubiculum, to have done with the corruption of court favorites and freedmen, and above all to respect the privileges of the Senate and individual Senators.”[27]:257 Wikipedia.

        Later, he turned to excessive fiddling.

        And the Ming emperor Wanli bagan his reign similarly (Wikipedia) – The first ten years of Wanli’s regime led to a renaissance, economically, culturally and militarily, an era known in China as Wanli’s renaissance (萬曆中興)).

        But towards the end, he went on strike (emperors could too):

        During the later years of the Wanli Emperor’s reign, he became thoroughly alienated from his imperial role and, in effect, went on strike.

  9. Code Name D

    Wize men need only whisper, to be heard. It is the fool who must shout his wisdom to others.

    To hear she won, mostly by ground canvasing is intreging. It chalanges the conventional wisdom that you need TV adds, and by extension lots of money. That could be a big deal.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Depends strongly on the nature of the district, which is why I want to know more about it.

      For example, liberal Democrats have worked hard to keep turnout low (as people who discovered they would have had to register to vote a century or before election day to vote for understand).

      But I wonder if the low turnout worked against them, in that it was possible for a smallish and ill-funded insurgent operation to beat that number.

      1. grayslady

        But I wonder if the low turnout worked against them, in that it was possible for a smallish and ill-funded insurgent operation to beat that number.

        I think that observation is absolutely correct. In local elections where I live, I’ve noticed that, particularly in non-presidential voting years, turnout is everything. Even on important issues, such as whether or not to increase school funding by increasing taxes (we pay among the highest real estate taxes in the country), the issues are decided by usually only a few hundred votes.

        The other essential, in terms of keeping the job once you’ve won the election, is communicating with your constituents–meetings, mailers–about what you are doing for them on the job relative to what the constituents have said they want. Doesn’t cost nearly as much as running for office, but that post-election communication is something most politicians don’t do. The ones who communicate directly tend to keep winning.

      2. notabanker

        “But I wonder if the low turnout worked against them, in that it was possible for a smallish and ill-funded insurgent operation to beat that number.”

        She said exactly this on one of the videos I watched today. 3,000 voters was the number she used, although it could have been hyperbolic.

      3. Big River Bandido

        I’ve lived 11 years in this district. It’s not at all your typical “congressional district” which could cover an area the size of 39 counties (IA-04) or thousands of square miles (ME-02). NY-14 is more like a handful of densely-populated neighborhoods within a much larger city. The Queens part of it includes sections of Astoria, Sunnyside, Woodside, Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, and Corona…possibly a few other neighborhoods. Many of these neighborhoods are home to people from Colombia, Ecuador, India, Nepal, Korea, and China, but those are far from the only components of the mix. I am not as familiar with the neighborhoods that encompass the Bronx portion of this district. But my guess is that these areas are similarly mixed, probably with higher concentrations of people from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic (who are not as numerous in the aforementioned parts of northwest Queens). In all of these areas, lots and lots of young people.

        The entire district is merely the size of several “city wards”, and the politics of the district has that character. In such small areas it’s really quite possible to organize campaigns in the old-school “city politics” methods. Much of politics is personal, face-to-face. Mainstream advertising is nearly useless; inside of a huge media market, this is only one of perhaps 30 congressional districts, with its own particular language challenges. On the other hand, it’s possible to canvas this entire district on foot, if a campaign is organized enough and has enough committed volunteers. This is where Ocasio-Cortez excelled.

        In places like this, the low-turnout model actually can work for a political machine during normal times, as it did for the Queens County Democrats for years. And after county chair Tom Manton appointed Crowley to the Congressional seat in 1998 (you read that correctly), the machine’s usual voter roll was enough to put him over the top, for 10 low-turnout elections in a row. But after 20 years, even the best machines get creaky. In such a low-turnout environment, it doesn’t take that many people to topple the machine; Ocasio-Cortez won in a landslide, taking 58% of the vote, even though her total was only about 15,000 votes. Crowley’s total? About 9,000 — nine thousand votes controlled politics in Queens, and Washington, for two decades.

        So, a part of the lesson here is that in a small geographic area, where political organization is local and where there’s a premium on personal contact, money can’t buy votes.

        And of course, the national Democrats would be fools to miss the significance of this result. But I wouldn’t put it past them.

      4. freedomny

        The district is predominately working class – although there are small pockets in Jackson Heights, Sunnyside and Astoria that are gentrified. This win is a classic example of how tone deaf most establishment Dems are. Joe Crowley didn’t know how to speak to his constituents no matter how hard he tried to pretend that he did. In terms of the campaign is was heavily boots on the ground with a strategic emphasis on the Bronx (this is only my opinion from what I observed) – an area that Crowley had been trying to “give up”. The team lead volunteers were tenacious in terms of campaign management. When I signed up to volunteer I received many texts and emails requesting help on all sorts of initiatives. The overwhelming focus of the campaign seemed to be one of intense community involvement/communication in the form of mailers, phone banking and knocking on doors – it was Very personal and Every vote counted. Last night at 7 pm, volunteers were still going up to homes and apartments, knocking on doors and asking people to vote. From the people that I spoke to – money out of politics was an area of immediate agreement as was challenging an establishment politician. The campaign also felt very “occupy-ish” meets poor people campaign. Alexandria uses “we” and “us” much more than she uses “I” – and there was a distinct moral righteousness element – social, racial and economic justice for all – that was coupled with a sense of urgency. Anywho – just my impressions. It will be interesting to see what happens going forward and what other Dem wins look like.

        1. Anon

          And AOC is a lively, expressive, animated, knowledgeable, disciplined, beautiful candidate. What’s not to like!

      5. Jaime Garfield

        it took her going door-to-door and registering no party preference and independents as Democrats ..face-to-face conversations, and I imagine having dense housing in the district made that physically feasible.

  10. PlutoniumKun

    Ross Barkan in the Guardian on her victory (much better than the luke warm other articles written by the hillbot writers who usually cover US policies in the Graun.

    Republicans, especially the foot soldiers of the far right, long understood politics is simply a struggle of leverage and power, a zero-sum war where winners set the agenda and losers wail from the sidelines. Republicans run the country. They are the reason so many states are hell-bent on gutting unions and ending the social safety net as we know it.

    Lives are literally on the line. Democrats like Ocasio-Cortez comprehend this. They aren’t going to Washington to compromise, to shake hands with an enemy that would prefer to kick the working class, the poor, and people of color to the gutter and leave them there.

    1. John k

      Bearing in mind that the dem elites compromise by saying ‘you write the bills and some of us will make it bipartisan’.
      Why so Spineless? Simple: they share the same donors.

    2. Jeff W

      I rather enjoyed this comment to the article:

      This is a good enough write-up, as far as it goes, but like the straight news items covering it, I still think it should be more explicit about just what a piece of [s***] Joe Crowley actually is in political terms. There has, predictably, been a tendency to represent him as a more or less bog standard “mainstream” Democrat. The truth is that he was, in fact, the most right-wing of an already shamefully right wing phalanx of House Democrats marshalled by the arch-reactionary, Nancy Pelosi. He has received more bribes from Wall Street, for example, than any other Democratic member of the House. On almost every tally of Congressional votes, Crowley plumbs the depths when judged according to progressive priorities.

      Even by the atrocious standards of 21st century Democrats, in other words, Crowley was on the fringes of the right wing, testing what you could get away with while still meaningfully laying claim to being a Democrat at all. The fact that he did so in an absolutely rock-solid Democrat district – therefore conferring, primaries notwithstanding, a life-time tenure – is emblematic of how the Democratic leadership shafts its own voters and has precisely no concern about their interests, using politics instead as a shell-game behind which they prosecute the actual interests they represent and which can be measured in the million-dollar checks signed by corporate sponsors.

      And if ghouls like Crowley represent the corrupt, cynical, reactionary hegemony of Pelosi/Schumer/Steny Hoyer Democrats, the fact that he was in serious contention to be elevated even further up the leadership tells you everything about their resolute refusal to adapt in any way to present realities. That they should still be labelled mainstream, meanwhile, highlights yet again how the media is complicit in mangling meaning and politics in the service of bottomless corporate corruption and its long-term deconstruction and subversion of democracies under late capitalism.

      [Note: I edited the expletive to avoid any moderation issues, if any.]

  11. Lambert Strether Post author

    The Intercept: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Upset Sends Sobering Message to Democrats Reliant on Big Money: It Won’t Save You:

    The media may focus on Ocasio-Cortez’s Hispanic identity as it attempts to come to terms with Crowley’s loss, but during her campaign, she always took pains to link class and race as inextricable elements of identity. The difference between her and Crowley was largely about how each was powered, she argued, and what that meant for who they would listen to. “This race is about people versus money,” she said in her viral campaign ad. “We’ve got people. They’ve got money.”

  12. Kim Kaufman

    Best statement I heard from her this morning:

    “Our communities—all communities in the United States deserve representation in Congress. And it wasn’t just about, you know, having a representative, an ethnic representative, but also having a policy representative.”

    from Amy Goodman, who jumped on the bandwagon by getting an early morning interview.

  13. grayslady

    “…for working class New Yorkers & Americans”

    Brava to Ocasio-Cortez for:

    1. Using the words “working class”. This is absolutely a class struggle.
    2. Not using the words “working families”. I hate that term with a passion; to me, it smacks of Repubs using “family values”, or some mythical white heterosexual couple with 2.5 children.

  14. Buck Eschaton

    I’m listening to an April Real Progressives interview of her and she just said I’m proud to bring this country back to the legacy of FDR.

  15. Samuel Conner

    What a sweet moment. Perhaps Tim Canova’s number will come up this year.

    I do hope that Ocasio-Ortiz “gets” MMT. It would be thrilling to see these ideas showing up front and center in a general election campaign — and they will since her R opponent will surely attack her policy proposals as “unaffordable.”

    1. Richard

      I really hope so! Especially as he has done his Demexit, a move to be encouraged and supported.

  16. Steve

    When I try to access nakedcapitalism.com using Firefox I get this error message:

    An error occurred during a connection to http://www.nakedcapitalism.com. SSL received a record that exceeded the maximum permissible length. Error code: SSL_ERROR_RX_RECORD_TOO_LONG

    I have no problem using Chrome. Thought you should know!

    1. Msmolly

      I use Firefox and have had no problem accessing NC, FWIW. Is this just today or a long standing problem?

  17. JTMcPhee

    I can’t help recalling the euphoria over on Daily Kos when Barack Hussein Obama was first anointed as Head Democrat, and then miraculously elected president! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFVxX3RtyhQ

    Granted, OC is a baby step in the right direction. But at the risk of being told, as I was at DK when in the middle of the exulting I pointed out the actual text of big pieces of his “platform,” “Go. Away. This siet(sic) is for Grown. Ups! Stop downing us! We Won!”

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Barack Obama was always a fraud who advocated for vague generalities. His famed “race” speech had one section that read like a Cosby rant. He sought out Joe Lieberman as a mentor. The closest thing the guy ever came to policy proposals was borrowing from Hillary or Edwards several months after the fact.

      The narrative behind Obama was front and center and he was portrayed who could be something for everyone. Then of course, there was “no drama, Obama/853rd dimensional chess” narrative of Obama as our wise, all knowing father who didn’t need to explain his actions because he’s so many steps we plebes wouldn’t understand.

      Whatever you ever think of John Edwards, you couldn’t be aware of the world around you in 2004 and deny Two Americas, so what does Obama do? He gives 2004 DNC speech which yammers about a false unity and tsks tsks everyone for dividing ourselves. I’m sorry Obama spent a great deal of time emphasizing emotional support but he spent a great deal of time suggesting our problems were emotional not material.

      If AOC was like Obama, they would be running her somewhere and trotting her out to endorse the ilk of Crowley.

      1. ChrisPacific

        They are both charismatic, good public speakers, and get people excited about voting for them.

        But yes, otherwise not that similar. As you point out, Obama’s flaws were evident to anyone who was paying attention. I wasn’t at the time, but I sure as heck am now, and I see no evidence of similar issues with Ocasio-Cortez. Just their respective campaign financing processes are already a massive point of difference.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Not a comet but an asteroid i.e. a minor planet and can also be found in Google Books in a work called “Dictionary of Minor Planet Names”. She is also a Trekkie as well.

  18. Samuel Conner

    (second screw up in one day. You would think that I could remember the candidate’s name after contributing; I’m getting old and stupid)

    What a sweet moment. Perhaps Tim Canova’s number will come up this year.

    I do hope that Ocasio-Cortez “gets” MMT. It would be thrilling to see these ideas showing up front and center in a general election campaign — and they will since her R opponent will surely attack her policy proposals as “unaffordable.”


    Given that T-Bills and bonds are convertible to “endogenous/horizontal” bank money in the repo market with small haircuts, they are nearly equivalent to “exogenous/vertical” money. And since Treasury is obligated to issue these instruments to fund appropriations (modulo the political straightjacket of the “Debt Limit”), O-C is quite right to say that her policies would be funded by appropriations. They would be funded by new vertical money equivalents/near equivalents created by Treasury in response to appropriations.

    It does look like she “gets” MMT.

  19. upstater

    It is a great win by Ocasio-Cortez.

    In central New York’s congressional district NY-24, Dana Balter handily beat a handpicked DCCC toady Juanita Perez Williams by a 62-38 margin. Balter is a progressive and supports #MedicareForAll.

    The primary was interesting; 30,000 voted, more than in NY-14. Balter had won the endorsement of the 4 county democratic committees in Spring. Perez Williams entered 2 weeks before the deadline with helicopter money from the DCCC Red-to-Blue fund for paid canvassers to gather signatures. She also benefited outside money spent on TV ads.

    Central NY rejected the DCCC’s handpicked loser.

    1. Carey

      I am really glad to hear that, after reading about the DCCC parachuting her in.

      poco a poco

    2. John k

      Great news, wonder how much donor money got torched.
      Don’t suppose they’ll get tired of throwing it away…

    1. Carey

      “…people don’t want change.”

      -Two-hundred-million-dollar Nancy (her people certainly don’t)

      1. djrichard

        from 2:00 to 3:23 in that video

        Reporter question to Nancy: “Republicans saying that one of the things that this […] shows is that democratic socialism is ascendant in your party. Are they right on that?”

        Nancy: “No they’re not. It’s ascendant in that district, perhaps, but I don’t accept any characterization of our party by the republicans, so let me reject that right now. [addressing somebody off camera to her left] Right Mr […]? You can join in any time. [back to the reporter] Our party is a big tent. Our districts are very different, one from the other. As I said, I am viewed, they spend tens of millions of dollars, characterizing me, caricaturizing me, as this left wing person where in my district they call me a corporate pawn because my district is so progressive. So it isn’t about that. It’s about representation. Each of our members is elected to be the independent representative of their district. Their job description and their job title are one and the same: representative. Though nobody’s district is representative of somebody else’s district. It’s just the sign of the vitality of our party, we’re not a rubber stamp. Again, as I said to [reporter’s name] the beauty is in the mix.”

        1. notabanker

          Also quick to point out she was elected by 140,000 votes. Marginalize the size of the win.

        2. Richard

          A ziggurat of gobbledy gook stands before you! “It isn’t about what you stand for! It’s about the representation! I was elected to represent my district, which is not representative of anyone else’s district, and I get to be independent anyway, which is when I forget about representing! Now everyone go represent!”
          What does it mean? How dare you even ask. These words are what happens when unaccountable power chooses to open its mouth and explain to the humans.

  20. Steely Glint

    Immigration 6/26 WC
    #2) protection of the nation state. My spouse & I have residency in New Zealand. For us (it’s my understanding that immigration from Pacific islands, such as Samoa is not as restrictive) we applied under a point system, heavily weighted toward education and experience in your field. Our first try for residency was turned down. Even though my spouse was the one working, self-education in I.T. garnered few points. On the other hand, my college degree plus 10 years of working within a field covered by my degree got us over the bar. I might also add, since NZ health is single payer, we were all required to have a physical exam, with emphasis on chest x-rays. N.Z. heavily went after visa over-stayers. My thought, not a bad system since there were special provisions for island neighbors.
    #3) H1-B visas. I hate to even get started on this, since IMO it has decimated so many I.T. jobs. This is in spite of the Fair Labor Act which exempts all I.T. work from overtime. In our case, the ax fell when my spouse hit 56. Working on a project that was deemed to be “very important” to the company CEO, the solution was to sign up for the 1 open slot with an outsourcer. When the offer came through, 55% of previous salary (which was in line with the legal H1-B salary), no benefits except for a very poor & expensive health insurance policy. I think it is fair to say, that a direct hire in I.T. is like grabbing the brass ring. Contracting out I.T. is where H1-B visas proliferate:

    “This process of contracting out an ever larger set of services has been yet another way in which wages have been depressed. This process of breaking up companies as a mechanism to depress wages is a much more important labor market development than the gig economy. Now that we have good data putting the gig economy into perspective, perhaps policy debates can focus on bigger problems. http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/english_editorials/850441.html
    Wonder why there are so many customer security breaches? Instead of security being in house (faster response time), it has been contracted out to save $$ resulting in a tax on your time to remedy the breach. The myth of not enough I.T. workers should just go away. Imagine an I.T. architect job that also involves developer & coder skills. Also the term “mentor” not only means training somebody else for your job, but also covering the training companies used to provide. My suggestion, sunset H1-B visas, make companies pay to sponsor work visas, or apply H1-B to protected occupations, such as doctors.

    On an entirely different subject, please retire the phrase “virtue signalers” . I would suggest “virtue grifters” as I hate to see human empathy tagged & bagged

  21. Carey

    Something I found odd today was that I received emails from both the DSA, who
    mentioned Ocasio-Cortez’s win only obliquely and very briefly, and from Bernie Sanders, who was soliciting donations for Ben Jealous, and did not mention her or her victory at all. My thought was “why not make hay while the Sun is shining?” Mmm.

    1. Jen

      Being the generous soul that I am, I would say that Ben Jealous’ general election is a bit more of an uphill battle than Ocasio-Cortez.

  22. Taras 77

    Pelosi will prob call for a recount! heh,heh

    It is astonishing that these demo losers do not see this coming, tone deaf does not quite get there.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      “In my district they call me a corporate pawn, because my district is so progressive.” — Nancy Pelosi

      Fishhook theory is real.

  23. Steely Glint

    One more; kerfuffle over Red Hen; perfect example of repub “Ma, he hit me back”
    vs. Dem. “be nice, this might come back to hit me, be polite”

  24. hunkerdown

    Anyone notice the cursed phrase “Fighting for” on the green flyer? I’m not sure that bodes extremely well.

  25. The Rev Kev

    At this point I should perhaps mention Winston Churchill’s speech when he said: “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” Yes, a great battle was won but to make it really effective, it should be rolled into part of a campaign and perhaps there could be some link-up with Cynthia Nixon’s battle against Cuomo. Nixon was at Ocasio-Cortez’s victory party after all. For those who enjoy a taste of Schadenfreude, have a look at the article at-


    I may be going into sparkly pony land here but the New York region is a bastion for the Democrats, right? What happens if this region brings in a series of progressive Democrats/Independants while the Californian region remains a bastion of Clinton-style Democrats? People versed in US politics will say ‘never happen’ but if there is anything that the 2016 election of Trump demonstrated is that the unlikely should not be ignored. You can ask Ocasio-Cortez about that.

    1. Jim Haygood


      In his own remarks to reporters, Mr. Cuomo said Ms. Ocasio-Cortez “ran a very good campaign” that connected with people in her district, particularly “the fear and the anger that is in the minority community.”

      Wow. He might as well have just dismissed the election as the “Ocasio-Cortez tantrum.”

      Patronize much, Andy?

  26. Lambert Strether Post author

    > Cuomo: “the fear and the anger that is in the minority community.”

    As I said, stop with the fear already. It’s really amazing to watch liberal Democrats react to this new situation by applying all their old tools.

    1. dk

      It’s a dog whistle, gotta keep the donor class happy.
      Can’t grift a billion dollar campaign without ’em.
      One of the best of many good things about AOC, her rhetoric is almost whistle-free, she just comes out and says what she means. And while I don’t disagree with Joy Reid’s point above, this candidate’s success may encourage other candidates across the country to hew to the issues of constituencies. Flyover voters don’t have to know of her to benefit from her.

  27. Cripes

    I love how the response from the Press revolves around “oh no what are the Democrats going to do now.”
    Obviously regarding her win and the constituents votes as a threat to their party machine.
    Suprisingly, the NYT’s opinion piece was pretty good today. Reminding machine democrats to heed the voters or get left behind.

  28. Cripes

    And, and, and…she says “working class” over and over again without condescension or irony.
    Was it during the reign of Obama that crap democrats made a fetish of “fighting for” the middle class?

    I just hope Ms Ocasio can hang in there to a 2nd and 3rd term, as others build a deeper bench of socialist-leaning elected officials capable of throwing their weight behind serious policy change.

    Just don’t get Cynthia McKinnied!

    1. Anon

      If a university educated, widely experienced, well spoken, non-trust-funded, female is “working class”, then I think most Americans would take the moniker. (But then, it was being used as a “dog whistle” (code) of disparagement.)

  29. Ignacio

    Here in Spain it has got coverage. The words most commmonly used are YOUNG/MILLENIAL, LATIN, WOMAN, SURPRISING, … and… F&CK CROWLEY hahahahahaha!

    My eyes are in tears!!!

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