AOC: ‘Trump is the racist visionary but McConnell gets the job done’

Prince Harry and Meghan Duchess of Sussex visit to Dublin, Ireland - 11 Jul 2018

Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez covers the December issue of Vanity Fair. I worried that this would be another Beto O’Rourke-type cover, centering one Democrat as “the savior” or The One. There are shades of that, but mostly the Vanity Fair cover story is just like “this young woman is a seriously big deal, and she’s going to continue to be a big deal for years to come.” AOC isn’t announcing anything, but she’s not closing the door to future political opportunities either. The start of the VF piece is a lengthy discussion of the horrible incident between AOC and Rep. Yoho, who called her a “f–king bitch” on the steps of the Capitol and basically harassed and verbally abused a young Latina colleague.

Yoho jabbed his finger in her face, calling her “crazy” and “disgusting.” She froze. The situation felt dangerous, with Yoho towering over Ocasio-Cortez, who calls herself “five-five on a good day.” Congressman Roger Williams, a Texas Republican, bumbled next to him like a wind puppet at a used-car dealership. She told Yoho he was being rude and went into the Capitol to vote. As Yoho descended the steps, he called her a “f–king bitch.” A reporter nearby witnessed the exchange, and soon the whole world had heard the epithet. This part hasn’t been reported: The next day Ocasio-Cortez approached Yoho and told him, “You do that to me again, I won’t be so nice next time.” She felt his actions had violated a boundary, stepping “into the zone of harassment, discrimination.” His mocking response, straight out of Veep: “Oh, boo-hoo.”

The speech: Forty-eight hours later, Ocasio-Cortez delivered one of the most eloquent dunks in political history, a “thank u, next” for the C-SPAN set, taking on not just Yoho but the patriarchy itself. She took care to enter “f–king bitch” into the Congressional Record. “I want to thank him for showing the world that you can be a powerful man and accost women,” she told the House. “It happens every day in this country.” And the line that spawned headlines, T-shirts, hashtags, and memes: “I am someone’s daughter too.”

She doesn’t have beef with Nancy Pelosi. “Two powerful women coming from different perspectives and there has to be a catfight.” Still, “House leadership is, sometimes, a little wary of me speaking on the floor. Not that I’m not allowed to, but it’s a little more dicey. I think a lot of people, including my Democratic colleagues, believe the Fox News version of me.”

The way the GOP targets her: “It’s very dehumanizing in both ways, strangely, both the negative and the positive. It’s not an accident that, every cycle, the boogeyman of the Democrats is a woman. A couple of cycles ago, it was Pelosi. Then it was Hillary, and now it’s me.” The death threats seem to spike in concert with Fox News rhetoric. “I used to wake up in the morning and literally get a stack of pictures that were forwarded by Capitol police or FBI. Like, ‘These are the people who want to kill you today.’ There have been many times, especially in the first six months, where I felt like I couldn’t do this, like I didn’t know if I was going to be able to run for reelection. There was a time where the volume of threats had gotten so high that I didn’t even know if I was going to live to my next term.”

Aspirations beyond Congress? “I think it’s part of our cultural understanding of politics, where—if you think someone is great, you automatically think they should be president. I joke. I’m like, ‘Is Congress not good enough?’  I don’t know if I’m really going to be staying in the House forever, or if I do stay in the House, what that would look like. I don’t see myself really staying where I’m at for the rest of my life. I don’t want to aspire to a quote-unquote higher position just for the sake of that title or just for the sake of having a different or higher position. I truly make an assessment to see if I can be more effective. And so, you know, I don’t know if I could necessarily be more effective in an administration, but, for me that’s always what the question comes down to… I don’t want to be a savior, I want to be a mirror.”

Trying to keep it cute, fashion-wise: “It’s legitimately hard being a first-generation woman…and being working class, trying to navigate a professional environment. It continues to take me so long to try to figure out how to look put-together without having a huge designer closet.” AOC is the perhaps the only member of Congress who moonlights as a beauty influencer: Sharing her go-to red gloss—Stila’s Stay All Day Liquid in Beso—translated to a sales spike. “Every time I go on TV, people ask for my lipstick.”

On raising taxes: “These are the same people saying that we can’t have tuition-free public colleges because there’s no money, when these motherf—ers are only paying $750 a year in taxes.”

On Mitch McConnell: “Trump is the racist visionary but McConnell gets the job done. He doesn’t do anything without Trump’s blessing. Trump says, ‘Jump.’ McConnell says, ‘How high?’ Trump never does what McConnell says.”

[From VF]

There was a lengthy section about what AOC has had to deal with from the beginning, from all of the wingnuts and violent Nazis and assorted heavily armed nutcases, all of whom were just waiting to be “incited” by Trump and Fox News. It’s really terrifying and I hope that she has tons of security, because she 100% needs it. As for AOC’s political future… I honestly can’t see her in a Biden administration or a Harris administration. I don’t think she should jump to running for president either. She should stay in the House for a few more terms, and then if Gillibrand or Schumer ever retire, she should run for that Senate seat. And then on and on.

Cover & IG courtesy of Vanity Fair.

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51 Responses to “AOC: ‘Trump is the racist visionary but McConnell gets the job done’”

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  1. Merricat says:

    She is brilliant and beautiful and she will verbally clean your clock if you mess with her. She’s a fantastic role model for young girls and women. And she’s right about McConnell, that ghoul in a suit.

    • Esmom says:

      All of this. And I will add that I guess I haven’t really considered all the death threats she receives. She is also incredibly brave to keep on in the face of such irrational hatred and fear. I hope she sticks around in DC for a while and I agree there’s no reason to rush towards higher office immediately.

    • DaffiestPlot says:

      My take on the McConnell-Trump dynamic is the complete opposite, mainly because I don’t think Trump has the mental capacity to create such a long-range plan for a governmental system he doesn’t understand and for a party he was never aligned with except to run for president. The wickedness seems all McConnell to me; he is the power broker here.

      • MaryContrary says:

        And people in Trump’s administration like Stephen Miller. Trump is no visionary. He’s all about the grift and how things can benefit himself monetarily and to prop up his ego.

      • liz says:

        I agree. McConnell is in the driver’s seat. He doesn’t care what Trump says or does, as long as he gets to fill the judiciary with young, incomprehensibly stupid fascists who will allow him to continue to destroy the nation.

      • NeoCleo says:

        McConnell is in control. He is a brilliant, evil politician who plays a VERY long game and he gets shit (and I DO mean shit) done.

  2. Darla says:

    I expect she will sit in Schumer’s seat one day. Of course, these men usually have to be carried out feet first, they don’t retire. But who knows, we’ll see. I’m not a fan of Schumer. Kirsten no, she stays. Don’t even think about it.

    • liz says:

      Schumer has two more years left on his term. He’s almost 70 years old. He’s going to spend the next two years answering questions about being primaried from the left by AOC. If he’s smart, after the election he will announce that he’s retiring. But I don’t think he’s that smart.

  3. Millennial says:

    First, we truly do not deserve her. I align with her politically and I’m glad we have her voice. We need more folks pushing the Dems further left on climate, especially, IMO.

    I worry for her. It happened to Gabby Giffords and Steve Scalise, and it can happen to any House Rep. It annoys me to no end that the Trump children probably have better protection than she does. The way Fox News incites hate against her should be criminal.

    • Otaku fairy says:

      Her existence does seem to get a pretty rabid reaction from some. Back when Yoho got up in her face, Scott Greer and others like him tried to make the criticism of that behavior into an example of women demanding special treatment instead of equality. But that’s bs, because we already don’t tolerate verbal abuse and dehumanization being directed at men from most marginalized groups. It’s not about being delicate, it’s about treating women with the same basic respect. People have gotten so used to that not being a requirement all their lives, that they don’t know how to act now.

  4. Sigmund says:

    Love, love AOC. She’s badass. I don’t know if I see her as being president someday— I agree with her take that president isn’t necessarily the ultimate aspiration or most effective position for her to be in. But I want her to stay in the game a long time. Keep pushing the old white men who hate that she exists, that she knows what she’s doing.

  5. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    She’s like a triple B threat. Brilliant. Beautiful. Brave. She needs to be doing what she’s doing 40, 50 years from now. She better be protected in order to do that.

  6. Becks1 says:

    I really like her. I find her age really interesting, not in a “she’s too young” kind of way, but in a “we are getting to see this political figure mature and grow before our eyes” – like its fun bc you know she’s going to be something BIG in the future, and we’re just at the beginning of it.

    Her description of McConnell as the one who gets things done is spot-on. Trump rants and raves but outside of EOs he’s pretty incapable of accomplishing anything. McConnell does the dirty work.

  7. Teresa says:

    My uncle hates her for no reason and whenever he starts bashing her I rip into him and talk about her approval ratings, how she is working for the people who elected her, and how it seems odd a man who claims to love me is so hateful towards a woman for no reason beyond she’s a woman. He then skulks off and says I’m a snowflake.
    I like AOC and I wish her safety and success.

    • HoofRat says:

      If enough snowflakes get together, we can become a blizzard that will bring these misogynists to a standstill

  8. Chris says:

    I’m hesitant to be slightly critical of her because I genuinely like her (and conservatives making her a boogeyman is true), but I think her democratic colleagues are wary of her because she sometimes demands influence that she just hasnt earned the political clout for. It seems like she has a better relationship with Pelosi and I’m glad to see how much she’s grown into her position. Now I’m about to say something snarky, I think Bernie was dragging her down.

    I really want her to succeed, she’s whip smart and understands how to reach out to the youth. I have a suspicion that a lot of this “beauty influencer” stuff is her trying to get younger people into politics. It’s a very clever strategy and it’s nice to see a young person who understands how social media works.

    • Becks1 says:

      I agree with your first paragraph in terms of her start in Congress. But I think she learned the ropes really fast and adjusted accordingly. And I also agree that Bernie was dragging her down. I think she has grown a lot and I think we’ve seen that, for example, with her defense of the Green New Deal – she is quick to clap back at criticism of Biden for it (whether he’s being criticized for supporting it or not supporting, it really seems to go both ways with Fox News) – and has refused to take the right wing bait in terms of trying to make it into a purity test for the left. She doesn’t hold it against Biden that he’s not 100% in support of it, and she has said that.

      • Nancy says:

        How was Bernie holding her back? How was she “demanding influence”?

        I think there are some good faith criticisms to be made of her, but these don’t seem to be it.

      • Lemons says:

        @Nancy, this sounds like code for “moderate Democrats” didn’t appreciate her being the face of the progressive movement in their party. She has certainly earned all the influence that has come her way, and establishment Democrats should learn to work with her rather than against her.

      • Darla says:

        Don’t forget, due to how our country works and EVERY state getting 2 Senators, we will always NEED moderate Dems, or they will be replaced by crazy republicans. Don’t be so fast to sneer at them. Both ideologies need to be more welcoming, not just the so-called establishment. Just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t make them corrupt or influenced by money, and that is an idea that is frankly quite offensive. We all need to work on ourselves.

      • Becks1 says:

        @Nancy – Bernie dragging her down wasn’t really her fault, but I know many people who considered her a “Bernie bro” because she was so aligned with him, and for a lot of Dems, being a Bernie bro isn’t a good thing.

        If you’ll see my above comment you’ll see that I am an AOC fan so there’s no need to attack with passive aggressive “moderate Dems” comments. As Darla points out, we need moderate Dems right now in order to control the House. There’s a place for moderates in the party. There’s a place for progressives in the party. Neither term should be used like a dirty word.

    • alexc says:

      Yes but she’ll also have a difficult time earning ‘political clout’ if the DNC led democrats don’t give her important committee assignments where the real power is accrued. And I’m pretty sure they won’t because she’s far more progressive than Pelosi, Schumer, et al. She actually advocates for the working class and isn’t in the pocket of Wall St., unlike the senator from Citibank, Schumer. Most of her funding comes from her actual constituents and other progressive supporters, not corporations and the finance sector.

    • Lemons says:

      If we had an actual progressive Left, I would say that moderate Democrats serve a useful purpose. But so far, moderate Democrats have been more inclined to play into bipartisan politics while Republicans/GOP/Tea Party have learned to make sure that everyone stays the party line to get all of their extreme-right trash passed.

      Moderate Democrats seem to be fine with being on a losing team. Personally, as a Black woman…I cannot afford to be on this losing team, my brothers cannot, my family cannot, my loved ones CANNOT.

      • Chris says:

        I’m pointing out how she used to complain that established dems weren’t jumping on board with all of her ideas immediately. She was brand new and elected in a very blue district. What works in new York will not work in texas or Pennsylvania. If a brand new employee showed up to your work telling you how to do your job it would ruffle some feathers too. I don’t think she meant anything by it, I think she just arrived in Congress with a new energy and new ideas. I think it took some adjusting for both her and established dems, but they’ve seemed to settled their differences. I think she’s a real rising star in the dem party. I think she really grasps the priorities of the youth.

        I stand by my Bernie criticism. He’s not for me, but the primary is over so that’s all I’ll say on that.

  9. Also Ali says:

    “You keep telling me I’m just four votes,” AOC says, “so I’mma go get more.”

    Yesssss! I love her.

  10. Lemons says:

    I think there’s this idea that you need to have several terms in government before running for office, but I honestly believe that AOC could be our Jacinda Ardern (New Zealand PM), a young, visionary woman who leads this country as it always should have been led. I don’t want to keep waiting for politicians to get old and crusty before they’re deserving of this spot.

    • Darla says:

      Well, the me of 2015 would have strongly disagreed, but after this sshow the past 4 years, I’m open to it. I’m open to a lot. My ideology was forged in the 90’s and I have always been a Hillary Clinton democrat, and proud of it. I moved too far left IMO during the W years, and course corrected. I may have overcorrected though. All I know is Trump has changed me, what led to his rise has changed me, the fact that the modern day GOP are actual fascists who facilitated a hostile foreign coup, have changed me. The right wing supreme court shoved down my throat by one man, has changed me. I see the rise of the AOC left coming, and I believe they will change the courts no matter what they have to do, and I embrace that. I don’t agree with everything she believes by any means, but I feel I’m down to; AOC future, or Tom Cotton future. I can’t live in a Cotton future, or a Tucker future, or whatever other horror this party FILLED with evil human beings pulls out of their stink asses. I can live in an AOC type future.

      • Lemons says:

        I think this is exactly what every American needs to hear.

      • Rebeks Goss says:

        I had a similar revelation. The reason you (and most adults) abandoned the radical left from the W and Occupy years is because you knew it wasn’t realistic. It never resembled a substantial policy position – just a bunch of grievances. Is AOC realistic though? A Bush or Cotton presidency would be infinitely better than Tr*mp, and would probably beat an AOC ticket.

      • Chris says:

        Yeah I’m a Hilary Democrat too and I have no problem with the “AOC” wing of the party. We all agree on the same goals, just disagree on the best way to get there. If a good idea comes from the progressive wing of the party I’m on board absolutely. I think she’s really smart and I’m looking forward to seeing what she does in the future. It’s a relief to have her on our side because I know she’s fighting the good fight.

    • Oh-Dear says:

      see Justin Trudeau.
      He had little political experience before his party leadership and running for Prime Minister. He had been a member of the opposition for a few years before being elected leader of the Liberal Party in 2013, then Prime Minister in 2015.

    • Lou says:

      Jacinda did have several terms as a regular MP before becoming leader. Experience helps, just like it will benefit AOC.

      Also, AOC is far more progressive than Jacinda. Jacinda is very moderate by NZ standards, and it’d be cool to have someone like AOC pushing her further!

  11. Merricat says:

    The Republicans’ problem with her is that she is wicked smart and runs rings around them verbally while they’re still taking their hands out of their pants. And she’s a woman, and a woman of color. And they can’t intimidate her, and they can’t win an argument with her. She’s their nightmare. ❤️

  12. Ariel says:

    She gives me hope for the future of our country.

  13. Milkweed says:

    I ❤️ AOC

  14. Harla says:

    I hope that she succeeds but I’m really in favor of Term Limits for all, including the Supreme Court. I’m sick and tired of career politicians who continue to put their respective parties before the good of All people.

    • Chris says:

      Agreed, lifetime appointments for judges is bananas. Term limits may prevent that shitshow that was the older statesman asking Zuckerberg “but how does Facebook make money?”

  15. Dee Kay says:

    I am excited to vote for AOC for President one day, if she runs. I hope Kamala is our first female POTUS and I hope AOC is our second. I will always mourn not having had Hillary as POTUS but if these two women can hold the highest office, it will more than make up for that loss.

  16. Rebeks Goss says:

    Sorry I don’t understand the praise for her. I really believe her and Bernie Sanders contribute to the country’s polarization, and I really think she has been unfair to Pelosi. There is a reason why Biden is our nominee and not Sanders. Americans are simply not on board for a green new deal, and it pushes away moderates. It’s also not realistic – how does she expect half the country get on board with that? Established politicians like Pelosi and Feinstein actually get stuff done is because they’re realistic – they work WITH Republicans and know the “perfect” solution is usually a compromise.

    • Nancy says:

      Feinstein, who just hugged Lindsay Graham WITHOUT A MASK after Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearing and called him a decent man? No. She’s useless and has been for a very long time.

      • Rebeks Goss says:

        Feinstein is a pro who’s been doing this for years. Why would it help to add vitriol to the hearings? The fact is these politicians see and work with each other every day. It’s understandable they don’t see their colleagues as the enemy, despite how polarised the country has become.

      • SomeChick says:

        Feinstein is basically a repub in democrat clothing. She’s been that way ever since she was mayor of San Francisco and she’s only gotten worse over the years. She’s been there too long.

      • Margles says:

        You are seriously asking why the hearings should have been aggressive? You are seriously asking why we shouldn’t hug vile racists? You are really asking why Feinstein should be supporting the Democratic candidate who is challenging LG rather than sniveling about how wonderful LG is? Seriously?

    • Also Ali says:

      Rebeks would like to speak with a manager about supporting the capitalist patriarchy no longer being on the menu.

    • Chris says:

      I like AOC, but she hasn’t done a ton yet in congress so people wanting her to run for president immediately is a bit strange. I find it a little annoying that people are unhappy that most dems won’t bend over backward for progressives when progressives don’t actually make up most of the party. It’s easy to forget that when on the internet, but it’s true. The moderate Democrats are the ones who win outside of blue safe havens. AOC seems to have moved mostly beyond that though and it’s clear that she has a good working relationship with Pelosi. New blood in congress is good and I’m glad to see others like katie porter and sharice davids around too.

      • Jayna says:

        I agree with everything you said. I don’t even need to write out my thoughts. I will just give your post a huge thumbs up instead

    • Kyra WEGMAN says:

      but those compromises cut out millions of people. percentage-wise in this enormous country that may not seem like a big deal but it really is. feinstein and pelosi are 80. they are utterly out of touch with what it is like now for people who work, who raise children in this particular kind of capitalist society, let alone marginalized groups. they represent wealth, complacency. capitalism. this is no longer something to be proud of. their kind of political compromise is the sludge that keeps this country so backward compared to other developed, rich nations. i cannot wait for them to retire; their “experience” has gotten in the way. whether or not AOC’s politics will prevail, it is time for a change.

    • Kyra WEGMAN says:

      but those compromises cut out millions of people. percentage-wise in this enormous country that may not seem like a big deal but it really is. feinstein and pelosi are 80. they are utterly out of touch with what it is like now for people who work, who raise children in this particular kind of capitalist society, let alone marginalized groups. they represent wealth, complacency. capitalism. this is no longer something to be proud of. their kind of political compromise is the sludge that keeps this country so backward compared to other developed, rich nations. i cannot wait for them to retire; their “experience” has gotten in the way. whether or not AOC’s politics will prevail, it is time for a change.