‘Their base is not the enemy’: Rep. Ocasio-Cortez calls on Dems to embrace progressive causes

Shant Shahrigian, New York Daily News
·2 min read

In the wake of Democratic defeats in the House of Representatives, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) called on her party to do an honest reckoning and embrace its activist base.

“I need my colleagues to understand that we are not the enemy. And that their base is not the enemy,” she said in a weekend interview with The New York Times.

“That the Movement for Black Lives is not the enemy, that Medicare for all is not the enemy,” Ocasio-Cortez continued. “This isn’t even just about winning an argument. It’s that if they keep going after the wrong thing ... they’re just setting up their own obsolescence.”

While Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was projected as the winner of his heated election, Dems fared poorly in congressional races. Seven total Democratic incumbents lost their seats in the House, though the party will maintain a tenuous hold as the majority.

AOC described being marginalized by mainstream Dems.

“I’ve been begging the party to let me help them for two years,” she said. "That’s also the damn thing of it. I’ve been trying to help.

“Before the election, I offered to help every single swing district Democrat with their operation,” the congresswoman continued. “And every single one of them, but five, refused my help. And all five of the vulnerable or swing district people that I helped secured victory or are on a path to secure victory. And every single one that rejected my help is losing. And now they’re blaming us for their loss.”

Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) promised to do a “deep dive” probing the election losses.

AOC said she’s already found the party had a feeble online presence.

“I’ve been unseating Democrats for two years,” she said. "And so we know about extreme vulnerabilities in how Democrats run campaigns.

“Some of this is criminal. It’s malpractice,” she added. “I don’t think anybody who is not on the internet in a real way in the Year of our Lord 2020 and loses an election can blame anyone else when you’re not even really on the internet.”

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