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AOC: How Much Trouble Is She In?

AOC screenshot from 2020 Democratic National Convention in 2020.
AOC screenshot from 2020 Democratic National Convention in 2020.

The House Ethics Committee is investigating New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Last week, the committee released a statement that said a probe into AOC’s actions were being conducted – although the statement was light on specifics, failing to clarify precisely what the probe was about.

The probe may well have something to do with that whole Met Gala/dress thing. Remember that?

About 15 months ago, AOC attended the Met Gala wearing a designer dress with the phrase ‘Tax the Rich’ etched in big, red letters. Conservatives asked the ethics committee to look into how exactly AOC was comped $35,000 Met Gala tickets (plus a designer dress).

Ethics Committee Makes Statement

The Ethics committee statement didn’t say anything about a dress, however.

“The Acting Chairwoman and Acting ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics have jointly decided to extend the matter regarding Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, which was transmitted to the Committee by the Office of Congressional Ethics on June 23, 2022,” the statement said.

What the matter being referred to is unclear and curious.

“The Committee notes that the mere fact of a referral or an extension, and the mandatory disclosure of such an extension and the name of the subject of the matter, does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the Committee,” the statement continued. “The Committee will announce its course of action in this matter following its organizational meeting and adoption of Committee Rules in the 118th Congress.”

Yeah, so not much to go on there.

AOC Widely Criticized for Attending Met Gala

AOC’s attendance last year, in a perfectly tailored dress, was deeply criticized.

Granted, AOC attracts a lot of hate – especially from conservatives, who seem to view AOC as the embodiment of the woke left. But even for AOC, the Met Gala caused quite a tiff.

Now, let me say that I’m sensitive to partisan witch hunting – which have come to impede the function of government, with left and right wingers focused solely on incriminating their counterparts across the aisle.

Yet, the criticism over the gala wasn’t strictly from the right.

It was the right who referred the Met incident to the Ethics Committee, yes. But the left let AOC have it over the Met Gala, too – for AOC’s attendance at the gala validated a lot of AOC’s left-wing critiques. Namely, that AOC is a fraud.

I hold the increasingly common view that AOC is more an influencer or a celebrity than a politician or public servant. AOC’s gala attendance certainly validated my viewpoint. Watching her galivant at a celebrity party, with $35,000 entrance fees, didn’t really scream Defender of the Working Class.

Then there’s the dress. “Tax the Rich.” Obviously, AOC wore the dress and the message, to an event for the world’s wealthiest, to be edgy. But AOC’s mere presence at the event undermined the message. The dress itself, perfectly tailored and chic yet with a battle cry of income redistribution, was a glaring oxymoron.

Future Partisanship

With Republicans about to swear in a majority, expect the AOCs and the Hunter Bidens to start facing down inquiries with higher regularity. Republicans would do well to take the high road, be the bigger man, and all that. But there’s roughly no hope of that happening.

And Democrats certainly earned their bit of retribution for the way they have operated over the last several years. Trump’s a schmuck but Democrats behaved poorly in their efforts to counter (and oust) the GOP president.

Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, he joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. He lives in Oregon and listens to Dokken.

Written By

Harrison Kass is a Senior Defense Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, he joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison has degrees from Lake Forest College, the University of Oregon School of Law, and New York University’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. He lives in Oregon and regularly listens to Dokken.