AOC is pretty much always in the news these days; she is perhaps the single most recognizable member of the United States House of Representatives, more a celebrity than a politician. Accordingly, AOC has an ardent base of supporters – young, liberal women who retweet, amplify, and worship every utterance AOC utters. And accordingly, conversely, AOC is a lightning rod for criticism; she has, in many respects, come to personify everything conservative America dislikes about the left. Some of the criticism is fair. Some of it is gratuitous.
Conservative criticism of Cortez is especially old news and mostly unremarkable. But now, AOC is taking heat from her own side. At an AOC-hosted town hall a few months back, unhappy constituents roasted the New York representative.
“You ran as an outsider but you’re voting to start this war in Ukraine,” one constituent said during the town hall. “Why are you playing with the lives of American citizens?”
The criticism is accurate: AOC has sided with mainstream Democrats to send aid – over billions of dollars worth – to Ukraine.
Additionally, in light of the botched town hall, Cortez fielded criticism from Lauren Boebert a few months back. Granted, Boebert is not the most credible source – she’s an ardent support of conspiracy theories. And personally, I don’t much care for Boebert – she’s a little too zany for my tastes – but I find myself agreeing with some of her AOC critiques. For example, Boebert accused AOC of being “part of the machine.”
“On the rare occasions that @AOC actually spends time with her constituents, she is reminded that she has sold them out at every turn,” Boebert tweeted last week. “She campaigned as an outsider and has now just morphed into [Nancy] Pelosi.”
AOC, who understands the utility of a good feud better than any public figure with the exception of perhaps Donald Trump, responded quickly.
“Hey Boebert, you seem confused,” AOC said. “I have attended and hosted [hundreds] of community events, hold regular town halls, [and] don’t take a dime in corporate cash. You are bankrolled by corporate PACs, Big Ag, and Oil. [You] are too scared to hold regular town halls open to all.”
Boebert responded with another tweet: “I have governed as I campaigned. You sold out your supporters.” Boebert also noted that AOC was careful to avoid retweeting video of the town hall event. “Just own it. You’re the machine now.”
As I said, there’s quite a bit of truth to Boebert’s insights.
AOC isn’t quite the politician her campaign promised she would be; she has backed Pelosi, backed unconditional aid to Israel, and backed the Ukraine aid – all while posturing, very, very effectively, as a progressive on social media. (Boebert on the other hand campaigned as crazy and has governed as crazy).
Something is satisfying about watching AOC – or any politician – who hasn’t entirely held up their end of the bargain being held to account.
AOC, somewhere between her Vogue cover, Met Gala appearance, and hit tweeting, seems to have become detached from the core concepts she campaigned on; having an angry New Yorker remind her that some of us are keeping score, and are not impressed, was cathartic for a lot of us.
More: Is Donald Trump Going Crazy?
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. Follow him on Twitter @harrison_kass.