The GOP circus to elect a speaker of the House is reflecting poorly on the GOP. Obviously. It’s been a hundred years since a majority failed to elect a speaker on the very first vote. The GOP has, however, finally elected Kevin McCarthy as speaker.
Nonetheless, constituents are beginning to vent their frustration, asking why their elected officials are wasting valuable time and energy, squabbling amongst themselves, rather than governing the country and enacting the agenda promised to constituents.
Political opponents, meanwhile, recognize how low the fruit is hanging. Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for example, is commenting on the situation, working to score political points against a dysfunctional GOP.
But AOC, as seems to be wired into her pathology, has managed to frame the GOP discord into commentary about herself and the way she is treated.
AOC told The Independent that the GOP’s gongshow efforts to elect a new Speaker of the House demonstrate how “grounded and reasonable she and other members of the so-called Squad of progressive Democrats have been.”
AOC is pushing back against the criticism she has faced ever since she joined Congress, that she and other progressives are “unreasonable.”
Notably, much of the criticism AOC and the Squad have faced are from fellow Democrats.
AOC is using this week’s GOP discord to point out what she feels is distinction between the interparty squabbling of the Democrats versus the interparty squabbling of the GOP. “AOC pointed out that many o the debates she was involved in with fellow Democrats were about actual policy,” The Independent reported. “By comparison, House Republicans are mostly united on their goals, while they differ on the tactics and the rules governing the House of Representatives.”
Fair enough. The GOP’s current drama has prevented the House from having a Speaker for multiple days – effectively shutting down the lower chamber of Congress. AOC thinks the gridlock demonstrates how reasonable she and progressives are.
“I mean I think it just highlights how how extraordinarily bad faith those accusations of progressive unreasonableness are, even when they come from our side of the aisle,” AOC said from the peripheries of the House floor. “I think, whether you’re Democrat, Republican, or independent, what this whole episode really indicates and shows us is, again, just how bad faith and substantive some substance-less the argument and accusation is that progressives are, are just as bad as, as these insurrectionists Republicans.”
AOC continued, adding that “When [Democrats] make demands and pull the line on something, it is based on policy, on substance, and something that frankly, usually every time has a path of possibility. We offer a Plan B and we look at the reality and push us Yes, push as hard as we can. But we also have an understanding of what is best for the country.”
AOC emphasized that the GOP gridlock is bad for the country at large. “The more days that this goes on the more this truly starts to have a corrosive impact on our country. Right now, members of Congress because we were not sworn in, we do not have we do not have access to our security clearances, or liasing capacities…we cannot conduct constituent casework to the same extent that we would otherwise…the longer this goes on…the more people are going to suffer.”
She has a point.
AOC is a master at spinning something, anything into being about her, into making herself the victim.
In the current instance, AOC has somehow managed to make GOP in-fighting about mean things that were said about her in the past. Despite how annoying that tendency is, AOC is making sense.
The GOP has ground Congress to a halt while they nitpick over personnel preferences. It’s a mess.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison 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. Harrison lives in Oregon and listens to Dokken.