In a truly spectacular bit of irony, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) ripped the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) for its conservative members, notably Justice Samuel Alito, for accepting what she described as “lavish” luxury trips from Paul Singer.
This, from a sitting member of Congress, an institution whose members’ campaigns are entirely funded by megadonors, like Paul Singer.
In AOC’s case, she infamously accepted a large chunk of change from Leftist billionaire megadonor, Todd Steyer during her 2018 election in which she claimed that she had never accepted anything other than small-ticket donations (and accused her fellow elected leaders of corruption if they dared to accept money from big donors, like Steyer or Singer).
The problem with AOC is that she effortlessly marries ignorance with hypocrisy in a stunning display of partisan rage.
It’s acceptable for her to take campaign donations—and for her colleagues to do so—which will actually impact their governing. But if a conservative justice at some point takes a nice vacation on a donors’ dime, that justice is, like, literally Hitler and their rulings are completely suspect.
It’s Okay When Democrats Do It
What AOC doesn’t note (and what she doesn’t care to know because it’d make her look bad) is that virtually every member of the Supreme Court has taken similar “gifts” from big donors. It isn’t only the conservative members of the court.
The Liberal ones have accepted the same donations from big donors on their side of the political aisle. In 2018, for example, the late, much venerated Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg (RBG) “took more trips than any other justice” on private interest dime, for a grand total of 14 privately-funded, lavish trips, according to the Office of Government Ethics.
That year, also, Justice Stephen Bryer “disclosed a dozen trips, three of which were supported by the wealthy Chicago-based Pritzker family.”
The Pritzker Family, for those unfamiliar with Chicago and Illinois state politics, are hardcore Leftists. Heirs of the Hyatt Hotel fortune, the Pritzkers, like so many people with far too much wealth and time on their hands, chose to segue from meaningful entrepreneurial activities into the far less impressive politically charged nonprofit world.
Jenny Pritzker (formerly James) is a leading advocate for transgender rights, by the way and is considered to be the world’s first transgender billionaire.
Eventually, members of the Pritzkers went directly into government. Other notable Pritzker family members include former President Barack Obama’s secretary of commerce, Penny, and the current governor of Illinois, J.B. Pritzker.
I’m sure all these trips that the Left-leaning members of the courts took had no bearing on their decisions in critical court cases. It’s only when conservative justices do it that it’s bad or suspect.
All this is to say that AOC apparently has no problem accepting gobs of cash for billionaires herself or when the more Liberal elements of the SCOTUS take countless—far more than the conservative members do—lavish trips funded by Left-wing megadonors.
No, it is only when the conservative justices go on a fancy fishing trip that AOC has a problem with it. That’s when the knives come out. While that is a figure of speech, the way in which she’s talking about the Court, if AOC were a Republican, would evoke such vituperations from the Democrats that she’d be accused of being an insurrectionist, a threat to our hallowed democracy.
Fortunately, for AOC, she’s given a free pass from the hypocrisy police because she’s a card-carrying Democrat.
Thus, the New York congresswoman will be excused of the very same purportedly anti-democratic actions that she is now castigating conservatives for engaging in.
On the one hand, you have to say this is politics-as-usual. On the other hand, though, in post-2020 America, the hypocrisy isn’t just tiring, it’s downright offensive. Because the criminalization of opposing views has been underway since the early days of the controversial Trump Administration.
The Roots of AOC’s Rage
AOC is upset because the Supreme Court ruled against her desired policy of enacting what very may well have been an unconstitutional blanket student loan forgiveness plan that President Joe Biden wanted to do. Singer, who is also the chairman of the Manhattan Institute—which filed an amicus curiae brief along with the CATO Institute, a Libertarian think tank—was part of the movement to prevent the student loan forgiveness plan from going forward.
Although I oppose AOC for a variety of reasons and I vote Republican, as a Millennial, I can tell you that some kind of reform to the student loan system—and a plan to address to inherent unfairness of the current student loan crisis holding so many young people back—is required.
But blaming the SCOTUS for judging the proposed plan of blanket student loan forgiveness as being unconstitutional is absurd.
What’s more, AOC’s preferred method, not of debating the merits of the ruling but instead choosing to attack the conservative justices and impugn the very institution or even the idea of an independent judiciary is obscene.
With her recent attacks on the conservative justices of the Supreme Court for simply having made a ruling with which she disagrees, AOC should be mocked and castigated publicly until she renounces her scurrilous attacks. Sadly, it would appear that hypocrisy is the driving force behind Democratic Party politics today in Washington, D.C. The New York Democrat is being rewarded with more screen time (God help us all) and is being encouraged to go further in her attacks on the independent judiciary.
This is not AOC’s first attack on the institution of the independent judiciary branch over a ruling with which disagreed. I suspect it won’t be the last.
It’s truly embarrassing to see a sitting member of Congress engage in such uninformed attacks.
Especially when she has taken megadonor money and the Liberal justices of the Supreme Court have engaged in the very same questionable practices that AOC is attacking the conservative members for having participated in.
A 19FortyFive Senior Editor, Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at American Greatness and the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (Encounter Books), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (July 23). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.