Democrat leaders have begun to conspire against New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez according to reports.
The news comes after the 29-year-old gave a junior high school type response to former Democrat Vice Presidential candidate Joe Lieberman.
“New party, who dis?” she wrote in response to the story about Lieberman.
New party, who dis? https://t.co/2cznisv8tB
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 11, 2019
The report about Democrats are conspiring against her came from a Politico story.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is already making enemies in the House Democratic Caucus — and some of its members are mounting an operation to bring the anti-establishment, democratic socialist with 2.2 million Twitter followers into the fold.
The effort, described by nearly 20 lawmakers and aides, is part carrot, part stick: Some lawmakers with ties to Ocasio-Cortez are hoping to coax her into using her star power to unite Democrats and turn her fire on Republicans. Others simultaneously warn Ocasio-Cortez is destined for a lonely, ineffectual career in Congress if she continues to treat her own party as the enemy.
“I’m sure Ms. Cortez means well, but there’s almost an outstanding rule: Don’t attack your own people,” said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.). “We just don’t need sniping in our Democratic Caucus.”
Incumbent Democrats are most annoyed by Ocasio-Cortez’s threat to back primary opponents against members of their ranks she deems too moderate. But their frustration goes beyond that: Democratic leaders are upset that she railed against their new set of House rules on Twitter the first week of the new Congress. Rank and file are peeved that there’s a grassroots movement to try to win her a top committee post they feel she doesn’t deserve.
Even some progressives who admire AOC, as she’s nicknamed, told POLITICO that they worry she’s not using her notoriety effectively.
“She needs to decide: Does she want to be an effective legislator or just continue being a Twitter star?” said one House Democrat who’s in lockstep with Ocasio Cortez’s ideology. “There’s a difference between being an activist and a lawmaker in Congress.”
It’s an open question whether Ocasio-Cortez can be checked. She’s barely been in Congress a week and is better known than almost any other House member other than Nancy Pelosi and John Lewis. A media throng follows her every move, and she can command a national audience practically at will.
None of that came playing by the usual rules: Indeed, Ocasio-Cortez’s willingness to take on her party establishment with unconventional guerrilla tactics is what got her here. It’s earned her icon status on the progressive left, it’s where the 29-year-old freshman derives her power — and, by every indication, it’s how she thinks she can pull the Democratic Party in her direction.
The Freedom Caucus didn’t win many popularity contests in Congress the past four years, but it’s hard to dispute the hard-liners’ success dragging the GOP to the right.
Still, fellow Democrats are giving it their best, or planning to in the near future.
So far, most of them have kept their criticism of Ocasio-Cortez private, fearful she’ll sic her massive following on them by firing off a tweet. But a few are engaging with her in the hopes she’ll opt for a different M.O., especially when it comes to trying to take out Democrats in primaries.
Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) is playing a key role. Like Ocasio-Cortez, Velázquez knocked off a longtime Democratic incumbent to win her seat, and they share Puerto Rican roots.
In private conversations with Ocasio-Cortez over the past few months, Velázquez counseled Ocasio-Cortez against targeting her Democratic colleagues in future elections. The two had a “long, long conversation” about the dynamics of Congress and Washington, and how there shouldn’t be a “litmus test” for every district, Velázquez said in a recent interview.