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Ocasio-Cortez: Progressives Aren't the Problem

With races over, lawmaker lists Democratic Party's shortcomings
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2020 9:33 AM CST

(Newser) – US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has provided her post-election assessment of the state of the Democratic Party, and it includes a few complaints. The New York lawmaker finds the shortcoming in the party's online operation, for instance, to be competence. Any internal criticism was postponed while Democrats united behind the Biden-Harris ticket, the Guardian reports, but now that the campaign is over, Ocasio-Cortez—who won reelection—was ready to say a few things. In an interview Saturday with the New York Times, she said:

  • Progressives aren't to blame for the party's congressional losses, a narrative centrists have argued. The election showed that "progressive policies do not hurt candidates, Ocasio-Cortez said, adding the example that "every single candidate that co-sponsored Medicare for All in a swing district kept their seat."

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  • The party's operation deserves blame. "There’s a reason Barack Obama built an entire national campaign apparatus outside of the Democratic National Committee," she said, adding that "the party—in and of itself—does not have the core competencies, and no amount of money is going to fix that." When Obama's organization faded away, she said, "we lost House majorities."
  • Republican success in the messaging battle can be traced to Democrats' weak online presence. In fact, "Our party isn’t even online, not in a real way that exhibits competence," Ocasio-Cortez said. "I don’t think anybody who is not on the internet in a real way in the Year of our Lord 2020 and loses an election can blame anyone else."
  • Joe Biden's transition decisions will show how open his administration will be to progressives. If it's not, "we’re going to lose," she said. "It’s really hard for us to turn out nonvoters when they feel like nothing changes for them."
  • The significance of Biden's election is that "we aren’t in a free fall to hell anymore." But that doesn't mean the nation is out of the woods yet. "Whether we’re going to pick ourselves up or not is the lingering question," Ocasio-Cortez said. "We paused this precipitous descent."
(Read more Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stories.)

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