One of the biggest political stories of the week was the surprise victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old self-described socialist who was tending bar less than a year ago, in a Democratic New York congressional district primary. Her opponent, incumbent Congressman Joe Crowley, was an established member of the Democratic leadership, so her sudden ascension (she's got the general election in deep-blue New York City all but wrapped up) came as a total shock to most observers.
Among the shocked was Sean Hannity, the Fox News host and Trump confidant, who devoted a segment of his show Wednesday night to mongering up some fear about Ocasio-Cortez.
"The Democratic Party is falling apart," Hannity said, pointing to her victory as an example. "Many are hailing Cortez as a rising star on the political landscape, but in reality, her views, her policy positions are actually downright scary… Look very carefully. This is the future, this is the modern Democratic Party."
The camera then cut to this ominous list of goals from Ocasio-Cortez's platform:
Instead of characterizing her views in the usual right-wing language—calling Medicare for all "socialized medicine," for instance—Hannity's staff just took the phrases directly from her website. And even if you are not as far to the left as Ocasio-Cortez, a lot of these positions seem extremely reasonable. Is Hannity really terrified of "clean campaign finance" or "support seniors"?
Left-wing Twitter, already feeling its oats over Ocasio-Cortez's win, was quick to celebrate and drag Hannity simultaneously:
While both Hannity and lefties with roses in their Twitter profiles want Ocasio-Cortez to be the face of the Democrats, her victory comes with some caveats. For starters, only 28,000 votes were cast in the primary, thanks probably at least in part to New York's broken election system. And left-wing candidates have struggled in other primaries (even Illinois Congressman Dan Lipinski, the most conservative Democrat in the House, was able to beat back his progressive challenger earlier this year).
Hannity is wrong, by the way, to say Ocasio-Cortez's supposedly scary platform represents the current state of the Democratic Party—if that were the case, activists like her wouldn't be fighting with the establishment to push the party to the left. But those activists no doubt appreciate the publicity.
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