AOC’s Risky Game: Liner Notes

I have a new column posted at The Federalist today, “How Ocasio-Cortez’s Trump-Like Tactics Could Be Her Downfall.” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) became a phenomenon doing her own thing, but she has started copying Pres. Trump’s tactics. Attacking fellow Dems and the establishment media (but I repeat myself) is a path already proving a bad choice for her — and one which could get worse if the media realizes she could harm them in ways Trump cannot.

What got left out? After the fact, it occurred to me that I may have buried in the subtext the theory that AOC is behaving as she is precisely because she is in over her head (a factor that has played into Trump lashing out dating back to the 2016 campaign).

Beyond that, I left out a discussion of the impact of the 2020 Democratic primary race and its outcome. AOC’s endorsement — or lack thereof will be a storyline.

More significantly, 2020 will be at least a partial referendum on democratic socialism, either with the Democratic primary electorate or the general electorate — and this will pose questions for AOC’s status in the party as well. In the event of a more moderate nominee, the pressure on her to be a team player will intensify (even more so if that moderate won). In the event of a more socialist nominee, a loss would tarnish her agenda, while a win would raise questions about what AOC would do when her agenda likely crashes against the reality of governing.

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