- - Tuesday, August 14, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Until just weeks ago, Hillary Clinton was the face of the Democratic Party.

She was quoted ad nauseam in liberal publications, appeared regularly on MSM shows and newscasts, and, as the last Democratic nominee for president, was held up as a righteous woman wronged by the horribly wrong system (Oh, America!)

But all that’s changed. The new face of the Democratic Party is a 28-year-old former bartender.

On June 26, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez knocked off the No. 4 Democrat in the House in a primary in New York’s 14th Congressional District, defeating Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley. Since then, she’s been everywhere — far more often than Mrs. Clinton.

Don’t believe that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is the new face of the party? Here’s what Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez had to say about her: “She represents the future of our party.” So, there you have it. Done and done.

But there’s much hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth among the party elders. Many do not think that the party can win by going socialist (and they’re right; a recent poll found 76 percent of those surveyed wouldn’t vote for an avowed socialist). And all the angst led to one very fascinating development last week: The hallowed Washington Post did a “fact check” on Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, and the outcome was hilarious.

Now, the Post usually reserves such fact checks for conservatives, shooting down their rhetoric (often by omitting facts). That the vaunted liberal paper would do such a fact check on the Democratic Party’s new darling really is telling.

The Post’s Glenn Kessler took a spin through “some of her recent eyebrow-raising claims,” and it wasn’t pretty.

“Unemployment is low because everyone has two jobs. Unemployment is low because people are working 60, 70, 80 hours a week and can barely feed their family,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said in a July 13 interview on PBS’s “Firing Line.”

“Poppycock,” said the Post.

⦁ On Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s May 20 claim that Immigration and Customs Enforcement has a quota “to fill 34,000 beds with detainees every single night,” the Post dismissed that as “urban legend.”

⦁ On her Aug. 7 assertion that the “upper-middle class does not exist anymore,” the Post got fired up, citing data to declare that “the upper-middle class has actually grown.”

⦁ On her Aug. 8 claim that Medicare for all “is actually much cheaper than the current system that we pay right now,” well, the Post had previously given such a claim three Pinnochios.

The plan, first offered up by socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, would cost $32 trillion, found the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, but that “would reduce the country’s overall level of health expenditures by $2 trillion from 2022 to 2031.” How, you ask? “That’s because the Sanders plan would slash payments to providers by 40 percent.” Oof.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is clearly waaaaay over her head. She can barely answer the simplest question. For instance, she was asked Aug. 9 by CNN’s Chris Cuomo if she recognized Rep. Nancy Pelosi as the leader of the Democrats.

“I think absolutely right now … she is, she is the leader of, of … no, no, she, I mean, um, um, speaker or rather leader Pelosi hopefully, y’know, we’ll see … she’s uh … she’s the current leader of the party and I think that the party absolutely does have its leadership in the House and Senate, we have our leadership in the Senate as well,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said.

Double oof.

The whirlwind rise of Ms. Ocasio-Cortez came crashing down Aug. 7. All of the candidates she endorsed in primaries lost — badly.

On Monday, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez finally acknowledged that she’s having a tough time.

“Alright everyone, after a wild 7 weeks since my primary election and a lot of organizing, I’m taking a few days off to rest,” she said on Twitter.

But the damage is done. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez IS the new face of a the Democratic Party, whether the party elders like it or not.

Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @josephcurl.

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