Ocasio-Cortez Responds to Senior Democrat Who Attacked Her, Ends Up Bringing Trump into It


Outgoing Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill was once the first in line to be the Democratic Party’s Next Big Thing™. Back in 2008, she became the first woman to endorse Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton and was mentioned as a possible running mate.

Take this fawning praise from former Democratic National Committee speech writer Terry Michael published by Politico during that halcyon period in the senator’s career:

“A former state legislator and state auditor, she is one of only a handful of United States senators who refuse to pander to their constituents by padding the federal budget with those tax-wasting, bridge-to-nowhere earmarks … A former cheerleader and homecoming queen, a divorced and remarried mother of three, and a stepmother of three more children, McCaskill comes off almost as an Everywoman. And as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, perhaps a Wonder Woman.”

McCaskill is now very much not the next big thing, having lost her re-election campaign to state Attorney General Josh Hawley in November. On the way out the door, however, she had a few choice words for the new Next Big Thing™ — a certain Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — and things blew up on Twitter from there.

The whole thing involved McCaskill’s derision of “crazy Democrats” on the campaign trail and insisting she wasn’t one of them. The assumption is that she was talking about the AOC set, and she was asked about it in a CNN interview.

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“I don’t know her,” McCaskill responded. “I’m a little confused why she’s the thing. But it’s a good example of what I’m talking about, a bright shiny new object, came out of nowhere and surprised people when she beat a very experienced congressman.” (Ocasio-Cortez beat powerful Democrat Rep. Joe Crowley, seen as a possible heir to Nancy Pelosi as House Democratic leader, in the June primary.)

“And so she’s now talked about a lot,” McCaskill said. “I’m not sure what she’s done yet to generate that kind of enthusiasm, but I wish her well. I hope she hangs the moon.

“But I hope she also realizes that the parts of the country that are rejecting the Democratic Party, like a whole lot of white working class voters, need to hear about how their work is going to be respected, and the dignity of their jobs, and how we can really stick to issues that we can actually accomplish something on,” she added. “The rhetoric is cheap. Getting results is a lot harder.”

What? I thought Ocasio-Cortez was going to be inaugurated and signing bills and stuff.

Do you agree with Claire McCaskill that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hasn't actually done much?

Anyhow, the smart move for Ocasio-Cortez in this situation would seem to be to step back, realize that she was going to be in Congress and McCaskill wasn’t going to be, and that apparently the “crazy Democrat” is doing a lot better, career-wise, than the one decrying the “crazy Democrats” is. Even in the social media age, living well is the best revenge.

So anyway, the smart move wasn’t what Ocasio-Cortez made:

“Not sure why fmr Sen. McCaskill (sic) keeps going on TV to call me a ‘thing’ and ‘shiny object,’ but it’s pretty disappointing,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Saturday. “McCaskill promised she’d ‘100% back Trump up’ on his anti-immigrant rhetoric & lost. In MO, almost all progressive ballot issues won.”

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These “progressive ballot issues” involved an increase in the minimum wage to $12, approval of medical marijuana and campaign finance and lobbying reform. This isn’t exactly, say, Democratic Socialists of America stuff, at least not in the America of 2018.

The airing of grievances continued:

In fact, Ocasio-Cortez even accused McCaskill of “covering” for the GOP by saying they didn’t really like President Trump all that much.

So now Ocasio-Cortez thinks McCaskill is a Trump accomplice? I’m not sure why Trump got dragged into this, except this is politics in 2018 and all roads always lead to Trumpville.

The problem with this scattershot Twitter attack is that it sounds like it’s coming from someone who lost. McCaskill’s remarks, backhanded though they may have been, still evinced more grace than AOC’s.

Yet, Ocasio-Cortez hasn’t even taken office yet and she’s one of the most famous people in America. She has her own three-letter acronym. Short of a late-career comeback, McCaskill will be relegated to a $1,600 question in the “Jeopardy” Tournament of Champions.

This, in short, is like that time that Eminem responded to a diss from the rapper Benzino. If you have to ask who Benzino is, well, exactly. If Rep.-elect Ocasio-Cortez wanted to show she wasn’t a “shiny object,” I could think of literally anything better she could do to prove it.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture