Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is having a rough introduction to national politics. The self-described socialist who was elected to Congress in November may not have even taken office yet, but she’s already a bit over her head.
On Thursday, the president’s son Donald Trump Jr. posted a meme teasing Ocasio-Cortez with a jab at her far-left proposals. “Why are you so afraid of a socialist economy?” the text over a photo of the young and wide-eyed lawmaker asked.
“Because Americans want to walk their dogs, not eat them,” joked text over a picture of President Trump.
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It was apparent to anybody with half a brain that the meme was referring to Venezuela, the socialist country which has become an impoverished dump, and where citizens have been forced to eat their own pets to fend off starvation. Naturally, Ocasio-Cortez didn’t get it.
Every elected official faces scrutiny and, yes, mockery. It comes with the territory. Part of free speech is that citizens are able to make fun of their representatives. If somebody can’t handle that, they should re-think running for public office.
Instead of just ignoring the jab or taking it in good humor, Ocasio-Cortez did something bizarre: She seemed to threaten Don Jr. with the power of her office.
“I have noticed that Junior here has a habit of posting nonsense about me whenever the Mueller investigation heats up,” the congresswoman-elect posted on her official Twitter account.
“Please, keep it coming Jr – it’s definitely a ‘very, very large brain’ idea to troll a member of a body that will have subpoena power in a month,” she ominously continued.
I have noticed that Junior here has a habit of posting nonsense about me whenever the Mueller investigation heats up.
Please, keep it coming Jr – it’s definitely a “very, very large brain” idea to troll a member of a body that will have subpoena power in a month.
Have fun! https://t.co/oQ6MsdJYCk
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) December 7, 2018
The New York lawmaker had every right to respond to the post if she wished, although the professionalism of doing so is questionable. What she doesn’t have a right to do, however, is threaten a citizen with subpoena over an internet joke.
“Are you threatening to use your power as a federal official to subpoena anyone who mocks or otherwise disagrees with you on the Internet?” asked Sean Davis, co-founder of The Federalist magazine.
Then things got serious. “It’s worth noting that the official House Ethics Manual explicitly prohibits the kind of threat that (Ocasio-Cortez) just issued against (Donald Trump Jr.) for his refusal to support her political agenda,” Davis pointed out.
“(L)awmakers are ‘prohibited from threatening punitive action’ against people/groups for not politically supporting the lawmaker. Ethics Committee should investigate,” he continued.
The House prohibition on the very kind of threat that @Ocasio2018 just made to @DonaldTrumpJr couldn’t be clearer: lawmakers are “prohibited from threatening punitive action” against people/groups for not politically supporting the lawmaker. Ethics Committee should investigate. pic.twitter.com/NNIPp1vsyv
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) December 7, 2018
Other Twitter users with high-profile accounts joined the fray, calling out Ocasio-Cortez for what can only be described as a veiled threat.
“Sorry, did this fool just threaten to use the power of government to punish a citizen because he posted a meme?” asked Brandon Morse of Red State.
“Did you just threaten to subpoena someone for criticizing you? As a lawyer and former prosecutor I find this deeply troubling,” commented Fox’s Kimberly Guilfoyle.
Did you just threaten to subpoena someone for criticizing you? As a lawyer and former prosecutor I find this deeply troubling. https://t.co/OqIpBkbsIS
— Kimberly Guilfoyle (@kimguilfoyle) December 7, 2018
“I tend to be nice about you and defend you from silly attacks quite a bit, but I also found it concerning and threatening,” echoed Brandon Darby of Breitbart. “In fact, I don’t see how what you expressed could be taken any differently than someone threatening to abuse their power.”
He’s right. Maybe Ocasio-Cortez could take a break from protesting her own party and giving clueless interviews to actually take her job seriously — and that begins with seeing Americans as the people she serves, not peons to threaten.
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