Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez denounces socialists and praises Biden administration, Democratic Party
25 March 2021
On March 19, the Democratic Socialists of America’s magazine Democratic Left published an interview with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in which the Democratic congresswoman and DSA member combines the most lavish praise for the Democratic Party with vicious denunciations of socialism.
The DSA has treated the interview as an important political event. This is the first time their official magazine has interviewed the New York congresswoman, and the interview was carefully prepared before publication. Though Democratic Left editorial board member Don McIntosh conducted the interview on January 26, it was only posted online seven weeks later. The choice of interviewer is also significant: McIntosh is a high-level operative in the AFL-CIO with close ties to the Democratic Party. He is listed as an author on the AFL-CIO’s press office website and is a long-time promoter of Democratic politicians and candidates at the NW Labor Press, which he edits.
In the interview, Ocasio-Cortez presents the Democratic Party as having been completely transformed into a working class party. She says the Biden administration and incumbent Democrats are “totally reinvent[ing] themselves in a far more progressive direction.” Pressure from the left has forced “almost a radical change” among entrenched Democratic leaders. What is needed, she says, is a turn deeper into Democratic Party electoral politics.
The only barrier to the Democratic Party establishment achieving perfection is left-wing opposition. This politician who made a career criticizing the “Democratic establishment” and posturing as an outsider has now transformed herself into the establishment’s fiercest defender and a most bitter opponent of outside critics.
McIntosh asks, “Some on the Left have looked at Biden’s record and his difference with the Bernie wing of the party, and they conclude that no progress is going to come out of the Biden administration. What’s your view?”
Well, I think it’s a really privileged critique. We’re gonna have to focus on solidarity with one another, developing our senses for good faith critique and bad faith critique. Because bad faith critique can destroy everything that we have built so swiftly. And we know this because it has in the past, and it’s taken us so many decades to get to this point. We do not have the time or the luxury to entertain bad faith actors in our movement.
Such “bad faith actors,” Ocasio-Cortez says, only betray their disdain for the poor and oppressed by criticizing the president. Ocasio-Cortez adds a noxious dose of identity politics to the old Democratic trick of presenting left-wing opponents as aiding the right:
For anyone who brings that up [i.e., opposition to the Biden administration], we really have to ask ourselves, what is the message that you are sending to your Black and brown and undocumented members of your community, to your friends, when you say nothing has changed?... When you say ‘nothing has changed,’ you are calling the people who are now protected from deportation ‘no one.’ And we cannot allow for that in our movement.
The example of protecting immigrants from deportation is an unfortunate selection on Ocasio-Cortez’s part. In the weeks since the interview, Biden has suspended the right to asylum and deported tens of thousands of Central American refugees, denying them as much as a court hearing. Perhaps Ocasio-Cortez considers that the 15,000 children presently detained in immigration jails are “privileged bad faith actors” for opposing their own incarceration.
Ocasio-Cortez saves the most vituperative comments for the genuine socialist opponents of Biden. When asked, “What was your path to joining DSA?” Ocasio-Cortez responds by repeatedly stressing what makes the DSA “distinctive” from other socialist groups: “We felt like there wasn’t this class essentialism, but that this really was a multiracial class struggle that didn’t de-prioritize human rights, frankly, I was really impressed.”
At the end of the interview, she praises a number of DSA members running for office as Democrats by saying, “They are people that you want to be around. And they are not cynical, and they do not engage in ‘more socialist than thou.’ They are just relentlessly positive.”
The reference to “class essentialists deprioritizing human rights” shows Ocasio-Cortez and the DSA are working in line with a definite political tradition: American anti-communism. Nothing socially progressive can emerge from this morass.
(continues with history & factionalist critique of the DSA...)
Full interview here if you can bear to wade through her toxic BS: https://democraticleft.dsausa.org/issues/spring-2021/talking-socialism-catching-up-with-aoc/ Jimmy Dore & Justin Jackson have her number as usual: