What do you do when you put risible radicalism in writing? If you’re Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), you scrub the revealing document from your website. Unfortunately for the socialist congresswoman, however, the Internet is forever. The result was that one of her advisors later claimed the document, a Green New Deal FAQ, was the nefarious work of Republicans. She then tacitly endorsed this notion in a tweet before her staff admitted that, yes, it was theirs — but had been put on their website by mistake.
The embarrassing supplemental document — which sometimes reads like Bart Simpson meets the Bolsheviks — went live Thursday morning. But it was killed Thursday afternoon after proposals such as guaranteeing economic security even for those “unwilling to work” and the elimination of “farting cows” and air travel brought criticism and mockery.
Dubbed the Green Leap Forward, the document promises a complete overhaul of our entire economy, with the total elimination of fossil fuels and nuclear power. Likening this radicalism to the building of the interstate highway system and JFK’s lunar ambitions, its author(s) sought to inspire followers with pep-talk language such as “This is our moonshot.”
But it was such a miss that Cornell University Law School professor Robert Hockett, who advises Ocasio-Cortez on environmental policy, claimed Friday evening that it was a GOP-disgorged fiction.
Appearing on Tucker Carlson Tonight, Hockett took issue with host Carlson’s question, “Why would we ever pay people who are ‘unwilling to work’?”
“In a head-turning moment heard around the Internet, Hockett replied flatly, ‘Uh, we never would, right? And AOC has never said anything like that, right?’” reported Fox News.
“I think you’re referring to some sort of document — I think some doctored document that somebody other than us has been circulating,” he continued. “She’s actually tweeted it out to laugh at it, if you look at her latest tweets. It seems apparently, some Republicans have put it out there. I don’t know the details.” Video of the exchange is below, so you can see some of the brains behind the young socialist (which your young adult can benefit from, too — for under $100,000 a year tuition and expenses!).
Forget the details, though; Hockett didn’t even know the basic facts. Here’s an archived version of the FAQ as it appeared at Ocasio-Cortez’s website.
Hockett likely was just ignorant and not actually lying; he might only have been aware of the finalized Green New Deal resolution, which appeared before Congress and had been purged of the nuttier elements. Moreover, there was at least one spoof version circulating throughout the Internet, which had a comical provision for the home recycling of urine for use in hot beverages.
Yet this doesn’t explain why Ocasio-Cortez retweeted the below, tacitly endorsing Hockett’s false claim.
But Matt Whitlock, a senior adviser to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has an explanation. He “accused Ocasio-Cortez of ‘gaslighting’ the public by pretending a document put out by her office never existed,” reported the Washington Free Beacon.
If this is so, that pretense didn’t last 24 hours. On Saturday morning, Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, “tweeted that the FAQ page was indeed posted by the Ocasio-Cortez staff but was done so in error,” the Washington Examiner tells us. “He called the page ‘an early draft of a FAQ that was clearly unfinished and that doesn’t represent the GND resolution got published to the website by mistake (idea was to wait for launch, monitor q’s, and rewrite that FAQ before publishing).’”
Assuming this is true, and most wouldn’t bet the house on it, social-media users were quick to point out the obvious. As one respondent under Chakrabarti’s tweet put it:
Or as conservative Allen Ginzberg opined:
For Professor Hockett’s part, he also admitted error on Saturday in an email to the Daily Caller. As that site relates, “‘It appears there was more than one document being discussed yesterday, only one of which I had heard about with any definiteness by last evening after a long day of media appearances — namely, the one referred to by the Congresswoman in her tweet,’ he wrote. ‘I regret that we seem unknowingly to have ended up speaking about different documents for a minute during our longer and otherwise ‘on-the-same-page’ conversation last night.’”
Yet the Ocasio-Cortez crew may just regret that the truth slipped out. The Left’s line now is that none of this matters, only the final Green New Deal version does. Nothing to see here — move along. But as another Twitter respondent wrote under Chakrabarti’s tweet:
And as journalist Jonah Goldberg put it:
No doubt. It’s interesting that leftists claim President Trump’s off-the-cuff, Access Hollywood-tape remarks (which were lewd and crude) are a meaningful window into his mind and beliefs, but a document prepared and edited by a congressional office and designed to answer policy questions — and which was posted on a prominent politician’s website — is meaningless.
Of course, it is possible, though perhaps unlikely, that a Green New Deal draft version was accidentally posted on Ocasio-Cortez’s website. But all this means is that she and her team are not only radical, but also radically incompetent. There’s another interpretation, however.
Ever since her unlikely 2016 Democrat primary victory, Ocasio-Cortez has been getting radical, targeting other Democrats, and taking “on her party establishment with unconventional guerrilla tactics,” as Politico put it — and winning. Just as Trump trumped GOP rivals by inveighing against immigration in a way others didn’t dare, Ocasio-Cortez’s radical statements have only increased her popularity and influence. She spoke of abolishing ICE; other Democrats echoed her. She proposed a 70-percent wealth tax; the idea suddenly seemed mainstream. She trumpeted socialism and made it cooler than Bernie ever could.
So it’s entirely possible that she, not knowing rejection, supposed her Green Leap Forward folderol would get a similar reception. But she went a Bolshevik bridge too far.
It would be nice if, now, the only flights permanently grounded were Ocasio-Cortez’s flights of fancy. But with the media ever ready to scrub away her blemishes, she’ll have wind beneath her wings for a long time to come — even if they’re both left wings.
Photo: AP Images