Note to AOC: Being compared to Eva Peron isn't a compliment

Behold the very essence of American politics in 2019. First comes Trump telling an obvious lie designed to make him look good:

Virtually no one thought Ocasio-Cortez had a chance against Joe Crowley, and no one outside of far-left progressive activists was paying that race any attention. She wasn’t even on national TV before her primary upset, so how would Trump have seen her? He’s obviously BSing here to make himself seem prescient, just like how he claims to have opposed every wrongheaded American military intervention of the last 15 years in hindsight when quotes at the time showed him to be supportive or ambivalent at worst.

But I digress. Next comes the witless Resistance overreaction, in this case from the Trumpiest figure in the DSA:

This is the same person who’s spent the past two weeks screeching about concentration camps at the border, now owning a comparison to an authoritarian populist who harbored Nazi war criminals in Argentina. Part of me thinks she did that because she’s just that ignorant (let’s face it, both Trump and AOC likely learned everything they know about Evita from the musical) and part of me wonders if maybe AOC does know something about Eva Peron but just couldn’t resist a facile dimwitted clapback at the president on social media. It’s Pavlovian. Trump seems to think Evita was bad? Well, then, Evita must be good. Or at least good enough that it’s worth embracing part of her image purely for the sake of showing defiance. Defiance, always, is the key.

Trump should have compared her to Lenin. Imagine the quotes she would have farted out in owning that comparison.

He’s not the only party leader with whom she was feuding this weekend. This exchange is much more significant than the Evita one:

I asked Pelosi whether, after being the subject of so many you-go-girl memes for literally clapping back at Trump, it was jarring to get a bad headline like the one in HuffPost that day — “What The Hell Is Nancy Pelosi Doing?” The article described the outrage of the Squad, as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts are known.

Pelosi feels that the four made themselves irrelevant to the process by voting against “our bill,” as she put it, which she felt was the strongest one she could get. “All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world,” she said. “But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got.”

Ocasio-Cortez got more than four votes in her primary against Crowley, but not much more. Pelosi’s annoyed because AOC and her “Squad” friends in the freshman class spent most of the past week all but accusing her of complicity in crimes against humanity by agreeing to pass the Senate border funding bill instead of fighting harder for the House bill. Democratic leaders are worried about getting the moderates in that class reelected, since of course it’s the moderates who flipped Republican seats last fall and gave the party its majority. But, a la John Boehner, Pelosi has a noisy faction of younger members in safe seats on the fringe of her caucus favored by populist media who are going to lambaste her publicly for selling out whenever she does something for the centrists, which makes life as a governing majority much harder. Solution: Remind the world that Ocasio-Cortez and the other DSA types have a much, much larger media presence than their actual electoral support would seem to warrant. AOC didn’t like that:

“Public sentiment”? Look at Bernie Sanders’s polls lately. But this is true to form for AOC, and for most populists, really (Trump included): They do believe that The People are on their side in all things, any evidence to the contrary notwithstanding. There’s a bit of Evita in that.

People were hooting at her on Twitter after that exchange on Saturday night that she should challenge Pelosi for Speaker, which is amusing but silly. Ocasio-Cortez would be roundly crushed, and I don’t think she’d be so presumptuous as to run herself. More likely is that she’ll help organize a progressive challenger to Pelosi next term, assuming Pelosi doesn’t step down. A more interesting possibility, I think, is Ocasio-Cortez potentially following Justin Amash’s lead and leaving the party after this term, especially if Bernie’s campaign fizzles and socialists are looking for a new leader. AOC tweeted out a line from Amash’s announcement that he was quitting the GOP a few days ago, noting that he was right about the leadership in Congress having too much power. Now that she’s universally known, she could conceivably run for reelection in her district as the DSA nominee and win by dint of pure name recognition. Most politicians wouldn’t do that because they wouldn’t want to assume the risk of trying to win a three-way race without a major party’s backing. But Ocasio-Cortez seems to prefer leading her own movement to playing backbencher in a two-party system she dislikes. I think she’ll leave eventually.