This has to be in bad faith. Even AOC isn’t so dim that she might really believe Cornyn was touting a line about limiting individual freedom from a famous fascist approvingly.

No one in American politics, of any ideological stripe, attempts to sell their policies by celebrating how they limit individual freedom, including the people who really do want to limit individual freedom. If Ocasio-Cortez gets her heart’s desire and the U.S. shifts to a command economy, you’ll never hear her concede that her program aims to restrict people’s liberty. It enables liberty, she’ll say. That’s how poisonous the idea of less freedom is to the American electorate, even when it’s exactly what’s happening in substance policy-wise.

So, no, the guy from Texas wasn’t quoting Mussolini favorably. Nor was Hayek when he included the same quote in “The Road to Serfdom,” which is where Cornyn seems to have encountered it, he went on to say later. Here’s what he meant:

Many a dishonest progressive pretended that they didn’t understand his original tweet, which is what you do in 2019 when your political enemies hand you an opportunity to demagogue them, however cheaply. You take it and chalk up the dishonesty to the ugly but necessary business of waging (ideological) war. Pathetic — and lazy too, as AOC could have replied with something like, “You can’t criticize Mussolini while supporting a populist strongman who likes declaring national emergencies and thinks the press has too much freedom.” For a supposed Twitter Jedi, she doesn’t put much effort into her sick burns.

Slamming Cornyn over Trump’s emergency decree would have been a solid hit too since he’s been conspicuously weaselly about it. Three weeks ago, before Trump issued his executive order, he sounded very skeptical:

Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, called it a “dangerous step” and “not a good strategy” and that Republicans have conveyed these doubts to the White House “many times. Publicly and privately.”…

“The whole idea that presidents — whether it’s President Trump, President Warren or President Sanders — can declare an emergency and somehow usurp the separation of powers and get into the business of appropriating money for specific projects without Congress being involved, is a serious constitutional question,” Cornyn said.

Three weeks later, with the order having now been issued and the Republican base emotionally invested in it, Cornyn’s “serious constitutional question” is no longer so serious:

He went full cuck on separation of powers. Trump sweetened the pot for him a few days ago by endorsing him in his reelection bid in Texas next year but I bet Cornyn would have caved even if he hadn’t, choosing to line up behind Trump’s decree in the name of avoiding a Trumpist primary challenge from the right. Remember, his colleague from Texas in the Senate, Ted Cruz, won his seat as an upstart fueled by tea-party fever in 2012. The tea party’s long gone but the threat of a Roy-Moore-populist insurgency fueled by immigration issues remains, so Cornyn took the easy way out. Now all he needs to worry about is the landowners near the border whose property will be seized under eminent domain for construction of the wall. They’re not going to stop him in a primary, at least.