Someday an American progressive will get through an answer to a question about Maduro without trying to change the subject.

Not today, obviously. Probably not tomorrow either, even if Maduro has Juan Guaido arrested or shot.

I think this answer is fueled by equal parts prudence and socialist dogma, with Ocasio-Cortez wisely not wanting to risk opining on a conflict which she (like many others in Congress) knows little about and thus retreating into subjects with which she feels more comfortable, like Interventionism Is Bad and Elliott Abrams Is Also Bad. Her pal Ilhan Omar did the same thing at a Foreign Affairs Committee hearing a few weeks ago. And yet, a basic acknowledgment that Venezuela’s National Assembly has deemed Maduro’s reelection illegitimate would have gone a long way. Instead the word “Maduro” isn’t even mentioned, with AOC rambling about some vague “humanitarian crisis” in Venezuela instead, as if the country’s been hit by an earthquake. I wonder why.

It is verrrry stupid of the left to let itself be seen as soft on Venezuela’s dictator given the growing potential for widespread bloodletting there and the developing Republican strategy to try to make the election a referendum on socialism. They could try to distinguish Maduro’s socialism from the Scandinavian version they so admire by emphasizing that Scandinavian governments rule with the consent of the people, something Maduro no longer enjoys per the National Assembly’s verdict on him. But they’ve invested too much politically over the last decade in promoting Venezuela as some sort of socialist success story to back down now, I suppose, which means they’ve entrusted some of their own national credibility to … Nicolas Maduro’s basic humanity and good judgment. Hope it works out for them.

Bad job by the reporter in not following up with an obvious question, though: Does AOC think Maduro or Guaido is the lawful president of Venezuela? If the answer is “don’t know,” why isn’t the ruling of the country’s legislature good enough for her?