Maybe “run a train” has acquired a different meaning among Ocasio-Cortez’s generation than it held for my, and every other, generation. Maybe it now means, approximately, “ride herd.”
Or maybe it means the same thing it always meant and she’s just a nitwit who meant to say “ride herd” before somehow arriving at “run train.”
Which do you suppose it is?
Kudos to her for mainstreaming this phrase for the “locker-room talk” era of American politics, though. “Run a train on the progressive agenda” would actually make a solid 2020 slogan for the Trump-led GOP.
The Post: How did you feel when that [fake nude photo] hit yesterday?
Ocasio-Cortez: I was surprised and I was annoyed because it was a new tack. They’ve been for a very long time focusing on taking quotes out of context or manipulating them or making it seem as though I said things that I didn’t say. This was different in that it was an outright fraudulent thing. You can tell that they’re getting into hysterics because now you’re getting into my actual body, which is definitely crossing a level, definitely crossing a line.
I also think it’s encouraging because this is my sixth day in Congress and they’re out of all their artillery. The nude is supposed to be like the bazooka. You know, like, “We’re going to take her down.” Dude, you’re all out of bullets, you’re all out of bombs, you’re all out of all this stuff. What have you got left? I’m six days into the term, and you already used all your ammo. So enjoy being exhausted for the next two years while we run train on the progressive agenda.
I don’t think righties have used all of their ammo against her. For instance, there’s some new ammo from the fact that she just said she wants to “run train” on the progressive agenda.
Jonathan Last wrote earlier today, before the WaPo interview was published, that Ocasio-Cortez and Trump are similar in that both practice the politics of dominance. Man, he didn’t know the half of it. Anyway, two thoughts. One: Had Sarah Palin said circa 2009 that she wanted to “run train on the conservative agenda,” it would have been a three-week festival for lefty blogs, final proof amid various other gaffes that she’d never rise above being an object of ridicule.
Two: Someone somewhere on the Internet today will write a post insisting that Ocasio-Cortez meant exactly what she said and was merely taking a sex-positive view of promoting her agenda. Only a repressed right-winger would think of “running a train” on something as demeaning. Or, at least, I bet there’ll be efforts to prove somehow that “run train” really has taken on a more innocuous slang meaning. (“My college roommate used that term once!”) The nature of a personality cult is such that the leader must always be right. Instead of just saying, “Yeah, she goofed, embarrassing but funny,” her hardcore fans will need to try to rehab her comment. That’s politics in America 2019 when a charismatic pol with a following messes up.
You should read the full WaPo interview. In reality, although a disliked figure on balance among the right, there’s probably no one quite as far left in Congress who’s better liked by righties than Ocasio-Cortez. Many people in conservative media have defended her from the dopier slights thrown at her by some right-wing media types, from the old college video of her dancing to critiques of her work attire on Capitol Hill. It’s not unusual either to find conservatives admitting some agreement with her, like when she criticized NYC’s corporate giveaways to lure Amazon. To read her interview, though, the right is an undifferentiated mass of venomous critics eager to attack her for no reason better than “fear of change” or whatever. That’s way more annoying than a silly “run train” gaffe.