Even hardcore anti-Trumper Tom Nichols is irritated. Members of Congress aren’t typically sworn when they testify, and in any case we all know from the Mike Flynn saga that it’s illegal to lie to a federal officer about a matter that’s within that officer’s jurisdiction, period. Whether you’re sworn or not, don’t lie to Congress. You’ll go to jail!
So why’d she insist upon it? Because, as Nichols says, a savvy young pol who thrives on Twitter is attentive to image. She wanted a viral-ready shot of her looking mournful with her hand raised, swearing to the truth, so that it can be passed around admiringly by her cultists. So she engineered it.
At a hearing on migrant children and border security, @AOC is sworn in for dramatic effect.
"We usually don't require a swearing in, but you want to be sworn in?" —@RepCummings
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) July 12, 2019
Two thoughts. On the one hand, Joe Crowley should be stripped of his citizenship and deported for having foisted this far-left cartoon character upon us by neglecting his primary last year. The flag-burners can stay. But Crowley must pay for his sins. On the other hand, at this point every AOC stunt feels like karmic punishment for electing Trump, another virtuoso social-media grandstander. Righties wanted a populist amateur who was good at provoking people on Twitter in charge of the party. Now lefties want the same for themselves. How can we complain?
Maybe that’s unfair to Trump. If Trump loses the 2016 election, do we still end up with AOC and her “Squad” in Congress this year? I think maybe, yeah. We probably end up with Republicans still in control of the House, since midterms tend to go against the incumbent president, but progressives would have been spoiling to make their mark against President Hillary after she beat back the Bernie-led socialist insurgency in the presidential primary. Safe blue seats like AOC’s still would have been ripe for primary challenges. And as much as Trump has mainstreamed juvenile grandstanding on Twitter as an acceptable tool for federal politicians, juvenile grandstanding is the nature of the medium. It’s silly to think politicians wouldn’t have taken to it eventually even without his influence, especially young populist rabble-rousers eager to show their fans that they’ll take no sh*t from their enemies.
I don’t know if we’d have seen an embarrassing tweet like this in 2019 without Trump as president, in other words, but I’m confident that we’d have seen it eventually.
.@KellyannePolls oh hi Distraction Becky. Remember that time your boss tore babies from their mothers’ arms and threw them in cages? Yeah take a seat and keep my name out of your lying mouth. https://t.co/dS8saIssX8
— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) July 9, 2019
You can watch Ocasio-Cortez’s full testimony here. The crisis at the border is “manufactured,” she says, because “There is no need for us to overcrowd and to detain and under-resource. There is no need for us to arrest innocent people and treat them no differently than criminals when they’re pursuing their basic human rights.” Her solution, I can only assume, is to let ’em all in and let ’em all go and hope that they show up for their asylum hearings knowing that the vast, vast, vast majority will have their asylum applications rejected and be deported if they show. She has no answer except open borders.