Earlier today I mentioned on Twitter that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is getting the Occupy treatment from the national media. What I meant by that was that she is being built up by people who promote all of her best moments but who studiously avoid noticing whenever she says something that is obviously wrong or nonsense. Case in point, last Friday AOC made a comment about the 22nd Amendment which was not factually accurate. It was pointed out Saturday by Tom Elliott who included the clip of her saying, “They had to amend the Constitution of the United States to make sure Roosevelt did not get reelected.”
According to AOC, Congress amended the Constitution to prevent FDR from being re-elected:
"They had to amend the Constitution of the United States to make sure Roosevelt dd not get reelected."
(Reminder, FDR died in office in 1945; the 22nd Amendment came in 1947) pic.twitter.com/DImHj0caVy
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) March 31, 2019
I get the point that AOC is trying to make here. She’s arguing that bold progressivism can have a big constituency as proven by the fact that Roosevelt was so popular he could have carried on as President for several more terms (if he had lived). But as Elliott pointed out, the way she made that point wasn’t quite right. The 22nd Amendment couldn’t have prevented Roosevelt from being reelected because he was dead long before it was adopted. Sunday, Rep. Liz Cheney made the gaffe into a joke:
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) March 31, 2019
But AOC responded today by claiming it was Cheney who was confused.
Hey Rep. Cheney,
I see from your dead people comment that you get your news from Facebook memes, but the National Constitution Center + Newsweek are just two of many places where you can clarify your misunderstanding of the history of the 22nd Amendment: https://t.co/Je6mHFJ687 https://t.co/np1XtgLpm1
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 1, 2019
The Newsweek story AOC linked to initially had this headline: “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attacked on Twitter for constitutional mistake—but was she actually right?”
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) April 1, 2019
Was she actually right? No, she wasn’t as Newsweek conceded when it revised its own headline, “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attacked on Twitter for constitutional mistake—but here’s the full story.” She did make a mistake though, to be fair, there is some context here worth noting:
The National Constitution Center also had Ocasio-Cortez’s back. On its website, the nonpartisan organization explained: “Talk about a presidential term-limits amendment started in 1944, when Republican candidate Thomas Dewey said a potential 16-year term for Roosevelt was a threat to democracy.
So it’s fair to say that Roosevelt motivated the adoption of the 22nd Amendment even though it wasn’t actually ratified until 1951, years after his death. Maybe that’s even what AOC meant to say but, again, it’s not what she said. She said they amended the constitution “to make sure Roosevelt did not get reelected.” Since the Amendment never applied to Roosevelt and probably wouldn’t have even if he’d lived that’s not accurate. But instead of admitting to a relatively minor mistake, AOC doubled down and went into lecture mode once again. She’s making it worse by insisting she said nothing wrong. Rep. Cheney isn’t letting it go either. She sent AOC a Schoolhouse Rock video on the constitution as a response. I’ll update this post if the conversation continues.
Hey @AOC, I know you’re busy so I thought this short video would be helpful to introduce you to the basics of the Constitution. If you’re still trying to figure out how a bill becomes a law, they have a great video on that, too. https://t.co/aTBmCpIUqY https://t.co/MIrvtJevBI
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) April 1, 2019