Blue on blue: AOC berated by NY State Sen. Jessica Ramos

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is taking fire from her own side of the aisle this week. It started, of course, on Twitter with a complaint about her staff allegedly ditching a meeting with doctors pushing for single-payer. She was attacked for doing “performative resistance art for the cameras” instead of her job, which may be the best description ever of AOC’s entire career.


AOC replied to the complaint with an apology, which is not like her.

That might have been the end of it but NY State Senator Jessica Ramos, who has been described as a “progressive firebrand” and who represents the same neighborhood as AOC, jumped in with this withering line: “Just saying it would be nice if you breathed our air.”

And when challenged, Ramos doubled down, saying AOC is “barely ever present” in her district.


Ramos also made it clear that her line about “breathing our air” was a direct reference to the attacks AOC herself used to win her first campaign.

If you read through the thread, you’ll see there are a lot of Democratic activists advising Ramos to pipe down or take her criticisms of AOC private. Several warn that a public spat will only wind up feeding the right-wing media (Mission Accomplished!). But Ramos defended herself against these complaints as well, noting that she’d tried to resolve her issues privately but AOC had ghosted her.

One of AOC’s allies tried to strike back but Ramos wasn’t backing down.

And at least one activist agreed with Ramos’ description of how AOC operates.


He wasn’t the only local siding with Ramos over AOC:

So what’s behind this spat? New York magazine published a piece about it today which suggested it represents a line between Democratic Socialists like AOC and more traditional left-wing progressives like Ramos:

Both are self-identified progressives, but Ocasio-Cortez is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. Ramos is not. Though AOC is not always involved in the inner workings of the socialist organization — or even promoting it aggressively on her own enormous online channels — she has supported its entire slate for state assembly and senate in this election cycle. In a new Queens-Manhattan district, she has thrown her weight behind socialist Kristen Gonzalez. Ramos, who would ideologically align with Gonzalez in the state senate, is not supporting Gonzalez or anyone in the race…

All of the politicians who immediately closed ranks around AOC are DSA members, demonstrating a powerful reality in New York politics: Socialists stick together, and Ramos might be more estranged from certain colleagues going forward. Lawmakers in the progressive space either have warm feelings for Ocasio-Cortez or fear ending up on the wrong end of a devastating tweet thread that can drive a day or more of national news coverage. Among local elected officials, Ramos is very much on her own as she wages a social-media battle against the congresswoman.


So this is probably just a spat between two slightly different flavors of far-left New York Democrats. But over at the NY Post columnist David Marcus suggests maybe the left is finally catching on that AOC is primarily a performance artist.

So her staff won’t meet with health-care experts, she won’t meet with union organizers, she kills jobs in her community, and, according to Ramos, who wasn’t quite done castigating her victim, AOC won’t even sit down with local leaders and politicians. This has to leave her constituents and all New Yorkers asking of Ocasio-Cortez: What exactly would you say you do around here?

The answer: Nothing. AOC, you see, is a figure of national prominence, an avatar of a far left. She can’t be bothered with the minutiae of everyday lives and practical policies, she has a brand to build, galas to attend, invisible handcuffs to pretend to be locked in…

We should forgive conservatives and maybe even some moderate Democrats who may be enjoying a super-sized portion of schadenfreude over this progressive infighting. After all, we’ve been pointing out that AOC is all performance art for sometime — it’s heartening to see the progressives are catching on.

Resistance performance art really is a huge part of AOC’s stock in trade, whether it’s her emotional breakdown in front of a parking lot near the border, her self-aggrandizing Green New Deal fairy tale, her “jump scare” claims about the fear she experienced on Jan. 6 or being locked in invisible handcuffs last week, AOC is all about making a splash in the media. It’s the major reason she’s AOC and not every other Democratic Socialist you’ve never heard of before. She’s too busy with that stuff to bother breathing the air in her own district.


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