Since entering Congress in 2019, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became one of the most controversial elected officials in Washington.
But there was something Ocasio-Cortez was hiding from the American people.
Now her secret’s out as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was forced to reveal something about herself that no one saw coming.
When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez entered Congress she fashioned herself as a socialist bomb thrower whose loyalty was to the party grassroots and not the leadership class or the donor class establishment.
The first crack in this image came when Ocasio-Cortez agreed to support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House despite the fact that Pelosi shrugged off Ocasio-Cortez’s demand for a vote on a Marxist Green New Deal or a complete government takeover of health care.
Ocasio-Cortez could have led a rebellion against Pelosi to force her to hold a vote on her socialist agenda, but Ocasio-Cortez agreed to settle for empty gestures from leadership.
The final blow to Ocasio-Cortez’s brand as an independent actor came when Ocasio-Cortez—and her fellow squad members Rashida Tlaib and Jamaal Bowman—agreed to vote present on a $1.9 billion bill supposedly for hardening Capitol security following the events of January 6.
Republicans voted unanimously against Pelosi’s plan to turn the Capitol into a police state by funding pop in fencing and a paramilitary force to crush protests against the Biden administration.
Ocasio-Cortez’s fellow squad members Ilhan Omar, Cori Bush and Ayanna Pressley all voted against the bill.
Had Ocasio-Cortez joined them the bill would have failed.
Instead it passed 213-212-3.
Squad members said they were uncomfortable with more funding for the police.
“There are some things about the bill that I support, like making sure our custodial staff and our cleaners have the resources they need to respond and deal with these trauma, but there are other parts of it that I don’t support,” Bowman told reporters. “I don’t support adding more funding to police budgets. So that’s why I decided to vote ‘present.’”
But Bowman added he voted “present” because he could not vote “yes.”
Voting “present” also helped leadership pass their pet project.
“Man, I’ve been toggling between ‘No,’ ‘Yes,’ ‘Present’ for the last 24 to 48 hours,” Bowman continued. “I want to do this — I want to have a conversation about reimagining public safety through a holistic lens. The problem is, as a country, that whenever a crisis hits, our first response is more money to the police. Our response needs to be smarter, more research based, more holistic.”
Journalist Glenn Greenwald called out Ocasio-Cortez and the other “Squad” members that voted “present” for the hypocrisy.
[Of Ocasio-Cortez], when she invokes this mantra: “Defunding police means defunding police,” she said. The Congresswoman was criticizing cuts to New York City’s police budget as insufficient and the byproduct of accounting tricks rather than real defunding efforts.
And yet, what do we have today? When it comes to their own security, these three Squad members are evidently eager for close to $2 billion to be spent in additional funds to increase the police presence around them and fortify the armed guards and other security state mechanisms that protect them. This is always a key point of “Defund the Police” campaigns.
Bush, Pressley and Omar released a statement explaining their no vote.
“A bill that pours $1.9 billion into increased police surveillance and force without addressing the underlying threats of organized and violent white supremacy, radicalization, and disinformation that led to this attack will not prevent it from happening again,” the three “Squad” members wrote.
Ilhan Omar revealed that leadership knew the vote would be close and exerted fearsome pressure on the rank and file to cave in and vote yes on a bill that made many Democrats uncomfortable.
Omar explained that “we have not been made to understand how the money will actually increase the safety and the capacity [of the Capitol Police], and the failures that occurred on Jan. 6.”
“Requests were being made, but I vote on principles, and I just could not justify this vote,” Omar added.
And when push came to shove, Ocasio-Cortez showed herself to be a run-of-the-mill politician who folds when facing pressure.
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