In 2018, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accomplished the unthinkable: she issued a Democratic primary challenge to incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley, a high-ranking Democrat, in her district in parts of Queens and the Bronx and defeated him decisively. And according to a report by Axios, the 29-year-old congresswoman may have another primary challenge in mind: taking on either Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in 2022 or Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (who is running for president) in 2024.
Axios’ report is based on interviews with “top Democrats.” Ocasio-Cortez has become a prominent figure in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party as well as the leading millennial voice for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “democratic socialist” movement in the United States. The fact that Ocasio-Cortez is 29 is important: at 77, the Vermont senator and 2020 presidential candidate has successfully found someone who is 48 years younger to help carry forward many of the policies he has championed — from Medicare-for-all to a national minimum wage of $15 per hour. Environmentalists have applauded her Green New Deal and the fact that she is so proactive when it comes to battling the effects of climate change.
But the possibility of Ocasio-Cortez taking on Schumer or Gillibrand raises the question: how would she fare in a statewide race? The Democratic representative handily defeated Crowley in 2018, which was the most difficult part. The Republican she faced in the general election, economics professor Anthony Pappas, ran a very flawed campaign — and she received 78 percent of the vote, while Pappas received only 13 percent.
So far, Ocasio-Cortez has only run for office in her district, where she’s quite popular. The question now is: how would she fare in a statewide race against Schumer or Gillibrand that requires competing not only in Queens and the Bronx, but also, everywhere from Buffalo to Syracuse to Albany? And if she did manage to defeat Schumer or Gillibrand in a Democratic primary, how would she fare against a Republican statewide in the general election?
Also, would Democratic voters in New York State want to take a chance on Ocasio-Cortez in 2024 in light of how well Gillibrand performed in the 2018 midterms? Gillibrand was reelected by a landslide last year, defeating Republican nominee Chele Farley statewide by 34%.
But Corbin Trend, Ocasio-Cortez’s communications director, told Axios, “Having worked on her campaign, I don’t think we’re going to be moving to a different role any time soon.”
Paul Krugman drops the hammer on the GOP’s growing ’embrace of cruelty’ under Trump
In a damning column for the New York Times, Nobel Prize-winning columnist Paul Krugman called out Republican lawmakers for turning their backs on the needs of their constituents saying it is nothing less than incomprehensible cruelty.
Pointing to a Washington Post article on the desperate need for medical services for the poor in red-state Tennessee, Krugman said that Americans in rural communities that voted heavily for Donald Trump are bearing the brunt of the GOP's desire to gut the Affordable Care Act.
Rep. Ted Lieu: Impeachment is coming — and so is a Democratic president
Donald Trump recently called “impeachment” a “dirty, filthy, disgusting word,” but his continued stonewalling of legitimate congressional oversight requests are moving more and more House Democrats to embrace that “filthy” concept. That was the very point made by Rep. Ted Lieu of California, a progressive Democrat who sits on the House Judiciary Committee during our recent conversation on “Salon Talks.” That committee would be the starting point for an actual impeachment inquiry of the president.
New report targets 15 House Democrats who ‘deserve’ progressive primary challengers
As progressive candidates continue to announce their intentions to oust corporate Democrats, a new report names 15 House Democrats to unseat in primary challenges.
Published Monday by the left-leaning group RootsAction, the new report is entitled Bad Blues: Some of the House Democrats Who Deserve to Be 'Primaried.'
The list, the report notes, "is by no means exhaustive—only illustrative."
"There may well be a Democratic member of Congress near you not included here who serves corporate interests more than majority interests, or has simply grown tired or complacent in the never-ending struggles for social, racial, and economic justice as well as environmental sanity and peace," the report notes. "Perhaps you live in a district where voters are ready to be inspired by a progressive primary candidate because the Democrat in Congress is not up to the job."