OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
After moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin announced earlier this week he could not support President Biden’s “Build Back Better” legislation, another massive multi-trillion dollar social-and-climate spending boondoggle the West Virginian believes will make already high inflation even worse, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., did what she always does when left-wing legislation doesn’t pass.
She threw a tantrum.
In a rant to “Morning Joe” on MSNBC following Manchin’s Fox News Sunday interview in which he said he can’t support BBB, “AOC” took aim at the Senate writ large, making unsubstantiated, uninformed, and incorrect claims about how it works and claiming that it is “undemocratic,” despite the fact that every one of the 100 members was elected to Congress, just like she was.
I mean, it is unconscionable the way that the Senate operates. It’s fundamentally undemocratic. And now what it’s doing is it’s allowing stripping of people’s voting rights across the country. We are in a crisis. Nineteen states have passed over 33 laws to limit or restrict the right to vote in the United States of America. We are beyond the time for something to pass.
And so what we really need to do is a crackdown on the Senate, which operates like an old boy’s club that has a couple of gals in it that have managed to breakthrough, and we need to actually institute some institution — we need to implement some institutional discipline.
‘We’ need to crack down on the Senate, says AOC. Well, fine — then she should “go for it,” according to The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board.
In a piece published on Tuesday headlined, “Run, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, Run,” the board goaded AOC to put her money (and political career) where her mouth is and challenge the “old boy” Senate majority leader from her state.
“If that’s how she really feels, here’s an idea: Run against Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer next year. The New York City Congresswoman has played coy for a year on a potential Democratic primary run. Why not finally drop the pretense and have the courage of her loud convictions?” the board wrote.
The board added:
Some might shudder at the prospect, but what difference would it make it this point? In January we wrote an editorial, “Schumer and His Shadow,” as the powerful Senator seemed to mimic every demand from AOC. He’s echoed her plan to forgive student loans and adopted more or less the entire progressive agenda. He supports blowing up the filibuster rule as does AOC. And he did it again Monday in calling for a Senate floor vote on Build Back Better as Ms. Ocasio-Cortez commanded.
She’s already the shadow Majority Leader, so she might as well try and make it official. If the Senate is so awful, run to win and clean it up. Let’s see if New York voters agree.
As an added benefit, if Mr. Schumer managed to defeat her, he’d finally be free to be his own man again. Go for it, AOC.
Ocasio-Cortez went on to attack the Senate’s rules, as well, including, of course, the filibuster, which is not a constitutional requirement but a rule added decades ago which earned the chamber the moniker of the “world’s greatest deliberative body”:
If people want to threaten to block ambassadorships, if they want to threaten dysfunction, they actually need to show up and do it. They need to show up and do a talking filibuster. And by the way, that is the compromise, because there shouldn’t even be a filibuster in the first place. And they need to really make sure that we are actually calling people to their threats.
And again, it takes the president of the United States who I believe needs to be more forceful on the filibuster. He needs to also lean, I believe, on his executive authority and says if you’re going to get in the way, we’re going to find other ways to do this. And it’s either you’re with us or not with us. But this train is moving. And we need to govern. Because the United States house of representatives is delivering an agenda for the people.