Shocker: AOC gets another magazine cover.
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), the eternally over-wrought diva who’s seemingly incapable of speaking below a coffee-inflected pitch and slower than the speed of a Sotheby’s auctioneer, has found her way onto the cover of another major magazine, this time GQ. Be forewarned: The interview she gives is enough to test even the most committed civil libertarian in his opposition to casual waterboarding. I highly doubt that the point of the piece was to make AOC even more unlikeable, but it certainly has that effect on yours truly. This is one towering mediocrity, folks. Here, for example, is the laughable answer she gives to the question of whether, one day, she might be elected president:
“People ask me questions about the future. And realistically, I can’t even tell you if I’m going to be alive in September. And that weighs very heavily on me. And it’s not just the right wing. Misogyny transcends political ideology: left, right, center. This grip of patriarchy affects all of us, not just women; men, as I mentioned before, but also, ideologically, there’s an extraordinary lack of self-awareness in so many places. And so those are two very conflicting things. I admit to sometimes believing that I live in a country that would never let that happen.”
What the fuck are you even talking about? “I can’t even tell you if I’m going to be alive in September.” What is this, Brazil? Mexico? Just because so many people don’t like you doesn’t mean there are people interested in killing you. Most just want you to shut up and stop preaching divisive intersectionalist nonsense. But it’s clear that at no point during the interview does it occur to either the writer or his interviewee that AOC’s biggest problem might be AOC.
Misogyny isn’t going to be the reason why you’re denied the presidency, it’s your radical politics. You and your Squad mates represent the fringe Left of the Democratic Party; the policies you’ve championed — “defund the police,” chief among them — are anything but popular outside your narrow milieu. You’re the tip of the spear of a broader, party-wide turn toward a racialized, identity-obsessed culture war that most Americans are pretty fed up with at this point.
Wesley Lowery,1 the pencil for this fawning hot pile of garbage, complains that AOC’s “opponents on both the left and right have gleefully dissected her every utterance, hunting for ways to dismiss and ridicule her.”
“Hunting”? The woman is ubiquitous, and not in a good way. In addition to gracing the cover of GQ, she’s also been featured on that of Vanity Fair and Time. This is a politician, mind you, not Billie Eilish. Politicians are not supposed to become rich and famous celebrities. That’s not what the chair is for. It’s to serve. But AOC’s rise illustrates how public service and influence have intertwined to produce a new breed of politician that games time in office for solipsistic self-advancement.
Moreover, AOC’s critics don’t need to hunt for reasons to dismiss and ridicule her when she’s constantly elevated by the Left despite her zero legislative accomplishments. She’s a socialist dunce who’s managed to make herself into an icon because her happiness is directly proportional to the amount of attention she gets.
Here’s another gem from the interview, this one in reference to her fiance, who is — gasp! — a straight white male:
“‘It’s my resolution that perhaps we can be engaged by the end of the year,’ she recalled him telling her. ‘And I said, Oh, really? Well, you’re going to have to woo me. You’re going to have to convince me, after all this time, why I should.’ Ocasio-Cortez told me that she never considered marriage inevitable. Her relationship with Roberts, who is white, raised its own particular questions about identity and belonging: She wasn’t positive that an intercultural, interracial relationship would be the right fit for her.”
Imagine, if you will, the reaction if someone like, say, Rand Paul or Tucker Carlson or Glen Youngkin were to state that he wasn’t positive that “an intercultural, interracial relationship would be the right fit” for him. He’d be crucified. There’s a 100% chance that MSNBC would be having a panel discussion on it right now, probably the 20th iteration.
This is not 1960. Per Gallup, 94% of Americans approve of interracial marriage. What the hell does “she wasn’t positive that an intercultural, interracial relationship would be the right fit for her” mean in practice? How has this sentiment and its racist undertones escaped scrutiny?
Take Up Space: The Unprecedented AOC
As bad as the GQ interview is, her biography — Take Up Space: The Unprecedented AOC, which was written by the editors of New York Magazine — is worse. The way Unherd’s Kat Rosenfield explains it, the phrase “take up space” is a “feminist war-cry, a clapback at the offensive old mores that say women should be small and slender and quiet.” That is, presumably, what the title refers to. But the irony abounds: For all the glamorous attention AOC gets (she has over 12 million Twitter followers), she’s far more famous for being who she is than for what she’s accomplished. In a nonpartisan report issued last spring, she was rated one of the least effective members of Congress. (Among New York state legislators, she came in dead last.) The title’s double entendre is thus glaring: AOC does indeed take up space. Perhaps the writers were under the impression that surely she’d accomplish enough to avoid making the title an awkward pun about her relative inefficacy as a politician.
The biography itself is a joke, and not just because it seems like a rather premature paean. In the middle of the book is a two-page spread à la Playboy centrefolds depicting AOC’s open mouth. Another section is basically an illustrated, novelized narrative about the congresswoman’s (staged photoshoot) visit to the detention centers at the Mexican border.2 There’s even a chapter devoted exclusively to her greatest Twitter “dunks,” with a laudatory breakdown of her savvy political genius for each one.
Just as in the GQ interview, the book portrays AOC as the second coming of Christ and is written in a style of sloppy fawning. The writers wax poetic about her authenticity, her relatability, and her public addresses on Instagram that she routinely posts with her face two inches from the screen of her phone. AOC is “spectacularly confrontational,” “always does her research,” and “murders with fact,” we are told. Murders with fact.
It’s an unapologetic celebration of the woman who might as well be the leading figure of America’s highly-educated progressive urbanites, basically the Left’s enfant terrible and answer to Trump’s talent for online triggering. Despite the “poor me” persona that AOC dons, she, like the Bad Orange Man w/Mean Tweets, can be remarkably combative toward the more moderate members of her party, whether it’s calling for the replacement of Nancy Pelosi, sniping at Democrats who question her defund the police idiocy, or accusing her peers of “not wanting to talk about race.” She’s also far too thin-skinned given the fountain of fantastic tirades that is her mouth, to say nothing of her censorious proclivities. When Ben Shapiro offered to donate $10 million to her campaign in exchange for an open debate, she likened the offer to being catcalled.
God only knows if the “unprecedented AOC” has effectively established a new precedence for substanceless activist peacocking in the world of politics, but her Squad pals sure take after her, and her rhetoric is often so discordant with reality that it’s hard not to see it as performative. But it works, because it allows her to continue acquiring celebrity and influence by doing little more than propagating a radical chic intersectionalism that resonates with young, educated, but disaffected progressives who’ve tired of the septuagenarian-led party for which they feel obligated to cast their votes.
In one part of this novelization, a guard stands outside a pen of sleeping women and screams, “WAKE UP, WHORES!”—an incident invented by the writers as an example of something that might have happened.