The message from Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is that President Joe Biden needs to enact sweeping progressive reforms through executive orders, or risk completely losing the key left-wing voter base that is critical in deciding the fate of the Democratic Party come midterm elections in November 2022.
What follows is an extension of AOC speaking out about Biden losing touch with younger progressive voters, which is something she brought up last week.
In an interview with New York Magazine, the progressive Squad member expresses her belief that the Biden administration's agenda has been crippled by moments of opposition like that displayed by Senator Joe Manchin.
Manchin on Tuesday voiced his opposition to Biden's proposal of taxing unrealized gains on America's ultra-wealthy.
But the remarks by AOC aren't limited to Manchin as a person. Instead, they're more of her response to Biden's style of politicking, and how that's worked out so far during his tenure.
It was November 2021 when both these factors came to a head during the passage of Biden's $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. AOC was outspoken at the time in voting against the proposal, as it had been brought forward under the pretense that there'd be party unity in passing the Build Back Better act paired with it.
She was right in predicting that Manchin planned to vote against it. What we have in this NY Mag article is an extension of AOC's feelings from back then, that the Washington, DC, establishment is still in many ways "an old boy's club."
Before AOC began her career in DC at the start of 2019, she participated with climate protesters who demonstrated outside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office.
AOC makes it clear that she's not always opposing Democrat leadership. She points out her efforts alongside Senator Chuck Schumer on a multi-billion dollar reimbursement program for families who had to bury loved ones because of COVID-19.
But again in March 2022, Ocasio-Cortez is wanting to take on the old guard of Washington and unite Democrats in the process.
"I think that there is a sense among more senior members of Congress, who have been around in different political times, that we can get back to this time of buddy-buddy and backslapping and we’ll cut a deal and go into a room with some bourbon and some smoke and you’ll come out and work something out," the New York lawmaker told NY Mag.
The outlet's interview packages AOC as social media savvy and reminds readers how much of a political upstart her 2018 campaign was in ousting longtime incumbent Joe Crowley.
This story comes alongside the latest round of concerns from places like MSNBC about Biden's plummeting approval ratings. It's that – coupled with the historical precedent that the 2022 midterms will swing in the GOP's favor – that has AOC trying to offer options for the left.
"We need to acknowledge that this isn't just about middle of the road, an increasingly narrow band of independent voters. This is really about the collapse of support among young people, among the Democratic base, who are feeling that they worked overtime to get this president elected and aren't necessarily being seen," she surmised.
In a series of demands that have since been made public by AOC and the rest of the House Progressive Caucus, the group of Democrats earlier this month publicly called on Biden to do things like: cancel federal student loan debt, lower health care costs, and enact more climate agenda items through executive order measures.
Ocasio-Cortez issued this warning: "If the president does pursue and start to govern decisively using executive action and other tools at his disposal, I think we're in the game. But if we decide to just kind of sit back for the rest of the year and not change people's lives — yeah, I do think we're in trouble."
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