Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez assured her fellow Democrats on Monday that conservatives are “all bark” and “don’t know what to do when we stick by our principles.”
The New York congresswoman was replying to a fawning tweet from Abraham Gutman, an opinion columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer known for progressive-minded takes like “I’m not Super Dad, but because I’m a man, the world treats me like one.”
“Had a glimpse into @AOC’s mentions following a retweet, and let me tell you: people are disgusting,” Gutman tweeted. “Her advocacy comes at a cost that most of us wouldn’t have been able to bare. Much power to her and respect for her strength.”
The “treatment” she endures from Twitter trolls is “bad,” Ocasio-Cortez acknowledged. But she said her experience has taught her there’s nothing to fear from the right as long as Democrats stand up for justice.
“They stomp, they whine, they burst w/ hyperbole – all bc they rely on Dems backing down when GOP creates controversy,” she said. “They don’t know what to do when we stick by our principles.”
Yes, the treatment is bad – but the one thing I’ve learned about the right is that they’re all bark.
They stomp, they whine, they burst w/ hyperbole – all bc they rely on Dems backing down when GOP creates controversy.
They don’t know what to do when we stick by our principles. https://t.co/NQZ014uVlA
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 24, 2019
Liberals on Twitter loved Ocasio-Cortez’s rallying cry, casting them as the good guys in a Manichean struggle against morally backward conservatives.
The congresswoman’s bravery left Gutman, for one, unable or unwilling to form sentences. He resorted to responding with a series empowering emojis.
— Abraham Gutman ? (@abgutman) June 24, 2019
But other AOC-devotees managed to find the words to praise Ocasio-Cortez for her truth-telling.
I trust very few politicians. Most are cluster b personalities with little or no real empathy. Most people who seek power shouldn't have it. Most. You are an exception. You are lifting the veil and people are afraid to see the truth.
— Troy Goldenthal (@TroyGoldenthal) June 25, 2019
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claims the moral high ground
Meanwhile, conservatives collectively rolled their eyes.
Virginia Kruta, an associate editor at The Daily Caller, reminded the democratic socialist that nasty behavior by anonymous political opponents is a bipartisan experience. In fact, she said, Ocasio-Cortez’s supporters have harassed her online.
“Your fans stalked my Instagram and sent hate mail to my home because I oppose socialism. They called me names I never heard in 10 years of military service,” Kruta tweeted.
Your fans stalked my Instagram and sent hate mail to my home because I oppose socialism.
They called me names I never heard in 10 years of military service.
I don't want Dems to back down. I want them to own every policy you advocate. Your ideas don't work and America knows it. https://t.co/mTbzyawe31
— Virginia Kruta (@VAKruta) June 25, 2019
It was not immediately clear where Ocasio-Cortez got so much confidence in the power of her “principles.” She has no legislative or political victories against Republicans to speak of, and she is a relatively marginal member of her own caucus.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly sought to make clear that Ocasio-Coretz does not represent the party, including by not-so-subtly dismissing her signature policy proposal, the Green New Deal. And, although a number of leading Democrats have paid lip service to the sweeping plan for environmental and social justice, when it came up for a vote in the Senate in March, exactly zero lawmakers of either party voted for it.