Credit: Creative Commons
Ocasio-Cortez to Hollywood Screenwriter: How Dare You Say That Dem Party Is About More Than Trans Bathrooms?

Ocasio-Cortez to Hollywood Screenwriter: How Dare You Say That Dem Party Is About More Than Trans Bathrooms?

“They now need to stop acting like young people, OK?”

Hollywood writer and liberal booster Aaron Sorkin came under fire Sunday from his own camp for daring to offer friendly admonition to Congressional Democratic newcomers.

“I really like the new crop of young people who were just elected to congress,” Sorkin told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. “They now need to stop acting like young people, OK?  It’s time to do that.”


Sorkin — whose long reel of aspirational political TV shows includes “The West Wing” and “Newsroom” —  fears that young Democratic leaders are letting themselves get drawn into petty squabbles and be seduced by cheap sloganeering, instead of reaffirming a commitment to real social reforms.

“I think there’s a great opportunity here, now more than ever, for Democrats to be the non-stupid party, to point the difference,” he said.

As an example for what he sees as a tendency of young Democrats to expend too much political currency on minor battles, Sorkin mentioned progressives’ push to legislate equal access to public bathrooms.

“It’s not just about transgender bathrooms, that’s a Republican talking point. They’re trying to distract you. We haven’t forgotten the economic anxiety of the working class, but we’re going to be smart about this. We’re not going to be mean about it,” he said.

As soon as Sorkin warned the left not to play into the hands of the right’s straw man, prominent liberals rose up defiantly to show that they are going to lean into it — and lean hard.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 29-year-old Democrat superstar who vowed to “run train” on the progressive agenda, responded to Sorkin by saying that she and her fellow Congressional freshmen aren’t chasing trends, but leading a real grassroots movement.

She continued to blast Sorkin in an extended thread of tweets. Aside from implying that his call for public servants to be presentable and decorous is tinged with sexism, Ocasio-Cortez dismissed Sorkin’s bathroom-criticism as a morally backward, antediluvian concern.


“Going by track record, I’d feel safer in a bathroom w/ a trans woman than a powerful male executive any day of the week,” she tweeted, begging the question: Who was suggesting this trade-off? (For the record, conservatives who oppose genderless bathrooms aim to separate biological women from biological men, whether powerful executives or otherwise.)

Many other liberals were equally piqued by the criticism.

Through memes and taunts they proved just how wrong Sorkin was to say that Democrats need to grow up.

Nor was he correct to suggest that some young liberals are prone to follow trends — such as, say, online pile-ons.

Sidenote: We have to wonder, which, according to AOC, would be safer: a bathroom full of trans women executives or cis male proletarians?

Cover image: Aaron Sorkin and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. (Creative Commons)



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