New York Times opinion columnist David Brooks triggered Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., with his latest column arguing that the political spectrum is trending away from populism on both sides of the aisle, including that of the liberal lawmaker.
Ocasio-Cortez laid into Brooks on Twitter after he offered a pejorative description of her progressive brainchild, the Green New Deal, suggesting that her brand of left-wing populism is on the outs, along with former President Donald Trump’s MAGA movement.
She slammed him for knocking the legislation and for portraying her as a political figure comparable to Trump. She suggested Brooks had no idea what her proposed legislation was at all.
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Brooks’ Thursday column, titled, “The Fever Is Breaking,” was a reflection on the latest shift in political dynamics as evidenced by recent midterm turnout. In it, Brooks observed that “performative populism has begun to ebb.”
He wrote, “The election of 2022 marked the moment when America began to put performative populism behind us. Though the results are partial, and Trump acolytes could still help Republicans control Congress, this election we saw the emergence of an anti-Trump majority.”
Brooks cited one national exit poll, which claimed, “nearly 60 percent of voters said they had an unfavorable view of Trump.” Brooks argued that this was a snapshot revealing that people are moving on from aggressive anti-establishment politics.
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However, Trump wasn’t the only one who represents “performative populism” in Brooks’ assessment. AOC does as well. He wrote, “The left had its own smaller version of performative populism. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became a major political figure thanks to her important contributions to Instagram.”
Dismissive of her legislative work, Brooks added, “The Green New Deal was not a legislative package but a cotton candy media concoction.”
He also slammed other far-left ideas embraced by her and other Democrats, writing, “Slogans like ‘Abolish ICE’ and ‘Defund the police’ were not practical policies, just cool catchphrases to put on posters.”
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The New York congresswoman appeared insulted at this depiction of her politics. Slamming Brooks on Twitter, Saturday, she wrote, “Perhaps David Brooks should actually read the legislation he’s insulting before referring to it as ‘cotton candy.’”
Defending the Green New Deal, she added, “The Green New Deal was thoughtfully constricted alongside a coalition of scientists, academics, frontline communities, & more.” She then balked at the notion that she’s as far left as Trump is far right, declaring, “He wants me to be Trump, but I’m not.”