Over the past couple of years, the Democratic Party has begun to split in two; at first, it was nearly unnoticeable, but now a line in the sand has clearly been drawn.
In the beginning, it seemed like Bernie Sanders was the cause of it all. The Vermont Senator and self-declared Democratic Socialist, who was rallying the younger members of the Democratic Party into following his brand of liberalism seemed like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
The enthusiasm that Sanders generated pulled a few more radicals out of the woodwork, including the ever-precocious newbie Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Now that Joe Biden’s presidency has been confirmed come January 20th, AOC doesn’t have to play nice anymore.
During an interview with The Intercept’s Jeremy Scahill of the Intercepted podcast, Ocasio-Cortez was asked about Biden’s choice to give cabinet positions and transition team spots to Washington, D.C. insiders, McKinsey consultants, Big Tech employees, and Wall Street executives.
Scahill called Biden’s transition team a “corporate revolving door” while Ocasio-Cortez noted Biden’s seemingly total rejection of left-wing populism that has, in some cases, allied with right-wing populists on issues of stimulus checks for Americans and endingforeign wars.
The interview exchange went as follows:
Scahill: This sort of slipped in under the radar but Politico pointed out that some of the recent additions to Joe Biden’s transitional team were sort of distributed on the sly, there were no ceremonies for it, and perhaps it’s because they’re people who are from Goldman Sachs, from McKinsey, from Boston Consulting. If you look at some of the premier nominee positions, Tony Blinken — total Washington insider — starts this firm that literally brags that they have a direct path to the executive office. You have Avril Hanes at DNI being celebrated … she also is a defender of Gina Haspel who was a key player in the torture and kidnap program run by the CIA. [Emphasis added]
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, how do you make sense of this corporate revolving door that Biden is once again activating and the fact that you have ultra-hawkish, right-wing Democrats, including people who have been apologists for people involved with the torture program? [Emphasis added]
Ocasio-Cortez: It’s horrible and I think it’s part of a larger issue that we have right now which is there’s a lot of talk about ‘Oh, you know the Biden administration is bringing back a lot of Obama appointees’ which depending on where you are in the party, may sound nice I guess but I think what a lot of people fail to remember is that we now have a Biden administration that’s bringing back a lot of Obama appointees but when Obama was making appointments, he was bringing back a lot of Clinton appointees and so this is not just a revolving door of private industry, but it’s a revolving door of just the same people for the last 10, 20, 30 years in a time when this like emerging populism and one of the main reasons — and a huge reason we got Donald Trump in the first place in addition to just the racism that was waiting to reanimated in this country — [there is] just an extreme disdain for this moneyed, political establishment that just rules Washington, D.C. no matter who you seem to elect. [Emphasis added]
It’s not just in individuals, but it’s in ideologies and it’s a way of doing things … and it’s this hand over fist self-dealing, this continued commitment to foreign wars that frankly people all across the political spectrum in the United States are sick of. And you know especially when it comes to foreign policy, we’re really in an appalling state. This is why we had so many people rally behind Democratic nominees but now the situation is like what do we do because the fact of the matter is that the most conservative … Democrat in the field is the one that won. [Emphasis added]
Ocasio-Cortez has been unapologetic in her hopes of pulling the party to the extreme left, and this latest stunt may just be her most exuberant yet.