Saturday, January 05, 2019

Extreme Symbolism

Democrats are putting laurels on the head (an ancient symbol of victory) of a bartender elected to Congress, the much adored Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, for her vow to vote against Pelosi as speaker of the House because the Democratic Party needed new leadership.

How did that work out? Well, Pelosi is the current Speaker, of course but the Ocasio-Cortez promise to vote against her is even more empty than one might think, since when the vote actually occurred Ocasio-Cortez voted in favor.

When it was first announced the Democrats had regained control of the House there was a very real threat the Pelosi’s bid for a second term as Speaker would fail, in part because only 38% of Democratic voters endorsed her bid for Democratic Party leader.

Then Pelosi started spreading awards as chair of committees around to everyone who was opposing her, even creating a few new committees in order to have enough chairs to distribute. The largesse included a committee chair for Ocasio-Cortez, ending the Ocasio-Cortez rebellion.

Before the dust even settled from that, Democrats are breaking out the laurels again for an Ocasio-Cortez vote against the House rules due to the inclusion of the Republican rule of “Pay As You Go” (which Democrats cleverly renamed PAYGO), by which any new spending must be offset by spending cuts elsewhere or by a tax increase. Since only two other Democrats voted against the rules package, the Ocasio-Cortez vote was entirely symbolic.

“Symbolic” means that it is very good at cheering up the troops but serves no other useful purpose. Democrats are very big on symbolism, and very effective at serving no useful purpose.

1 comment:

  1. bruce1:37 PM

    I read a Washington Post article about a comparison between AOC and someone cough Sarah Palin cough (yeah, I know not a great start there), and the gist of that was:

    ... made a big splash in national politics before having her/his lack of knowledge painfully exposed. Instead of studying up, (s)he gave up any pretense of seriousness and has now disappeared from the debate. This is a cautionary tale for who can have an outsize impact — but only if (s)he masters the intricacies of policy and curbs thier fatal attraction to political celebrity and vacuous soundbites. Trump has gone dismayingly far with his reliance on “alternative facts,” but it’s not a formula that his opponents should emulate...

    I changed the pronouns a bit so it is inclusive of other genders. It is applicable to everyone.