On Saturday, Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) fired back at outgoing Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), launching into a Twitter thread that called out McCaskill for word choices that rang a little too close to Republicanisms.
Where did this start? Before we get into Ocascio-Cortez’s response, let’s review the interview between CNN and McCaskill that started the whole situation.
In an exit interview with CNN this past week, McCaskill (who lost her re-election bid to Trump-supported Republican Josh Hawley this November) gave some...interesting comments about Ocascio-Cortez (and the progressive left in general), including the following:
"I'm a little confused why she's the thing. But it's a good example of what I'm talking about -- a bright shiny new object, came out of nowhere and surprised people when she beat a very experienced congressman."
Right off the bat, policy aside, describing a woman as an “object” or a “thing” both reek of misogyny, no matter the gender identity of the person saying it.
"And so she's now talked about a lot. I'm not sure what she's done yet to generate that kind of enthusiasm, but I wish her well. I hope she hangs the moon. But I hope she also realizes that the parts of the country that are rejecting the Democratic Party, like a whole lot of white working class voters, need to hear about how their work is going to be respected, and the dignity of their jobs, and how we can really stick to issues that we can actually accomplish something on."
To be disappointed in McCaskill’s choice of words is to put it lightly. Patronizing and tinged with misogyny, her comments rang uncomfortably close to the sorts of criticism Ocasio-Cortez has received about the cost of her wardrobe and where she attended high school.
It’s no surprises that Ocasio-Cortez responded on Twitter:
In an interview The Daily (the New York Times podcast), McCaskill suggested that people are “fascinated” with Ocasio-Cortez. She also warned against Democrats going “so far to the left” when discussing 2020 presidential nominations. Why? Fear of losing “all those white working-class voters” in the Democratic party.
Interestingly, as noted by the Huffington Post, McCaskill also referred to Hawley as a “bright shining object” while being interviewed by CNN, suggesting that her word choice has more to do with ageism than sexism or misogyny. Either way, this kind of dismissive language is definitely disappointing. Just about the last thing the Democratic party needs is in-fighting.