As with any elected official, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Squad should be criticized when needed. But left-wing vitriol is unwarranted: it ignores the Squad’s many progressive accomplishments and their legislation’s aid to activist campaigns.
It’s tough being a member of the “Squad” these days. Once the darlings of the American left, the group of progressive and socialist House members that includes Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Jamaal Bowman, and others are as likely to be savaged these days from the Left as they are from the Right. Popular YouTube commentators regularly denounce them as “sellouts,” protesters interrupt their meetings calling them warmongers, and even committed socialists question what the point of the Squad has been.
The lion’s share of this ire has been trained on Representative Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who’s faced relentless criticism since winning office from all sides, sometimes over substantive issues (once failing to show up for an Amazon union rally, casting a vote that denied railworkers the ability to strike), sometimes over remarkably petty ones (conciliatory rhetoric, the positioning of her hands while being arrested).
Much of this was crystallized in a recent critical analysis of Ocasio-Cortez’s record in New York magazine by Freddie deBoer, who charged she has drifted “from radical outsider to Establishment liberal,” making mere “token gestures of resistance to solidify the illusion that she is a gadfly,” and argued that her and the rest of the Squad’s entry into Congress has been entirely fruitless.
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