Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is by now well-known for getting facts wrong and displaying jaw-dropping ignorance from economics to trains to laws.
But only well-known in one universe, the one reported by right-of-center news and commentary outlets and their consumers. Too often, consumers in this universe, in which The Revolutionary Act exists, think that once something is reported at Fox News, the Washington Examiner, the Daily Caller, Breitbart News, or others, it is known to the American people.
But this is wrong.
Because in the other universe, one populated by the mainstream media largely ignoring or downplaying her gaffes and on social media where she is gigantic and her followers only get news there or from the MSM, she remains this colossus of righteousness bestriding a racist, bigoted, unfair America.
Seriously. Many, many Americans who believe they keep up somewhat on the news and check their Twitter feed have little to no information on just how embarrassing she is. They either think Republicans are attacking her (the pounce narrative) or that Republicans are afraid of this truth-to-power-teller.
Nowhere was this on better display than during Tuesday’s House hearing on terrorism efforts, the conservative reporting on it, and AOC’s Twitter response.
Ryan Saavedra, of the Daily Wire, tweeted out a full story’s worth of tweets Friday, starting with:
“FBI Asst. Director of Counterterrorism Michael McGarrity has to repeatedly explain to Ocasio-Cortez that domestic terrorists are not charged with domestic terrorism because no domestic terrorist statute exists”
Fox News did a story on it Saturday. The timing is telling. The mainstream media ignored her embarrassing ignorance/dishonesty, much like they do other Democrats. If not for the conservative media, this would be essentially unknown.
The short of it is that AOC doesn’t understand the law on this issue, the difference between foreign actors and domestic, or how counter-terrorism works. She was intent on pursuing her pre-arranged line of questioning that American counterterrorism officials were unfairly targeting Muslims, and not white supremacists, with terrorism charges. She continued to question why they did not charge white supremacists with domestic terrorism when they charged Muslims in a couple of cases with terrorism.
The answer, which McGarrity patiently explained over and over was that there is no such thing as domestic terrorism in law, and you cannot charge people with something that is not illegal in law.
Further, the two examples she cited — the San Bernardino shootings and the Pulse Nightclub massacre in Orlando — involved people with documented links to ISIS, which is a foreign terrorist organization. That triggers the terrorism charge. But white supremacists attacks, such as at the Pittsburgh synagogue shootings, had no foreign links, so the shooter acting alone was charged instead with multiple counts of murder.
No matter how much McGarrity explained that there are no statutes on domestic terrorism and so there can be no domestic terrorism charges, AOC kept going from her notes. She was pursuing a narrative, not facts or laws.
Read Saavedra’s thread or the Fox story or just watch the link on C-Span. It’s cringe-worthy. Almost hard to watch.
Except not for the rest of the universe outside of the conservosphere. In that one, the entire embarrassment never happened. Or, if you follow AOC’s huge Twitter following (created for her by the astonishing level of media coverage that primary victory attained) you get this parallel universe telling of what happened.
“This hearing was wild.
First the FBI witness tried to say I was wrong. I tried to be generous + give benefit of doubt, but then we checked. I wasn’t.
Violence by Muslims is routinely treated as “terrorism,” White Supremacist violence isn’t.
Neo-Nazis are getting off the hook.”
Note, she doesn’t say what her staff checked and was right about, or what McGarrity was wrong about. Because she was obviously wrong. They are only different if there is a link to foreign terrorist organizations. Other Muslim attacks were not treated as terrorism because there was no documented links.
It’s really very, very difficult to give her the benefit of the doubt that this is just a misrepresentation or misunderstanding. So, if she was listening to McGarrity at all, she knows why some Muslims were charged with terrorism (and others were not) while white supremacists so far have not been. The sad and likely explanation is that she is just that comfortable with this level of…dissembling.
The reality, however, is that her tweet got 128,000 likes and 41,000 retweets — probably totaling more eyeballs than most of the conservosphere combined on this issue.
She is aided by the lack of MSM coverage and by Twitter outlets such as Now This News, which tweeted this doozie out:
“Rep. @AOC confronted this official about why the FBI doesn’t treat white supremacists the way it treats other terrorists”
Technically, yes, she did. And the answer was explained statutorily to her. Now This News must know this. But partisan narrative. Also, FYI, fake news coverage.
She could have come out on Twitter and called for a change in laws. That actually would have been both reasonable and even productive. After all, she is a “lawmaker.” Congress can pass a domestic terrorism law if they want. But making laws is hard work, even when staff does most everything. Grandstanding to the adulation of your only half-informed followers is easier and provides immediate gratification. Plus, this way she can still not admit to being wrong. Again.
Conservatives who think that Americans know AOC is a pretty, enthusiastic, bumbling doofus who is an American embarrassment are sadly mistaken. Most do not. And likely never will. It is our battle. And why The Revolutionary Act and so many others exist.
EDITORS NOTE: This Revolutionary Act column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.