Conservatives are rushing to embrace socialist congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s latest Republican challenger Scherie Murray, presently making the rounds on Fox News and posing for photos with members of the Trump family. Murray seems to take all of AOC’s identity politics cards off the table. She’s black. She’s female. She’s an immigrant. All politically helpful qualities — but is she a Republican?
In its rush to identify a suitable opponent for AOC, the Right seems to have neglected an important question: what does Murray actually believe? She admitted to the New York Post that she voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, and she doesn’t appear to have changed her politics much in the intervening seven years. Last June, Murray congratulated Ocasio-Cortez on her victory over Democratic incumbent Joe Crowley. “Congratulations Alexandria,” she tweeted. “#Queens is headed in a new direction and It’s [sic] time for new leadership. #Yes.”
Murray might have pleaded ignorance of Ocasio-Cortez’s radicalism but for the headline of the CNN news article she posted alongside her congratulations: “A 28-year-old Democratic Socialist just ousted a powerful, 10-term congressman in New York.” Murray celebrated the victory of an avowed socialist over a more moderate Democrat just twelve months ago. How does Murray explain her political about-face?
“I was hopeful when AOC won,” she tweeted on Friday. “She took on a Democratic political machine & won. But nothing has changed since. Why? Bc she’s only been focused on fame & politics of division & hate. We deserve & expected better. That’s why I’m running.” How precisely did Murray “hope” and “expect” the election of a radical socialist would “change” the country? Murray objects to AOC, not for her socialist ideology, but for spending too much time on Instagram and not enough fulfilling her campaign promises. Had AOC succeeded in enacting her radical agenda, might Murray be endorsing her re-election bid rather than running against her?
Murray didn’t acquit herself any better on Sean Hannity’s show. “How would you describe yourself politically?” asked Hannity. “How do you feel about President Trump in the two-plus years he’s been in office?”
Murray evaded both questions. “Well, I migrated here from Jamaica,” she replied. “And I know firsthand what it is to not just be an immigrant but to go through the process, right? And so what do I think about what the president is doing? I think that the president is delivering on his promises when he got elected.” She neglected both to offer her opinion of President Trump’s delivering on those promises and to describe her own political views.
Perhaps Murray has changed her views in the twelve months since she celebrated the victory of the socialist she now hopes to unseat. If so, she owes voters an explanation of her recently egregious judgment. Until Murray articulates how and why she so suddenly embraced conservatism, conservatives ought to refrain from embracing her.