In a recent phone interview with Time magazine, democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) sent some shots across the bow of the Democratic National Committee, warning that they could be getting themselves into “dangerous territory in terms of defeating Trump.”
Ocasio-Cortez has been one of the most vocal supporters of fellow democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who is now running neck and neck in some recent polls with longtime frontrunner Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination. With the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses finally upon us, the tension between the various candidates has escalated — and with Sanders once again outperforming expectations, he’s become the favorite target of the Democratic establishment, or at least that’s how many of his supporters see it.
While the freshman representative initially tried to downplay the increasing disunity in the party, calling it “overblown,” Ocasio-Cortez’s comments revealed the growing concern among Sanders supporters that they are going to see a re-run of 2016, when the DNC appeared to deliberately take steps to ensure Sanders lost to establishment favorite Hillary Clinton.
“Bernie has said this, I absolutely believe this: whoever gets the nomination, we have to rally behind them, no matter who it is,” Ocasio-Cortez told Time in the interview. “And I would hope that everybody would do so if Bernie is the nominee as well.”
If they don’t, said Ocasio-Cortez, it would be a “dangerous” mistake. Also “dangerous,” would be the DNC using “superdelegate[s] or other kind of subversive policies” to undermine a candidate.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea for people to try to use superdelegate or other kind of subversive policies to deny anybody the nomination because it’s incredibly divisive to do so, and very demoralizing, which is a direct threat in November,” the far-left congresswoman warned.
“The moment you start playing games trying to deny whoever is the nominee, we really start to get into dangerous territory in terms of defeating Trump,” she said.
The use of superdelegates, which proved to be a divisive issue in 2016, with many Sanders supporters accusing the DNC of “rigging” the process to ensure a Clinton win, has come up again, with multiple reports citing Democratic insiders discussing their use, as reported Friday by Politico:
A small group of Democratic National Committee members has privately begun gauging support for a plan to potentially weaken Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign and head off a brokered convention.
In conversations on the sidelines of a DNC executive committee meeting and in telephone calls and texts in recent days, about a half-dozen members have discussed the possibility of a policy reversal to ensure that so-called superdelegates can vote on the first ballot at the party’s national convention. Such a move would increase the influence of DNC members, members of Congress and other top party officials, who now must wait until the second ballot to have their say if the convention is contested.
Ocasio-Cortez’s reference to other “subversive policies” follows a last-second DNC debate rule change that has been met with strong outcry from supporters of several candidates. On Friday, the DNC announced that it will drop the donor quota for prospective primary debaters, a move that allows self-funded billionaire candidate Michael Bloomberg, who has risen to fourth in the polls, to participate.