When your neme culture war backfires
January 4, 2019 1:50 AM   Subscribe

So the big story on Twitter yesterday was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez getting 'smeared' by some right wing dork for dancing in high school (instead of starting a fascism fanclub like some people). When it took off, most people found it charming rather than damning and so one of the two accounts where this originated from got ratioed so hard they promptly deleted their account and everybody had a good laugh about it.
All of which is not very interesting where it not that the original video was an extract from a meme video AOC was in, part of a trend of such videos all responding to this montage of 80s dance movies with Phoenix's Lisztomania that was rather important a decade ago, as Parker Higgins explains, because it was the catalyst for an important court case about copyright & fair use, involving Larry Lessig. (All links are to Twitter.)
posted by MartinWisse (160 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
 
Also I couldn't fit it in the post but, to put the AOC dancing! wannabe hysteria into context, there's a long racist tradition of getting very pissed off about people dancing that it's trying to tap into.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:04 AM on January 4, 2019 [23 favorites]


"neme" is a great word for what this is: a nuclear meme.

dude fired it off expecting glory and instead was instantly wiped out.

really, a video of an enthusiastic young person happily dancing is going to make us not like them?
posted by chavenet at 2:31 AM on January 4, 2019 [3 favorites]


really, a video of an enthusiastic young person happily dancing is going to make us not like them?

Among the worst fears of the 21st Century Republican base is a woman of color enjoying herself in public, and the projection is so strong that AnonymousQ1776 naturally figured everyone else would be physically revulsed by it.
posted by Etrigan at 2:39 AM on January 4, 2019 [112 favorites]


I’m just so confused as to how they thought a video of someone looking cute and dancing well when they were 19 could be a smear. How dumb are these people?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:45 AM on January 4, 2019 [45 favorites]


Because it's not an actual smear attempt, it's just another play from the right's strategy book to keep a constant outrage machine grinding along. They know it's dumb; it's easy trolling at this point and everyone including the irony-twitter left plays right into it and gets them free impressions and coverage making it look like some right wing schmo's stupid twitter post is Big News.

It's another example of how the right trolls their way into dominating any conversation about anything ever especially popular democrats. They very likely don't actually give a fuck that she's dancing in a video. This is part of the grift.
posted by windbox at 2:50 AM on January 4, 2019 [71 favorites]


A lot of people were saying, this whole thing is hilarious, but it would be funnier if the examples of Kavanaugh and so many others weren't so prevalent.
posted by AnhydrousLove at 2:57 AM on January 4, 2019 [6 favorites]


Again I don't think anyone is losing their grip. This is deliberate. Beto was the same playbook: Pretend you are outraged about something completely idiotic, let the left "clap back" so now they are wasting time playing defense on some dumb shit like dancing in a video and in the process amplifying your "party of anti-millennial outrage" brand.

I strongly believe no one on the right is actually heated over this, they just know that the left will be heated over the right presumably being heated. They want to keep politics in pure kayfabe mode at all costs even if they have to be the heel. It is trolling.
posted by windbox at 3:10 AM on January 4, 2019 [57 favorites]


Oh gods, spare me the “It’s just a distraction!” takes. Literally zero people are spending any time “playing defense” against this video that they would otherwise be spending feeding the homeless or fighting for impeachment or raising awareness of whatever.

Let people dunk on stupidity every now and then.
posted by Etrigan at 3:47 AM on January 4, 2019 [128 favorites]


i love watching these morons fail at being relevant, every time they try to manufacture outrage with the all the social skills of a baby proudly displaying a handful of shit from its own soiled diaper i fLOURISH
posted by poffin boffin at 4:20 AM on January 4, 2019 [7 favorites]


For those of us who are not Twitter users: what does it mean to get ratioed hard?
posted by Karaage at 4:26 AM on January 4, 2019 [18 favorites]


Because it's not an actual smear attempt, it's just another play from the right's strategy book to keep a constant outrage machine grinding along.

Well they certainly got our attention and have now wasted a few more people's time on irrelevant garbage.
posted by Miko at 4:26 AM on January 4, 2019 [1 favorite]


Don't think it's a distraction, I think they are deliberately trying to cultivate a brand of "I just don't *LIKE* that woman" and throwing literally everything against the wall and hoping it sticks, Hillary Clinton style. It's trolling the left and getting them to amplify their dirty work for them, making shit that is extremely not newsworthy into the News of the Day.

The right then magically makes it through the "lol can't believe these idiots are angry about this" dunking-cycle without any scars, their frothing base froths harder, life goes on.

Sorry, I agree this stuff used to be fun for me but I guess I'm just burned out. It all seems so transparent now.
posted by windbox at 4:27 AM on January 4, 2019 [21 favorites]


For those of us who are not Twitter users: what does it mean to get ratioed hard?

Normally, you want less comments coupled with lots of retweets and likes. When your tweet is "ratioed" it means that you got a helluva lot more comments than retweets and likes. This is a fine example of getting ratioed real fucking hard.
posted by NoMich at 4:33 AM on January 4, 2019 [8 favorites]


really, a video of an enthusiastic young person happily dancing is going to make us not like them?

I've seen someone spin it as "I thought that the left says women and people of color are oppressed, and she doesn't look very oppressed to me." There's also an implication of this being proof that she went to an "elite" school somehow.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:38 AM on January 4, 2019 [5 favorites]


And meanwhile, the universe of less terrible Twitter is on the case as well. Viz the account AOC Dances To Every Song -- I think Prince's "Let's Go Crazy" works particularly well.
posted by penduluum at 4:38 AM on January 4, 2019 [12 favorites]


TIL that "neme" is a word.
posted by grumpybear69 at 5:15 AM on January 4, 2019 [7 favorites]


The right see AOC as a threat and are going to dog her from day one so that when she finally runs for a big office one day, they can point to how unlikable she's been for years. It was what they did to Hillary.

During the swearing in yesterday, AOC was the only one booed too.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 5:24 AM on January 4, 2019 [86 favorites]


The stronger their desire, the stronger their hate.
posted by bird internet at 5:34 AM on January 4, 2019 [3 favorites]


The right wing is really trying to paint AOC as an airhead. I guess because she is a young woman? If you ever accidentally venture into right-wing Twitter, there are lots of really obnoxious memes of her with captions that repurpose “dumb blonde” jokes. That’s why they think the dancing video is such a “gotcha.” “Look! She was acting silly!”

It’s an obviously-ridiculous idea. Those of us in the real world struggle to even understand what the hell they think they’re saying. But it’s the kind of Karl Rove-style “attack on their strengths” crap that has worked depressingly well for them in the past.

I really hope it fails this time. They are clearly very, very scared of AOC because she is so smart and sharp and strong.
posted by snowmentality at 5:39 AM on January 4, 2019 [20 favorites]


I didn't know what 'ratioed' meant either, so I found this explanation: “The ratio,” a buzzword first reported by Esquire, is used by people to describe times on Twitter where someone makes a bad tweet and it gets way more replies (usually by people telling them they suck) than it does retweets or faves. Here at BuzzFeed News, it wouldn’t be unusual in 2017 to overhear someone saying, “Did you see so-and-so is getting ratioed?” or “Wow, that tweet is getting ratioed hard.”
posted by Ickster at 5:41 AM on January 4, 2019 [6 favorites]


I don't think this is going to work. It puts AOC in the news. And by all accounts, she shines when the spotlight is on her.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:42 AM on January 4, 2019 [8 favorites]


Yeah I think the people on Twitter pushing this 'it's all a brilliant plot by the right' are trying to maybe explain how their very likeable 2016 candidate that no one left of the Tea Party could have any legitimate issue with could have been seen as 'unlikable'. It was totally out of the hands of the party and no one can counter this brilliant strategy of frothing over innocuous aspects of a political figure.
posted by Space Coyote at 5:47 AM on January 4, 2019 [7 favorites]


AOC is one first cases of someone achieving national office who is young enough to grow up with the twenty-first century iteration of the internet, with SmartPhones shooting video and uploading it to social media constantly.

The good news is that as more of AOC's generation take office, this will become common, and it will take truly egregious behavior to disqualify someone.

The better news is that that truly egregious behavior will likely come out way earlier, so by this point it would be moot.

The best news is disqualifying behavior will become less and less a case of he said/she said, but something documented. While I know many will cast any bit of doubt they can (like the GOP), it may have stood up to Kavanaugh's calendar.
posted by MrGuilt at 5:47 AM on January 4, 2019 [21 favorites]


The right wing is really trying to paint AOC as an airhead.

Yeah, my husband and I were talking last night about the "but what were they think they were going to accomplish?" question and I think it's a combination of being aware that AOC doing literally anything will fire up a bunch of misogynistic racists, always a win for them, and also being like "look, she's young and frivolous, you shouldn't take her seriously". My husband also pointed out that we're evidently not supposed to take old or unattractive women seriously, and it's just weird how there's no win condition for women. So odd.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 5:52 AM on January 4, 2019 [49 favorites]


The right wing is really trying to paint AOC as an airhead. I guess because she is a young woman?

They're always bringing up that one time she was on a video call, and misspoke as proof of her being an "airhead". That's one of their primary insults.

Ocasio-Cortez rips commentators for 'stalking' her livestreams to 'sow doubt' about intelligence By Aris Folley, The Hill 11/22/18
posted by mikelieman at 5:54 AM on January 4, 2019


That this thread exists, means they won.
posted by Damienmce at 5:58 AM on January 4, 2019 [5 favorites]


Not to mention the added pressure it puts on her.
posted by armacy at 6:02 AM on January 4, 2019 [2 favorites]


That this thread exists, means they won.

That's what they want you to think.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:02 AM on January 4, 2019 [31 favorites]


It's sort of funny to me how damn scared the folks on the right are of AOC. I'm glad she has the ovarian fortitude to deal with the constant attacks... It's pretty obvious she's their worst nightmare, she's a young, attractive, intelligent, strong, WOC socialist. I mean she may as well be Satan as far as the right wing is concerned.
posted by SystematicAbuse at 6:03 AM on January 4, 2019 [27 favorites]


Again I don't think anyone is losing their grip.

Oh boy I do. Yesterday I took a poke through the feeds of both the deleted account and the other originator (no link, y'all can find it yourself if you really want) of this and they're just off the deep end through the looking glass. So immersed in the QAnon paranoid conspiracy fiction that almost nothing they post is comprehensible without being as submerged as they are. Even their "explanations" of and replies to are cryptic nonsense.

In general I don't doubt that there's a level of coordination among conservative media regarding their talking points, nor do I doubt that some of the odder right-wing memes are deliberate insertions. But to believe that every bit of right-wing memery is deliberate action is . . . . well, kinda paranoid itself. Because it's unnecessary - it's been demonstrated time and again that if you can get people wound up enough about their fears and prejudices, they'll just run with it on their own. Q may have been deliberately created out of whole cloth, but the "genius" of something like that is that it will grow and spread on its own, like a virus. The AOC video was not specifically fed to anyone, it's the product of damaged paranoid people too trapped in their own confused psyches to see that most of the rest of the world won't understand the point they think they're making.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:13 AM on January 4, 2019 [25 favorites]


That this thread exists, means they won.

FFS, rightwingers aren't that smart and this isn't some 11 dimensional chess being played here, just two thickos finding something, anything to go lol AOC about and we'll get oddly erotic Ben Garrison cartoons about it for basically forever, but in the real world all it meant was that a lot of people had a laugh at the expense of these dickheads.


Also it turned out that there was actually a reason for that AOC dance and that was actually part of a quite interesting bit of internet/free speech/copyrightt & fair use history.

Also also it's inherently funny that these dudes would try to drag AOC with this video, but were so afraid of RIAA or whatever that they changed the music first, just in case.
posted by MartinWisse at 6:15 AM on January 4, 2019 [64 favorites]


More seriously, pretending like politics is a game of "don't think of an elephant" and then trying really hard to not think of an elephant doesn't just reflect a deep misunderstanding of politics, or political culture, or even the arts of media manipulation, it's also a silly way to go through life.

I'm utterly fascinated by the intersection of pop culture, "folk" culture—because what are memes if not the folkiest of folk cultures—media manipulation, politics, and copyright law here. But that's just life in the 21st century. What haunts me is the question of how anyone's ever going to successfully write a history of this era.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:17 AM on January 4, 2019 [9 favorites]


I feel like I've lost brain cells simply by knowing that this "debate" exists. Neither side looks great here.

I often wonder how history books will remember the era of social media. My high-school textbooks always talked about yellow journalism and William Randolph Hearst. How will the history books of 2119 talk about Twitter pissing matches, and the fact that the commercial media treated them like news?
posted by escape from the potato planet at 6:19 AM on January 4, 2019 [10 favorites]


windbox I'm inclined to agree. They're scared of AOC and they're trying to Clinton her. They're going to throw everything they can at her to get that same "where there's smoke there's fire" thinking going, and their ultimate endgame is to build up enough shit that the misogynists on the left can play the "there's just something about her I don't like" card to excuse themselves for opposing her.

So far it's been stupid shit, but in a way that's the point. They'll throw anything and everything they can at her, no matter how silly, and eventually a lot of the more thoughtless voters will just sort of vaguely remember her as "controversial" and the subject of a lot of negative press. "AOC, hasn't she done a lot of bad stuff?"
posted by sotonohito at 6:20 AM on January 4, 2019 [28 favorites]


I often wonder how history books will remember the era of social media. My high-school textbooks always talked about yellow journalism and William Randolph Hearst. How will the history books of 2119 talk about Twitter pissing matches, and the fact that the commercial media treated them like news?

I wonder if textbooks will include the phrase "shitposting" but it will be okay to say it because it's about history, like how you can say hell in church.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 6:25 AM on January 4, 2019 [30 favorites]


As always not gonna link the fuckers, but google news likes to show me Fox News headlines and upon her swearing in their headline was something like "SOCIALISM RISING!!!" with a blurb about how the Democrats are lurching hard to the left. They're scared shitless of AOC.
posted by tocts at 6:27 AM on January 4, 2019 [1 favorite]


How will the history books of 2119 talk about Twitter pissing matches, and the fact that the commercial media treated them like news?

The attacks on AOC are bullshit, but things weren't so great in The Olden Times either. Maybe if there is even an entry in the history books for this election cycle a hundred years from now, it will be to note this:

Total women in the U.S. House:

1989:
16 Democrats
13 Republicans

2019:
89 Democrats
13 Republicans
posted by gwint at 6:29 AM on January 4, 2019 [25 favorites]


So far it's been stupid shit, but in a way that's the point. They'll throw anything and everything they can at her, no matter how silly, and eventually a lot of the more thoughtless voters will just sort of vaguely remember her as "controversial" and the subject of a lot of negative press. "AOC, hasn't she done a lot of bad stuff?"

Pretty much. This is one of many to follow, a search for some chant-worthy absurdity to hang on AOC that will stick. The same way "emails" stuck on Clinton. It's a channel for anger at the temerity of AOC to be a popular, woman politician who appears to have joy in a video. Which pisses them of all that much more.
posted by 2N2222 at 6:30 AM on January 4, 2019 [7 favorites]


their ultimate endgame is to build up enough shit that the misogynists on the left can play the "there's just something about her I don't like" card to excuse themselves for opposing her.

Wait, misogynists are only that way because they have an excuse?

Spare me, also, please, from this idea that we're giving the right ammunition by dunking on them repeatedly. They will make up ammunition. They made John Kerry's Silver Star into a liability. They made "community organizer" into a slur. Fuck 'em. Point and laugh when they're stupid, because calm, rational, level-headed debate only elevates the stupid into respectability.
posted by Etrigan at 6:30 AM on January 4, 2019 [63 favorites]


The attacks on AOC are bullshit,

Well, yeah – but I'm not just talking about the attackers. I'm also talking about people who think that those petty, transparently cynical attacks are worth engaging with, amplifying, getting upset about, etc.

It debases everyone involved, and that's the whole point. Wrestling with a pig, and all that.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 6:33 AM on January 4, 2019


Please skip the both-sides-ism; ignoring attacks on people isn't the True Centrist Answer here or anywhere else for that matter.
posted by flatluigi at 6:36 AM on January 4, 2019 [44 favorites]


I took the original posting as straight-up sexism. When guys like Kavanaugh will have their youthful activities excused as being typical of their (male) generation, not a big deal, boys will be boys bullshit, and someone like AOC doing this totally innocuous stuff and posted as some negative example and not being given a pass (not that one is even remotely needed) -- yeah, that's 100% pure orange misogyny, and it's everyone's duty to mock them for it.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:38 AM on January 4, 2019 [18 favorites]


so, what i've learned is that, not only is ms ocasio-cortez fun to watch, but she was forthrightly dancing for our goddamn freedom!

revolution....dancing...something something. Now That's What I Call Solidarity!
posted by eustatic at 6:38 AM on January 4, 2019 [9 favorites]


This is one of many to follow, a search for some chant-worthy absurdity to hang on AOC that will stick. The same way "emails" stuck on Clinton.

Except they're engaging with AOC on her turf. It's one thing to attack a 70-something centrist with a large but shitty social media team, it's another to go after an under-30 DSA member who has lived without a reasonable expectation of online privacy for half her life.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:40 AM on January 4, 2019 [31 favorites]


I hate that the right is going after her so relentlessly, but god do I love how a single Democratic Socialist with a public platform for her words is like a five-alarm fire for the entire conservative worldview. They're so fragile that a freshman representative from a blue state sent them all into an existential panic before she even took office.

And yeah it's basically Hillary in the 90's all over again, they're so terrified of anyone listening to her message that they'll pull out all the stops in a sustained smear campaign, but: back in the 90's Clinton was trying to pander to a lot of the same people as the right with all the triangulation strategy stuff that 90's Dems won with, so poisoning the well for her was effective, but AOC doesn't need to play that game, her base is something the right doesn't even understand and certainly can't compete for.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:40 AM on January 4, 2019 [56 favorites]


"Dance like nobody is tweeting about you" - Conservatives’ obsession with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s high school, explained (Matthew Yglesias, Vox)
Politicians’ authenticity or lack thereof is a perpetual topic of criticism, and conservatives, who are strangely obsessed with Ocasio-Cortez in general, lately have seized on the notion that she is in some sense faking her life story. Melissa Mackenzie of the American Spectator explains it as part of a larger trend in which progressive politicians seek to identify themselves with oppressed groups for political advantage while themselves being privileged.

But that sentiment says less about her than it does about conservatives’ somewhat questionable grasp of ethnic and cultural identity, the millennial generation, and what appeals to progressive voters.


The Republican Party’s electoral performance with the youngest cohort of Americans is dismal, in part because young white people are more liberal than their elders and in large part because the white share of the population is lower in the younger cohorts. The fact that the youngest Democrats are also the ones likeliest to self-identify as “socialists” or otherwise espouse relatively far-left views only makes this trend more alarming to conservatives.

Ocasio-Cortez, as a young Latina, personally reflects those trends. But she’s also — as effective politicians tend to be — able to transcend the narrowest possible construal of her identity. She won a science prize, went to a good college, was in an indie rock internet meme video, and is a Star Trek fan.

It would be convenient for conservatives if she were in some sense a fraud rather than simply someone with crossover political appeal. But it just isn’t true.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:53 AM on January 4, 2019 [9 favorites]


Wait, misogynists are only that way because they have an excuse?

It's not that they (or racists, etc.) need an excuse, per say. It's more that they want to have some justification that they can say that aloud. Their like-minded friends will nod, and makes anyone who wants to call them on the misogyny/racism seem like the aggressor. "No, I'm not a racist--look at my black friend! There is something about that person I just don't trust. You can't tell me you haven't seen it on the news."

Source: my mom, about Obama.
posted by MrGuilt at 6:54 AM on January 4, 2019 [8 favorites]


I mean, this "attack" is basically some rando on Twitter pointing at a person and saying: "she's a dumb poopyhead!"

And, yeah – I feel fine ignoring that. Because it's just dumb. This isn't about both-sidesism; it's about maintaining a certain baseline level of dignity for our discourse.

Just because some rando on Twitter says "okay, now we're going to debate [insert transparently manufactured nonsense controversy here]", doesn't mean we have to take the bait and let trolls set the terms of the conversation.

People who want to hate AOC (or Kerry, or community organizers) will always find a fig-leaf excuse for hating them. Unfortunately, there's absolutely nothing we can do to stop that.

People are treating this like the left needs to debate just the right Twitter comebacks as part of some eleven-dimensional strategy to "dunk" on the right, thereby netting a PR win. And, like – I just don't subscribe to the "sick burn" model of persuasion and political outreach. Sure – if you think it's funny, then laugh at it. But don't imagine that your mockery is achieving anything useful. The people you're mocking don't care – they already hate us, and will just take it as further validation of that hatred.

(And, yes – I realize that I'm only giving oxygen to the thing by participating in this thread.)

I've made my point, so I'll leave it here. Just...try to keep Twitter in perspective, please.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 7:00 AM on January 4, 2019 [6 favorites]


It's more that they want to have some justification that they can say that aloud. Their like-minded friends will nod, and makes anyone who wants to call them on the misogyny/racism seem like the aggressor. "No, I'm not a racist--look at my black friend! There is something about that person I just don't trust. You can't tell me you haven't seen it on the news."

That's the thing, though -- there is no "excuse" in that. Those people are going to say "There is something about that person I just don't trust" regardless of whether there is pushback. Precisely zero point zero people are going to be shifted away from supporting Ocasio-Cortez (or her policies) because of the pushback on this. Anyone who claims "Oh, I kinda liked her until her supporters started making fun of some anon rando on Twitter" is straight the fuck up lying.
posted by Etrigan at 7:03 AM on January 4, 2019 [18 favorites]


I don't think that there was anything more to it than to take advantage of an opportunity to call her a "commie nitwit". Goldwater-Nixon era reactionarianism never goes out of style.
posted by Chitownfats at 7:03 AM on January 4, 2019 [1 favorite]


I understand the "they'll throw everything at AOC until something sticks" theory, and find it plausible. What I don't find plausible is that this present instance of the strategy has worked for them, like, at all. Does it really count as one more straw on the camel's back if literally 90% of the people who look at the video respond with "How utterly delightful!"? Because that's far and away the prevailing tone.

I mean, given that most people found the video funny and charming, and given that the only people who didn't were already on the anti-AOC side of the debate, and given that they will object to literally anything done by any leftist in any circumstances, and forgive literally anything done by any reactionary, AND given that nobody's incurring real opportunity costs by watching the video, enjoying it, and snarking at the squares who attempt to shame her, rather than, I dunno, volunteering for a local group or something, what is the fucking problem here?

I'm becoming more leftist as I get older, contrary to the cliche, but I am deeply weary of the strain of leftism that seems to exist purely to scold others for having bad priorities, when the evidence for that is simply taking a moments pleasure in something trivial.
posted by Ipsifendus at 7:07 AM on January 4, 2019 [25 favorites]


Potato Planet makes a good point above, but I'm going to add one additional point to this:

Just...try to keep Twitter in perspective, please.

I think the people who need to read that sentence are the online media itself. I cannot begin to tell you how frustrated I am with the articles that discuss how so-and-so "destroyed" Trump or Pence or Ryan or whoever "with a single tweet". The single tweets in question are indeed cleverly phrased and prove the flaws in the original argument, but - the person to whom that "single tweet" is directed doesn't care. It will have no impact whatsoever.

And the danger of these "so and so destroyed with a single tweet" kinds of articles is that it leads the rest of us into a false sense of security in thinking that "okay, we're all done here, game's as good as won." And that's far from the case.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:07 AM on January 4, 2019 [25 favorites]


Neither side looks great here.

Yeah, it's a terrible look to... use Twitter? Or think that dancing is okay? Or have a young woman as one of your public representatives? Seriously, what in the hell are you talking about?

Also, the idea that this post by some conspiracy-addled crazy is part of some greater media strategy or is going to have any larger negative effect is, frankly, conspiracy-addled. Come back to reality. The situation here is literally that a hate-filled guy who is disconnected from reality posted something he hated thinking it would be damning because everyone else would hate it too, but instead most people said "Uh, actually that's really cool" and he was so angry and embarrassed about it that he deleted his social media presence. This is not a move by Republican strategists. It's a dumb channer forgetting that not everybody is like him because he intentionally never interacts with people who aren't like him.

And the idea that anybody is "wasting time" engaging with this or "wrestling" with it or "debating" it is ridiculous. The vast majority of people who responded to this spent less time total thinking about it than I did writing this post. The people guilty of wasting time on this are mostly here in this thread.

Beto was the same playbook

See, this is what I'm talking about. This idea imagines a situation that never existed and a strategy that never existed in order to imagine a set of completely non-existent reasons for the outcome we saw. The media attention on Beto O'Rourke wasn't part of some nefarious strategy that sunk an otherwise winning candidate. Beto O'Rourke was not winning his race when he started getting all that attention, and the attention (and the memes, and the "controversies", and so on) got him closer to winning, not further away. It was half a miracle that he came as close as he did. This is not a playbook or a strategy or a magic wand that conservatives figured out how to wave to blow up viable candidates. It's just desperate hateful people publicly performing desperate hate because that's who they are and that's what self-expression is for them.
posted by IAmUnaware at 7:11 AM on January 4, 2019 [62 favorites]


And, yeah – I feel fine ignoring that. Because it's just dumb. This isn't about both-sidesism; it's about maintaining a certain baseline level of dignity for our discourse.

Just because some rando on Twitter says "okay, now we're going to debate [insert transparently manufactured nonsense controversy here]", doesn't mean we have to take the bait and let trolls set the terms of the conversation.

People who want to hate AOC (or Kerry, or community organizers) will always find a fig-leaf excuse for hating them. Unfortunately, there's absolutely nothing we can do to stop that.


Here's the thing - we've tried it your way. For example, Kerry famously chose to ignore the Stolen Valor crew initially - and what happened was that their lies entered the discourse unchallenged, until it was too late.

This doesn't mean letting trolls set the discourse (as this thread shows, the stunt backfired in their face, with one left retreating to lick their wounds), but no, ignoring them is not an option.
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:19 AM on January 4, 2019 [28 favorites]


People keep saying this is her in high school, but it's not - it was while she was an undergrad at Boston University. That's why it looks so fancy - BU's brand is trying to convince people it is So Fancy!
posted by ChuraChura at 7:25 AM on January 4, 2019 [13 favorites]


I suppose that here's where we differ: I don't think that anyone fell for the Swift Boat nonsense because the other side failed to debunk it. They knew it was nonsense. They "believed" it because they wanted to hate Kerry, and someone gave them an excuse to do so.

I dunno. Maybe I'm wrong. My philosophy, at least when it comes to right-wingers on social media, is "never attribute to ignorance that which can be adequately explained by malice".
posted by escape from the potato planet at 7:26 AM on January 4, 2019 [2 favorites]


People are treating this like the left needs to debate just the right Twitter comebacks as part of some eleven-dimensional strategy to "dunk" on the right, thereby netting a PR win.

That may be the point at contention, there. Because I'm not aware of anyone "on the left" who believes that there is anything here to debate or that there's anything here at all except a charming video that intersects interestingly with a copyright dispute and a side of chuckling at twitter trolls.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:30 AM on January 4, 2019 [7 favorites]


I suppose that here's where we differ: I don't think that anyone fell for the Swift Boat nonsense because the other side failed to debunk it. They knew it was nonsense. They "believed" it because they wanted to hate Kerry, and someone gave them an excuse to do so.

But the other point is that because Kerry never addressed the matter head on, their "belief" was given legitimacy, which is what impacted the race. It turns out that if you don't actively debunk the kooks, other people won't think that they are.
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:33 AM on January 4, 2019 [5 favorites]


It's sort of funny to me how damn scared the folks on the right are of AOC. I'm glad she has the ovarian fortitude to deal with the constant attacks... It's pretty obvious she's their worst nightmare, she's a young, attractive, intelligent, strong, WOC socialist. I mean she may as well be Satan as far as the right wing is concerned.

I can't stop seeing everything through Clawsome's excellent comment a year ago
"I think that toxic masculinity can be boiled down to the idea that the world is divided into fuckers and fuckees. If you don't constantly demonstrate that you're a fucker, you get turned into a fuckee. Being a fucker is the essence of manliness."
And so they are literally terrified of being the bottom in any relationship, any woman who is strong, successful, and competent is an existential threat to their self-perception of themselves. Charitably the best that could be said is that they are broken people.
posted by mikelieman at 7:34 AM on January 4, 2019 [26 favorites]


People are treating this like the left needs to debate just the right Twitter comebacks as part of some eleven-dimensional strategy to "dunk" on the right, thereby netting a PR win. And, like – I just don't subscribe to the "sick burn" model of persuasion and political outreach. Sure – if you think it's funny, then laugh at it. But don't imagine that your mockery is achieving anything useful.

Whoa, what did that strawman ever do to you? No, no people are treating this like that. No person has ever treated this like that. It's very telling that in order to come up with a way that this common Twitter interaction was actually the right totally dominating us people are having to contort themselves into saying that nothing on Twitter can ever possibly matter at all but simultaneously that responding to or acknowledging the words of right-wingers on Twitter is playing into their nefarious plot which will obviously destroy all of our candidates.

You're desperate to dunk on what you're saying is a bad model of persuasion and political outreach, but that model of persuasion and political outreach doesn't exist. Nobody is trying to reach out to or persuade the guy who is so filled with hate for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that the mere sight of her having a good time has filled him with the need to take her down a peg. What would be the point? More to the point, how stupid do you have to imagine people to be in order to think that this interaction is how they would go about doing that?
posted by IAmUnaware at 7:39 AM on January 4, 2019 [14 favorites]


Sure – if you think it's funny, then laugh at it.

That is entirely what happened here.

But don't imagine that your mockery is achieving anything useful.

Do you really think solidarity isn't useful? A whole bunch of people (not all of them even particularly enamored with AOC) realized that they all agreed that this attempt to make AOC look foolish didn't work. That the people who tried it are not the meme/social-media Masters of Manipulation they'd like to claim they are.

Seems pretty useful to me.
posted by soundguy99 at 7:45 AM on January 4, 2019 [31 favorites]


Damnit, just look at her, eating those crackers. Surely if I share this video of her eating crackers everyone will finally see things my way.
posted by ckape at 7:46 AM on January 4, 2019 [10 favorites]


They don't have to be stupid, they just have to be in the conservative bubble.
posted by RobotHero at 7:46 AM on January 4, 2019 [1 favorite]


"This is the future the liberals want."
posted by RobotHero at 7:47 AM on January 4, 2019 [8 favorites]


Where is the evidence that acting as detached as Buddhist monks from the strum und drang of (admittedly dumb) everyday political discourse actually works? We keep hearing that liberals MUST ignore these people but I have yet to see it convincingly connected to a concrete negative outcome.

I'm not saying that @Qanon1776Trump or whoever should get 15 minutes on CNN and a NYT op ed, but you can look at his tweet and reply "lol she rules and you have brain fungus" in less than a minute and then go on with your life.
posted by mcmile at 7:53 AM on January 4, 2019 [26 favorites]


I suppose that here's where we differ: I don't think that anyone fell for the Swift Boat nonsense because the other side failed to debunk it. They knew it was nonsense. They "believed" it because they wanted to hate Kerry, and someone gave them an excuse to do so.

But the other point is that because Kerry never addressed the matter head on, their "belief" was given legitimacy, which is what impacted the race. It turns out that if you don't actively debunk the kooks, other people won't think that they are.


Tell that to Elizabeth Warren and her DNA test. Wrestling with pigs, etc.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:57 AM on January 4, 2019 [5 favorites]


I think after the last election, I take a narrower view of right-wing frothing, in that, even at its stupidest/most transparently false, it can, unaddressed, do damage.

I don't want AOC to get the Hilary Clinton treatment, where she eventually is damaged not by what she does, but by years and years of people talking about what they think she did.

On the other hand, you can't win this kind of thing with logic, either. So if ignoring it is out, and logic/reason is out, what do we have?

I think maybe the only thing that might work is sheer numbers. Clinton's vulnerability was partly due to her being isolated and singled out. There just weren't enough other women at her level/like her to provide any kind of herd protection, as it were.

So what we need is a thousand more AOCs, so many that even if you attack one, another is there to defend her or take her place.
posted by emjaybee at 8:07 AM on January 4, 2019 [12 favorites]


Kerry was a terrible candidate. The Swift Boat stuff was BS but he didn't have the charisma or momentum to win.
posted by grumpybear69 at 8:09 AM on January 4, 2019 [4 favorites]


I’m just so confused as to how they thought a video of someone looking cute and dancing well when they were 19 could be a smear. How dumb are these people?

It’s not that they’re dumb. To understand this attack you need to understand generational and cultural differences, specifically about who gets to be a politician, and who gets to be considered a Lady, and some weird social stuff around Latin American class.

I am very similar culturally to AOC in a lot of weird ways. Except my family was more culturally conservative /among Hispanics/, probably because, like a lot of Hispanic refugees that now vote Republican all the way, they were wealthy folk who fled a revolution with the clothes on their backs - and their understandings of what is right and proper and good in the world. When I came home with hoop earrings the response was so violent I didn’t wear them again for ten years. I shudder even now to imagine the response my father would have had to me dancing like that publicly, much less allowing myself to be videotaped. It would have been considered vulgar and low-class for a ton of things that go against these cultural rules on What Makes A Lady that are honestly no longer relevant in today’s society, as well as What We Do To Not Play To Stereotypes. She is dancing with her hair down! Her skirt is above her knees! She is bouncing her chest! Her knees open and close!

The attack is not “she did dumb things in college”, it’s “she is low class because she has sexuality, and thus not deserving of being one of the women politicians we allow to be a politician because of their gentle purity, much less one of the Hispanic politicians we allow in only because of the weight of their aggressive respectability.”
posted by corb at 8:09 AM on January 4, 2019 [51 favorites]


Tell that to Elizabeth Warren and her DNA test.

The existence of one tin-eared insensitive reply does not mean that all replying is bad.

And note that the Hon. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez hasn't (as far as I can see, as of 11:05 Eastern time Friday morning) said shit about this, not to mock it, not to apologize for it, not to demand that we take her seriously, nothing. There's a difference between @weedlord420 tweeting "Har har look at these John-Lithgow-in-Footloose-looking motherfuckers", or Nicole Cliffe tweeting "cannot wait for my enemies to post a video of me spinning around looking super hot with the shiny hair of youth and act like they just caught me breaking into the Watergate Hotel", and the person herself lending legitimacy to the "debate" over whether she should have danced on a rooftop in college.
posted by Etrigan at 8:10 AM on January 4, 2019 [17 favorites]


I'm also a Twitter noob, so I appreciate the definition of "getting ratioed hard".

Can anyone tell me why GIFs of Ted Cruz failing to dribble a basketball (taken from a Good Morning America segment) might be hidden from non-Twitter users behind a screen that states "The following media includes potentially sensitive content." ?
posted by filthy light thief at 8:12 AM on January 4, 2019 [2 favorites]


Can anyone tell me why GIFs of Ted Cruz failing to dribble a basketball (taken from a Good Morning America segment) might be hidden from non-Twitter users behind a screen that states "The following media includes potentially sensitive content." ?

A skin-mask awkwardly stretched over a bowl of haunted mayonnaise is bad enough, but when it starts to move?!
posted by leotrotsky at 8:14 AM on January 4, 2019 [45 favorites]


Tell that to Elizabeth Warren and her DNA test. Wrestling with pigs, etc.

Yes, it is also possible to screw up the addressing of the issue. It's worth pointing out that the actual problem with Warren's move was that it alienated allies by buying into racist ideas of tribal membership (and as those very ideas she bought into currently fuck over my wife, this is something that is rather personal to me.) But as was pointed out, just because one person screwed up does not delegitimize the idea that response is a good strategy.
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:15 AM on January 4, 2019 [8 favorites]


If I were a crueler man with more time on his hands, I'd post a lot of links to comments in the 2016 megathreads where people were LOL-ing about Drumpf and tiny hands. Just sayin'.

Can anyone tell me why GIFs of Ted Cruz failing to dribble a basketball (taken from a Good Morning America segment ) might be hidden from non-Twitter users behind a screen that states "The following media includes potentially sensitive content." ?

Twitter's "sensitive content" filters are not at all granular. Either everything your account posts is "sensitive", or nothing is.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:20 AM on January 4, 2019 [3 favorites]


The right see AOC as a threat and are going to dog her from day one so that when she finally runs for a big office one day, they can point to how unlikable she's been for years. It was what they did to Hillary.

The political genius of AOC is that she knows how to play the game: the proper response to these dummies is not engagement but mockery. She knows that they are acting in bad faith. So many centrist democrats have treated the far-right as good faith actors. She knows better and is winning.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:20 AM on January 4, 2019 [42 favorites]


If I were a crueler man with more time on his hands, I'd post a lot of links to comments in the 2016 megathreads where people were LOL-ing about Drumpf and tiny hands. Just sayin'.

Nah, that's different bc Trump's known to be pissed about the tiny hands mockery.
I somehow doubt that AOC's getting all huffy about this one.
posted by gaspode at 8:44 AM on January 4, 2019 [1 favorite]


The right see AOC as a threat and are going to dog her from day one so that when she finally runs for a big office one day, they can point to how unlikable she's been for years. It was what they did to Hillary.

The darkly fascinating thing about this kind of phenomenon is that the attention acts as an amplifier, making the person under scrutiny more famous to the point of almost demanding that people form an opinion of them. That sort of fame virtually assures they will remain in the spotlight as the media can't help but follow the ratings covering that person provides, further increasing their visibility.

For the people that hate the famous person, whether Clinton or Trump, the very nature of the constant visibility that makes them impossible to avoid only serves to increase the dislike and focus on any little detail that might give some even minute proof for the emotion, while at the same time those that like the person will find even more excuse or reason for doing so to push back against the haters because they've taken the other side, if for no other reason.

I wouldn't wish this dynamic on anyone who didn't actively seek it, and wouldn't want to see it for any that did, but if AOC can handle it, it's increasingly likely she'll be a major force in politics for a long time to come since having to know her and take a side is becoming a major issue for the opposing sides. It almost seems as if she's being pushed to challenge for the presidency someday at this point.
posted by gusottertrout at 8:44 AM on January 4, 2019 [8 favorites]


Tell that to Elizabeth Warren and her DNA test. Wrestling with pigs, etc.

That was Warren's own bed, one she made years ago. She's still fucking that up.
posted by maxsparber at 8:47 AM on January 4, 2019 [7 favorites]


note that the Hon. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez hasn't said shit about this, not to mock it, not to apologize for it, not to demand that we take her seriously, nothing

I hope she is savvy enough to see that the only winning move is not to play. As others have pointed out, the original content wasn't the point. The reaction is the point. The right feeds on left-wing anger. They seriously enjoy anything that gets people they see as their enemies riled up, and regard it as a victory. It's a weird sort of counting coup to them.

I don't know how much intelligence to assign to this tactic, but it does seem to function as a sort of asymmetric denial-of-service attack, where they drop in one bullshit tweet and get a thousandfold magnification back, enough so that their friendly media outlets—Fox and Friends et al—can, if there's nothing else damaging to the left that day, run a story on something that was originally too weak-sauce even for their low standards.

The reaction legitimizes the story, by providing "controversy" that can be reported on by serious-faced people in pinstriped suits.

And they'll be doing it every day, from now to Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:48 AM on January 4, 2019 [2 favorites]


Yeah, it's a terrible look to... use Twitter?

Yes. Yes it is.
posted by banshee at 8:52 AM on January 4, 2019 [5 favorites]


The darkly fascinating thing about this kind of phenomenon is that the attention acts as an amplifier,

Yeah, we're talking about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez but how many of us are even from her district? How many of the other 434 elected representatives can we name?
posted by RobotHero at 8:54 AM on January 4, 2019 [4 favorites]


I’m just so confused as to how they thought a video of someone looking cute and dancing well when they were 19 could be a smear. How dumb are these people?

it's not an individual dumbness so much as an societal one, and, in my experience, that society is perhaps best labelled 4chan. Not the entirety of it by any means and not exactly limited to it. But if you spend enough time mucking around on their /b/ boards as way too many (mostly) young (mostly) men do, I suspect it's easy to feel that this is just how the world is: a nasty, brutish realm where any and all expression of beauty, enthusiasm, joy is an expression of weakness and thus must be condemned and righteously so, or else ... ... ? Well, that's the point, I think, everything that's wrong with the 4chan view of things, the irrational fear of life-actually-having-positive-meaning that underlies the whole toxic cultural mess which that particular "society" represents. Because there is no rational downside to people dancing, having fun, being free, absolutely none at all.

Here's hoping that, in the wake of this, at least a few young fools catch glimpses of the poisonous void in which they've chosen to reside.
posted by philip-random at 8:56 AM on January 4, 2019 [4 favorites]


Trolling works, but only on other trolls. I'm not worried about the monsters. They will fixate on anything and make it a weapon that fans further hostility from other monsters.

I'm worried about the people who have been excluded from voting for one reason or another, or have not felt like they are included, for one reason or another, and I am perfectly happy to amplify that a socialist woman of color is in the halls of power now.
posted by maxsparber at 8:58 AM on January 4, 2019 [5 favorites]


@AOC Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: "I hear the GOP thinks women dancing are scandalous.

Wait till they find out Congresswomen dance too! 💃🏽

Have a great weekend everyone :)
"

click for video
posted by flatluigi at 9:04 AM on January 4, 2019 [34 favorites]


So I think the AOC stuff is only tangentially about AOC herself, although there is a whole incel "how dare this attractive woman exist in public" aspect. I think it's about branding Democrats, and especially the left wing of the Democrats, for a certain kind of resentful white person. (We often talk about these people as the white working-class, but I think that's an unhelpful short-hand.) Republicans have successfully convinced these people that the Democrats represent a coalition between elite big-city people, who despise those whom they see as less smart and sophisticated, and people of color, who are bought off with handouts and willing to be the dupes of the big-city elites. Everyone in this coalition is united around a desire to oppress hard-working, salt-of-the-earth, non-elite (by their own self-serving definition) white Americans.

So right-wingers are now trying to make AOC into an emblem of every reason that resentful white people should be alienated from the left wing of the Democratic Party. She is a person of color who doesn't proclaim the superiority of white culture. (They like POC whom they perceive, often wrongly, to be pandering to them, but she definitely isn't doing that.) She's also a coastal elite person. She grew up in a fancy suburb. She went to a fancy East Coast private college. She wears $22 lipstick from Sephora. She's pretending to be a hard-working, salt-of-the-earth, non-elite person, but it's a sham, just like the left and the Democratic Party. She's laughing at you while she dances around at her fancy school in her fancy lipstick.

So basically, you and I are going to look at that video and think that it's corny and cute and wholesome and fun. But someone is going to look at that video and see further evidence that the DSA is a conspiracy against their way of life. It's a dogwhistle, and nobody here can hear it. But that doesn't mean it's not working.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:05 AM on January 4, 2019 [10 favorites]


AOC’s response 5 minutes ago is perfect
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 9:06 AM on January 4, 2019 [14 favorites]


That makes alllll of this worthwhile.
posted by asperity at 9:11 AM on January 4, 2019


"From the oldest of times, people danced for a number of reasons. They danced in prayer or so that their crops would be plentiful or so their hunt would be good. And they danced to stay physically fit and show their community spirit. And they danced to celebrate. And that, that is the dancing that we’re talking about. Aren’t we told in Psalm 149: ‘Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song. Let them praise His name in the dance’?…It was King David. King David, who we read about in Samuel, and, and what did David do? What did David do? ‘David danced before the Lord with all his might, leaping, leaping and dancing before the Lord.’ Leaping and dancing! Ecclesiastes assures us that there is a time to every purpose under heaven. A time to laugh and a time to weep. A time to mourn and there is a time to dance."

-- Ren McCormack, national hero
posted by dnash at 9:12 AM on January 4, 2019 [6 favorites]


Yeah but one thing AOC gets (or seems to) that precious/Third Way/moderate Dems don’t get is that there is literally nothing on earth that will make those people like her. How much time did Hillary spend in the 90s bending over backwards to be more traditionally feminine (baking cookies!) and what did that get her?
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 9:13 AM on January 4, 2019 [29 favorites]


"I hope she is savvy enough to see that the only winning move is not to play."

I honestly don't know how savvy of a politician she will be. But she certainly is the most savvy social media politician I've ever seen (including Trump).

Honestly, I trust her instincts in dealing with social media issues more than I do anyone here on the Blue. (disclaimer: I follow her on Twitter; she's the only political account I follow).
posted by el io at 9:13 AM on January 4, 2019 [4 favorites]


So basically, you and I are going to look at that video and think that it's corny and cute and wholesome and fun. But someone is going to look at that video and see further evidence that the DSA is a conspiracy against their way of life. It's a dogwhistle, and nobody here can hear it. But that doesn't mean it's not working.

FURTHER evidence. Further evidence. The dog whistle is audible only to people who are already lost to reason. It will change no minds that are changeable. The people in the mushy middle, whose minds might be changed? It is very easy for them to watch the video. They will see healthy telegenic young people having fun, and conclude that the people who dislike it have something wrong with them.
posted by Ipsifendus at 9:13 AM on January 4, 2019 [7 favorites]


Some one on some long ago mega thread was like “I don’t want a politican whose good at social media!!!” And like, yes, yes you do, that’s gonna be the dominant mode of communication for the foreseeable future. Those Q&A cooking Instagram live chats reach a bigger audience then MSNBC. Dedicated political Twitch channels reach more young people then traditional media could ever dream of.

Like, the first YouTuber politican has already been born. This is the media now and you’d better get good at it.
posted by The Whelk at 9:19 AM on January 4, 2019 [24 favorites]


I mean part of the reason she’s so terrifying to them is she disarms so many of the classic right wing attacks.

She’s insincere: she comes across as ACHINGLY and DORKILY sincere
She’s an ugly crone: she’s lovely when buttoned down and can be strikingly beautiful when she dresses up
She’s no fun: again she seems like a fun dork
She has no sense of humor: anyone that posts a follow up video of them dancing around has a sense of humor about themselves
She’s uptight: nobody uptight would live Instagram from their very lived in kitchen
She’s a latte sipping rich liberal masquerading as salt of the earth: I mean on one hand there’s tremendous irony in the party that repeatedly runs rich sons for president but look how desperately they’re trying to get this to stick
You wouldn’t want to have a beer with her: kinda feel like you would? She seems fun

Which is why I think we’re seeing this terrified attempt to smear someone who should be an insect to the national party. I mean a freshman representative from a random New York district shouldn’t merit so much attacking, right?
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 9:23 AM on January 4, 2019 [25 favorites]


You wouldn’t want to have a beer with her: kinda feel like you would? She seems fun

Margaritas. Def. margaritas. I'm buying the first 2 pitchers.
posted by mikelieman at 9:27 AM on January 4, 2019 [15 favorites]


But you're assuming the "right wing attacks" are being made in good faith.

They're not saying she's literally an ugly crone. An "ugly crone" is any woman (especially a woman of color) who "reaches above her station" or otherwise refuses to play along with patriarchy. It's not that she doesn't have a sense of humor - it's that she's calling out sexism/racism/etc. ("Why can't you take a joke," they say, claiming their bigoted nonsense was done in humor.)

She can't both be a latte sipper and salt of the earth - only "real Americans" are salt of the earth.

it's just dogwhistley nonsense.
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 9:28 AM on January 4, 2019 [1 favorite]


No right wing attack is made in good faith cause they never have to be consistent or rational or based in anything other than destroying the other person it’s like Obama was a Muslim aeshist communist fundamentalist forgein agent , it’s pure power politics.
posted by The Whelk at 9:31 AM on January 4, 2019 [8 favorites]




Wow, the phony attempt at outrage at AOC's dancing is some tan suit-level of ridiculous. They are terrified of this woman. Meanwhile, wonder if Kevin Bacon has ever considered doing a Footloose sequel? He'd be playing the hip dad (granddad?) of course.
posted by fuse theorem at 9:33 AM on January 4, 2019


I'm just sad that AOC is too young to run for president. We desperately need someone to outclass the current crop of jokers for 2020.
posted by zeusianfog at 9:39 AM on January 4, 2019 [1 favorite]


The presidency is too powerful, too corrupt and too corrupting. We need a machine that produces more AOCs at all levels of power then we do a single executive.
posted by The Whelk at 9:40 AM on January 4, 2019 [36 favorites]




A lot of these arguments about left wing outrage being the point of right wing ass-showing only seem to make sense if you're not pre-emptively assuming that astroturfing wouldn't be used to the same effect anyway. It's an effort to rile up the base more than it's an effort to sway some mythical centrist one way or another, and they'll get that result regardless of the success or failure of some individual campaign. In other words, they're in a win-win situation: they win if the left engage with the transparently stupid attack because they get publicity, and they win if it's not addressed at all because then they can keep escalating it without any sort of resistance. On preview, it's what The Whelk says: a display of power. The point is showing Ocasio-Cortez (and her supporters) that they have less power than the patriarchy - giving more power and justification to their side, and demoralizing the left. Fighting back against that is directly counteracting their goal: it shows your average CHUD that their opinions are still unpopular, and it also shows other people on the left that there is support for Ocasio-Cortez.

People keep bringing up how Clinton was defamed during the 90s and early 2000s - but going by your own logic, what would the result have been if nobody had ever responded to those lies? Responding to attacks is as much about cultivating strength in your base as it is about punching back at the attacker, and I think that Democratic elecotral politics prove that an energized left wing base is far more valuable than trying to win over some thin margin of "independents" who have probably already made up their mind and are posturing in polls and conversations to seem above party politics. The type of person who will use some fabricated store of evidence about Ocasio-Cortez being unfit for whatever office will likely never vote for a meaningfully leftist candidate (or a woman or a person of color or whatever brand of poisoned brain is sitting in their skull). And more to the point, a person who is well aligned with the left (in theory) but sees their interests and their representatives being repeatedly sold out, stabbed in the back, and left undefended is far less likely to vote for that same candidate.
posted by codacorolla at 9:45 AM on January 4, 2019 [10 favorites]


She’s an ugly crone: she’s lovely when buttoned down and can be strikingly beautiful when she dresses up
Back in the early days of the blogosphere, feminist bloggers learned very, very quickly that if you're ugly, you're an unfuckable ugly crone, so nothing that you say matters, but if you're cute, then you're frivolous and dumb and a bit slutty, so nothing you say matters. There's literally no way to win. No matter how you exist in the world as a woman, it is disqualifying.

I think AOC is handling it the absolute best way that it can be handled. But I don't think there's anything that she can say or do that will defuse it entirely. Saying nothing doesn't work. Anything that you say won't work. You can be totally perfect, and you still can't single-handedly defeat racist patriarchy.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:49 AM on January 4, 2019 [26 favorites]


What amazes me is that conservatives in 2019 still think that it is a good idea to be the Preacher/Father in Footloose, a 34 year old movie.
posted by srboisvert at 9:57 AM on January 4, 2019 [6 favorites]


Responding to attacks is as much about cultivating strength in your base as it is about punching back at the attacker, and I think that Democratic elecotral politics prove that an energized left wing base is far more valuable than trying to win over some thin margin of "independents" who have probably already made up their mind and are posturing in polls and conversations to seem above party politics. The type of person who will use some fabricated store of evidence about Ocasio-Cortez being unfit for whatever office will likely never vote for a meaningfully leftist candidate (or a woman or a person of color or whatever brand of poisoned brain is sitting in their skull). And more to the point, a person who is well aligned with the left (in theory) but sees their interests and their representatives being repeatedly sold out, stabbed in the back, and left undefended is far less likely to vote for that same candidate.

See also: the media dullards who are furiously hand-wringing about Rashida Tlaib calling Donald Trump a "motherfucker".
posted by Copronymus at 9:58 AM on January 4, 2019 [5 favorites]


This is also how like, incel and alt right forum people talk about people they don’t like, they just go hog wild on every aspect of personal appearance or deportment no matter how minuscule or nonsensical it is. One that stuck in my brain was accusing a Turkish leftist with a German last name as being a “mongrel” and wearing a hoodie was a clear sign of a criminal mindset and indeed a sign he was ABOUT TO DO CRIME despite the fact that they had just admitted to wearing a hoodie as they posted like ten posts before. It never has to make sense, you just double down.

And since far right online forums are the vanguard of the Republican Party assume this will filter into mainstream talking points is about oooh six months.

(The Real great stuff is when they have to do this with someone who has like, traits they admire, like strong jaws or big muscles, they go into vapor lock and just accuse them of somehow faking it or being gay, obviously)
posted by The Whelk at 9:59 AM on January 4, 2019 [3 favorites]


Emma Goldman: Doesn’t want a revolution if there’s no dancing.
Qonservatives: Want a revolution against dancing.
Millennials: Dance Dance Revolution!
posted by rodlymight at 10:00 AM on January 4, 2019 [13 favorites]


I'm amazed at how well AOC handles the monumental pressures on her. She's like what, two days into the job, and for two months now she's been treated like the socialist messiah on one side and the ultimate evil on the other. The expectations are nuts! And on top of these projected expectations, she actually is among the first and most successful of a new kind of politician who is creating future political science dissertations and new rulebooks for how to campaign and use power in America with her every move. And that's on top of the pressures of being a young woman POC in politics and life. Oh and on top of that, instead of being a rubber stamp for lobbyists she's championing the downtrodden and has the burden of a duty to care for and wield power for those who get a raw deal in America. The weight on her shoulders is crazy and she makes it look fun, at an age where I couldn't even handle being a functioning human being. Raise a glass to her fortitude whenever you get a chance!
posted by jason_steakums at 10:12 AM on January 4, 2019 [35 favorites]


I think some of the people who think this was a bad showing by the Left because it's giving oxygen to trolls probably aren't 'extremely online' enough to really appreciate a good twitter dunking.

Among the extremely online (read: heavy Twitter users) the ratio-ing of these two dorks is about as definitive a one-sided ass-whipping as you'll ever be likely to see. A total annihilation.

Among the not-so-extremely online, who will likely only hear about this in a segment from the Chris Cuomo show on CNN, it probably seems more nebulous. (And it won't help that Cuomo will have on a panel of glib-talking nitwits to debate both sides of this latest "controversy" and the consensus inevitably arrived at will be "Boy, ain't politics just so darn entertaining?")
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:22 AM on January 4, 2019 [7 favorites]


In other words, they're in a win-win situation: they win if the left engage with the transparently stupid attack because they get publicity, and they win if it's not addressed at all because then they can keep escalating it without any sort of resistance.

I don't think win-win is really true, I mean it isn't planned out as a strategy in the first place, this video more likely just surfaced because some jackass found it and wanted to be the first to post it for troll cred in finding something new. Getting a reaction certainly feeds the frenzy they like to create, but they have no better idea of what it will lead to than anyone else. Giving Ocasio-Cortez attention can better her standing with the general public and draw more interest in her ideas overall just as easily it can harm her. The act of bringing her notice could work like it did for Obama instead of how it did for Clinton.

Ocasio-Cortez's career in politics is just getting started if she proves as inspirational as she's started out being, then their attentions could help give her more power, not less. It's difficult to become famous and even more difficult to get people to invest themselves in you. Ocasio-Cortez is on her way to getting both, mostly through her own efforts, but having the path made more plain by those who keep her in the spotlight and proclaim her importance.
posted by gusottertrout at 10:23 AM on January 4, 2019 [2 favorites]




To me, that right-wing tweet sought to minimize AOC's importance by introducing an image of her as a sex object. I have no doubt that misogynists opposed to AOC are much more comfortable picturing her (now both literally and figuratively) as a 19-year-old twirling gamine in a tight shirt than as a federal officeholder standing on the floor of the House in a pantsuit and actually voting on legislation.
posted by hhc5 at 10:34 AM on January 4, 2019 [6 favorites]


I raise a frustrated eyebrow at the infuriating creep of clickbait language into newspaper headlines. WaPo headlined this as "A video of Ocasio-Cortez dancing in college leaked to smear her. Instead, the Internet finds it adorable." SIGH. This is neither an accurate nor objective summation of the news story.

First of all, the video wasn't "leaked." As stated in the actual fucking article, it has been bouncing around the internet for awhile. Secondly, the conjecture about intent is softer in the actual fucking article, which said that the video (and the photo of Beto in his band) were "...surfaced by the right to seemingly smear the progressive politicians." (emphasis mine)

But even so, I find "smeared" to be an overstatement for all of the reasons stated by other commenters above; and based on the original right-wing tweets, a more accurate framing would be that it was posted to ridicule her. Again, TFA agrees, later saying "But if the point of releasing the video was to mock the young congresswoman, it elicited the exact opposite response..."

I am being so pedantic about the difference between smear and ridicule because WaPo's headline has us all shorthanding this as a smear now, which gives the damn thing more weight and a subjective spin. A "smear," even an "attempted smear" implies a hit of damage. The smear exists even if it fails. "Ridicule" is a bit more ephemeral; the reaction of the targeted person can diffuse it nearly out of existence.
posted by desuetude at 10:34 AM on January 4, 2019 [4 favorites]


Have Fox, Breitbart, Dailymail, etc., covered this video at all? To me, this doesn't feel like the right-wing "see what sticks" attacks on Clinton or John Kerry, because it doesn't seem like a coordinated effort at all, just a couple randos on Twitter.

I can kind of imagine people at Fox saying to each other, "Oh, John Kerry likes Arugula? Sure, let's try it." I can't imagine a professional propagandist looking at that video and thinking it could have any value whatsoever in smearing AOC.
posted by roll truck roll at 10:45 AM on January 4, 2019 [2 favorites]


I just saw the video on the... front page of Italy's biggest newspaper because of course. To be fair, it was an article saying how this was a failed attempt at discrediting the youngest member of Congress so they have it almost correct; it was a failed attempt at discrediting a young woman of color who happens to be the youngest member of Congress, a reality which scares the everloving shit out of them. Yay!
posted by lydhre at 10:51 AM on January 4, 2019 [4 favorites]


I hear the GOP thinks women dancing are scandalous.

She is great, but I'm not really seeing the supposed Republican criticism of her for dancing? All the news reports I see on google news (including the Daily Mail) are rightly saying how it's a fun video. The original tweet criticising her is just a dumb q-anon troll thing - seems entirely fake outrage that anyone real was ever offended by her dancing!
posted by JonB at 10:54 AM on January 4, 2019 [1 favorite]


I can't imagine a professional propagandist looking at that video and thinking it could have any value whatsoever in smearing AOC

Those professional propagandists keep on stepping on rakes by putting up captions enumerating the broadly popular programs she supports. She then gleefully retweets them. They aren't good at this.
posted by Space Coyote at 10:54 AM on January 4, 2019 [5 favorites]


The video was remixed by Jason Velazquez into this sendoff of the 115th Congress. Inspiring.

Bye: A music video. #116thCongress

posted by jjj606 at 11:06 AM on January 4, 2019 [3 favorites]


"Again, TFA agrees, later saying "But if the point of releasing the video was to mock the young congresswoman, it elicited the exact opposite response...""

Important to remember that headline writers are not the story writers. I assure you that writers of stories roll their eyes (sometimes) at the headlines attached to their articles.

I agree it isn't news, but the WashPost (disclaimer: I pay them money to read their content) knows what its readers will click on.
posted by el io at 11:06 AM on January 4, 2019


I hear the GOP thinks women dancing are scandalous.

She is great, but I'm not really seeing the supposed Republican criticism of her for dancing?


While AOC is clearly much better at the Twitter Machine than many of us, she's . . . . . kinda busy at the moment? Maybe doesn't really have time to parse every little detail about viral videos introduced by right-wing trolls?

Or on the other hand, if we wanna randomly speculate about people playing Nth-dimensional social media chess, how's about the idea that she totally did that on purpose? As in, she knows damn well no actual GOP politicians or staffers posted or retweeted that, but now she is baiting them to huffily deny their involvement. Which just furthers the spread of a video & meme that is clearly running in her favor.
posted by soundguy99 at 11:24 AM on January 4, 2019 [10 favorites]


She is great, but I'm not really seeing the supposed Republican criticism of her for dancing? All the news reports I see on google news (including the Daily Mail) are rightly saying how it's a fun video. The original tweet criticising her is just a dumb q-anon troll thing - seems entirely fake outrage that anyone real was ever offended by her dancing!

It is an incredibly dumb attack and the smarter right wing outlets aren't running with it. So the politically astute thing would be to imply that this is, actually, what ALL Republicans believe. That would force them to admit there's nothing wrong with dancing which would invite the ire of the Qanon chuds and other off-the-rails reactionaries, thereby sowing division between right wing media and the online right.

And that's exactly what AOC did with her response tweet.
posted by mcmile at 11:25 AM on January 4, 2019 [17 favorites]


She is great, but I'm not really seeing the supposed Republican criticism of her for dancing? All the news reports I see on google news (including the Daily Mail) are rightly saying how it's a fun video. The original tweet criticising her is just a dumb q-anon troll thing - seems entirely fake outrage that anyone real was ever offended by her dancing!

If the original tweet got traction instead of being immediately relentlessly mocked by the left the GOP would absolutely latch onto it and make it into some huge deal on Fox and Friends, Hannity, et al, so 100 points to Gryffindor for stomping out sparks before they become fires!
posted by jason_steakums at 11:28 AM on January 4, 2019 [6 favorites]


And that's exactly what AOC did with her response tweet.
Yup. Tie it to them and make them deny it.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 12:05 PM on January 4, 2019 [4 favorites]


"But raise a generation deprived of any sense of secrecy and no social safety net yet the belief anyone can rise on any given day, and the tools of shame and status are much less effective. Digital natives *do not give a shit* about how older people view them.

So we get a meltdown because a bunch of middle-aged dudes are suddenly realizing their definitions of socially acceptable/cool can no longer be enforced and a bunch of elderly dudes are realizing the status structure they’ve learned to manipulate is cracking."
John Rogers (@jonrog1) tying together observations on AOC, Paul Ryan, and Louis CK. He couldn't be wronger than wrong re: disco, but we'll let that one slide.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:29 PM on January 4, 2019 [9 favorites]


We will build a new world from the ashes of the old and all that
posted by The Whelk at 12:33 PM on January 4, 2019 [3 favorites]


> JonB: "She is great, but I'm not really seeing the supposed Republican criticism of her for dancing? All the news reports I see on google news (including the Daily Mail) are rightly saying how it's a fun video. The original tweet criticising her is just a dumb q-anon troll thing - seems entirely fake outrage that anyone real was ever offended by her dancing!"

ah, "fake outrage"

what a familiar phrase
posted by flatluigi at 12:46 PM on January 4, 2019 [1 favorite]


It's another example of how the right trolls their way into dominating any conversation about anything ever

yup. they have zero power to *create* a pop cultural phenomenon, but have compensated by instead being utterly dominant at leeching onto any existing pop cultural moment and souring it. the right is a cultural vampire, minus a vampire's sex appeal.
posted by wibari at 12:47 PM on January 4, 2019 [1 favorite]


I loved watching her dance. It made me happy.

Given 2017 and 2018, I don’t think we can under-estimate the importance of re-instating a tax structure that was proven to work in the past, a Green New Deal, and feeling joy.
posted by Deoridhe at 12:48 PM on January 4, 2019 [3 favorites]


National Review explains conservatives' obsession with AOC

Of note:

Fourth, and relatedly, Ocasio-Cortez is both young and Hispanic (specifically, Puerto Rican) in addition to being a socialist. There’s a certain strain among conservative immigration hardliners that argues that large-scale Hispanic immigration means importing all the political dysfunctions of Latin America

huh? Puerto Ricans are immigrants now?
posted by Sauce Trough at 12:49 PM on January 4, 2019 [7 favorites]


The author is explaining the view of right-wing racists. He's not saying that Puerto Ricans are immigrants, he's saying that "conservative immigration hardliners" conflate Hispanic ethnicity with immigration the same way that they conflate Arabic ethnicity with terrorism. The statement is not intended to be a description of reality but a description of how a certain group of people see reality.
posted by tobascodagama at 1:00 PM on January 4, 2019 [17 favorites]


I wish I could vote for her. She seems great. Smart, passionate, caring and has a good sense of fun. Might be crushing a bit over here.
posted by ephemerae at 1:11 PM on January 4, 2019 [2 favorites]


Don’t be fooled: “ratioed” is just your junior high algebra teacher trying to be cool with the youth. Next you know, they’ll try to make “quadratic” happen.

“Yo homeperson, these twinkies taste downright QUADRATIC.”
posted by dr_dank at 1:17 PM on January 4, 2019 [13 favorites]


In my life I will never hate anything as much as Republicans hate cool people having a good time.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:09 PM on January 4, 2019 [17 favorites]


Don’t be fooled: “ratioed” is just your junior high algebra teacher trying to be cool with the youth. Next you know, they’ll try to make “quadratic” happen.

“Yo homeperson, these twinkies taste downright QUADRATIC.”


OH SHIT ADVENTURE TIME WAS AN INSIDE JOB
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 2:29 PM on January 4, 2019 [13 favorites]


QAnnon is a serious liability for the GOP and they helpfully allowed Cortez to drop it right in their lap.

"Is this the kind of person you are?" is now the question every Republican candidate from dogcatcher on up should be required to answer every time they make a public appearance.
posted by East14thTaco at 2:59 PM on January 4, 2019


They’re not interested in containing it at all, Qanon has had two events like the guy with the gun showing up at Comet Pizza (Which effectively ended Pizzagate) and they’ve gone by without a blink.

They’re hurtin for vocal true believers and taking what they can get.
posted by The Whelk at 3:05 PM on January 4, 2019 [2 favorites]




It would be interesting to see the youngest member of the House in the US in conversation with the youngest member of the house in the UK (Mhairi Black)

I think they'd get on.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:38 PM on January 4, 2019 [4 favorites]


Hail to the Chief
posted by mbrubeck at 3:56 PM on January 4, 2019


In earnest, why is it always people on the right - however near or far - that are said to be playing nth-dimensional chess? I have a hunch, but other people might put it more, let's say, succinctly than I could.
posted by lilies.lilies at 5:00 PM on January 4, 2019 [3 favorites]


I always remember Obama being the first guy associated with that phrase.
posted by prize bull octorok at 5:02 PM on January 4, 2019 [4 favorites]


my2c: the army of joyless republican dweebs pestering her and being serially owned by AOC are a huge asset for her. I hope they continue to do so because they are accelerating her ending up the most popular politician in America. She is social media savvy, not a millionaire / carrier politician, can relate to real people's problems, shows initiative, is naturally charming and exudes positivity. These sort of things will always end up making her look good.
The idea that right wing trolls (in fact: any trolls) are so amazingly more clever than the rest of us - including seasoned politicians, social media campaign professionals and political scientists, is something out of the comic-book evil-villain mythos and is not grounded in reality. Dorks are dorks and influencing people on social media (and not just making them click on something, or buy something) requires vastly more than mere technical skills. It requires political and social skills and knowledge, and the alt-right is I'd wager where those skills and knowledge are in least supply.

And yes in the very good scenario for the US and the world, she'll become the youngest ever President of the United States soon enough.
posted by talos at 5:15 PM on January 4, 2019 [2 favorites]


I always remember Obama being the first guy associated with that phrase.
I’d go a bit further back to the George W. Bush era — I recall thinking that it was overused then because there was this almost obligatory cycle where the administration would do something which looked stupid (if only we’d known…) and some b-list right-wing pundit would tell everyone that it was secretly brilliant but we had to wait to see proof.
posted by adamsc at 5:29 PM on January 4, 2019 [3 favorites]


I always remember Obama being the first guy associated with that phrase.

I’d go a bit further back to the George W. Bush era — I recall thinking that it was overused then because there was this almost obligatory cycle where the administration would do something which looked stupid (if only we’d known…) and some b-list right-wing pundit would tell everyone that it was secretly brilliant but we had to wait to see proof.


Back when you would always hear the word "Gravitas" associated with the presidency. I haven't heard "Gravitas" in at least a couple of years now. I wonder why that is?
posted by ActingTheGoat at 6:52 PM on January 4, 2019 [1 favorite]


I haven't heard "Gravitas" in at least a couple of years now. I wonder why that is?

Very Little Gravitas Indeed
Zero Gravitas
Experiencing a Significant Gravitas Shortfall
Stood Far Back When The Gravitas Was Handed Out
Gravitas Free Zone
Low Gravitas Warning Signal
Absolutely No You-Know-What

yeah, so it turns out there was a shipyard that was running short, and then one of those bloody SC people went planetside in early 2016 to "borrow" some, and then it all got a bit out of hand.

actually this explains a lot
posted by automatronic at 11:23 PM on January 4, 2019 [8 favorites]


It's another example of how the right trolls their way into dominating any conversation about anything ever especially popular democrats. They very likely don't actually give a fuck that she's dancing in a video. This is part of the grift.

Unquestionably true, but one of the things that interests me about AOC is how deftly and tersely she turns these attempts against them on social media.

It's like watching a judo master use an opponent's force against them - with a swift twist of the wrist, they go crashing to the mat.
posted by ryanshepard at 6:36 AM on January 5, 2019 [4 favorites]




I liked watching the full Boston University video, because it makes clear AOC is definitely on Team Sheedy over Team Ringwald. That just makes me like her more.
posted by jonp72 at 9:13 AM on January 5, 2019 [3 favorites]


People keep saying this is her in high school, but it's not - it was while she was an undergrad at Boston University.

Although completely unrelated to AOC, there's the confusingly-named Boston College High School. Whenever you meet an alumna or alumnus you can see in their eyes that they're a little bit dead inside from having to explain it repeatedly.
posted by XMLicious at 9:25 AM on January 5, 2019 [2 favorites]


And also, perhaps more pertinently, there's the Boston University Academy, which is owned and operated by Boston University and is co-located with BU's main campus. No, Boston University alums don't find it annoying when people confuse their school for BC, why do you ask?

At any rate, AOC did not attend either BCHS or BUA.
posted by tobascodagama at 12:47 PM on January 5, 2019


the army of joyless republican dweebs pestering her and being serially owned by AOC are a huge asset for her. I hope they continue to do so because they are accelerating her ending up the most popular politician in America. She is social media savvy, not a millionaire / carrier politician, can relate to real people's problems, shows initiative, is naturally charming and exudes positivity

They're going to hammer until she makes a mistake, which will become the crack that they'll hang all of their future attacks on. Rinse and repeat.

The key is to shame these people (like fucking Woke Ann Coulter) so that they don't attack. Hit the bullies back, Republicans are a party proud of their pedophiles, rapists, racists, and school shooters. Don't let them forget it, and every attack on AOC is an opportunity to remind.
posted by rhizome at 1:12 PM on January 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


Personally I just fucking hate any effort to shame dancers, so let me just provide everyone with Richard Powers's bibliography of dance-hating literature dating back to the 1500s, so it's clear what these racist, sexist, classist assholes are all about
posted by gusandrews at 2:17 PM on January 5, 2019 [5 favorites]


spoiler: hating dancing is all about controlling other people
posted by gusandrews at 2:18 PM on January 5, 2019 [4 favorites]


I can't believe there are people comparing AOC's response to these attacks with the way Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton handled theirs. If you can't see the difference between someone genuinely enjoying dunking on bad faith trolls and someone responding to Trump like he's on a Ph.D. committee asking a good faith question then I don't know what to say.
posted by bookman117 at 11:18 PM on January 5, 2019 [7 favorites]


spoiler: hating dancing is all about controlling other people

reminds me of seeing Prince in 1988, the Lovesexy tour. Words still fail. The next day, a friend reported that the people behind him got pissed off at him and his girlfriend for dancing. "It suddenly occurred to me," he said, "That the one thing you should never tell someone NOT to do is dance. It should be in the Ten Commandments. It probably was, but the damned Pharisees replaced it, probably with one of the ones about coveting."
posted by philip-random at 12:17 AM on January 6, 2019 [2 favorites]


The thing about AOC that isn't getting a lot of play in this thread is that she's very good at using her personal brand to float policy. This kind of dunking deftly clears the air, ready for people to talk about the 70% marginal tax rate or the Green New Deal or action on climate change, and she's largely coherent, informed and prepared for those questions.

So I reject the concerns of those who think this is frivolous, or worse, right-wing jujitsu. AOC is dealing with this too, by framing the dirt as how the right-wing are scared of her policy ideas (because they have no good reply). Look at her response: it's not just "I'm not afraid of you", it's "I am at my senator's office, because you have to take me more seriously than I take you".
posted by Merus at 6:04 AM on January 6, 2019 [7 favorites]


For anybody thinking that the right isn't actually still trying to use these milquetoast nothingburgers as an attack, here's Gateway Pundit (a far right wing news site since 2004) with a screenshot from that dance video with the shocking news that: "EXCLUSIVE: Yorktown Elitist and Bronx Hoaxer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Went by "Sandy" Well into College at Boston U" linking to an article talking about how this is all evidence that she's actually a lying elite snob and not like you real normal Americans.
posted by foxfirefey at 11:25 AM on January 7, 2019


> Important to remember that headline writers are not the story writers. I assure you that writers of stories roll their eyes (sometimes) at the headlines attached to their articles. I agree it isn't news, but the WashPost (disclaimer: I pay them money to read their content) knows what its readers will click on.

Oh, I know. I'm not frustrated with the writer of the article, who makes clear distinctions as I noted. I'm frustrated with WaPo (I'm also a subscriber!) for headlines that fan the flames of partisanship. I know that headline writing has a whole other set of conventions and limitations -- and for a publication of WaPo's stature, I expect them to figure out how to write a clicky headline without misrepresenting the story.
posted by desuetude at 9:41 AM on January 8, 2019 [1 favorite]


> I'm glad she has the ovarian fortitude to deal with the constant attacks.

She has fortitude. You can just say "fortitude."
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:14 AM on January 9, 2019 [9 favorites]


I'm a white male straight Gen Xer, and I couldn't be happier that she's my representative. (Yes I voted for her.)

NO ONE expected her to win, and she beat Joe Crowley. And then her influence helped real Democrats to totally own state government, after a decade of Republicans stealing power. Don't underestimate her.
posted by fungible at 7:36 PM on January 11, 2019


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