WATCH: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Says She’s Upset By Loss of Democratic House Majority — Which is Not a Thing That Happened
Democratic New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she and others find the “loss of the House majority extraordinarily upsetting,” despite the fact that Democrats did not lose their majority in the House of Representatives.
AOC held a virtual town hall meeting Thursday night, during which a constituent asked her to weigh in on Democratic losses during this year’s election.
“I’m in your district in East Elmhurst, and I have a general question about the House, and why did we lose so many seats, and what needs to be done to get them back next term?” read the question from an unidentified constituent.
“So, you know of course, the loss of the House majority is just extraordinarily upsetting to all of us,” Ocasio-Cortez replied, and then made clear she understood the implications of such a loss by adding “It’s upsetting to all of us who are invested in having a Democratic majority so that we can expand healthcare, so that we can raise wages, so that we can protect working people.”
But Democrats, while they did lose a lot of seats, have secured their majority with projected wins in 219 seats. It’s literally the first result when you Google “Democratic House majority.”
Ocasio-Cortez did not appear to notice or correct her error during the balance of her lengthy response:
And it’s also personal personally very difficult because to lose these people, you know, many of them are my colleagues, and I’m proud to call many of them my friends, and the idea that they may not be returning next term is very, or that they aren’t returning next term, is extremely difficult on both just a personal and a policy and a political level.
Why did we lose these seats? It’s very early to tell and I usually, I don’t think that there’s any one reason why any person loses an election. I usually tend to think that it’s compounding reasons unless of course that member, if there’s some scandal or revelation. But usually it’s not any one reason why a given candidate loses an election. And so I can’t say this is why or that is why, but I at least think that we can point to some contributing factors.
And again we won’t know for sure until we have a lot more data in, until the results are not only certified but studied. And you know, many of those results are in the process of certification but they have not been studied.
So all of that is just a disclaimer to say that this is not the end all or be all, but I have some thoughts. [Laughter] That I’ve shared over the last week to consternation, but listen, the fact of the matter is if we don’t get better, we’re not going to get better. And getting better requires honest and blunt assessment, if we’re not honest with ourselves about our failings, then how can we correct them?
And so you know, in my opinion there are very tangible ways in which the Democratic Party can be better. And I think a lot of that has to do with our organizing, and I believe frankly that our community is a model for the country, and people may roll their eyes and they may say ‘Oh, those are just a bunch of liberals in a deep blue district, they have nothing to offer anybody else,’ but I disagree.
First of all, I think that there’s a deep misunderstanding of our community and our district. Prior to my election, many people, from previous representation, many people would have thought that our district was highly moderate. And that it was much more conservative than what it actually was based on how, you know, previous administrations and previous seats had.
But our community is a community of organizers, and it’s not like this granola hippie college town, as you all know, we don’t have a college in our district. And I think perhaps because of my age people think that I represent, I don’t know, a college town or UC Berkeley or something, but we know that Queens and the Bronx are intensely working class, hard-working, diverse communities.
And a lot of the work that has to be done has to be on championing our policy and having a clear message and not running away from who we are and what we believe in, and every member in every district is very different, even you know people also lose different races for different reasons.
But I do think that we can be much much better in our messaging, and our mechanisms, and who we invest in, and really looking at how we even run these campaigns because as many of you know, there are some campaigns that are excellently executed, and other campaigns that aren’t. And I think we have a lot of room for growth there.
Speaking of “having a clear message,” here’s Ocasio-Cortez’s six-minute explanation of what “defund the police” means to her (spoiler alert: it doesn’t mean to defund the police):
Watch the exchange above via Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
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