GOP ‘Unity’: Let’s Unite To Attack Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez!
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez opened up last week about how traumatic the January 6 Capitol siege was for her as a survivor of sexual assault. Decent people would empathize, but decent people rarely make a home for themselves in the Republican Party. They're usually happier someplace else.
Joining the backlash bandwagon was so-called "good" GOP Rep. Nancy Mace from South Carolina. She took the opportunity to raise her profile by implying Ocasio-Cortez was a big fat liar. Mace said she had an office two doors down from Ocasio-Cortez and no insurrectionists stormed their hallway.
Ocasio-Cortez called out Mace for her "cynical and disgusting" attack. She noted that Mace told the State newspaper a different story barely a day after the Capitol attack.
Mace said she barricaded herself inside her D.C. office during the attack. Fearing that Trump supporters she had seen staying at her hotel might target her after she voted to certify the electoral votes, Mace said she decided to sleep in her office that night.
She said her children keep texting her asking if the protesters are gone.
Gee, why wasn't Mace more chill, if there were no insurrectionists literally storming her hallway? Mace, annoyed that Ocasio-Cortez reminded her of statements she'd made just a few weeks ago, tweeted in response:
"*FACT CHECK* I have not once discounted your fear. We were ALL terrified that day. I'm stating the fact that insurrectionists were never in our hallway... because they weren't. I deal in facts. Unlike you, apparently."
Mace does not deal in facts, apparently. Ocasio-Cortez never at any point in her Instagram Live account claimed insurrectionists were in her hallway. Maybe Mace is doing this to make her bones in Marjorie Taylor Greene's Pink Ladies Squad.
The one-term loser isn't the only one who promotes “Big Lies." Mace flat-out lied about what Ocasio-Cortez said, and when caught, kept repeating them. She's learned from the worst.
Daniel Dale dismantled the lies in his Facts First column for CNN:
First, the Cannon building is connected to the Capitol via an underground walkway that is frequently used by legislators, aides, journalists and others; the Cannon building is considered part of the Capitol complex.
Second, Ocasio-Cortez did not mislead about where she was during the insurrection; she explicitly explained on Instagram Live that her office is in a building near the Capitol.
Third, the Capitol Police instructed people to evacuate the Cannon building amid the Capitol attack. (The all-clear was announced less than an hour after the evacuation announcement.)
Fourth, a pipe bomb was found that day outside the office of the Republican National Committee, which is just down the street from the Cannon building. Google Maps puts the walking distance between the two buildings at 260 feet.
Dale originally gave Mace the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps she was mistaken because some journalists had taken Ocasio-Cortez's comments out of context. Although, Mace might've bothered speaking to Ocasio-Cortez directly or even watching her entire Instagram Live before shooting off her mouth.
However, Dale was less generous about Mace's motivations when the congresswoman immediately started fundraising off of her lies. She cruelly dismissed Ocasio-Cortez's genuine fears as mere “theatrics."
Rep. Nancy Mace is now fundraising off of her false insinuation that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez falsely said the… https://t.co/dzrtjhhs0l— Daniel Dale (@Daniel Dale)1612634402.0
Mace grossly claimed Ocasio-Cortez and other Democrats who want to hold the insurrectionist-in-chief accountable are exploiting the siege to advance their "radical left wing agenda." That's untrue. No one has added a Medicare for All, Green New Deal, Everyone's Gay now rider to the article of impeachment. It's Republicans who want to forget the attack ever happened for overtly political reasons. Mace admitted as much during her interview with the State.
"My anger not only stems from the violence last night, where four people died and people were injured, but everything (Trump) accomplished during the last four years of his presidency. That legacy has now been wiped out. It is gone, and we have to start over from scratch," Mace said, noting that Republicans will be the minority party in both congressional chambers during at least the first two years of Democrat Joe Biden's presidency.
Oh no! The previous White House squatter undermined American democracy and provoked a deadly attack on the US Capitol. Now everyone will forget about that great tax cut bill no one but Republican donors wanted or liked.
Mace has the nerve to ask her supporters for help with the fight she started. She boldly declares that Ocasio-Cortez can “pressure me all she wants, but I've never backed down, and I won't start now."
This is exactly why Ocasio-Cortez receives death threats: Republicans can't stop villainizing her even after she's described, in heartfelt detail, how she feared for her life. The MAGA mob murdered a police officer and blinded another. It's not hyperbole to say that if the same violent thugs found Ocasio-Cortez, they would've killed her. Nancy Mace had less reason to fear, not simply because they might've viewed her as on their mad king's side, but because they probably wouldn't have recognized someone who'd been in Congress for three whole days.
Ocasio-Cortez came to DC with big, visionary ideas. Mace represents Republicans who have no ideas or a vision more complex than "AOC sucks."
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."