Democratic Party enlists Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to cover up Biden’s war crimes

On Friday, the New York Times published a lengthy guest essay by Gaby Del Valle acknowledging that Democratic Socialists of America representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is now the linchpin in the Democratic Party’s strategy to block the growth of opposition to imperialist war and genocide in Gaza and channel it behind Biden’s reelection campaign.

The comment, headlined “The Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez You Don’t Know,” drops the pretense that Ocasio-Cortez is an outsider challenging the Democratic Party establishment, instead admitting that the New York congresswoman is critical to saving the Democratic Party. “In straddling the line between outsider and insider,” Del Valle explains, Ocasio-Cortez “is trying to achieve the one thing that might just shore up her fractured party: building a new Democratic coalition that can consistently draw a majority of American support.”

The Times essay on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez [Photo: NYTimes/Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]

The role played by Ocasio-Cortez and the DSA has become all the more critical to the stability of the political establishment as student protests have spread at campuses across the country over Biden’s support for the ongoing genocide in Gaza. Only 9 percent of young people believe the US is on the right track according to a recent Harvard analysis, while one NPR poll from April shows Trump outpolling Biden among millennials and Generation Z.

Expressing the concerns of a section of the Democratic establishment, Bernie Sanders told CNN last Friday that he “worr[ies] very much that President Biden is putting himself in a position where he has alienated not just young people but a lot of the Democratic base in terms of his views on Israel and the war,” voicing the concern that “this may be Biden’s Vietnam.” CNN aired Sanders’ interview with the headline, “Biden cannot afford a boiling summer of protest.”

Enter Ocasio-Cortez, whose role (as the Times comment states outright) is “to channel their righteous anger into a political movement,” i.e., into the Democratic Party’s 2024 election campaign.

The elevation of Ocasio-Cortez is part of a long-term strategy by the Democratic Party to falsely present this arch-reactionary institution of American imperialism as a “progressive” vehicle for social change. The Hill recently published an article headlined “Ocasio-Cortez emerges as key Biden surrogate for progressives, young people,” which quotes various Democratic establishment figures as welcoming a more prominent role for Ocasio-Cortez and the DSA in the 2024 election.

Former Representative Steve Israel, a former head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told The Hill, “AOC has immense and sustained visibility with young voters and progressives of all ages. She can play a very impactful role in helping to unite them to stop Donald Trump. She can remind them about Biden’s success in funding climate initiatives, reducing student debt, and more.”

A campaign spokesman for Biden told The Hill that the president is “proud to have earned Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s support, and we look forward to working with her and our entire Democratic coalition to defeat Donald Trump this November.” After appearing with Ocasio-Cortez at a publicity stunt on Earth Day for his energy policies, Biden said, “Rep. Ocasio-Cortez of New York, you know, I learned a long time ago: Listen to that lady. Listen to that lady. We’re going to talk more about another part of the world too, real quickly,” he added, referencing Gaza.

President Joe Biden with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York and Sen. Bernie Sanders, April 22, 2024. [AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta]

Even for someone as practiced in sycophancy as Ocasio-Cortez, her praise for Biden amid the genocide in Gaza and police crackdown on protests in the US trawls the depths. During a recent appearance on Stephen Colbert’s late night show, she called Biden “a man of tremendous empathy,” praising the administration for its efforts to send a handful of aid trucks to Gaza. During an appearance at the end of April with Mehdi Hasan, she called Biden a “decent man” whose actions have “led to a de-escalation” in Gaza. She recently reiterated that she would support funding the Iron Dome, the Israeli anti-missile system, and has publicly supported arming the far-right Ukrainian government in the US/NATO war against Russia.

Even Democratic insiders acknowledge Ocasio-Cortez’s efforts to promote Biden and the Democratic Party confront the challenge of substantial opposition from her socialist opponents.

Del Valle’s comment for the Times explains that Ocasio-Cortez and the DSA’s congressional supporters are “routinely criticized from the left” and that “Ocasio-Cortez has taken much of the heat from leftist activists who see her as a symbol of the contradictions and compromises inherent in the political system.” Joseph Geevarghese, executive director of the former Sanders organization “Our Revolution,” told The Hill, “At the end of the day, young people are not naïve. They are not blindly going to say, ‘well, AOC or Bernie is for Biden, so I’m going to be for Biden.’”

Bound up with efforts to promote and elevate Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic Party is initiating new attacks on socialist criticism of her endorsement of “Genocide Joe.”

On Friday, Common Dreams published a diatribe against “left-wing AOC derangement syndrome” authored by former Democratic state representative Aaron Regunberg. In a barely-veiled reference to the World Socialist Web Site, Regunberg denounces “a segment of the online left,” saying “our movement needs to start calling out AOC derangement syndrome for what it is. It’s not just stupid. It’s not just cynical.…Relentlessly tearing down one of our most effective leaders … undermines our capacity to win.”

Regunberg praises Ocasio-Cortez and Biden for “helping the left win a series of progressive victories over the course of Biden’s first term,” a list which includes reforms as minor as better refunds for airline travelers whose bags are damaged in flight. “While it’s understandable to feel that Democratic failures on Israel/Palestine overshadow accomplishments like these,” Regunberg adds, “they don’t negate the concrete impact of such gains for millions of Americans.”

As Regunberg downplays the genocide in Gaza on behalf of Ocasio-Cortez and Biden, he fails to mention that he was supported by Zionist organizations like the Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs during his 2023 run for Congress in Rhode Island, and that one pro-Israel lobbyist told Jewish Insider, “While he is progressive on a lot of issues, his position on Israel was pretty much aligned with where we are. We are hoping that he will be a bridge, once he gets to Congress, with some of the more progressive members, on Israel.”

In June 2023, Regunberg defended the state of Israel when Representative Pramila Jayapal called it “racist,” with Insider quoting Regunberg as saying, “No, I do not think that Israel is a racist state,” instead calling it “an essential partner for the U.S.” Regunberg’s uncle, Brad Schneider, is a Democratic congressman and among the staunchest supporters of Israel. A September 2023 article in The American Prospect noted that Schneider “worked hard to keep AIPAC funding out of the [2023 Rhode Island] race” in order to benefit his nephew, who ended up losing the election.

Ocasio-Cortez’s ongoing efforts to provide political cover for the Democratic Party confirm, once again, the role of the DSA as a cog in the Democratic Party machine. For decades, the DSA has served to corral social opposition behind the Democratic Party, block the development of an independent revolutionary movement and provide the Democrats with a “left” veneer to better carry out its increasingly reactionary and genocidal policies.