On All In with Chris Hayes Tuesday night, Hayes and a panel of guests discussed Democratic candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and concluded that, in the end, her specific socialist policies don’t matter. After misrepresenting Republican positions, the panel arrived at the conclusion that perception of Ocasio-Cortez trumped her lack of substantive proposals.
New York Times’ Michelle Goldberg argued that Republicans might not be so easily seduced by the promises of socialism. She says that they not only find the language of socialism “quasi totalitarian” but the party “believes that, you know, first, you are talking about children deserving health care, the next second you’re being indoctrinated in FEMA camps.”
She connected Republican opposition to socialism to a belief in conspiracy theories and then accused Republicans of a slippery-slope fallacy. This characterization of the Republican positions, as opposed to a real consideration of thoughtful objections to socialism, went unchallenged by Chris Hayes.
Hayes went on to compliment Ocasio-Cortez’s “political talent” and claimed that the source of her rise “is a little beyond the message.”
Majority Report’s Sam Seder agreed, saying: “ I think the policy prescriptions are almost secondary.” Ocasio-Cortez can instead rely on her constituents thinking, “Do I think that person is authentic? Are they telling me what they believe? They are, and they seem to be pretty confident about it. And I think that goes a lot further than we imagine.”
Goldberg would later follow up: “I think that also she’s kinda parried that question really well. Which is, we are laying out a marker for the kind of society that we want to create. Right? I’m not kind of coming to you with a white paper about the legislation that I am going to introduce next year.” And this strategy certainly seems to be a winner because when she delves into specifics, her political acumen looks more like smoke and mirrors.
Talking heads on MSNBC agree, Ocasio-Cortez can skirt by on all fluff and no substance.
The full transcript can be found below:
All In with Chris Hayes
8:31:12 PM - 8:32:50 PM
MICHELLE GOLDBERG: I mean, I actually disagree that that goes beyond partisanship. Right? I mean I think you have one whole political party that has-- that genuinely does find this kind of language threatening and quasi-totalitarian and believes that, you know, first, you are talking about children deserving health care, the next second you’re being indoctrinated in FEMA camps. But, I think that, in as much as there are swing voters, and there are not very many swing voters anymore, you know in an electorate this polarized every election is a base election, but in as much as there are swing voters, they’re not the kind of people that beltway types like to pretend they are, these kinda judicious centrists, carefully considering. Those are the people I think who kind of are most motivated by appeals to their sort of basic material needs.
CHRIS HAYES: Let me just also say one thing here just to be clear. She also has a tremendous amount of distinct political talent. I mean, like, just to be clear, like these people are not created out of thin air, like she is very good at doing this. That doesn't just like, it is a little beyond the message.
SAM SEDER: Without a doubt. I don't mean to repeat myself, but I think the policy prescriptions are almost secondary. There’s nothing offensive in what she is saying in terms of like people wanting their kids to have healthcare, but the idea that it is being straightforward, that it’s completely laid out there, speaks to the broader issue that politicos don't necessarily contemplate but it’s just like, basically like, do I think that person is authentic? Are they telling me what they believe? They are, and they seem to be pretty confident about it. And I think that goes a lot further than we imagine...
8:34:40 PM - 8:34:56 PM
GOLDBERG: Right and I think that also she’s kinda parried that question really well. Which is, we are laying out a marker for the kind of society that we want to create. Right, I’m not kind of coming to you with a white paper about the legislation that I am going to introduce next year.