The difference in how the media treats conservatives it considers to be extreme and progressives was on full display in GQ on Wednesday as Wesley Lowery penned a feature on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that came in at over 6,800 words while Cruz Valdez pitched in with a glamorous photoshoot.
The profile begins with AOC’s reaction to demise of Roe v. Wade and immediately makes clear that this is a puff piece, “Out on the steps of the Capitol, a group of lawmakers gathered to sing ‘God Bless America,’ a preplanned photo op that now read as hopelessly out of touch: Angry Americans were spilling into the streets and elected Democrats were singing campfire songs. Ocasio-Cortez knew where she needed to be. It wasn’t at a sing-along.”
For Lowery, AOC’s response to Dobbs shows why she is the glue that holds American progressivism together, describing her as “The right wing’s night terror in the flesh. To many foot soldiers of the fractured, contradictory coalition that is the progressive left, she represents something singular: the future. A revolutionary on the rise. The clear heir to an ascendant progressive movement. The best and possibly last—depending on how quickly some combination of fascism, religious fundamentalism, and climate change comes for us all—chance; a source of hope that things can get better in their lifetimes.”
Lowery eventually left the topic of abortion and turned to AOC’s role in the formulation of the Green New Deal and lamented that even Speaker Nancy Pelosi considered too radical and unserious, “And Pelosi, it needs to be acknowledged, directly paved the path for someone like Ocasio-Cortez. Yet that history makes it even more difficult not to note that the first woman Speaker—to date the most consequential woman in the history of American politics—chose, repeatedly, to publicly diminish the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.”
Looking ahead to the future, Lowery considered the possibility of President AOC, but AOC appears to be skeptical because “my experience here has given me a front-row seat to how deeply and unconsciously, as well as consciously, so many people in this country hate women. And they hate women of color. People ask me questions about the future. And realistically, I can’t even tell you if I’m going to be alive in September.”
Racism and sexism aren’t the only things holding back an AOC presidency. Lowrey also lamented that she would face the same system of separation of powers that every other president has operated under, “Even were she theoretically to become president, then what? She’d face a system—from the Senate to the Supreme Court—both empowered and inclined to thwart her most sweeping ambitions.”
That pesky Constitution, always getting in the way of progressivism’s grand designs.