Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York has been, if little else, entertaining for pundits to write about. However, AOC is facing a stiff challenge in the New York primary that may end her reign as the socialist it-girl. It seems that one of her greatest or most heinous triumphs depending on one’s point of view, according to Fox News.
“As New York City suffers an economic crisis on top of the coronavirus pandemic, some are looking back with regrets at the left-wing campaign that forced Amazon to scupper a plan to bring tens of thousands of jobs to the area – arguing this project could have helped the Big Apple weather the storm.”
Back in 2018, even before AOC assumed her current position as a member of Congress, Amazon proposed to place part of a second headquarters in New York City where her district resides. The fiery socialist and a number of other anti-Amazon politicians led a campaign to stop the huge online retail giant from coming to New York. They not only objected to the huge tax breaks that Amazon was demanding but also to the company itself and its CEO, Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man.
In February 2019, AOC and her compatriots succeeded in their campaign. Amazon decided to cancel the idea of establishing a presence in New York and to take it and the jobs that would have been created elsewhere.
Fast forward just over two years. The world has been convulsed in the coronavirus pandemic that has not only killed hundreds of thousands of people but also tens of millions of jobs. A second Great Depression has been kindled which, even though it is likely to end when the pandemic is passed, has still created a great deal of suffering.
Ironically, Amazon is one of the few companies that is not only prospering during the coronavirus pandemic but is also hiring. The company’s business, which is to allow people to order just about anything and have it delivered to their doorstep within days, is perfect for a situation when people are obliged to remain locked away at home in order to inhibit the spread of the disease.
The fact that AOC likely has prevented her constituents from enjoying part of the prosperity that Amazon has been enjoying has not passed notice. Indeed, her actions may well have created an issue that will end her brief but exciting career in public office.
The issue came up during a recent debate between Ocasio-Cortez and her primary opponent, Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, according to QNS.
“During the debate, Caruso-Cabrera said that Bronxites currently struggle to find jobs, which could have been easier if Ocasio-Cortez hadn’t killed Amazon’s arrival to New York City. The challenger said that Amazon would have brought thousands of jobs to the city, aiding unemployed New Yorkers.”
Caruso-Cabrera also noted that AOC had opposed the Paycheck Protection Program that offers loans to businesses that agree not to lay off their employees during the pandemic crisis. Why did the congresswoman not support a bill that helps people who have been displaced by the coronavirus pandemic?
AOC hit back, claiming that the PPP bill and the Amazon deal would only help the wealthy. Instead, the United States should enact a new version of the New Deal, which would directly create jobs building infrastructure.
According to The Hill, Caruso-Cabrera accused AOC of being out of touch, remaining in her luxury apartment with a Whole Foods in the lobby while her constituents suffered. Ocasio-Cortez’s opponent even slammed her support for the Green New Deal as a divisive and unrealistic scheme. If elected, Caruso-Cabrera would work for specific projects that would benefit the district, including sea walls that would ward off floods caused by hurricanes.
AOC has two problems that endanger her reelection.
First, she has allowed her ideology to overwhelm political common sense. The Amazon deal was a no brainer. A few tax breaks that would have attracted the company to her area would have more than paid for themselves in jobs and resulting tax revenue generated by newly prosperous New Yorkers.
Second, Ocasio-Cortez allowed her status as a national figure with national issues consume her. Constituents of a member of Congress prefer that their issues be addressed first. AOC has neglected her voting base. It could be her undoing.