No one accuses Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) of being a constitutional scholar. Her vision of a radical progressive reformation of American society doesn’t worry much about “rules” or “procedures” that mark the rule of law forming the basis of an open and accessible country.
Radical leftists and “progressives” are not usually interested in what someone with an opposing opinion has to say, and that includes the president when he is not carrying the water for their agenda.
AOC spoke to the New York Times for an article published Sunday and said that Joe Biden is “sitting on” an “enormous amount of underutilized executive action.” She said that “there are things that Biden could be doing on the climate, student loans, and immigration,” as examples of her frustration with the administration.
She wondered why her progressive caucus is “taking this” legislative compromise when she sees a Democratic Party controlling the House, Senate, and executive branches. She lamented the loss of great legislative opportunity and Biden’s power to “do this stuff with a stroke of a pen.”
AOC also complained out loud that the Democrats have not passed voting rights protections that she wants to see. She said that in battling what she called “political nihilism,” it is essential that she “take some risks” for her base. AOC added that as long as she lives in the Bronx, “no one’s going to fight for me.”
Biden has taken steps to protect some legislative traditions, like the Senate filibuster rule. That approach has irritated AOC and other members of the progressive caucus. Biden has also frustrated progressives in the areas AOC mentioned by refusing to legalize Dreamer Immigrants, take executive action to forgive student loan debt, or issue radical climate change executive orders.
Between the pressure he is feeling from the radical progressives and his steadily tanking national approval numbers, Biden is left with few attractive choices that could satisfy everyone he answers.