Home > Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Musings, Philosophy sans Sophistry, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism > Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the Latest Incarnation of Political Grifterism

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the Latest Incarnation of Political Grifterism

Ok.. the title is a bit clickbaity, however the main point it makes still holds. But before we go any further, let me be clear about a couple of things. Firstly.. this post is not a criticism of all policies (allegedly) supported and promoted by AOC. In fact, many of them such as establishing universal single-payer healthcare or taxpayer funded post-secondary education are perfectly reasonable . Similarly, raising the minimum wage to 15 $/hr, building new multi-family housing units in cities, spending money on building better public transport systems and infrastructure rather than expensive and unwinnable “wars” on the other side of globe are reasonable and populist ideas. Sure.. I don’t care about the “New Green Deal”, “gun control” and other similar bullshit. But my point is, the policies she supports are not what make her a grifter.

Secondly, I am not implying that she is somehow a bigger or more pernicious grifter than people such Reagan40, Bush41, Clinton42, Bush43, Obama44 or Trump45. One could easily make the argument that vast majority of people who have been elected to office in every single democracy are grifters. Nor am I suggesting that she is any more corrupt and power-hungry than the generic establishment politician of your choice who has been elected to office. The point I am trying to make is as follows: AOC is simply the latest incarnation of political grifterism in american political system. Also, I do not have an issue with elected politicians being grifters. My real problem with her brand of grifterism is that it is will likely damage residual voter trust in system far more than the outright corny bullshit spouted by people such Reagan, Bush or Clinton.

In other words, her grifterism is more problematic than that displayed by your run-of-mill politico because too many people still see her as a genuine person. In contrast, only the brain-damaged or senile idiots ever believed a single word that came out of the mouths of scammers such as Reagan, Bush or Clinton. To understand what I am talking about, let us go back about a decade or so to a then rising presidential candidate known as Barack Obama. As some of you might remember, I wrote a short series about why the Obama presidency was a disaster for democrats. The very brief version is as follows: Obama pioneered a new form of political grifterism which combined great-sounding but completely empty electoral promises, appeals to identity politics, and the media-abetted scam of being somehow relatable.

While that grift got him elected, once with a commanding mandate and subsequently a barely adequate one, it destroyed most of the residual voter trust in system. As you might remember, Obama44 came after Bush43, a person whose administration was infamous for losing a massive amount of voter trust in aftermath of failed occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, mismanagement after hurricane Katrina, Housing Bubble of 2003-2007 and Global Financial Crisis of 2008. Which is another way of saying that public confidence in the system was already on a steep downturn when Obama came into the picture. While Obama ran an entire campaign centered around “Hope and Change”, he did not deliver on those promises- at least as far as the 99% were concerned.

His administration largely doubled and tripled down on the neoliberal policies of previous ones and immiserated the majority while rescuing the 1% and to some extent, another 9% aka the flunkies of the 1%. It is no accident that the opioid epidemic began under Obama. While his 2008 campaign was about “hope and change”, his policies led to the destruction of most residual hope left in USA. It is not an exaggeration to suggest that the anger and betray felt by most people during two terms of Obama led to a ridiculous orange troll beating HRC in the 2016 presidential election. Just as deliberate failures by Bush43 administration led to election of Obama44 in 2008, engineered failures of his administration led to the election of Trump45 in 2016.

So where does AOC fit in this picture? Well.. her grifterism is distinct from the one pioneered by Obama- though many of you might not be be able to tell them apart. Obama’s grifterism was formulated in the last days of neoliberalism before its image was permanently damaged in mind of voters. It relied heavily on being credentialed, appearing “cool”, talking like a CEO, projecting predictability and acceptance by rich white people. It also relied on identity politics and careful triangulation to make sure that he appeared promising to black voters while doing nothing to actually improve their lot. AOC’s grifterism is based on projecting fake “authenticity”, which is not surprising since we live in the era of YouTube, FakeBook, Twitter and Podcasts. It is also based on her being a woman, which is different from Obama’s identity politics of race.

Interestingly, AOC uses her Hispanic ancestry as a way to make herself look authentic than for race-based appeals. She has certainly learnt from the ultimate failure of Obama’s grifterism. But why do I keep saying that she is a grifter, just like almost every other politician? It has to with an observation about what she supports and what she does not. See.. the very few non-grifters in politics distinguish themselves by taking public positions which subject them a lot of ridicule by establishment. In other words, they frequently stand up for ideas that are unpopular with those in power. In contrast to that, AOC stands up for ideas that are either already popular (healthcare, education, housing) or are supported by a large part of the establishment (“gun control”).

The few somewhat unpopular ideas she stands for (new green deal” etc) are the ones that she knows have no real chance of becoming law. Compare her milquetoast positions to somebody like Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib who are actually willing to confront the establishment on some pretty controversial stuff such as the special relationship to Israel. Whether you agree with their positions or not, it had to deny that they actually stand for something. It is also not surprising that the dying MSM chooses to promote AOC in a far more positive light than somebody like Omar or Tlaib. And this brings us to why AOC’s grifterism is problematic.

See.. its main audience is made up of those who have not comprehended the enormity of Obama’s letdown or are naive enough to believe that “it will be different”. The letdown this time around is going to be as bad as that after Obama got reelected in 2012 and will destroy most residual trust in system. But at least somebody will get rich and powerful till that occurs.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. September 11, 2019 at 9:38 am

    I think I can follow your reasoning, but your post would have greater impact if you proofread it for grammatical errors and clarity. Thanx!

    • Jack Donovan
      September 14, 2019 at 10:32 am

      hey Bub,

      Im the real Jack…

      Get lost you hindu muffin vibrant!!!!

  2. doldrom
    September 11, 2019 at 10:22 am

    One of the developments in politics the past two decades which we see in many different countries is that the person in power lands up enacting policies more extreme than the opposition could get away with, but on the opposite side of the political spectrum than they are leaning.
    You saw this with Bush bailing out capitalism, Obama siding with the bankers against the people, the socialists in Greece selling the country to the troika to protect Greek oligarchs, Cameron introducing privatization to the NHS, etc. There is almost no country in which we haven’t seen such flip flops, where the right enacts things no conservative could abide and would provoke a storm of protest from across the aisle, while the left enacts things so reactionary that not even their right wing opponents could not get away with.

    It is the ultimate victory of spin and party loyalty overwhelming the political guard rails.

    • Another Commenter
      September 13, 2019 at 1:51 pm

      In the USA we see Republican administrations running up huge budget deficits, while Democrats tend to pay down the debt.

      Also GHWB enacted a tax increase after his “no new taxes” pledge.

  3. Someone
    September 12, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    AOC is one stupid ass cunt. She would have been of more use to society as a street whore or porno whore.

    • dafix
      September 12, 2019 at 7:26 pm

      Someone’s a little sexually frustrated……

      • Jordan
        September 13, 2019 at 12:43 pm

        Pretty bad piece when there were plenty of opportunities to outline why AOC is the biggest piece of shit in congress:

        1) AOC: “People concerned about facts than being morally right”

        2) AOC: “The Pentagon lost $21 Trillion!” (False claim because she clearly doesn’t know accounting)

        3) AOC: “The world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t tackle climate change.”

        4) AOC: voted in favor of HR1044 that would allow Indian H-1B visa workers to monopolize all employment green cards, a bill that Amazon, the very company she’s against for treating workers badly, lobbied to get this bill passed.

        5) AOC: “Who cares about the middle America? The coastal area is more educated and that’s all that matters.”

        6) AOC: “White makes are the problem” (dates a white male)

        You claim you have a PhD and yet, I find it quite absurd that you actually support a government intervention to hike up minimum wage to $15/hr. We saw how that worked out for Bernie Sanders staffers who had their hours reduced. The minimum wage is what keeps people in continuous poverty, and is quite racist.

      • Jack Donovan
        September 14, 2019 at 10:27 am

        Hey, uh, Jordan,

        Thanks for pointing out she is stealing our men…

        6) AOC: “White makes are the problem” (dates a white male)

        The one time you hindu muffins got it right with da memes…

        The rest of the time, you vibrants are scaring away new recruits from the wolves of vulvas, er vineland….

        It’s getting harder and harder for a skinhead nazi like me to get layer every day…

        WTF…varg, WTF…

    • September 14, 2019 at 4:24 am

      Maybe you misunderestimate her. Maybe she PLAYS THE ROLE of stupid ….

    • Rrk
      September 14, 2019 at 9:43 am

      You say AOC is dumb, yet you also say batshit like “the minimum wage is racist.” I think you’re less interested in AOC than simply sucking as much rich white cock as possible. But they won’t pay you a dime for it. Maybe if you got a wage increase it would help you out.

      • Jordan
        September 15, 2019 at 10:36 pm

        Perhaps you should go and do your research before you spew out nonsensical garbage here. Here’s Nobel Prize winner in Economics, Milton Friedman explaining it: Watch the whole thing but the minimum wage being racist starts at 2:00 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rls8H6MktrA

      • Jordan
        September 15, 2019 at 10:37 pm

        And here’s another one. Educate yourself before you come out here with your BS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9T5g76QIE8

  4. MikeCA
    September 13, 2019 at 5:45 pm

    This your most pathetic attempt at anti-Democratic propaganda yet.

    Come on.. democrats are their own worse enemies.

    After calling AOC a grifter over and over while spewing your nonsense attack on Obama, when you finally get to why you think AOC is a grifter it is because the Green New Deal doesn’t have a chance of passing Congress!?? That’s all you got?

    Did you notice the part where I said that Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib were far more genuine than her.

    That is just stupid. Are the Russians paying you by the word to write this blog? Or did you just spew out the anti-Obama rant to cover the fact that you don’t have anything to say about AOC?

    I wish that was the case, but nobody pays me to point out the obvious. I know why you think Obama was the greatest, or want to believe that. But look at what happened to the democratic party during his 8 years.

    While we are at it, lets look at your pathetic attempt to smear Obama.

    “Obama pioneered a new form of political grifterism which combined great-sounding but completely empty electoral promises, appeals to identity politics, and the media-abetted scam of being somehow relatable.”

    Oh come on. That is the Republican scam. Have you heard about post-truth politics? You remember Bush 43 being pitched as the candidate you would like to have over for a beer (even though Bush 43 had given up drinking).

    Yes and Bush43 is the worst president so far, by a large margin. But ask yourself, why did Al Gore lose so many states in 2000. Could it be because his plan was not able to get people enthusiastic enough to vote for him? Look at the dismal turnout for the 2000 election.

    “While Obama ran an entire campaign centered around “Hope and Change”, he did not deliver on those promises- at least as far as the 99% were concerned. “

    Obama became president in the midst of the worst financial crises since the Great Depression. It was worse than anyone realized at the time. Setting aside campaign promises, issue number one was how to get the economy going again. Obama worked with Congress to get a $1 trillion stimulus package that helped to create jobs and reduce the severity of the crash. This helped ordinary working Americans. Obama worked with Congress to get Dodd–Frank passed to attempted to regulate Wall Street banks and created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to protect ordinary people from abuse by big banks. Then Obama set out to reform the healthcare system with the goal of getting everyone covered.

    Have you read what Matt Stoller , who worked in that administration, has to say about Obama? And he is not the only one.

    You can criticize the stimulus package as being too small. You can criticize Dodd-Rank as not being strong enough. You can criticize Obama Care for not having the public option or not meeting the goal of covering everyone. That however does not detract from the fact that these were big accomplishments that helped ordinary people, not the elites.

    There are people who worked in that administration who now say otherwise.

    After 2010 when Republicans took control of Congress, none of Obama’s big ideas were going to get through Congress. He tried to do as much as he could by executive action, such as implementing DACA.

    Why did republicans take control in 2010 after the spectacular democrat victory of 2008? Could it have been due to people being disappointed by his performance in office? Think about why Obama got millions of votes more in 2008 than in 2012.

    All of these lame anti-Democrate smears are just intended to keep the Grifter in Chief in office for another 4 years.

    Frankly, I don’t care much for the Orange troll. But never forget that Trump is a symptom, not the disease. The very fact that a ridiculous reality TV show host could win against the ultimate political insider in 2016 tells you a lot about how much people are pissed off at establishment.

    Here is a YT video to illustrate the point I am getting at. USA in 2019 has more than a few similarities with later years of Wiemar republic.


    • Someone
      September 14, 2019 at 1:07 pm

      MikeCA, Obama was a fucking disaster. Not that Bush II and Clinton did not contribute, but Obama did nothing to make the economy stronger. Idealogues were appointed in the EPA and other agencies to make resource development more difficult if not impossible. Holder let the banksters go from the 2008 banking crisis and went to Wall Street to serve his white masters.

      One of the reasons I voted for Trump, which was not for Trump but against GOPe and Hildebeast, is that few of us could stand another four years of this BS. Trump is imperfect, but I can’t imagine waking up each morning knowing some ugly self serving dyke who hates America and Americans would be in charge.

    • MikeCA
      September 16, 2019 at 10:53 am

      Trump is simply engaging in Post-Truth politics.

      He talked about wealth inequality, but has done nothing expect pass another huge tax cut that makes wealth inequality worse.

      He talked about the evils of Wall Street bankers and claimed he would be so tough on them, but he has has bent over backwards to make them happy. Trump signed legislation to relax some of the requirements of Dodd–Frank and he has effectively shut down the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by appointing people to run it that are opposed to its mission.

      Trump promised to replace Obama care with something better, but the replacement that Trump would have signed, if John McCain did not have the courage to stop it, would have cut Medicaid for the working poor far below the pre-Obama care level.

      Trump says he is fighting for the working class, but everything he has done has hurt the working class more.

      People like Mr. Someone continue to love Trump because he trolls Democrats and people of color on twitter. People like Mr. Someone are not concerned about Obama’s policy, they are concerned about the color of his skin.

      Have you ever wondered why a clown such as Trump was able to win mid-western states which had voted democratic in presidential elections since 1988? Do you really think that all those people who voted for him in 2016 were ignorant of his numerous character Could it be that their disappointment with the ‘bait and switch’ of Obama’s presidency was so profound that they wanted to burn the whole thing down?

      How come Obama got almost 69.5 million votes in 2008 but only 65.9 million in 2012? Also, why wasn’t HRC in 2016 able to equal Obama’s vote total from 2012? Perhaps more importantly, why did Hillary in 2016 get fewer votes than Obama in 2008? Isn’t 8 years enough to add a few million more younger voters to the electorate? Ever considered that election of Trump was NOT about the bullshit promises he made at his rallies but about spiting an incompetent and effete elite which has zero connection with most people?

  5. marlon
    September 16, 2019 at 3:52 am

    Leave MikeCA alone. He’s just another hardcore deomocrat.

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