AOC Gets 60 Seconds at DNC While Republicans Get a Bigger Seat at the Table
Republican John Kasich will enjoy a full speaker slot at the Democratic National Convention
With the Vice President selected, the Democratic Party is gearing up for the Democratic National Convention. To the surprise and frustration of many, it was announced that Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would only be allotted a 60-second prerecorded message rather than a full speaking slot.
The news confirmed the fear of many on the left-wing have that the most prominent voice of a burgeoning left-wing movement would be cast aside in favor of centrist, moderate, and conservative voices.
For her part, Ocasio-Cortez took the breaking news in stride and tweeted a poem about only having 60 seconds to speak.
Even prominent Biden supporter Charlotte Clymer spoke out against the decision calling it “absurd”. “AOC has done some of the most effective comms work of any Democrat in the country. 60 seconds is ridiculous,” she said.
But for many left-wing voices, the concern also stems from the other names on the speaking list, including the Republican former governor of Ohio John Kasich.
David Sirota, former senior adviser and speechwriter for the Bernie Sanders campaign, tweeted, “overjoyed that millions of progressives get a 60-second ad at the John Kasich concert.”
Time for Republicans, But Not The Squad?
John Kasich’s appearance on the first day of the DNC has been pitched as a “night of unity”. Kasich’s slot falls on the same day as Bernie Sanders’s speech, Joe Biden’s biggest competitor in the primary.
Kasich is part of a somewhat growing of “Never Trump” Republicans who insist they have turned their back on the party. And while the optics of nabbing a former Governor who ran in the Republican presidential primary, it has left the progressive wing of the party worried about their seat at the table.
There is little that unites the edges of the coalition the Democrats are attempting to build for the 2020 election. Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders have little in common politically with a governor who signed “one of the nation’s most restrictive abortion bans.”
And it’s not just Kasich, the Republican strategist hodgepodge at The Lincoln Project has gained notoriety on social media, a group of Republicans who have questionable intentions.
Biden has also looked to the ranks of Republican strategists for political help. Biden picked Republican strategist Ana Navarro to help drive Latinos out to the polls, a demographic Biden struggled with during the primary.
Setting aside what Republican strategists and right-wing think tanks want after Biden is elected, a larger question remains to be seen, are Never Trump Republicans relevant if and when Trump is out of the picture?
Despite the swelling number of coronavirus cases and deaths and an unprecedented pandemic-induced economic recession, Trump’s approval ratings have held steady and are actually at a higher level than much of 2017.
And while Democrats have cheered progressive victories over established incumbents, the radical fringe of the Republican Party has enjoyed its own victories.
Several QAnon-supporting candidates have won Republican primaries, with a couple looking like they are nearly guaranteed a spot in Congress due to the voting breakdown of their district.
Marjorie Taylor Greene nearly cemented her seat in the House after her victory in the run-off primary in Georgia. Greene was facing off with another pro-Trump Republican, but the candidate who believes in the QAnon conspiracy took home the winning prize.
Not only does Greene believe in a conspiracy theory the F.B.I. labeled a potential domestic terrorism threat, but she also holds extreme views on race and religion.
Greene is not the only QAnon sympathizer running for Congress, and while she may be the first to be elected to Congress in November, she likely will not be the last.