No one predicted the stunning victory of a 28-year-old Latina socialist in a New York City primary election for Congress on Tuesday.
But in retrospect, this political bombshell is a sign of the times — especially the deep desire for an alternative to the meek and compromised Democratic Party leadership that usually goes unanswered.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won the primary vote against Joe Crowley, a 10-term member of the House of Representatives, where 97 percent of incumbents running for re-election won in 2016. The last time Crowley faced any primary opponent at all, Ocasio-Cortez was 13 years old.
Not only that, but Crowley is the fourth-most powerful Democrat in the House and was thought to be a possible future House Speaker. He had plenty of money: According to Politico, Crowley spent $1.1 million on his primary campaign between the beginning of April and June 6. Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign spent $128,140 in the same period.
One of the top national leaders of the Democratic Party was beaten decisively by a card-carrying member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).
Ocasio-Cortez sounded the Bernie Sanders-inspired themes like Medicare for All that some liberal Democrats, even presidential hopefuls, have adopted. But she went further, calling, for example, for the abolition of ICE — in pointed contrast to Sanders’ feeble refusal to do so.
The New York Times seemed astonished to point out in its post-election analysis that “[d]ays before the election, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez had unexpectedly left New York entirely to travel to Texas to protest the ongoing separation of children from their parents who crossed the border illegally.”
And it wasn’t even close: Ocasio-Cortez won by a 15 percentage point margin.
Even more revealing is the fact that Crowley — the powerful “Queens County Democratic Party boss,” as the media continuously referred to him on Wednesday — managed fewer than 12,000 votes in a congressional district with a population of…