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Leonard Pitts: GOP might want to stop messing with AOC



Memo to the Republican Party:

You may want to stop brass with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

She's a freshman congresswoman with no significant legislative achievements, so it makes little sense that you spend so much time and energy on here.

You'd think you'd learn. Yet, like Charlie Brown trying to kick that football, you keep coming back for more.

Sean Duffy, took aim at the Green New Deal, Ocasio-Cortez's wish list of social, economic and policy goals to the impact of climate change. He called it "elitist."

She responded forcefully. "You want to tell people that their concern and their desire for clean air and clean water is elitist?" She said. "Tell that to the kids in the South Bronx, which are suffering from the highest rates of childhood asthma in the country. Tell that to the families in Flint, whose kids have their blood ascending in lead levels. … Call them elitist. ”

That speech prompted another of your members, Rep. Andy Barr, to issue an issue as an invitation: "Come to Eastern Kentucky where thousands of coal miners no longer have paychecks," he said. "… Go underground with me and meet the men and women who do heroic work to empowering the American economy. "

Whereupon Ocasio-Cortez did what was not expected: she accepted, noting that the Green New Deal visions fully funding miners' pensions" because we just want to make sure we are investing in jobs " in mining communities

His bluff called, Barr backtracked. He withdrew the invitation, claiming Ocasio-Cortez had to first apologize for an unrelated Twitter spat about a different issue with another legislator.

As fig leaves go, it was Saran Wrap.

Barr's real concern was obvious. Namely, if his constituents ever got to meet and list to close up ̵

1; that is, without the horned-demon-with-"666 -tattooed-on-her-scalp spin you Republicans always apply – they might like here

Indeed, another Kentucky lawmaker, Rep. James Comer, suggested last week in an interview on "Hey Kentucky," a local public affair show, which you are "making a mistake picking on" Ocasio-Cortez, whom he described as smart and well prepared. Republicans, he said, "need to be very prepared when we debate issues that are having a hard time with."

And here, it seems apropos to recall how participants in a town hall convened by fox "News" recently caught people off guard by applauding another horned demon, Bernie Sanders. "Weird," tweeted Donald Trump.

Weird, indeed. The closed and musty silo that is conservative political thought.

Not to treat her like the Second Coming – she is, again, just a neophyte lawmaker – but her passion, her preparedness, and her pugnacity, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is conducting a master class on the power of light and air, using the notoriety you gift here to do so. A new generation of progressive leaders is surely taking notes. Start manufacturing hope. It would be nice to believe that's what you'll do. On the other hand, Charlie Brown always said he wasn't going to let Lucy trick him again.

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