Ocasio-Cortez says being a waitress is just as good as being a member of Congress

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is taking issue with those who she believes are belittling her job as a bartender-waitress before she got elected to Congress. 

This is the second time in a month Ocasio-Cortez has cited her "skills" as a bartender-waitress in preparing her for life as a member of Congress.

New York Post:

Last month, Ocasio-Cortez championed the skills she learned in the restaurant industry after being praised for her questioning of Michael Cohen, President Trump's former lawyer, at a House Oversight Committee hearing.

"Bartending + waitressing (especially in NYC) means you talk to 1000s of people over the years. Forces you to get great at reading people + hones a razor-sharp BS detector," she wrote on Twitter. "Just goes to show that what some consider to be 'unskilled labor' can actually be anything but."

The woman who wants to end meat production and air travel has a "razor sharp BS detector"?  Mmmkay.

What waitressing almost certainly didn't teacher was paranoia.  Ocasio-Cortez sent out a fundraising appeal claiming that the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee is "coming after" her.

Jerusalem Post:

The release starts by quoting an "AIPAC activist" threatening the political careers of Ocasio-Cortez and her first-year Democratic colleagues, Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.

The quote, saying they are "three people who, in my opinion, will not be around in several years," was taken from a recent New York Times article exploring the political clout of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Except the "AIPAC activist" quoted, Stephen Fiske of Florida, confirmed to me that he has not been associated with the pro-Israel lobbying group for several years. The hardball he counsels in dealing with those who depart from centrist pro-Israel orthodoxies is not the style of the lobby, which discourages alienating safe incumbents.

The error is emblematic of the misconceptions that first helped spur the controversy leading up to Ocasio-Cortez's fundraising pitch, which was posted Thursday on Twitter by Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs.

Fiske's role as the chairman of a pro-Israel political action committee — unaffiliated with AIPAC, which is not a PAC — was the centerpiece of The Times article and seemed to confirm what AIPAC's critics, including Omar, refer to as its hardball tactics.  Omar has been at the center of a firestorm over Israel and anti-Semitism, fueled in part by a recent tweet charging that big spending by AIPAC had bought congressional support for Israel.

It's not a question of waitresses or any other blue-collar job being a disqualifying factor in getting elected to Congress.  I've discussed Kant and Erasmus with cab-drivers.  What people mean when they say Ocasio-Cortez should go back to waitressing is that her appalling ignorance manifests itself on a daily basis.

One can argue that her misconceptions about AIPAC are boilerplate anti-Semitism.  The all-powerful Jewish lobby threatening to take her down is emblematic of either ignorance or hate.

The Times article got much right about how AIPAC operates: The lobby itself does not fund campaigns.  Instead its members are expected to give to campaigns, and get perks (invitations to exclusive briefings, a chance to introduce their lawmaker as a speaker, more illustrious tags at conferences) if they are especially generous.  They also are expected to cultivate close relationships with their lawmakers, volunteering for them, and above all to lobby them.

But by making Fiske the poster boy for AIPAC, The Times perpetuates a major misimpression.  When Omar landed a seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, it reported that Fiske began calling lawmakers to complain and that he is "hoping AIPAC activists will punish" Omar with a primary challenge in 2020.

Ocasio-Cortez will continue to embarrass herself and her party not because she was a waitress, but because she is unqualified intellectually and emotionally to serve as a member of Congress.  She's not alone on that score.  Dozens of members from both parties should have stayed in their law offices or private businesses.  But most of them are smart enough to keep their mouths shut about things they know little or nothing about.

Thankfully for Republicans, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hasn't learned that yet.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is taking issue with those who she believes are belittling her job as a bartender-waitress before she got elected to Congress. 

This is the second time in a month Ocasio-Cortez has cited her "skills" as a bartender-waitress in preparing her for life as a member of Congress.

New York Post:

Last month, Ocasio-Cortez championed the skills she learned in the restaurant industry after being praised for her questioning of Michael Cohen, President Trump's former lawyer, at a House Oversight Committee hearing.

"Bartending + waitressing (especially in NYC) means you talk to 1000s of people over the years. Forces you to get great at reading people + hones a razor-sharp BS detector," she wrote on Twitter. "Just goes to show that what some consider to be 'unskilled labor' can actually be anything but."

The woman who wants to end meat production and air travel has a "razor sharp BS detector"?  Mmmkay.

What waitressing almost certainly didn't teacher was paranoia.  Ocasio-Cortez sent out a fundraising appeal claiming that the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee is "coming after" her.

Jerusalem Post:

The release starts by quoting an "AIPAC activist" threatening the political careers of Ocasio-Cortez and her first-year Democratic colleagues, Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.

The quote, saying they are "three people who, in my opinion, will not be around in several years," was taken from a recent New York Times article exploring the political clout of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Except the "AIPAC activist" quoted, Stephen Fiske of Florida, confirmed to me that he has not been associated with the pro-Israel lobbying group for several years. The hardball he counsels in dealing with those who depart from centrist pro-Israel orthodoxies is not the style of the lobby, which discourages alienating safe incumbents.

The error is emblematic of the misconceptions that first helped spur the controversy leading up to Ocasio-Cortez's fundraising pitch, which was posted Thursday on Twitter by Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs.

Fiske's role as the chairman of a pro-Israel political action committee — unaffiliated with AIPAC, which is not a PAC — was the centerpiece of The Times article and seemed to confirm what AIPAC's critics, including Omar, refer to as its hardball tactics.  Omar has been at the center of a firestorm over Israel and anti-Semitism, fueled in part by a recent tweet charging that big spending by AIPAC had bought congressional support for Israel.

It's not a question of waitresses or any other blue-collar job being a disqualifying factor in getting elected to Congress.  I've discussed Kant and Erasmus with cab-drivers.  What people mean when they say Ocasio-Cortez should go back to waitressing is that her appalling ignorance manifests itself on a daily basis.

One can argue that her misconceptions about AIPAC are boilerplate anti-Semitism.  The all-powerful Jewish lobby threatening to take her down is emblematic of either ignorance or hate.

The Times article got much right about how AIPAC operates: The lobby itself does not fund campaigns.  Instead its members are expected to give to campaigns, and get perks (invitations to exclusive briefings, a chance to introduce their lawmaker as a speaker, more illustrious tags at conferences) if they are especially generous.  They also are expected to cultivate close relationships with their lawmakers, volunteering for them, and above all to lobby them.

But by making Fiske the poster boy for AIPAC, The Times perpetuates a major misimpression.  When Omar landed a seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, it reported that Fiske began calling lawmakers to complain and that he is "hoping AIPAC activists will punish" Omar with a primary challenge in 2020.

Ocasio-Cortez will continue to embarrass herself and her party not because she was a waitress, but because she is unqualified intellectually and emotionally to serve as a member of Congress.  She's not alone on that score.  Dozens of members from both parties should have stayed in their law offices or private businesses.  But most of them are smart enough to keep their mouths shut about things they know little or nothing about.

Thankfully for Republicans, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hasn't learned that yet.