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20 Nov, 2018 12:06

A conspiracy theory is born: US comedian calls Ocasio-Cortez ‘a Russian tool’

A conspiracy theory is born: US comedian calls Ocasio-Cortez ‘a Russian tool’

‘Russiagate’ seems to have claimed another victim. Comedian Jen Kirkman went into a full meltdown, starting by branding Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a Russian tool and ending with blaming Putin for messing up her life.

Representative-elect Ocasio-Cortez is a rising star of progressive politics, whose way to national prominence began after she defeated veteran congressman Joe Crowley in a Democratic primary. She runs on a progressive platform and wants similarly-minded people to get elected the same way she did – by challenging centrist Democrats and thus shifting the entire party to the left.

According to Kirkman, this is all a secret ploy of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who wants to divide the Democratic Party and “take over America.” On Sunday, she shared her suspicions about the politician with her 260,000 Twitter followers in a long thread that has since gone viral.

Navigating through the narrative is somewhat tricky, so here is the short version. Ocasio-Cortez says Democrats should focus on issues relevant to voters rather than Trump-bashing and Robert Mueller’s probe. And she also wants to challenge fellow Democrats through primaries. Kirkman thinks otherwise, but when she speaks out she gets criticized by what she believes to be Russian bots.

Which means Putin defends Ocasio-Cortez and she and her supporters are just gullible tools of the ‘Russian Active Measures’ (yes, they have to be capitalized, because apparently lowercased active measures are not scary enough, for Kirkman). She knows all about active measures. She once was a “radicalized” fan of Bernie Sanders, thought Green Party’s Jill Stein “was legit” and believed NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to be a hero. Apparently they all turned out to be Putin’s tools, because now she knows better.

And now a disenchanted and politically mature Kirkman is really sad when she is called a centrist. And she is “trying to be a voice for reasonable people who know from decades of activism and basic understanding of government that it’s INSANE to campaign against your party saying they care too much about the takeover of America by Putin.”

Hopefully, this was all some kind of audition for MSNBC’s extended Russiagate coverage, because if that rant went from the bottom of Kirkman’s heart, it’s really disturbing. Although the comedian’s rhetoric hardly stands out among what comes from centrist Democrats nowadays. All too many of them would rather blame Russia for Trump’s win and brand anyone challenging their preferred status quo Putin’s tools, “useful idiots” and other insulting names than make a shift.

Why that is happening is another matter. One can blame ideological rigidity, inability to self-reflect or banal fear of losing corporate donor money over endorsing a policy that the public wants and the corporations hate. Good luck wishing for the Russia probe to get you a national healthcare system, Jen.

Alexandre Antonov