Progressive firebrand Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez acknowledged this week that Democrats are heading straight toward a bloodbath in the midterm elections unless something changes — and quickly.
But the solution she offered to solve the party's political problems is a puzzling, if not unsurprising, one. Essentially, the lawmaker urged her Democratic colleagues in Washington — including President Joe Biden — to dig their heels in on radically left-wing governance.
"We need to acknowledge that this isn’t just about [the] middle of the road, an increasingly narrow band of independent voters. This is really about the collapse of support among young people, among the Democratic base, who are feeling that they worked overtime to get this president elected and aren’t necessarily being seen," Ocasio-Cortez said of Biden and the Democratic Party's cratering poll numbers in a recent interview with New York Magazine.
Recent surveys have shown what some are calling a "5-alarm fire for the Democratic Party" ahead of the midterms as Biden's favorability rating has sunk to 40% and battleground voters increasingly see the president and his party as "out of touch," "condescending," and not up to the task of leading the country.
But for Ocasio-Cortez, the issue is not the party's fierce commitment to a radical liberal agenda; rather, it's the party's alleged failure to push that agenda onto the American people.
She does mean push, too. The lawmaker implicitly suggested that Congress is unable to legislate the types of policies the progressive base desires, and so Biden will need to use his executive authority to ram those policies through.
"If the president does pursue and start to govern decisively using executive action and other tools at his disposal, I think we’re in the game," she told the magazine. "But if we decide to just kind of sit back for the rest of the year and not change people’s lives — yeah, I do think we’re in trouble."
What are the policies that Ocasio-Cortez is advocating for? According to the Washington Post, they include enacting environmental protections, lowering health care costs, overhauling police departments, canceling federal student loan debts, and expanding protections for illegal immigrants.
The Post reported earlier this month Ocasio-Cortez and her 97 Democratic colleagues in the Congressional Progressive Caucus have decided to demand executive action from Biden on a range of issues in hopes that the actions will save the party from an embarrassing political defeat in November.
The full list of the caucus's executive action "recommendations" can be seen here.
If not for the damage it would do to the nation, Republicans would likely welcome such an approach from Biden. All indicators suggest it would only give the Republican base more to rally around come election time.