The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has had a long-held policy of “blacklisting” any vendors or firms that help candidates who mount primary challenges against Democratic incumbents. As someone who successfully mounted a challenge against a Democratic incumbent, it’s safe to say Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) feels some type of a way about that.
The Washington Post reports that Ocasio-Cortez has formed the political action committee Courage to Change. According to its website, the PAC was created to “elect working-class champions who have lived the hardships we seek to eliminate—people who have experienced racial, economic, environmental, or social injustice firsthand.” According to Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign, the PAC has already raised $107,000 since its launch this past weekend.
Notably, Ocasio-Cortez has not paid her dues to the DCCC this year. Earlier this month she tweeted, “DCCC made clear that they will blacklist any org that helps progressive candidates like me. I can choose not to fund that kind of exclusion.” Money sent to the DCCC goes into helping fund and organize Democratic congressional campaign runs.
Some congressional Democrats see the move as unnecessarily divisive. Gregory W. Meeks told Fox News, “The goal is to be in the majority and the goal is, when you are on a team, I would think, to respect individuals whose districts are different than yours.” To which I imagine AOC responded, “I’m supposed to wear myself out for the team? What team?!”
This move further illustrates the divide between the traditional, moderate Democrats that have long been the status quo and the new wave of progressives emerging throughout the country. While some can see it as divisive, I ultimately see this as a positive. It’s simply good to have more viable options on the table. Half of our problems come from people playing politics as usual when everything is on fire. Literally. If this can help introduce some new ideas, spotlight newer, more modern voices or at the very least motivate the current establishment to shake off some of its complacency, that can only be a good thing.