Inside the Beltway: The many meanings of ‘AOC’
A reminder: “AOC” is the preferred designation for now-Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York Democrat and the subject of choice among many news organizations. Delighted journalists have banded about the term “AOC” in their coverage since last summer, and no wonder. @AOC is Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s Twitter handle, and the hashtag #AOC has dominated national Twitter trends on many occasions, most recently as #AOCDancing, after a vintage video surfaced of the lawmaker then a Boston University student dancing with abandon on a rooftop.
Her response to criticism which followed was to produce an updated version of the video, showing her dancing just outside her new office on Capitol Hill. It was a social media perfection as far as AOC fans were concerned, augmented by much coverage from the news media. CBS, for example, showcased Ms. Ocasio-Cortez on Sunday night’s “60 Minutes,” and her remark “Call me a radical” proved to be sound bite perfection for the press, as was a follow-up comment.
“I think that it only has ever been radicals that have changed this country. Abraham Lincoln made the radical decision to sign the Emancipation Proclamation. Franklin Delano Roosevelt made the radical decision to embark on establishing programs like Social Security. That is radical,” she told CBS.
Such fare will continue, though things could get bumpy when Ms. Ocasio-Cortez must explain record low unemployment under the Trump administration, or offer practical ways to pay for assorted benefits she supports, which includes Medicare for all and housing as a human right.
Meanwhile, is AOC a dream political brand? It’s complicated.
Another force is at work, in a very big marketplace. AOC is a very, very popular acronym. AllAcronyms.com, an online site which tracks such things, lists 499 verified uses of the AOC acronym in multiple fields by organizations, interest groups, government and military sources, plus academia.
Yes, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is included on the roster, listed as a “recent” entry. There are so many AOCs out there, in fact, that even the Oxford Dictionary includes an AOC entry, in this case as an abbreviation for “Appellation d’origine controlee,” a label used in the wine industry to guarantee vineyards are clear about where their products are produced.
But there is so much more. AOC also stands for Architect of the Capitol, conveniently found at AOC.gov. AOC.com is the website of a global computer monitor manufacturer. AOC also stands for administrative office of the courts, air operations center, age of consent, agent of change and annals of communism the list goes on. But then, so does politics, so we shall see.
SEEKING A CONDUCTOR
Veteran political observer Herman Cain had a thing or two to say about the Democratic Party following its noisy debut in the 116th Congress, which included an expletive or two.
“The Democrats have demonstrated that they are like a 200-piece orchestra where none of the instruments are tuned and they’re trying to play the symphony called ‘Hate Trump.’ And it’s not working. This is how bad they are,” Mr. Cain told Fox News.
$1 MILLION A DAY
President Trump’s devoted fans continue to contribute to an intense crowdfunding effort to help finance the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. “The Trump Wall” GoFundMe outreach has surged past $19 million, accrued in 20 days with donations arriving, on average, at about $1 million per day.
“If the 63 million people who voted for Trump each pledge $80, we can build the wall. That equates to roughly $5 billion. Even if we get half, that’s half the wall. We can do this,” advises the site, launched on Dec. 16 by Brian Kolfage, an Air Force combat veteran and triple amputee.
The organizer is prepared for the intricacies, citing legislation from Republican Reps. Warren Davidson of Ohio and Andy Harris of Maryland which essentially clear the way for this type of funding and ensure that 100 percent of the donations go for the construction of the wall and “nothing else,” Mr. Kolfage advises potential donors.
“We are working with a law firm on a legal document that will bind the government to using the funds for the border wall itself, nothing else,” he says. “We will hold all funds and not release a single penny until we have all legal aspects covered to ensure our money goes only to the wall.”
THE TRADE WAR
“The annual CES consumer electronics trade show in Las Vegas the biggest technology and consumer electronics exhibition in the world, with around 175,000 expected attendees and 4,500 exhibitors will kick off this week with about 20 percent fewer Chinese merchants. Not a big surprise perhaps, given the current U.S.-China trade standoff and a rising war of words between the world’s two biggest economies over leadership in a range of cutting edge technologies and innovations, such as artificial intelligence and 5G mobile networks,” reports The South China Morning Post.
“It marks a significant reversal for an event which has jokingly been referred to as the Chinese Electronics Show in recent years,” the news organization said, noting that 1,211 Chinese companies have registered participate, compared to 1,751 U.S. companies.
DISCUSSION OF NOTE
The University of Southern California’s Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy offers a forum Monday in the nation’s capital titled “The Weaponization of Social Media,” led by Emerson Brooking and Peter Singer, authors of “Like War: The Weaponization of Social Media,” published three months ago.
Though the authors cite President Trump as a brusque player is the “globe spanning information conflict,” they also claim they’ve figured out how “a new kind of communications became a new kind of war.” C-SPAN will be there. Watch live at noon EST.
POLL DU JOUR
43 percent of Americans say their personal life has gotten better in the past year; 49 percent of Republicans, 39 percent of independents and 41 percent of Democrats agree.
38 percent overall say their professional life has gotten better in the past year; 41 percent of Republicans, 33 percent of independents and 37 percent of Democrats agree.
38 percent overall say their love life has gotten better in the past year; 43 percent of Republicans, 33 percent of independents and 36 percent of Democrats agree.
35 percent overall say their mental health has gotten better; 41 percent of Republicans, 32 percent of independents and 34 percent of Democrats agree.
33 percent overall say 2018 was “better” than 2017; 58 percent of Republicans, 28 percent of independents and 17 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: A Morning Consult poll of 2,202 U.S. adults conducted Dec. 7-10 and released Friday.
Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin