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Mike Pence evoked the name of AOC last night, in a feeble attempt to radicalize the Biden-Haris campaign. Photo: Getty Images
Mike Pence evoked the name of AOC last night, in a feeble attempt to radicalize the Biden-Harris campaign. Photo: Getty Images

AOC might as well have been up on the Vice Presidential debate stage

If you’re going to talk about climate change, at least do it right. That goes for the moderator, too.

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For the second debate in a row, there manifested a forced conflation between the Green New Deal and the Biden-Harris campaign, in a feeble attempt to radicalize a ticket that would otherwise be quite tame.

Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) defended fracking, and even her record as Attorney General of California after Vice President Mike Pence “attacked” its questionable elements in relation to the disproportionate incarceration of Black and Latinx inmates.

Still, even during last week’s unsubstantial debate between President Trump and Vice Presidential Nominee Joe Biden, the world witnessed what can only be called a strange obsession with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), particularly from the Republican party.

Repeatedly, Pence called the New York Rep. by the informal, “AOC,” which, while it is her signature nickname, so to speak, the invocation of her trademark was no nod to her service.

The real issue was that somewhere along the way of the debate, during the Climate Change segment, Pence repeatedly referenced Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal environmental proposals and repeated Trump’s false claim that Biden wishes to ban fracking.

And while she does serve as co-chair of the Biden campaign’s climate task force, both Biden, during the first debate, and Senator Harris, distanced themselves from AOC, saying they do not support the Green New Deal. 

To this, there is a lot to unpack, and AOC did so already on Twitter. Firstly, she set Vice President Pence straight on her name, which for him, is not AOC.

“For the record [Mike Pence], it’s Congressman Ocasio-Cortez to you,” she wrote on Twitter, amassing over 700,000 likes in mere hours.

Next, she set the record straight on fracking, which the Biden-Harris campaign is understandably – from a tactical point of view – not cutting because of the job potential it provides to moderate regions in Pennsylvania. 

It wouldn’t be smart to say they would be cutting these jobs in the biggest battleground state in the nation, but it’s also not smart to create even more distance between progressives and moderate democrats.

Perhaps the real winner of the Vice Presidential debate — apart from that fly— was AOC. 

She didn’t even need to be on that stage, yet her policies were front and center. Not just her policies, but her image, and her image in relation to the rest of the “squad,” as a threat to the Republican party and whatever it stands for. 

She represents the powerful group of women that scares the likes of Pence. Yet, he couldn’t keep their names and the tactical buzz words of “radical” and “socialist” out of his mouth.  

“Fracking is bad, actually,” AOC wrote as the debate was happening, in a way many progressives would resonate with, especially now as the future grows increasingly grayer under the current administration. 
 

The Green New Deal was the winner, not because of how it was presented to the nation, but because of the relevance it has maintained over months since its inception. The Biden-Harris climate change plan, whether they like it or not, has not gained the same traction.

The way the Green New Deal was proposed, however, did it a disservice during the debate.

The entire climate change portion was bleak. 

Perhaps, this is a problem of the climate not being a topic of debate until this year — at least since 2008. 

But it’s also a lack of knowledge and practice on all sides, whether it be Harris, Pence, or the moderator, Susan Page, for the ineffective way she formed questions on the topic.
 

The Green New Deal, despite the tragic segment, was talked — and lied about — nonstop. It still maintains its status as one of the most comprehensive, effective, and standout plans to deal with the impending crisis in recent history. 

“It’s a massive job-creation and infrastructure plan to decarbonize and increase quality of work and life. It’s okay to call the GOP out on those lies just as we call them out on all their other lies,” AOC wrote

It keeps a conversation going, at least, on one of the most pressing issues of this generation. Pence exhibited his strengths as Trump’s mouthpiece, while Harris used her prosecution history to dominate nearly all segments.

But AOC might as well have been up on that stage, too, with the amount of air time she and her climate plan got.

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