Ocasio-Cortez donates over $250,000 to Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

New York Democratic Representative and Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently donated $260,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the campaign arm of the House Democrats.

This is Ocasio-Cortez’s first donation to the committee. Under conditions of growing popular hostility to the Biden administration, AOC, who is a key political prop of President Biden, is emerging as a significant financial prop of the Democratic Party in the 2024 elections.

From left to right: President Joe Biden, New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Edward Markey (Massachusetts) pose for a selfie, April 22, 2024. [Photo: POTUS]

The New York congresswoman is one of the Democratic Party’s major fundraisers. Since 2019, she has raked in more than $37 million.

In addition to the $260,000 transferred to the DCCC, Ocasio-Cortez’s political action committee maintains $500,000 that will be used to elect Democratic Party candidates across the country, especially in swing districts. She was one of the first Democrats to endorse Biden for reelection last year.

In an interview with the New York Times, Ocasio-Cortez explained her donation by emphasizing the “dire threat of Republicans staying in power.”

She told the Times:

The entire country saw a terrorist attack on the United States Capitol that was predicated on not certifying the duly submitted results of a presidential election. And if anybody thinks that that was not a dress rehearsal for what they may try to attempt in January of 2025, I’m sorry to say but I think that’s a very naïve assumption.

In a remarkable comment, she told the Times that she had “little confidence” that House Speaker Mike Johnson would take issue with an effort by Trump to overturn the election should he lose in November.

“This party has turned into a party of Trumpism,” she said.

What she did not say is that the same Biden administration which she supports has made a key aspect of its domestic and foreign policy the closing of ranks with the far-right Republicans to ensure the waging of war abroad.

The Biden administration and the Democratic Party have not only blocked investigation of the role of the Pentagon, the Department of Homeland Security and other state agencies in the fascist coup attempt of January 6, 2021, but on key issues of domestic policy, most notably the attack on immigrants, Biden has also adopted central elements of the policies of the Republican Party.

Despite this record, Ocasio-Cortez argued that House Democratic leadership, and the Democratic Party more broadly, have changed sufficiently over the last five years to warrant a direct, sizeable cash transfer.

She said, “If we take a look at it... the entirety of House leadership has now changed,” referring to the decision at the end of 2022 of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer and James Clyburn to step back from the top of the House Democratic hierarchy.

But what has actually changed? 

Old servants of Wall Street, responsible for decades of war and austerity, were replaced by younger, more “diverse” representatives of American imperialism, who are equally determined to protect bourgeois rule: namely, Hakeem Jeffries of New York as House minority leader, Katherine Clark of Massachusetts as minority whip, and Pete Aguilar of California as chair of the Democratic Conference. While the faces have changed, the policies have essentially remained the same.

In an open acknowledgement of AOC’s role as a prop of the crisis-ridden Democratic National Committee, Hakeem Jeffries praised Ocasio-Cortez for “helping us protect the integrity of the electoral process and take back the House in 2024.”

Indeed, Ocasio-Cortez has been working overtime to advance the reelection campaign of Biden and corral the growing movement of workers and young people against the genocide in Gaza, expanding imperialist war, attacks on basic democratic rights, the threat of fascism and unprecedented inequality behind the Democratic Party.

Over the last several weeks, Ocasio-Cortez has been making the rounds on the talk show circuit stumping for Biden and the Democratic Party. In an appearance on “The Late Show” with Stephen Colbert last week, Ocasio-Cortez described Biden as “a man of tremendous empathy.”

She added that the Democratic Party “has always been a coalition party,” bringing “everyone together, every time.” She voiced support for the “Uncommitted Movement,“ the campaign in a number of Democratic primary elections to vote “uncommitted” instead for Biden, telling her host that it is critical to keep anti-war sentiment chained to the Democratic Party by making it appear that protesters are “being seen” by the Biden administration.

The week before the interview with Ocasio-Cortez, Colbert participated in the mega-Democratic Party fundraiser for Biden’s reelection campaign at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Colbert conducted a three-way interview with Biden and former Democratic presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. All three war criminals defended the genocide in Gaza while protesters in the audience were dragged out of the hall and demonstrators outside were pushed around by the New York Police Department (NYPD).

In an interview with former MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan at the launch of his new media platform, Zeteo, earlier this month, Ocasio-Cortez stated, in response to a question about how to convince young people to vote for Biden in the election:

I have a vested interest in protecting democracy, not just here, domestically, but globally. I truly do not believe this is a lesser of two evils type of situation. I think about what conditions I want to be organizing under in the next four years… I would rather be organizing under conditions of Biden as an opponent on an issue than Trump, who seeks to dismantle American democracy. We will not be able to organize for any movement towards anything if we are facing the jailing of dissidents. This is the kind of authoritarianism that [Trump] is threatening.

Shortly after she spoke with Hasan, an anti-genocide student protest encampment at Columbia University in New York City was raided by NYPD officers and over 100 students were arrested. This was carried out on the orders of the Columbia University administration, in close coordination with the Democratic administrations of New York City mayor Eric Adams and the White House.

AOC’s political role is a confirmation of the WSWS’s analysis of the politics and social layer she represents. Far from being a “socialist,” AOC exemplifies the contemporary petty-bourgeois pseudo-left careerist, dedicated above all to the preservation of the social system to which she owes her privileges: capitalism.

She and those like her are not only not “socialist,” but are actively hostile to socialism and the working class. Their principal political function consists in disorienting and confusing workers and young people who are looking for a genuine democratic and socialist alternative and tying them to the Democratic Party. 

For years, Ocasio-Cortez and the Democratic Socialists of America faction in the Democratic Party have played a central role in advancing the war aims of American imperialism abroad and attacks on the working class at home. Since the beginning of her political career, handpicked by Democratic Party organizations to run for Congress, Ocasio-Cortez has functioned as a “left” face of the Democratic Party to prop up this party of imperialist war, and to strangle efforts to build an independent, socialist movement of the working class in opposition to capitalism.

Particularly over the last four years, the left façade of Ocasio-Cortez has crumbled. In 2021, Ocasio-Cortez attacked socialist critics of the Biden administration as “privileged” and “bad faith actors,” while praising the Democratic Party for “totally reinvent[ing] themselves in a far more progressive direction.” She specifically denounced “class essentialists,” restating the anti-communist trope that Marxists “de-prioritize human rights.”

Two weeks later, it was reported that she transferred $160,000 in campaign funds to a slate that included former operatives of the CIA and the military.

She has increasingly acted as a leading spokesperson for the Biden administration and has openly supported the war aims of American imperialism. In 2022, the pseudo-left faction of the Democrats played a critical role in passing enormous war spending and banning a national strike of railroad workers.

Last August, Ocasio-Cortez implicitly acknowledged her role as a loyal agent of American imperialism, telling the New York Times:

I wouldn’t necessarily characterize my foreign policy goals as oppositional to the president’s or to the United States. I am a member of Congress. I have sworn an oath to this country, and I take that oath very seriously.

More recently, AOC and the “Squad” repeatedly voted for billions of dollars for the war against Russia in Ukraine, which has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian and Russian workers and youth.

In an illustration of the policy of the Democratic Party, Ocasio-Cortez made clear on Twitter/X, in response to criticism from the right, that she was willing to work with Republicans to pass funding for the US-NATO proxy war against Russia in Ukraine.

She wrote:

Yes, it is GOP. They run the House. Ukraine aid should not be contingent on unconditional military aid to Netanyahu and the forced famine of Gazans. That’s what this package does. Decouple them and I’ll sign on tomorrow. Ukraine aid on its own has the votes to pass, incl[uding] mine.

In the House vote on April 20, AOC, along with members of the “Squad,” including Ilhan Omar, voted in favor of another $60 billion for NATO’s proxy war against Russia in Ukraine, and $8.1 billion in funding to the Indo-Pacific region to bolster the war preparations against China.

Socialist Equality Party (SEP) US presidential candidate Joseph Kishore responded to Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet by stating: 

Ocasio-Cortez pledging to arm Ukraine to wage the war against Russia to the last Ukrainian. AOC and the DSA attempt to draw a distinction between the “good” Ukraine war and the Gaza genocide. In reality, both are part of an expanding global war of imperialist barbarism.

The fight against this expanding global war requires a complete break from the politics of forces like AOC and the DSA, and the development of a socialist anti-war movement in the international working class.