Can become AOC Vice President

US Democrats - Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez brings movement into the establishment

The 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez quickly developed into the horror of the Democratic Party. The social worker defies all internal party rules and overthrew a long-established functionary from the throne a few days ago.

The New Yorker with Puerto Rican roots has the best chance of moving into the House of Representatives in November after she kicked Joseph Crowley out of the running in the primaries - a Democratic hope who has sat in Parliament for almost 20 years. Crowley, you have to know that in order to understand the extent of the drama, was considered by the party leadership as the future Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Democratic socialists with moderate demands

Certainly: In America, where even long-established functionaries have to face the vote of the grassroots as direct candidates again and again, it is not the first time that a stranger has challenged an apparent professional for the seat of parliament. The victory of Ocasio-Cortez, however, marked much more: at least in New York, the result of a settlement of the base drifting to the left with the moderate party apparatus is tantamount.

Ocasio-Cortez, who likes to say that she also worked as a waitress, is one of the “Democratic Socialists of America”. Even the German and French Social Democrats appear to them to be - relatively - neoliberal. Nevertheless, their domestic political demands are rather moderate from a European perspective: Ocasio-Cortez is fighting for general health insurance, for stricter gun laws and for stricter control of Wall Street.

With a view to its internal party opponents, it primarily demands a strict distance from big business. Donations from corporations or from wealthy Americans appear to her - as she tells many of her interlocutors - to be immoral. Like Senator Bernie Sanders, she likes to talk about the beginning of a “movement”.

"Trump era changes the dynamics of the Democrats"

Within the Democratic Party, on the other hand, very different formulations can be heard in Washington. “Astray” is more of a friendly phrase. Richard Durbin, on the other hand, expresses himself emphatically diplomatically. The influential senator from Illinois does not want to hide the internal party disputes: "The Trump era completely changes the dynamics in our party."

Long-established residents in particular would have to put up with one defeat after another. The 56-year-old Crowley, who is actually considered a representative of the generation that is now “on the line”, is just one example of many. In the midst of the protest movement against the brutal treatment of illegal immigrants, the Democrats in parliament failed to win the Republicans over at least to make a small change to the law.

Replenishment of the Supreme Court is a setback

The list of decisions that are interpreted as defeats can be continued indefinitely: A few days ago the Supreme Court - once again - restricted the unions' influence. And to make matters worse, the controversial entry bans that Trump issued last year for nationals of several states have been declared legal by the judiciary.

The opposition also fears far-reaching consequences from the upcoming replacement in the Supreme Court: Since the moderate conservative Anthony Kennedy, who at least occasionally voted with the left-wing liberal judges, surprisingly announced his departure from the "Supreme Court", the head of the White House now owns all possibilities of appointing a candidate of his own taste to succeed Kennedy.

Many young supporters for Ocasio-Cortez

In view of this development, the key question for many Democrats is: should they further tighten the course of confrontation with the current administration? Or is a moderate course more promising? Chuck Schumer, leader of the Democrats in the Senate, does not convince every party friend, as he - at least every now and then - votes for the current Trump course. And Joe Biden, Vice President in Barack Obama's days, caused little enthusiasm recently when he talked about conceiving his own presidential candidacy.

The cheers that could be heard during the surprising vote for Ocasio-Cortez in New York, on the other hand, sounded very different. Several thousand young people had specially registered with the Democrats in order to vote for "their" candidate. They did not allow themselves to be discouraged by all the skeptics within the party who insist that the elections in the United States - at least from previous experience - will not be won on the far left.

From Stefan Koch