Sarah Huckabee Sanders got into a Twitter feud this week with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) about the coronavirus-related unemployment crisis.
The president’s former press secretary slammed the rather tone-deaf suggestion from AOC that Americans “boycott” going back to work, the Washington Examiner reported. The Democrat fired back at Sanders in highly personal terms and went on to condemn a Republican governor who is trying to let his residents get back to work by ending lockdowns.
Sanders slams AOC
Despite styling herself a champion of the working class, Ocasio-Cortez has taken the rather curious route of likening employment — in the midst of the worst unemployment crisis since the 1930s — to an optional luxury. In an interview with VICE magazine published Wednesday, Ocasio-Cortez said that working people who are struggling to pay the bills should “just say no” to employment.
“When we have this discussion about ‘going back’ or ‘reopening’ — I think a lot of people should just say, ‘No, we’re not going back to that. We’re not going back to working 70-hour weeks just so that we can put food on the table and not even feel any sort of semblance of security in our lives,'” the congresswoman said, according to RealClearPolitics.
Reacting to AOC’s tone-deaf comments, Sanders criticized the freshman lawmaker for encouraging a “boycott” against employment, The Hill reported.
.@AOC says Americans should boycott work. As usual she’s wrong. The goal should be for Americans to SAFELY return to work because unlike AOC and members of Congress, most of us actually have to show up at work to get paid and support our families! #ProtectLivesProtectLivelihoods
— Sarah Huckabee Sanders (@SarahHuckabee) April 23, 2020
According to the Examiner, the Democrat fired back a tweet mocking Sanders for infrequent press briefings during her tenure at the White House:
Look who’s talking about showing up for work! The woman didn’t hold a press conference for months while holding a job as press [secretary]. If you’re so supportive of this admin’s plan, why don’t you go out and try delivering groceries for a living [without] health insurance or mass testing?
AOC’s grand idea
AOC’s idea is curious, to say the least. She’s also not the only one pushing it: many on the left have taken up the strange notion that “forcing” people to go back to work before it is “safe” to do so will jeopardize their lives — to the sole benefit of the ruling class, as if working people don’t have bills to pay.
Ocasio-Cortez showed how muddled her reasoning really was — and how out of touch with working people she really is — in another tweet bashing Brian Kemp, Georgia’s Republican governor, for starting to relax his state’s lockdown. While lamenting the plight of workers, Ocasio-Cortez suggested that work itself is “unsafe” until more just conditions are negotiated.
“Trump has NO PLAN to get people safely back to work. GOP [governors] like Kemp are sending vulnerable workers to die [with] false claims of safety. Trump also pushed an unproven, dangerous treatment as a ‘cure’ [and] firing experts who want to vet claims. Last thing you care [about] is safety,” she wrote Thursday, the Examiner reported.
According to AOC, unemployment is a positive thing — or in some sense, a type of leverage. While organizing a workers’ strike during the worst unemployment crisis in generations might sound like a sensible idea to limousine liberals, for the working people they claim to champion, it is lunacy.
And by the way, setting up vulnerable workers to grind 70 hours a week to barely survive and STILL not have health insurance is unsafe too.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 23, 2020
AOC’s grand conceit comes as 26 million Americans have filed for unemployment in just weeks, according to NBC News.