Mozart, Dostoyevsky and AOC
Perfection of an artform
The comedy film Role Models was released in 2008 and follows two down-on-their-luck guys, played by Sean Williams Scott and Paul Rudd, who have to do community service because of a run-in with the law. Their service comes in the form of working as big brothers to a couple of kids who need guidance; one is an unrepentant terror, and the other, played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin from Superbad), is a fan of a medieval role-playing game. Mintz-Plasse’s character introduced me to the term “LARP,”…which has now entered the lexicon of the online community.
LARP stands for Live Action Role Playing and is where participants dress up in costumes, speak the language, and utilize the customs of the era in which the role-playing occurs. In the movie, Mintz-Plasse’s character LARPs in medieval attire, speaks in old English, and is chivalrous towards the ladies. It was a pretend world where he could escape the drudgery of his real life and be the heroic figure he wished he could be in the real world. I suppose we all have our form of this in our lives, but for some people, it becomes hard to know where the LARPing ends and their lives start.
This leads me to the person who is the quintessential example of this condition, the New York State Representative for the 14th district, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, better known as AOC. Classical music existed before Motzart and literature before Dostoyevsky; they just took those art forms to elevated levels. So is the case with AOC and LARPing. In AOC land, the entire world is one giant LARP, which is considerably more than fun than doing the job to which you were elected. And based on a study from Vanderbilt, she REALLY doesn’t care about her job.
Last May, Vanderbilt University’s Center for Effective Lawmaking released a study, which gauges the frequency with which a lawmaker introduces legislation, and their effectiveness in moving it through the legislative process. In the report, AOC was ranked an abysmal 230th most effective Democratic congressperson out of 240 representatives.
The report is particularly damning because her state brethren, Nita Lowey (NY-17) and Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), were ranked first and third in the Democratic caucus, respectively.
But when to find time to you, know, write legislation and pass bills when LARPing is so much more Instagramable.
Her love for LARPing has shown through more times than can be counted, like her photo at the border during the Trump immigration “kids in cages” debate, when, in reality, she was standing in front of an empty parking lot.
And most recently, when she was protesting the recent SCOTUS Dobbs decision, she was pretending to wear handcuffs. It needs to be seen to be believed.
AOC also recently LARP’d a historian during an incredible exchange with Steven “dancing vaccines” Colbert. When prompted by Colbert to explain what she believes the Dems should do in response to the Dobbs decision, she starts by explaining, in a very scholarly manner, “history really informs a lot, and it gives us lessons here.” Ok, great, now that she has put down her pipe and has taken off her jacket with elbow patches, let’s hear from Professor AOC:
This is the not the first time this has happened. In the 1800’s the Supreme Court was taken over by the Confederate South and was starting to rule in ways that limited Abhraham Linclon, for example, in the Dred Scott ruling they ruled that black Americans are not, and can never be full citizens of the United States. And what did Abrham Lincoln do? He signed the Emancipation Proclomation. He ignored the gross over reach and abuse of power.
Right off the bat, it’s a good thing for her that she wasn’t more specific about when these things occurred in the century because it really would have thrown her thesis for a curveball. The Dred Scott decision came in March of 1857; however, Lincoln wouldn’t become President until the election of 1860 and would not pass the Emancipation Proclamation until January 1, 1863…nearly seven years after Dred Scott.
She later comments that while FDR didn’t expand the Supreme Court, Lincoln did and that “President Biden should entertain expansion of the Supreme Court.”
Aside from that little piece of chronological dissonance about Dred Scott, it’s also not true that Lincoln expanded the court, at least in the way she means it. In March 1863, Congress expanded the number of federal circuit courts to ten, and as had been the tradition, the number of SCOTUS justices matched the number of circuit courts, so the number of justices was also expanded to ten. Later, Congress reduced the number of justices to seven to counter Andrew Johnson’s aversion to Reconstruction. This move was also supported by then Chief Justice Salmon P. Chace in the hope it would increase the justices' pay. Once Jackson left office, Congress returned the court to nine, where it has been ever since.
So no, Congress did not arbitrarily change the number of justices because they didn’t like one decision. They added a circuit court to support the country's expansion and later decreased the number of justices to reduce executive power.
So we’ve established that AOC loves to play make-believe, but if her constituents don’t care, does it matter? After all, as essayist H.L. Mencken said, "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."
However, maybe they are starting to notice. When accused of ignoring her constituents’ health care concerns, AOC was brought to task by left-wing NY State senator Jessica Ramos, who claimed that AOC doesn’t spend time in her district.
When pressed on the issue, Ramos continued…
If she is getting attacked by her left wing, then maybe the chickens are finally coming home to roost for AOC, but maybe not. What is clear is that it seems playing a caring public servant is much easier (and probably more financially rewarding) than actually being a caring public servant. But one thing is for sure, AOC has brought LARPing to the level of fine art.