Recently elected Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says it doesn’t much matter much if she gets her basic facts correct – so long as she's “morally right" in the end.
Shortly after touting her proposal to raise top federal income tax brackets to a stunning 70 percent, the self-described Democratic socialist told Anderson Cooper during a 60 Minutes interview that her critics are much more concerned with facts than feelings, suggesting it doesn’t really matter that elected lawmakers always get their specifics right.
When Cooper pointed out the Washington Post gave Ocasio-Cortez four Pinnochios for screwing up her facts when it came to Pentagon spending, the New York representative shrugged it off as no big deal.
“If people want to really blow up one figure here or one word there, I would argue that they’re missing the forest for the trees,” Ocasio-Cortez responded. “I think that there’s a lot of people who are more concerned about being precisely, factually and semantically correct than about being morally right.”
“I would argue that they’re missing the forest for the trees. I think that there's a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right.” – @AOC— BlazeTV (@BlazeTV) January 7, 2019
A member of Congress actually said this…pic.twitter.com/tpFLBqb3DI
Then, after Cooper pointed out that being factually correct is...well, actually pretty important, she backtracked.
“It is absolutely important. And whenever I make a mistake, I say, ‘OK, this was clumsy.’ And then I restate what my point was," she said.
However, while her gaffes and factual errors apparently aren’t worth mentioning, President Donald Trump’s are…or something.
“But it’s not the same thing as the president lying about immigrants,” she argued. “It’s not the same thing at all.”
In fact, Ocasio-Cortez’s brush-off of her own track record of factual misstatements was so outlandish, it even earned her a rare criticism from CNN’s liberal commentator Chris Cillizza, who took issue with her suggestion that being factually inaccurate is lower on the totem pole than being morally correct.
And it’s a pretty dense track record, too. From claiming that the U.S. contains 500 million people, 40 percent of whom make less than $20,000 a year (it doesn’t, and they don’t) to claiming that working two jobs lowers national unemployment rates and saying all U.S. carbon emissions can be eliminated within 10 years if we just taxed the rich enough, the freshman lawmaker has a long – and lengthening – history of playing fast and loose with basic numbers.
At the end of the day, one thing comes down to basic logic: maybe New York City elections run well on bad information, but countries sure don’t.