Comments: Week of January 20, 2020

1 In New York’s latest issue, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez reflected on her consequential first year in Congress (“One Year In,” January 6–19). MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle tweeted, “If you read one thing today, make it this.” Columbia Law School’s Kumar Rao added, “Did you know that in her first year in office, @AOC has sponsored 15 pieces of legislation and missed only two of 701 roll-call votes? A fascinating profile.” But Robert Isler questioned why “someone who got all of 16,000 votes to win her district’s nomination before going on to defeat her Republican challenger is receiving such outsized media attention while the voices of a bumper crop of accomplished first-term congresswomen are virtually ignored.” Many took note of Ocasio-Cortez’s comment “In any other country, Joe Biden and I would not be in the same party,” including the former vice-president: In an interview with NBC News’s Lester Holt, Biden responded, “The differences in the party have always existed … I’ve always had broad support within the party, and I think this tent is plenty big for both of us.” @JonReinish tweeted, “Someone please tell @aoc that without ‘Joe Biden’ Democrats she’d be in the congressional minority right now with a tiny sliver of ideologically pure colleagues forming a caucus from a few big cities.” But the Washington Post’s Dave Weigel wrote, “This is just a politically sophisticated analysis … In the rest of the developed world, the ‘universal hc costs too much’ candidate would be in a conservative party. Most countries like the U.S. have a democratic-socialist party, a center-right party, and a bunch of smaller parties which can hold different amounts of power in coalitions. We’re the odd guys out, with a left party that didn’t grow out of labor movements.” The Nation’s John Nichols added, “The genius of @AOC is that she recognizes the value of dissent and the importance of pushing the Democratic Party to the left.”

2 On the eve of Harvey Weinstein’s trial, Amanda Demme photographed 21 of his accusers for New York, and Irin Carmon wrote about the complexity of the case against him (“100 Women. One Trial.,” January 6–19). Many shared words of support for the women involved. U.S. Representative Carolyn B. Maloney said, “I’m thankful for these brave women for speaking out & rejecting a culture that so often silences survivors and sympathizes with abusers.” The co-founder of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund Fatima Goss Graves wrote, “Irin is reminding us who is at the center of this trial. Hint: It’s the dozens of women who have given us the gift of their stories.” Sheila Katz wrote, “Regardless of the verdict, these women shifted public conversation & created a global reckoning that has impacted our culture, making our workplaces & communities safer and more equitable. I’m forever grateful for their courage.” In a follow-up story published online, Carmon unveiled the 57-page PowerPoint that Weinstein’s team has been sending to reporters, which includes oppo research on his accusers, arguments that the alleged encounters were consensual, and implorations that Weinstein has a “huge heart.” Aminatou Sow tweeted, “Weinstein’s PR has been sending reporters a PowerPoint intended to smear his accusers and exonerate him. The media people all sat on it. Make your own conclusions as to why. When @irin got it, she published it. It is as gross and damning as you can imagine.” @JonathanCohn wrote, “Good on NY Mag for making Weinstein’s team’s actions the story (and not accepting the stories they were trying to feed).”

3 In “What Will Happen to the Trump Toadies?” (January 6–19), Frank Rich looked to President Nixon’s defenders and the Vichy collaborators of WWII to predict the future of President Trump’s loyal partisans. @vanbadham tweeted, “This article is a juicy long read — and extraordinary.” Actor Evan Handler added, “Highly articulate in equating Trump’s enablers with Nazi-era cowards & opportunists.” Others doubted the “Vichy Republicans” will face any consequences; podonnell commented, “The fact that you can turn on your TV and see any number of GWB staffers and hangers-on being given airtime to talk about Iran kind of puts the lie to it. As crass as the Trump administration has been, the human toll of the GWB presidency was much higher and still continues today, and as far as I can tell basically no one has suffered any damage to their career (and in fact Trump has helped rehabilitate their image in many cases).” @laurmasi tweeted, “Good article, but bottom line — these guys do not care about history/posterity/their legacy.” And @btaylorgarcia joked, “They will all get book deals and become Fox News contributors.”

Correction: The photograph of Anne Beatts (pp. 54–55) in the January 6–19 issue was incorrectly credited. It should have read © Lynn Goldsmith 1976.

*This article appears in the January 20, 2020, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!


Comments: Week of January 20, 2020