Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., broke down on the House floor Thursday after voting on a bill that will provide Israel with $1 billion for its Iron Dome missile defense system.
The viral moment raised questions about the authenticity of AOC’s tears — and the state of American populism.
In video shared widely on social media, Ocasio-Cortez was consoled by fellow lawmakers as she appeared to start crying moments after the bill overwhelmingly passed the House, 420-9.
AOC literally in tears after voting “present” on the Iron Dome funding.
More jew hating theatrics from the squad
— Emily Schrader – אמילי שריידר (@emilykschrader) September 23, 2021
Ocasio-Cortez switched her vote to “present” at the last minute — going against her fellow “Squad” members, who opposed the bill.
- On Tuesday, a group of other Israel-critical progressives — along with a number of Republicans — forced the Democrats to remove the Iron Dome funding from legislation to keep the U.S. government funded.
- But all but eight Democrats and one Republican ultimately dropped their opposition, voting for the standalone bill or effectively abstaining like Ocasio-Cortez.
IS AOC OK?
Critics on Twitter responded without mercy to Ocasio-Cortez’s post-vote display of distress.
- “AOC literally in tears after voting ‘present’ on the Iron Dome funding. More Jew hating theatrics from the squad,” Jerusalem Post columnist Emily Shrader commented.
- “Why is @AOC crying? Because Jewish and Christian women and children won’t shake in terror as unguided rockets rain down on their homes and schools,” said Josh Mandel, a “MAGA” Ohio GOP Senate candidate.
Others, on both the right and the left, accused Ocasio-Cortez of faking it.
- Theater and bad theater at that,” conservative pundit Meghan McCain said.
- “If not voting ‘no’ is that upsetting, then vote ‘no.’ Otherwise these are crocodile tears,” said Eoin Higgins, a reporter for The Intercept, a left-wing news outlet.
- “[She] got the dry-cleaning bill from the [M]et,” quipped Washington Examiner executive editor Seth Mandel, referring to Ocasio-Cortez recent appearance at the ritzy Met Gala in a “Tax the Rich” gown.
IS IT ALL A SHAM?
In a series of scathing tweets, journalist Glenn Greenwald, a critic of the U.S. national security state and Israel, joined other left-wing commentators in accusing Ocasio-Cortez of selling out her anti-establishment principals.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) September 23, 2021
At the same time, Greenwald charged“America First” Republicans with hypocrisy for supporting “transferring huge amounts of tax payer money to a foreign [country] for its military instead of spending it on our own.”
- He also noted that Ocasio-Cortez in May changed her vote to “present” on a bill that expanded the Capitol Police’s budget to $1.9 billion in response to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, thereby allowing the legislation to pass.
A vote on the Iron Dome funding has yet to be scheduled in the Senate, which would need to approve the bill’s passage.