New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez knows her audience. Talking about the real-life horrors of the working class? Check. Being honest about how difficult it is to afford to live in a city with a high cost of living? Check. Loving Bill Nye? Double check. And as her Twitter feed confirms, she also knows how to make an excellent reference to The Office.
Oh—And that Office reference calls out Republicans. Perfect.
Before we get into her slam, let’s discuss how she got there:
Over the weekend, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez shared a nuanced and honest Twitter thread about socioeconomic class. She talked about her own transition from being a waitress to a lawmaker, and how part of that has meant making a lot more money. Old stresses, like waking up in the night, worried about closing out tabs, have changed.
But as she points out, her good character has always been there. While banks and creditors might see her as more responsible now, Ocasio-Cortez argues that this isn’t true—she just has more money, so it’s easier to manage everything. And that’s not fair to the working poor.
On the large, people responded very well to this informative and eye-opening thread. But of course, some conservative people didn’t, which is where this Office zinger came into play.
In this particular Twitter thread, Ocasio-Cortez noted that “like 10 people” would be impacted by her suggested wealth tax on the super-rich. While the tax would only affect a very small minority of people, her use of “like 10 people” was pretty clearly meant to be humorous. Meaning: It’s indeed perhaps more than 10 people. And that’s okay! It’s still a tiny minority, compared to the total population of the U.S.
But some Republicans like to use these word choices to detract from her message.
The representative from New York gets it right when she, as tweeted below, says that the GOP intentionally pulls her dry humor to “fact check” it. It’s an angle to dismiss her greater points, and basically a willful misconstruction of her ideas. It’s intentional, and frankly, frightening.
How many Republicans do write off Ocasio-Cortez (and others like her) because of this tactic from the GOP? Given the influence of Fox News, it’s a scary thought.
This is a technique of the GOP, to take dry humor + sarcasm literally and “fact check” it.
Like the “world ending in 12 years” thing, you’d have to have the social intelligence of a sea sponge to think it’s literal.
But the GOP is basically Dwight from The Office so who knows. https://t.co/pmkwrdeAnq
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 12, 2019
On a lighter note, let’s explain the Office jab: Dwight Schrute is a fictional character who works at a paper company in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in the American version of the dark sitcom The Office. Dwight is, in short, a know-it-all. He lacks self-awareness and is eager to correct others and follow the rules. Dwight is basically the definition of someone who can’t recognize (or take) a joke.
Here’s a clip, courtesy of YouTube:
So basically, that’s the GOP. Once you see it, sadly, you can’t unsee it. Hopefully, this doesn’t spoil The Office for anyone!