Matt Walsh, AOC and the limits of ‘own-the-libs conservatism’

7 June 2021

9:02 PM

7 June 2021

9:02 PM

On Wednesday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez issued an anguished tweet about the living conditions of her grandmother in Puerto Rico, whose home has apparently been rather worse for wear since Hurricane Maria passed through four years ago. According to AOC, it is naturally all Trump’s fault, as he didn’t send $20 billion in aid quickly enough — and so just like that, Puerto Rico is doomed to perpetual poverty and can never rebuild.

In response, Matt Walsh, a Daily Wire podcast host, launched a hasty GoFundMe campaign to help AOC’s beleaguered forebear. The fund swiftly raised more than $100,000, before skidding to a halt on Saturday. Which, of course, was the plan all along.

AOC ‘seems to think that it is worth $104,153 of her abuela’s money to express that doesn’t want money from the likes of us,’ Walsh said. ‘Abuela could have accepted the money and donated it to charity, but it seems AOC preferred to insult the 5.800 people who donated.’

Doesn’t this strike anyone besides Cockburn as deeply pathetic? The first rule of online arguments is ‘do not feed the troll’. AOC thrives on attention — and the right just gave her even more of it, gratis.

It’s not like any of this is going to make AOC embarrassed about her rhetoric. Three years on Twitter and Twitch have made it obvious AOC is beyond embarrassment.

To lend the whole thing an even sillier tone, Candace Owens suggested it might be illegal for AOC to decline the faux-concern trolling of her opponents.

This is shocking.
Is @AOC legally allowed to deny the funds? The money wasn’t for her. Abuela is SUFFERING. Why would wealthy AOC insist money be routed to Abuela from the government, but block over $100,000 from philanthropists? #HelpAbuela

— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) June 5, 2021

Walsh and his fellow travelers ought to be grateful that Owens is entirely wrong. For them, the only thing more embarrassing than AOC declining their phony charity would be her accepting it. Imagine if she had! AOC’s family would be $100,000 richer and duped Republicans would be poorer. In return, they’d have…what? Smug moral satisfaction that Republicans are charitable to people they dislike and Democrats aren’t?

Hundreds of people are facing personal ruin for fringe roles in the January 6 Capitol incident, and most won’t receive a cent in donations (meanwhile, liberals all the way up to Kamala Harris donated money last summer to get violent rioters out of jail). Across the country, conservatives lose their jobs and livelihoods for meager political offenses, like old tweets, awkward Facebook posts, or donating to the wrong ballot measure. Few of them benefit from crowdsourced conservative largesse.

The tiff over AOC’s abuela exposes the embarrassing shortcomings of what might be called ‘own-the-libs conservatism’. In place of actual ideological achievements, this fake conservatism believes it wins huge victories through meaningless stunts, like driving gas-guzzling cars, eating Chick-fil-A (oblivious to the fact CFA caved to liberals years ago), or buying up every Dr Seuss book on eBay. For the better part of a week, the most visible conservative cause has been landing some dumb high-school own on a high-profile congresswoman. It didn’t achieve anything or convince anyone, but it made participants feel pleased with themselves for a while. Cockburn hopes that’s enough for them.

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