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In Ocasio-Cortez we see what it might look like for left to retake control – to begin talking about what we want to talk about rather than whatever Trump is spewing

‘She made it clear that her loyalties weren’t with the Democratic leadership but rather the protesters occupying the offices of the Democratic leadership.’ Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Reuters

The answer to the question “Who’s afraid of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?” is establishment Democrats in Congress, apparently. A recent Politico report says that fellow House members are worried she will “unleash a tweet at them”, and are “afraid” of her stinging public criticisms of Democrats.

Their fear is not irrational. Ocasio-Cortez has been using Twitter masterfully, as a way of directing the national political conversation. The Politico article compares her technique to that of Donald Trump, and this isn’t completely wrong: the president has long used his Twitter account to keep the media talking about whatever he wants them to be talking about. Democrats have long failed to keep pace – they end up reacting to whatever Trump says, rather than setting the agenda themselves. In Ocasio-Cortez we see (at last!) what it might look like for lefties to retake control – to begin talking about what we want to talk about rather than whatever nonsense Trump is spewing this week…