Ocasio-Cortez blasts peers on House floor
WASHINGTON — Republican Rep. Ted Yoho got a lesson Thursday in messing with a woman from the Bronx.
A day after Yoho offered Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., an apology for calling her “disgusting” on the House steps but not for calling her a “f—ing b—h,” the freshman congresswoman took to the House floor to blast not just Yoho but the entire pattern of behavior that lets men get away with casual disrespect for women.
It’s not that Yoho’s specific words were so painful to the former bartender and kid from the streets of New York.
“Rep. Yoho’s comments were not deeply hurtful or piercing to me, because I have worked a working-class job,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “I have tossed men out of bars that have used language like Mr. Yoho’s. And I have encountered this type of harassment riding the subway in New York City. This is not new.”
The problem, she said, is that Yoho is not alone, and wasn’t even as he levied vitriol at AOC.
“This issue is not about one incident. It is cultural, it is a culture of lack of impunity, of accepting of violence and violent language against women, and the entire structure of power that supports that,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
Not alone: She came to the House floor with a phalanx of other Democrats.
Who wasn’t there? Any Republican.
“I have yet to have gotten a call from Rep. McCarthy, addressing his member’s behavior,” she said, referring to the House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Ca.
Yoho had sought to excuse his behavior by pointing out he has a wife and two daughters.
“I have yet to see Republican colleagues standing up for their daughters and saying that this behavior was unacceptable,” Ocasio-Cortez said, calling the silence a resounding pin-drop.
She also ripped Yoho and the GOP for espousing phony family values.
“Having a daughter does not make a man decent. Having a wife does not make a decent man. Treating people with dignity and respect makes a decent man,” she said.
“I am two years younger than Mr. Yoho’s youngest daughter. I am someone’s daughter too,” she said, saying it was fortunate her father was not alive to witness Yoho and his faux apology.
“My mother got to see Mr. Yoho’s disrespect on the floor of this House towards me on television, and I am here because I have to show my parents that I am their daughter, and that they did not raise me to accept abuse from men.”
Ocasio-Cortez and others said the fish stinks from the head, pointing to President Donald Trump and his insistence on slurring any woman he doesn’t like, calling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “Crazy Nancy,” among other things.
“Nearly every woman in the world has experienced verbal abuse, not just once, but since they were little girls,” said Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. “We see it coming regularly from the president of the United States. And now we see it coming from his partisan lackeys.”