The indomitable force of folly that is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez reached new heights, or depths if you prefer, Friday when a tweet from March of 2019 proclaiming her affection for lessons learned during her Girl Scouts tour of duty resurfaced. Quote:
“@girlscouts is how I first practiced how to change brake fluid, start a fire, practice self-defense, recreate the NASA Challenger mission, and v importantly: learn to teach myself new skills + navigate ambiguity. 🚀
“There’s a reason a large of Congresswomen are former scouts!”
You’d think after more than two-and-a-half years, someone would have noticed this and said, “Hmm. Maybe we should park this one well off the information superhighway.” However, in the words of the late, lamented John Belushi, “But, NOOOOO!”
One can only hope the future congresswoman’s lessons on changing brake fluid and starting a fire were conducted separately and at a reasonable physical distance from one another. Otherwise, the two can become one at an alarming pace.
As to what “navigating ambiguity” means, I’d just as soon not think about that one too much. In AOC World, nothing is ambiguous, as there is but one permissible interpretation of anything and everything, facts be damned. Instead, let’s focus on what AOC, or whichever lackey penned this tweet, could have possibly thought “recreate the NASA Challenger mission” would imply.
The Challenger completed nine missions before its destruction 73 seconds into its 10th, with the loss of all on board. Among the accomplishments during its successful missions were:
- First spacewalk from a shuttle
- First American woman in space (the late Sally Ride)
- First African-American in space (Guion Bluford)
- First untethered spacewalk
- First night landing
- Various satellite deployments, retrievals, and rescues
Tragically, all of these were overshadowed by the events of January 28, 1986. Were you alive on that day? You will never forget where you were and what you were doing when you heard the news. Certainly, AOC won’t forget, as she has nothing to remember of that day — given how she was born in October of 1989.
It is a relatively safe bet that Ocasio-Cortez’s Girl Scouts troop’s reenactment of anything to do with the Challenger meant pretending to be Sally Ride or perhaps utilizing a trampoline to recreate, in brief, bouncy spurts, a spacewalk. On that level, her comment earns a pass, and hopefully at no point did the reenactment involve an Estes rocket and an M80.
However, briefly borrowing my best friend’s superpower of understatement, might it not have been better to say something along the lines of celebrating Sally Ride’s achievement instead of namechecking Challenger? What’s next, boasting about an ancestor’s superb gunnery skills aboard the Arizona?
Forcing myself to set snark aside for a minute, examples such as this illustrate why it is ofttimes difficult to engage those with differing political views, yet remain steadfast in determination to keep it civil.
This is a moment when the only available discourse — short of unleashing the verbal hounds — is a deep sigh, followed by trying to explain that maybe it would have been better to say “space shuttle” rather than name one. Especially the Challenger, a name that should be declared only with reverence and respect. Like the Great Man, Ronald Reagan, did.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, you’re no Ronald Reagan.