Every time the House GOP and right wing media attacks Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, they make her so much stronger. There’s a special hatred that is seething among them, and they have to believe they are playing somehow to their base supporters by going after a young, left, Latina congresswoman. But they also seem to think they can reach beyond the base of people who are afraid of her just due to her identity.

From what I can tell, the right has seized on AOC also in part because they want to appeal to me. I’m exactly the kind of cosmopolitan, well-educated, elite, male, white liberal that is set up to bristle at someone like AOC rising in the ranks due to her “fame” more than her accomplishments. And yet, the right just raises my estimation of her every time she overcomes their bile.

Who is AOC other than a safe congresswoman on the left end of the party? That’s what I’m supposed to think. But then the right coordinates merciless attacks against her, and she just rises above the mountain of shit they sling, with grace, humor, strength, and, importantly, the kind of humility they are desperate to prove does not exist.

Without the right wing scorched earth campaign against her, I would be waiting 10 years to see if she can build coalitions and pass laws, demonstrating she’s more than a charismatic politician. Instead, she’s been tested for leadership and she keeps passing the test.

I don’t view her as a freshman congresswoman. The right did that.