“Time to get creative, folks,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Thursday night after Politico reporter Erin Durkin said the progressive politician will gather with her family members for the holiday on a Zoom call.
Time to get creative, folks! https://t.co/EyCvDNzpWv
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 13, 2020
Ocasio-Cortez’s adoring followers praised her idea and thanked her for “modeling responsible behavior.” Some offered ways to tweak the plan, such as Macworld writer Jason Cross, who suggested posting the recipes online and having a larger remote gathering with celebrities to raise money for Democrat candidates in Georgia’s upcoming Senate elections.
Publish the recipes online and have a second “extended family” twitch dinner with celebs and stuff. Make it a fundraising event for GA special elections.
— Jason Cross (@JasonCross00) November 13, 2020
But critics mocked the congresswoman. John Dennis, chairman of the San Francisco Republican Party, said his household is “getting really creative” by plans to have about 20 people get together for an in-person Thanksgiving dinner. “No one will wear a mask,” he said. “And we’re going to laugh and sing.”
We're getting really creative in our household.
We're having about 20 people over. They're each going to bring side dishes and we're going to make the staples of Thanksgiving dinner.
No one will wear a mask. And we're going to laugh and sing.
I knew we could make this work!
— President-elect John Dennis (@RealJohnDennis) November 13, 2020
Another Twitter commenter responded to Ocasio-Cortez by saying his creative idea was to “denounce your party’s ridiculous suggestions and mandates and throw a massive bash.” He added, “My big family is going to gather just a couple feet apart … and we’re going to laugh and sing, and there’s nothing you can do.”
This thanksgiving I had the creative idea to denounce your party’s ridiculous suggestions and mandates and throw a MASSIVE bash. My big family is going to gather just a couple feet apart (about a table’s distance) and we’re going to laugh and SING, and there’s nothing you can do.
— Carlos Madrigal (@ThinkMadrigal) November 13, 2020
Several such replies led to combative conversations, with Ocasio-Cortez supporters wishing death – or at least Covid-19 infections – on her critics in some cases. One commenter who said he would rather hug his mother in person was met with an Ocasio-Cortez supporter saying he would “like to play Russian roulette with your mother.”
The vitriol reflects a sharp divide between conservatives and leftists on social-distancing measures. An Economist/YouGov poll published in September showed that 89 percent of Democrats supported a government mandate forcing everyone to wear masks in public places, while just 48 percent of Republicans said they would agree with such a requirement. Supporters of President Donald Trump and Democrat rival Joe Biden were even more polarized, with 41 percent of Trump supporters and 91 percent of Biden backers saying they would favor a mask mandate. Almost two in five Trump supporters said they would “strongly oppose” a mask mandate, compared with just 2 percent of Biden voters.
A separate Thanksgiving argument bubbled up after New York City councilman Joe Borelli, a Republican, said his family will be gathering for a traditional holiday get-together. MSNBC host Chris Hayes was triggered with outrage, saying, “We’re all human beings with people we love and want to see, but increasingly, the entire Republican Party has basically taken the side of the virus and are actively trying to spread it.”
Honestly, don't know what to say. We're all human beings with people we love that we want to see. But increasingly the entire Republican Party has basically taken the side of the virus and are actively trying to spread it. https://t.co/eFvpm9vzHU
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) November 12, 2020
Conservative author Mike Cernovich pointed out that just last week, Hayes was defending the “need” of Americans to gather in large groups to celebrate Biden being announced as president-elect by media outlets.
Podcaster Matt Walsh responded to Hayes with sarcasm, tweeting: “We’re gathering with our families for Thanksgiving because we’re taking the side of the virus and we want to get infected. That’s the reason. You nailed it. Great stuff man. Not psychotic at all.”
Yeah that's true, Chris. We're gathering with our families for thanksgiving because we're taking the side of the virus and we want to get infected. That's the reason. You nailed it. Great stuff man. Not psychotic at all.
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) November 12, 2020
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