Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who calls herself an educator, showed us that she doesn't really understand the concept of an idiom. During an Oversight Committee hearing on Wednesday, the congresswoman went off on the literal meaninglessness of the widely understood idiom, "pull yourself up by your bootstrap."
"You know this idea and this metaphor of a bootstrap started off as a joke?" Ocasio-Cortez began. "Because it's a physical impossibility to lift yourself up by a bootstrap -- by your shoelaces. It's physically impossible. The whole thing is a joke."
Critics on Twitter were quick to point out Ocasio-Cortez's own rag-to-riches story, which is surely another baffling idiom for the congresswoman.
.@AOC on America’s rags-to-riches ideal: “It’s a physical impossibility to lift yourself up by a bootstrap, by your shoelaces? It’s physically impossible. The whole thing is a joke.” pic.twitter.com/9WNf8UE06T— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) February 6, 2020
She was a bartender and campaigned long hours each day to pull herself up from the bootstraps and landed a six figure job in the government. Her own experiences literally debunk her claim.— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) February 6, 2020
Long gone are the days when, say, a lower-middle class, outer-borough bartender could ascend to the commanding heights of America's ruling elite https://t.co/NCA8R28XkR— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) February 6, 2020
Maybe the idiom meant something different 200 years ago. So what? That's true of a lot of idioms. Others on Twitter had fun with the congresswoman taking the idiom, any idiom, literally.
In other news, cats don't actually have people's tongues, nor do pots have the ability to call kettles black https://t.co/XN6pA1OsNV— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) February 6, 2020
Btw, it’s literally impossible to have the “best of both worlds” last time I checked there is only one world, so...— The Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) February 6, 2020