When President Trump took a few moments to note the historic level of female representation in Congress during his State of the Union speech Tuesday night, even the whole contingent of liberal Democratic women stood, applauded and chanted, "USA!" It was a wonderful bipartisan moment. Yet, some people rained on the parade.
First there was NPR, who conducted an unnecessary fact check of President Trump's remarks, reminding him that he did nothing to get women elected to Congress. Most of the gains were in the Democratic Party. Donald Trump Jr. was infuriated by the outlet's "fact check" and railed off on them as "morons."
Then we had Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who while celebrating all the girl power in Congress also took the opportunity to take a swipe at Republicans. "GOP has major+concerning problems electing women," she noted on Twitter.
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) was dismayed to see Ocasio-Cortez's hot take.
Exhibit A of pushing women across the aisle down - Esp when a Republican POTUS-along w/ standing ovation from @HouseGOP - graciously applauded historic # of women in Congress. Sadly Instead of lifting fellow women up regardless of Party, you chose to push us down. Do better @AOC https://t.co/hGLqjtU5aN— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) February 7, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez noted, rightfully, that Stefanik herself has acknowledged the GOP's issue with female representation in Congress. Republican women lost 10 seats since the last Congress and only one of the 100 women Stefanik tried to help get elected secured victory. She was so passionate about righting the ship that she sparred with the NRCC over the need to get more involved in the primaries. When Stefanik found resistance, she started her own initiative.
Rep. Stefanik, this is not a critique of women across the aisle, but of the serious inability for GOP to elect + support women.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 7, 2019
You yourself have taken your party to task on this - in fact, you called it a “crisis.”
I’m happy you’re trying to fix it: https://t.co/vsEw5GeZZE https://t.co/XNNOd9EvRq
Stefanik has tried to act in good faith with her Democratic counterparts. She welcomed Ocasio-Cortez and another young Democratic female colleague with open arms, and an op-ed full of wise counsel when they were sworn in for duty. "Good luck, and I look forward to working with you both this Congress," she told Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-IA).
In sum, women should celebrate each other in Congress.