Senior Staff Writer at GEN covering politics, elections, immigration, feminism, and more. Puertorriqueña. Tips: andrea@medium.com

The opposition to the nominations of Deb Haaland and Xavier Becerra follows a familiar trend on the right

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This week, as the U.S. Senate began the nomination hearings for President Biden’s Cabinet nominees, I saw a familiar pattern develop. Regardless of their actual record and without even having a chance to discuss it, nominees of color, such as Deb Haaland, Neera Tanden, and Xavier Becerra, have been painted as “famously partisan” people with “radical” ideas.

This is not the first time I’ve noticed such a trend. At the height of the 2020 election, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s name was frequently invoked as a foe in ads for Republican candidates in races across the country, an obvious boogeywoman the GOP…


It’s time to rethink how much power these platforms have given to lawmakers and government agencies

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If you feel like our leaders are too online, you are not alone. Some of the biggest, most important government announcements these days are released via social media; lawmakers who’ve trolled their way to power can’t stop spreading disinformation online even after assuming office; and the art of the politician clapback tends to dominate the headlines above and beyond actual public policy. That’s without even talking about how the former president and his enablers incited an insurrection by steadily cultivating a cult of online disinformation.

Jennifer Grygiel, a social media expert and assistant professor of communications at Syracuse University, has…


White political journalists distanced themselves from the horrors of the Trump administration in a way many of us couldn’t

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The parasitic relationship between a certain class of political journalists and the Trump administration was the worst-kept secret in Washington. For over four years, previously obscure reporters leveraged their access to a media-hungry White House to land cushy analyst gigs in cable news, six-figure book deals, and public adoration. Above all, however, this class of reporters loved the thrill of being at the heart of the biggest story in generations.

A few weeks into a new administration, people like Yahoo! News national correspondent Alexander Nazaryan are already mourning the departure of the White House’s previous occupant. “I use that word…


It was just a matter of time before a subset of the men in the online left turned on the progressive movement’s most visible woman

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t owe anyone her story, and yet she talked on an Instagram Live on Monday about her experience as a sexual assault survivor, explaining how the trauma resurfaced during the U.S. Capitol insurrection. Her honesty and vulnerability when discussing her own trauma and how she feared for her life resonated with colleagues and constituents alike — unless you belong to a mostly male-dominated subsection of the online left.

To certain leftists, Ocasio-Cortez’s Instagram Live was evidence that she’s in fact a “sociopathic imperialist politician” with “shitty politics,” someone who had just given a “masterclass in emotional manipulation”…


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Activists, survivors, and families have been calling for the government to take action since 2018

Nearly three years ago, Suliani Calderón Nieves, a 38-year-old health care worker in Puerto Rico, was murdered by her ex-husband in front of their two children. Since then, her mother, Sonia Nieves, has become a relentless advocate against gender violence, traveling across the island to speak to communities and call for government action.

Nieves’ activism couldn’t have come soon enough. A GEN investigation found that after Hurricane Maria in 2017, the number of women killed by their partners in the territory doubled and that the government was doing little to protect victims from their abusers. …


If I got dragged like this, I’d probably ask to be put into witness protection

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Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley are going to need a few sessions of shiatsu to recuperate after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spent the last three weeks stepping on their necks.

The two Republican senators, who promoted conspiracy theories to challenge the general election outcome and in the process enabled an attempted coup at the U.S. Capitol earlier this month, have been continually reminded of their sedition by the New York Democrat. Every time Cruz or Hawley attempt to pivot the conversation, Ocasio-Cortez has been ready to pounce on Twitter with the zeal of the “retire bitch”-era Danny DeVito.

On Thursday, Ocasio-Cortez posted…


Far-right politicians Lauren Boebert, Madison Cawthorn, and Marjorie Taylor Greene are here to perform — not legislate

A photo illustration collage of Lauren Boebert, Madison Cawthorn, and Marjorie Taylor Greene displayed on a phone.
A photo illustration collage of Lauren Boebert, Madison Cawthorn, and Marjorie Taylor Greene displayed on a phone.

On the night Madison Cawthorn became the youngest person elected to the 117th Congress, he tweeted three simple words: “Cry more, lib.” It was the perfect bookend for the North Carolina Republican, whose ability to make a name for himself had to do less with his campaign platform and more with his general ability to fuel the flames of grievance on the right, first through social media and then in the conservative major leagues of Fox News and beyond.

The meteoric rise of Cawthorn and his fellow congressional freshmen, Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of…


Republican members of Congress have been accused of coordinating with riot organizers

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Speaking live to her Facebook followers on Tuesday evening, New Jersey Rep. Mikie Sherrill made a stunning allegation: On January 5, the day before the U.S. Capitol was stormed by insurrectionists, she had witnessed members of Congress giving groups of people what she called “reconnaissance” tours of the building, which has been closed to the public since March on account of Covid-19. “I’m going to see they are held accountable,” Sherrill, a U.S. Navy veteran, said, “and if necessary, ensure that they don’t serve in Congress.” On Wednesday, she and 33 other lawmakers sent a letter to the head of…


My mother warned me that posting is always a Bad Idea

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Coming of age in the golden age of MySpace and Facebook meant that my mother and every single Baby Boomer adult around me urgently insisted that posting anything personal online was a Bad Idea™. Holding a drink at a party? Bad idea. Posing in a bikini on the beach? Bad idea. A status where I wrote “fuck”? BAD IDEA. The reasoning was simple: The internet is forever, which would allow employers to one day find my digital footprint and deem me an unprofessional, unhireable mess.

You can then imagine my surprise when pro-Trump insurrectionists did some pretty bad crimes at…


The threat of armed protests is escalating before the Biden inauguration

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The extremist attacks are unlikely to stop any time soon. On Monday, House Democrats were warned of three separate violent demonstrations planned for inauguration week, one with the explicit goal of overthrowing the government by potentially murdering Democratic and Republican lawmakers. The news followed reports that the FBI on Monday had issued an internal memo warning of armed protests in all 50 state capitals and the D.C. area starting on January 16 and lasting until President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20.

Are we really surprised? The increase in right-wing extremist and white supremacist violence has been at least a…

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