[guest post by Dana]
I admit that I am having fun watching this train wreck in action. The writing was on the wall, now it’s happening, and I for one am not going to miss it!
After Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made a not-nice accusation about Nancy Pelosi yesterday, Rep. Dan Crenshaw tweeted out a timely and informative bit of insight for the House Speaker to consider:
Yep. It’s true: players of identity politics inevitably eat their own.
Today, Pelosi answered questions about taking members to the woodshed and the continuing kerfuffle with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She stood beside her comments:
Asked about her ongoing spat with the New York lawmaker, Pelosi acknowledged how she recently addressed — “at the request of my members” — an “offensive tweet that came out of one of the member’s offices” that compared centrist Democrats to segregationists. That tweet was authored and then deleted by Ocasio-Cortez’ chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti.
Ed. Here is the deleted tweet via Washington Examiner:
“Our members took offense at that,” Pelosi said, claiming her comments received a positive response. “I addressed that.”
Ocasio-Cortez has since accused Pelosi of being “disrespectful” to several “newly elected women of color.” Pelosi repeatedly told reporters Thursday she wasn’t going to say anything else on the subject, but said she supports diversity in the caucus.
“I’ve said what I’m going to say…What I said in the caucus yesterday had an overwhelming response from my members. Because they know what the facts are and what we are responding to. We respect the value of every member of our caucus. The diversity of it all is a wonderful thing. Diversity is our strength. Unity is our power,” she said.
Right now, it doesn’t seem like a very unified group. Every day seems to bring yet another tear in the unity fabric. Consider that, just one day prior to Pelosi’s admonishment to members that they are to take their complaints directly to her, AOC did an interview with New York Radio Hour, wherein she asserted that Congress uses women of color as bargaining chips:
“When it comes to women of color in Congress, particularly the freshman, it’s that we both have encountered and represent communities that have been auctioned off and negotiated off for the last 20 years. And we’re over it,” Ocasio-Cortez said Tuesday.
“We see in these negotiations all the time— it’s like fighting for black communities or policies that help women. They’re bargaining chips. And they’re the first chips that are reached for in any legislative negotiations.”
Anyway, as I said the other day, this dust-up will play out publicly in the most passive-aggressive way imaginable. Pelosi knows this isn’t just about a mouthy freshman representative and her g-friends. It’s a struggle to regain control over her caucus in order to effectively set the course for her party in any number of upcoming elections and policy making.
Today, AOC stood by her comments regarding Pelosi but fell short of calling her a racist, saying she was only “pointing out a pattern”.
P.S. And if you think the centrist Blue Dogs took the hit with their tail between their legs, think again. Per NYT’s Jonathan Martin, this was from a mass mailing the group sent out:
UPDATE: It looks like some of AOC’s fellow members are none too happy with how she has been behaving. Congressional Black Caucus member Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay blasted AOC, her chief of staff and Justice Democrats in the Speaker’s Lobby:
“What a weak argument, because you can’t get your way and because you’re getting pushback you resort to using the race card? Unbelievable. That’s unbelievable to me,” Clay said. “I could care less. I could really care less. I agree with the Speaker. Four people, four votes out of 240 people, who cares.”
“They’re missing the fact that we have a very thin margin of a majority that we’re operating under and apparently it doesn’t matter to Justice Democrats, they just want to get skins. They want to score points for whatever reason. But I find it juvenile, their tactics, I find their ignorance to be beyond belief about American history and about who are really segregationists. And so how dare they try to play the race card at this point, it shows you the weakness of their arguments.”
(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)