As a former Republican Party member until 2016, I don’t consider myself to be a flaming liberal/ progressive but I do try to see both sides of a debate.
In the previous post, I painted the picture where in 2018, for the first time, the Millennial generation and younger voters turned out at the ballot box in greater numbers than the baby boomers and older participants. The younger voters just happen to favor Democratic Party candidates by a margin of 70%.
Here’s where the shock waves come. They tend to be more progressive than those who are members of the House Democratic Party Leadership team and they’re ardent supporters of the SQUAD, the 4 social media savvy, energetic, morally conscious House Freshmen. These 4 younger professionals have been caught up in a firestorm of a “tit for tat” verbal battle with the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi where both sides have ended up bloodied, at a time where the focus needs to be on the prize, the ousting of a lawless president from the White House in November 2020.
I plan to share snippets from a Maureen Dowd 7/13/2019 New York Times opinion piece which appears to side mostly with the distinguished, more politically savvy House Speaker Pelosi. The author strikes home with her caustic wit but as per my prior post, it’s my perception that the 4 House Freshmen are being squashed for daring to challenge the thinking of their elders. There’s no way for either side to win gracefully, but even though I’d put my monies on Speaker Pelosi coming out on top because she’ll easily win this battle but when she does, she’ll end up losing the war.
Speaker Pelosi needs the younger voters to turn out at election time in even greater numbers than they did in 2018. It’s not just the moderate House Democrats who won in Trump country who helped her to gain her majority position in the House. In 2018, it was the younger voters who turned out in greater numbers than the baby boomers and older folks. It was our Black brothers and sisters who turned out in greater numbers in 2018 than in 2016. It was the resistant groups’ members who did lots of phone drives, knocking on doors, registering new Democratic Party voters, etc. Remember those Parkland High Schoolers. They’re still active. If the House Speaker Pelosi doesn’t start to pay attention to her entire base of voters, she may very well lose the prize.
Here are excerpts from Maureen Dowd’s op-ed piece,”Scaling Wokeback Mountain:”
“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ensorcelled me from the start. I loved the bartender-makes-good Cinderella story, the shake-up-the-capital idealistic dreams, the bravado about how the plutocrat president from Queens wouldn’t know how to deal with a Puerto Rican girl from the Bronx.”
“And I imagined the most potent feminist partnership in American history: Nancy Pelosi as sensei, bringing her inside game, and A.O.C., the Karate Kid with a wicked Twitter game.”
“But instead, the 79-year-old speaker and the 29-year-old freshman are trapped in a generational and ideological tangle that poses a real threat to the Democrats’ ability to beat Donald Trump next year.”
“Pelosi told me, after the A.O.C. Squad voted against the House’s version of the border bill and trashed the moderates — the very people who provided the Democrats the majority — that the Squad was 4 people with 4 votes. She was talking about a legislative reality. If it was a knock, it was for abandoning the party.”
“That did not merit A.O.C.’s outrageous accusation that Pelosi was targeting “newly elected women of color.” She slimed the speaker, who has spent her life fighting for the downtrodden and who was instrumental in getting the first African-American president elected and passing his agenda against all odds, as a sexist and a racist.”
“A.O.C. should consider the possibility that people who disagree with her do not disagree with her color.”
“The young lawmaker went further, implying that the speaker was putting the Squad in danger, asking why Pelosi would criticize them, “knowing the amount of death threats” and attention they get. Huh?”
“A.O.C. pulled back and said she wasn’t calling Pelosi a racist. But once you start that ball rolling, it’s hard to stop. (You know how topsy-turvy the fight is when the biggest defenders of Pelosi, who has endured being a caricature of extreme liberalism for decades, are Trump and the Wall Street Journal editorial board.)”
“The A.O.C. crew threw down the gauntlet in a recent opinion piece in The Washington Post by The Intercept’s Ryan Grim. He wrote that when Pelosi and other Democratic mandarins try to keep the image of the party centrist, they are crouching in “the defensive posture” they’ve been in since the Reagan revolution.”
“Corbin Trent, a spokesman for A.O.C. and co-founder of Justice Democrats, the progressive group that helped propel her, told Grim: “The greatest threat to mankind is the cowardice of the Democratic Party,” with the older generation “driven by fear” and “unable to lead.”
“Message: Pelosi is past her prime.”
“Except she’s not.”
“And then there’s the real instigator, Saikat Chakrabarti, A.O.C.’s 33-year-old chief of staff, who co-founded Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress, both of which recruited progressives — including A.O.C. — to run against moderates in Democratic primaries. The former Silicon Valley Bernie Bro assumed he could apply Facebook’s mantra, “Move fast and break things,” to one of the oldest institutions in the country.”
“But Congress is not a place where you achieve radical progress — certainly not in divided government. It’s a place where you work at it and work at it and don’t get everything you want.”
“The progressives act as though anyone who dares disagree with them is bad. Not wrong, but bad, guilty of some human failing, some impurity that’s a moral evil that justifies their venom.”
“Chakrabarti sent shock waves through the Democratic caucus when he posted a tweet about the border bill comparing moderate and Blue Dog Democrats — some of whom are black — to Southern segregationists in the ’40s.”
“Rahm Emanuel told me Chakrabarti is “a snot-nosed punk” who has no idea about the battle scars Pelosi bears from the liberal fights she has led.”
“What votes did you get?” Emanuel said, rhetorically challenging A.O.C.’s chief of staff. “You should only be so lucky to learn from somebody like Nancy who has shown incredible courage and who has twice returned the Democratic Party to power.”
“We fought for years to create the majorities to get a Democratic president elected and re-elected, and they’re going to dither it away. They have not decided what’s more important: Do they want to beat Trump or do they want to clear the moderate and centrists out of the party? You really think weakening the speaker is the right strategy to try to get rid of Donald Trump and everything he stands for?”
“In the age of Trump, there is no more stupid proposition than that Nancy Pelosi is the problem. If A.O.C. and her Pygmalions and acolytes decide that burning down the House is more important than deposing Trump, they will be left with a racist backward president and the emotional satisfaction of their own purity.”