Nancy Pelosi angrily attacked members of her own party for trying to steer the Democrats towards an agenda that is far more left than many party stalwarts are comfortable worth, Yahoo News reports. One particular target of Pelosi’s ire is upstart freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.
The most recent dust-up within the Democratic Party, which is itself just the latest salvo in an escalating war within the party, seems to have begun on Friday, with an op-ed piece by The Washington Post. An Ocasio-Cortez spokesperson wrote that the “greatest threat to mankind” is “the cowardice of the Democratic Party.”
In an interview with New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd published Saturday, Pelosi shot back at her critics, and she named names. Specifically, she named Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.). and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), along with Ocasio-Cortez, as being a tiny minority.
“They have their public whatever and their Twitter world. But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got,” Pelosi said.
Ocasio-Cortez shot back, saying that the phrase Pelosi was looking for when she said “public whatever” is “public sentiment.”
“And wielding the power to shift it is how we actually achieve meaningful change in this country,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote.
“The New York Times interview is yet another reminder for liberals and leftists that if they want to oppose Trump, they have to oppose Pelosi too.”— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) July 7, 2019
My latest for @theintercept on the Pelosi interview with Dowd & her attacks on @AOC & co. https://t.co/2BHYHm32WJ
Pelosi has faced sharp criticism from her colleagues in Congress, as well as the voters and her party leadership for supposedly “caving” to Donald Trump. Most recently, Pelosi drew the ire of fellow Democrats for pushing the House to pass a Republican-backed border-security bill that includes more money for border protection, but no guarantees of humanitarian conditions for the detainees. Pelosi insists that the bill, which her four named adversaries all voted against, was the best she would be able to offer the House.
Meanwhile, the imbroglio between Pelosi and her younger, progressive-minded House colleagues is just another example of a much larger problem within the Democratic Party as it tries to prepare to challenge Donald Trump in the 2020 election. Namely: some within the party, in particular, its younger upstarts like Ocasio-Cortez and Omar, want to push the Party in a direction further left than it has been, with platforms that include aggressive action on climate change, healthcare, and student loan forgiveness, among others.
However, some within the party insist that the only way to beat Donald Trump is to put up a more traditional candidate, such as Joe Biden. Biden himself has repeatedly said that his center-left stance is the most likely to resonate with voters and put a Democrat in the Oval Office in 2020, and has brushed off suggestions that a further-left candidate will be more likely to excite the voters.