When hard-left progressives come together each year at the annual Netroots Nation gathering its typically outspoken conservative personalities being targeted, but this year its House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who finds her ears ringing.
Pelosi appears to have grown weary of the antics of four freshman Democrats known as “the squad,” resulting in open warfare between the extreme left faction of her party and more moderate members — the four are led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and includes Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.
While Pelosi may not be popular at a gathering of the radical left, she appears to still have the support of most in her caucus, as seen in a Wall Street Journal report:
Nancy Pelosi was booed by liberal activists at Netroots and the “squad” was cheered, but in the Capitol, Pelosi has the support of her caucus and AOC lost votes for an amendment on Friday, in part because her colleagues are frustrated. https://t.co/0x94M2Jy7R
— Natalie Andrews (@nataliewsj) July 13, 2019
Markos Moulitsas, founder of the off-the-chain left-wing Daily Kos, defended the four freshman lawmakers who have played the race card against Pelosi, suggesting that she is singling them out because they are women of color.
“She doesn’t act this way when Blue Dogs say stupid sh*t about other Democrats and about the party and constantly criticize the party,” Moulitsas said, according to Huffington Post. “For some reason, she’s singling out these four for a special brand of conflict. It doesn’t make any sense.”
The charge that Pelosi is targeting the women because of their race was popular at the annual conference.
Credo Action Co-Director Heidi Hess ripped Pelosi as a “white” leader who’s “willing to throw people of color under the bus.”
“We deserve better than white Democratic leaders who are willing to throw people of color under the bus to maintain their privilege,” Hess stated. “Nancy Pelosi needs to stop trying to shame and silence the progressive women of color in her caucus, stop enabling the moderates who want to compromise with Republicans’ extremist agenda, and start leading her caucus with the urgency of someone who actually cares about the communities Trump is attacking every day.”
Things came to a head over an emergency funding bill to help process the flood of Central American migrants overwhelming the southern border, as the four progressive lawmakers voted against the bill — this being the same cabal mugging for the cameras as they exaggerate the conditions these migrants are being held in.
“All these people 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 of “the squad.”
Three of the four appeared at Netroots, participating in a keynote panel on Saturday.
The lawmakers, Omar, Pressley and Tlaib, “received a boisterous standing ovation” from the room, Huffington Post reported.
…while Democratic Party leadership was booed.
“The women of color who entered Congress, they’re more than four votes,” the panel moderator, Aimee Allison, told the crowd. “For millions of us, [they] represent blood, sweat and tears for us to have representation. They represent the best of American democracy.”
“And yet, if you’ve read the news, they’ve faced attacks all year from the right-wing and from Democratic Party leadership,” Allison added, drawing boos from the room.
In a closed-door meeting Wednesday, Pelosi told the Democratic caucus to air party grievances privately, but that has all gone out the window since. On Friday, the House Democratic Caucus blasted Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, on social media.
Chakrabarti co-founded Justice Democrats, a group that targets Democrats who they see as being too moderate by running primary challengers. He called out Rep. Sharice Davids, D-Kansas, last month on Twitter, saying he was part of a group of Democrats voting “as a block to criminalize immigrants (though really only brown ones).”
Adding to the open war within the party, the Congressional Black Caucus accused the Justice Democrats of targeting African American lawmakers.
“If you’re not prepared to come to that table and represent that voice, don’t come, because we don’t need any more brown faces that don’t want to be a brown voice,” Pressley said at Netroots.
“We don’t need black faces that don’t want to be a black voice,” she added. “We don’t need Muslims that don’t want to be a Muslim voice. We don’t need queers that don’t want to be a queer voice. If you’re worried about being marginalized and stereotyped, please don’t even show up because we need you to represent that voice.”
Huffington Post reported on other Democratic lawmakers appearing at Netroots who commented on Pelosi’s actions, to include Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., a co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
“I don’t think those comments were helpful to a broader picture of how we build progressive power in the House and what it looks like relative to overall Democratic power,” Jayapal said of Pelosi’s criticism.
“She is the leadership, so that’s where the responsibility rests,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., on Friday, speaking of the emergency funding bill for the border crisis.
“The House has to carry its weight to restore the values of America. It failed on this occasion,” said the left-wing senator who assumed the authority to define what our values are.
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