Nancy Pelosi tried to scold the “Four Horsewomen of the Apocalypse” this week, and boy, did it escalate quickly.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has responded by accusing the speaker of — what else? — racism. Considering Democrats spent the entire Obama era claiming that all opposition to their agenda constituted racism, it really could not have happened to a nicer party.
Pelosi spoke privately with members of her caucus this week, admonishing specifically those who had been broadcasting House Democrats’ family disputes all over social media rather than seeking guidance and resolution from leadership. Unsurprisingly, Pelosi zeroed in on the freshman New York representative, who has yet to let a thought go untweeted, and her progressive colleagues, including Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.
“So, again, you got a complaint? You come and talk to me about it,” the speaker reportedly told Democrats. “But do not tweet about our members and expect us to think that that is just OK.”
This is basic party discipline, but Ocasio-Cortez’s takeaway from this closed-door meeting was not, “be a team player and expect a ruckus if you besmirch your fellow Democrats in public.” Rather, the message that the freshman congresswoman came away with is: Nancy Pelosi is a racist.
“When these comments first started, I kind of thought that she was keeping the progressive flank at more of an arm’s distance in order to protect more moderate members, which I understood,” Ocasio-Cortez told the Washington Post, referring to not just the closed-door meeting but other critical remarks that the speaker has had for herself and the other freshman progressives.
She added, “But the persistent singling out . . . it got to a point where it was just outright disrespectful . . . the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color.”
I do not know which is funnier: Ocasio-Cortez falling back on her predictable “woman of color” card to defend her conduct, or the fact that Pelosi, whose party spent all eight years of the Obama administration using bad faith allegations of racism, has now herself become the target of the same kind of transparently absurd accusations. I guess it was only a matter of time before the Monster turned on Frankenstein.
I would be lying if I said it has not been entertaining to watch the escalation of hostilities between Pelosi and the progressives, including when the speaker said of the Four Horsewomen in a New York Times interview that published Saturday, “All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world. They didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got.”
This clearly got under AOC’s skin. She responded with a tweet that read: “That public ‘whatever’ is called public sentiment. And wielding the power to shift it is how we actually achieve meaningful change in this country.”
Earlier than that, Pelosi had remarked publicly that Ocasio-Cortez’s electoral victory against incumbent former Rep. Joe Crowley was not that impressive, considering New York’s 14th Congressional District is overwhelmingly liberal.
“[T]hose are districts that are solidly Democratic. This glass of water would win with a D next to its name in those districts,” the speaker said, motioning to a glass near a table.
John Boehner, who also faced an insurrection led by over-eager, under-prepared, and inexperienced freshman lawmakers when he served as speaker, must be enjoying the spectacle.