As Mehdi Hasan reports, the Democratic speaker of the House of Representatives seems to be far more dismissive and critical of the progressive members of her own party than of Donald Trump and the Republicans.
THEY CALL THEMSELVES the “Squad.” From climate change to student debt to migrants in detention, progressive House Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley have been energetic and outspoken since getting elected last November — and, as a result, have become inured to constant attacks from congressional Republicans and, of course, Fox News.
But how about from their own boss?
In an interview with the New York Times’ Maureen Dowd, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismissed the Squad as “four people” who have their “public whatever and their Twitter world” but don’t “have any following.”
Ouch. This isn’t the first time Pelosi has trolled the left-wing quartet. In April, when she was asked by Leslie Stahl on 60 Minutes to comment on the newly emboldened progressive wing of her party, Pelosi responded: “That’s like five people.”
In the wake of November’s midterms, Pelosi mocked calls from AOC and her allies for a Green New Deal: “The green dream or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it right?”
To be clear: none of these freshmen Democrats have personally attacked Pelosi and all four of them backed her bid for the speakership. As CNN’s Nathan McDermott tweeted, “It is pretty notable that the most vocally anti-Pelosi Democrats (ala the moderates in swing districts who opposed her leadership) don’t get as much criticism from her as the left-wing of the party.”
This should not cause any surprise. The Democratic party leadership is right-wing and joined at the hip to the oligarchy and is more terrified of left-wing populism than of Trump and the Republicans. When Pelosi dismisses the progressives because they do not “have any following”, what she means is any following among the people that really matter: the wealthy donor class, the financial sector, the military-industrial complex, the mainstream media pundit class, and the social circles in which she moves. Ordinary people just do not count in her world.
It is really interesting how the class lines are finally being exposed and talked about, even if at the moment that discussion is taking place largely outside the mainstream media.