The feuding within the House Democratic caucus has been steadily escalating over the past few days, and now it looks like it’s threatening to spiral out of control.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been in an increasingly public and bitter war of words with Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley—the group of four leftist freshmen apparently now known as (sigh) “the squad”—ever since they objected to her ramming through a squalid Republican-backed border funding bill.
This all came to a head on Wednesday, when Pelosi told a meeting of the entire caucus not to take public shots at one another—even though she’s been doing exactly that herself. Pelosi also made clear in the same meeting that she did not take kindly to critical tweets about her (bad) choices on immigration from Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti. Ocasio-Cortez then pointedly wondered aloud why Pelosi seems so insistent on targeting four prominent women of color for expressing their beliefs.
Well! All very awkward stuff, and that brings us to today, when, according to The Hill’s Jonathan Easley, this happened:
Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) unloaded on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday for “using the race card” after Ocasio-Cortez accused Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) of being racially insensitive.
“What a weak argument, because you can’t get your way and because you’re getting push back you resort to using the race card? Unbelievable. That’s unbelievable to me,” Clay said. “I could care less. I could really care less. I agree with the Speaker. Four people, four votes out of 240 people, who cares.”
The Missouri Democrat also described Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti and the progressive group Justice Democrats as “juvenile” and “ignorant.”
It should be noted that Justice Democrats has backed a primary challenge to Clay, so maybe, just maybe, he has some skin in this game. At any rate, we have now officially gone beyond just Nancy Pelosi going after the “squad” to other regular House Democrats excoriating AOC and friends to any reporters who will listen. Personally, I think Pelosi’s behavior has been absolutely beyond the pale, that the most powerful Democrat in the country can stand to hear a little criticism, that calling Pelosi out for not doing enough to protect children being abused by the U.S. government is as far from “juvenile” as you can get, and that Pelosi should answer for why she keeps attacking these women of color! But that’s just me. What seems beyond dispute is that this thing is only going to get uglier.