Robert Hampton, American Renaissance, July 22, 2019
The Democrats are in a civil war. Young, non-white radicals want socialism, impeachment, and open borders. The mostly-white old guard wants to keep the status quo and America’s borders. This fissure exploded over a border bill last month and has not faded. Race hangs over the fight, with each side accusing the other of racism.
The young radicals have more support from the media, and their message is echoed by several Democrat presidential candidates. The most prominent radicals—four non-white women known as “The Squad”—are New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, and Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley. They noisily opposed the border security bill and started the fight within the Democrat Party.
The bill was for emergency funding for border security and immigration enforcement. The border crisis—largely one of paying to house the border-hopping “families” who are arriving in record numbers—made the bill a bipartisan necessity. “The children come first,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
In a joint statement, The Squad explained it opposed the bill because it “gives even more money to ICE and CBP and continues to support a fundamentally cruel and broken immigration system.” Rep. Tlaib said that if you support the bill “you don’t believe in basic human rights.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi mocked the insurgency in the New York Times: “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.”
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez then complained to the Washington Post: “[T]he persistent singling out . . . it got to a point where it was just outright disrespectful . . . the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color.” She also said the House Speaker’s comments encouraged “death threats” against her.
The dispute is not over one bill; it’s about the future of the party. The radicals want the party openly to push non-white interests. The leaders want to do the same, but in a more gradual way that does not alienate white voters. They know that abolishing borders, ending immigration enforcement, or openly giving white wealth to non-whites is political suicide—at least for now.
The radicals say this is inhumane and possibly racist. They want to abolish ICE and scrap many immigration laws. They also want a Green New Deal, which would upend the economy and funnel even more aid to non-whites. It’s supposed to save the environment, but would impose racial quotas on businesses, give more public services to non-whites, and guarantee employment for everyone.
The radicals also want President Trump impeached, while the party leaders and most voters oppose this. The radicals’ ideas have caught on among Democratic presidential candidates. The majority whoop up the Green New Deal and want to decriminalize illegal entry.
Significantly, The Squad has failed to win over the Congressional Black Caucus. The CBC stands by Nancy Pelosi and feels threatened by the radicals. Some CBC members are facing primary challengers backed by the Justice Democrats, the lefty group that spearheaded The Squad’s campaigns in 2018. One target is Missouri Rep. William Lacy Clay, who criticized Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s use of the “race card,” angrily dismissing accusations that Mrs. Pelosi is a racist. He also said the Justice Democrats were eerily similar to the “Russian trolls of 2016.”
Others black lawmakers have tried to use race against the radicals. “It just seems strange that the social Democrats seem to be targeting members of the Congressional Black Caucus, individuals who have stood and fought to make sure that African Americans are included and part of this process,” says New York Rep. Gregory Meeks, a CBC leader.
“It does make you wonder what’s going on,” Illinois Rep. Robin Kelly told The Hill. “Some names that have been mentioned [as targets by Justice Democrats] all seem to be people of color, and more so CBC members.”
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’ chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, has tweeted that Nancy Pelosi is ineffective and that anyone who voted for the border bill—including CBC members and Kansas Rep. Sharice Davids “enabled a racist system.” He added that the moderates “certainly seem hell bent to do to black and brown people today what the old Southern Democrats did [during] the 40s.”
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, another CBC member the Justice Democrats want to unseat and who runs the House Democrats Twitter account, was especially outraged at Mr. Chakrabarti for “explicitly singling out a Native American woman of color”—meaning Rep. Davids. Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel called Mr. Charkabarti a “snot-nosed punk.”
A Democrat aide who spoke to The Hill anonymously said it was “ironic and funny” that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez implies that Nancy Pelosi is racist when her group, the Justice Democrats, supports Democrat primary challengers against sitting black congressmen. “She’s only a woman of color when it’s convenient,” he said. “None of the things she’s fought for aligned with communities of color and her group is funded only by elitist white liberals; she’s a puppet.”
The same anonymous aide added: “All these CBC members feel like they are under siege. But it’s offensive that these elitist white liberals feel like they can undermine the foundation of our party,” namely, black voters. Blacks Democrats in Congress seem to think they are entitled to their seats in perpetuity, and that a challenge from the left is lèse majesté.
In fact, even though the CBC may claim that Justice Democrats are tools of white liberals, their interests are explicitly racial and they back only two white candidates. The rest, including all the ones running against CBC members, are all non-white.
Rep. Pressley, who is black, also believes that the old-guard CBC is selling out blacks. “I don’t want to bring a chair to an old table,” she says, adding:
[W]e don’t need any more brown faces that don’t want to be a brown voice. We don’t need black faces that don’t want to be a black voice. 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.
Miss Pressley may better represent the future of black politics than CBC leaders. She is 45 while her CBC critic Rep. Lacy Clay is 62. She also has a high favorability rating among liberal and non-white voters. Younger blacks could side with her.
Not even President Trump’s attacks on The Squad united the Democrats. This week, the four continued to snipe at Speaker Pelosi, and the two sides will continue to battle over the soul of the Democratic Party. Most presidential candidates are tilting towards the Justice Democrats’ positions as the media continue their glowing coverage of The Squad.
The numbers lie with the establishment, but the momentum lies with the radicals. The Democratic nominee could be a carbon copy of Miss Ocasio-Cortez.