I have no hot takes about this, I just wanted to pass it along in the assurance that nothing starts a new week off right quite like a juicy “Dems in disarray” anecdote.
During a leadership meeting on Tuesday night, Pelosi grew angry and raised her voice to Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) when Dingell pulled out her phone and read a tweet by Ocasio-Cortez, according to two people who were there and requested anonymity to disclose details of a private meeting.
In the tweet, Ocasio-Cortez defended Omar, her close friend, as Pelosi and her leadership team were readying an initial version of the resolution responding to Omar’s foreign allegiance remark.
In the meeting, Dingell agreed with Ocasio-Cortez’s assessment that House Democrats shouldn’t be focused on rebuking one of their own but should also be calling out homophobia, racism and xenophobia in general. According to the people in the room, Pelosi was offended at the suggestion that Democrats didn’t already stand up against all forms of hate and grew visibly angry.
WaPo doesn’t say which tweet specifically set Pelosi off — last Tuesday brought us a prolonged Ocasio-Cortez whataboutist tweetstorm in Ilhan Omar’s defense, remember — but this one seems closest to the description in the story:
It’s not my position to tell people how to feel, or that their hurt is invalid.
But incidents like these do beg the question: where are the resolutions against homophobic statements? For anti-blackness? For xenophobia? For a member saying he’ll “send Obama home to Kenya?”
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 5, 2019
I wonder what most irked the Speaker about that. Was it the substance of the criticism? The fact that her job was once again being made more difficult by a noisy freshman in a safe seat? Or the betrayal in having a nominal ally like Debbie Dingell side with AOC against her?
We should adopt the progressive explanation: She’s an old white woman and a Zionist to boot. She’s un-woke by definition and thus bound to cower in the presence of true wokeness.
Read Seth Mandel wisely countering all the silly arguments last week that the Omar episode will cost Democrats votes in 2020. I think it could matter marginally as part of an omnibus argument against the radicalism of the new left (an unaffordable Green New Deal and the end of private health insurance and anti-semitism?) but Trump’s kidding himself if he thinks repeating “Democrats hate Jewish people” ad nauseam is going to start flipping votes. And that’s partly the GOP’s own fault: You can’t acknowledge the “very fine people on both sides” in Charlottesville and wait 15 years to reprimand Steve King, notes Mandel, and expect Jewish voters who prefer Democratic policies on balance to come running. Which is probably why Pelosi decided to cave on the “anti-hate” resolution notwithstanding her annoyance at Dingell and AOC. In the end, she figured, watering down a rebuke of anti-semitism won’t cost the party anything. Hell, it might even win some votes.