She’s easily my favorite member of the Squad. The other three have the basic sense not to pick at the scab of last week’s unpleasantness with Pelosi at a moment when the whole caucus is suddenly behind them in a fight against Trump, but not Tlaib. AOC even went so far in this interview as to whitewash her own insinuations that Pelosi was singling out her, Omar, Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley for racial reasons:
KING: You know, when you say things like, the Speaker of the House is being disrespectful to women of color. Is she, according to you, being disrespectful to women of color because of your color or because she doesn’t like your policies or the tactics that you all are taking. To make your point.
OCASIO-CORTEZ: Right, and I’ll clarify. I did not say that she was disrespectful of women of color. I found some of the comments disrespectful and that was my personal opinion.
OCASIO-CORTEZ: And I did feel that singling out on the basis of one vote was creating an opening. But that doesn’t mean that we, that we fundamentally disagree or fundamentally disrespect each other’s position and power and ability to be here. And that’s what makes us united as a caucus.
Last week Ocasio-Cortez said to WaPo, “When these comments [by Pelosi] 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. 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.” The whole point there was that it was race, not ideology, which AOC had come to believe was the source of special animus from the Speaker towards the Squad. Now, after a week-long sh*tstorm, she’s back to claiming that she didn’t mean Pelosi was disrespectful women of color. Whatever. It’s a transparent lie.
But it’s a smart lie at least, aimed at smoothing over the differences within the caucus to keep everyone focused on Trump.
Then it was Tlaib’s turn to speak:
The money line there is “Acknowledge the fact that we are women of color, so when you do single us out, be aware of that and what you’re doing, especially because some of us are getting death threats, because some of us are being singled out in many ways because of our backgrounds, because of our experiences and so forth.” Tlaib’s suggesting that minority members of Congress should have special immunity from criticism, even from their own leadership, because some are getting death threats, as if Nancy Pelosi — and Trump, of course — don’t get threats routinely. What must be especially galling for Pelosi and her staff is that they’ve taken the threats made against the Squad seriously. Pelosi called for extra security for Ilhan Omar several months ago and Bennie Thompson, the chairman of the Homeland Security committee, sent a letter to Capitol Police a few days ago requesting a meeting to “analyze the current threat environment and set thresholds for enhanced safety of Members” after Trump’s tweets. This is the thanks Pelosi gets — Tlaib demagoging her as racially insensitive because she’s dared to suggest that the prog bombthrowers in the freshman class don’t have as much support nationally as they think.
I think Tlaib’s the Ringo of these fab four. Someone in my Twitter timeline yesterday claimed that Ayanna Pressley is the Ringo, but eh, not really. Pressley’s the George of the group: In the background, lower-key than the others, but just maybe with as much raw “talent” as the two frontmen in what they do. Tlaib is Ringo. She’s a clown. Her endless repetitive droning about racism is essentially percussive.
Via the Free Beacon, here’s one of the frontmen of the group chipping in with her own contribution this morning, insisting that of course she didn’t mean her previous comments about AIPAC and supporters of Israel to be anti-semitic — while emphasizing that no, she doesn’t regret them. That’s predictable. The common thread in populism in both parties is defiance in all things. Never, ever apologize. Even when you’re clearly wrong and people have been hurt by it.