Via the Daily Caller, here’s how I like to imagine this process playing out behind the scenes.
Pelosi to AOC: Get rid of your bigmouthed pain-in-the-ass sidekick Chakrabarti or I’ll dog-walk you.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez scolded her ex-chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti on Wednesday for comparing some of her centrist colleagues to racist Dixiecrats, calling his comments “divisive” and revealing she gave him a good talking to after the fact.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily News at her district office in Jackson Heights, Ocasio-Cortez said Chakrabarti’s recent resignation had nothing to do with his June 27 tweet comparing members of the moderate Blue Dog Coalition to “Southern Democrats” in the early 20th century who opposed desegregation efforts…
“I think it was divisive,” she said, adding, “I believe in criticizing stances, but I don’t believe in specifically targeting members.”…
Ocasio-Cortez said there was an “internal conversation” in her office after the tweet.
Read this post for background on why Chakrabarti was such a burr in the Democrats’ saddle. His tweet comparing centrist Dems to segregationists for supporting the Senate bill on border funding (which was backed by Senate Democrats!) was obnoxious but it’s the tip of the iceberg in terms of why the caucus disliked him. I’m tempted to go as far as to call it a pretext for pushing for his ouster, which several Dems did — anonymously — in complaining to the media afterward. The tweet about segregationism was a venial sin; his mortal sin was pushing hard to move the Democratic caucus to the left, discomfiting centrist freshmen for whom far-left politics isn’t marketable back in their home districts. To top it off, his old outfit, Justice Democrats, was lining up primary challenges to some incumbent Democrats, further threatening their seats.
For some in the caucus, I think, it was a simple matter of “he has to go so that I don’t have to go.” And so, he went.
As for that part where AOC claims that she doesn’t believe in specifically targeting members, how specific is “specifically”? She dumped on centrist Democrats as a group during her primary bid, notes Jeryl Bier:
Efforts like these – fighting popular and ambitious policy that puts working class Americans first – are exactly why Centrist Democrats have lost 1,000 elected seats and will lose many more.
Let’s hope Progressive Democrats take their place, since the alternative is far worse. https://t.co/88nvugK0Lk
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 7, 2018
We are not going to move forward by electing the same Democrats who got us here.
In safe Dem seats, we MUST elect progressive fighters.
A (D) majority will mean little if it doesn’t include candidates willing to take on corporate interests & put working people first.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 16, 2018
Also, wasn’t there a whole thing a few weeks ago in which Ocasio-Cortez not very subtly implied that Nancy Pelosi is prejudiced against the Squad because they’re women of color?
Did I hallucinate that? Was Chakrabarti’s segregationist analogy really that much more “divisive” than suggesting there’s a racist in charge of the Democratic caucus who has it in for minority women?
One more point. Justice Democrats, the far-left PAC co-founded by Chakrabarti that helped AOC defeat Joe Crowley in her primary last year, has been known to complain when centrist establishment Democrats criticize them as — wait for it — “divisive”:
haha wait I knew this had literally happened, this was from one of their emails this past March pic.twitter.com/hxK8hNXCrl
— Logan Dobson (@LoganDobson) August 8, 2019
Righty populists should be able to sympathize with that complaint. Of course establishmentarians attack populists as “divisive”: The latter are threatening the former’s hold on power and they’re doing it by highlighting points of deep ideological disagreement within the party. You can imagine Pelosi or Hoyer or whoever attacking Chakrabarti as “divisive” for his tweet and him replying, “If I’m ‘divisive’ because I care passionately about Latino immigrants and centrist Democrats don’t care enough, then I’m honored to be called ‘divisive.'” But it’s not Pelosi or Hoyer doing it. It’s his old boss, the progressive wunderkind, who was supposedly headed to Washington to speak truth to power even when it’s “divisive” to do so.
She’s in it for the long haul now, it seems.