The divide between centrist Democrats and the far-left progressives is increasingly boiling over into public view. Even the liberal media is finally taking notice of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s struggles to unify the party.
Things came to a head this past week when the speaker appeared incapable of pulling her party together on a simple vote to condemn anti-Semitism in the wake of Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar’s comments. Pelosi lost it and became “visibly angry” after her purported allies joined in with the progressive upstarts in a push to dilute the resolution.
Pelosi allegedly explodes
At the heart of the divide, and reportedly the spark that set off Pelosi’s explosive anger, is the unspoken challenge to her leadership posed by the outspoken, radical freshmen members of Congress like Omar, Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who defended Omar and led the charge for modifying the resolution.
The Washington Post reported Monday that on the Tuesday evening before the scheduled vote on the anti-Semitism resolution, Pelosi “grew angry and raised her voice” when Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell — typically a close ally — began reading tweets from New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and seemed to agree that the resolution should be broadened.
While it is unclear exactly which tweet was the spark that lit Pelosi’s fuse, it was most likely the following tweet in which Ocasio-Cortez questioned why there weren’t resolutions condemning racism, homophobia or xenophobia.
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
“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,” the Post reported.
In the end, Pelosi caved to the demands from the likes of Ocasio-Cortez and put forward a broad resolution generally condemning hate, which was passed 407-23 on Thursday.
Of course, this only served to anger Jewish Democrats and provide ammunition to claims from Republicans and President Donald Trump that Democrats weren’t taking the anti-Semitism within their ranks seriously enough.
“It was really clearly an effort to protect Ilhan Omar, to cover up her bigotry and anti-Semitism by refusing to name her,” said Rep. Liz Cheney, one of the 23 Republicans who refused to vote for the modified resolution.
“If [Omar] was a Republican, this resolution would’ve been naming names, she’d be removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee and we would be talking about anti-Semitism solely, singularly and forcefully,” said Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), who is Jewish and also voted against the resolution.
Speaker Pelosi has certainly had her hands full trying to corral the disparate wings of her party — Democratic Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen told The Post the effort was like “herding cats” — and that problem will most likely only get worse as the new members grow bolder in pushing their radical agenda.
The next challenge to Pelosi’s leadership is coming from the impeachment crowd. Pelosi said this week she does not support impeaching the president, but Democrats are divided on the issue.