Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) hit back at moderate Democrats on Friday who complained that progressives’ support for socialism and defunding police departments had hurt the party on Election Day.
Republican candidates managed to unseat several House Democrats, including Donna Shalala of Florida and Kendra Horn of Oklahoma, who had entered office following a blue wave in the 2018 midterms. During a House caucus call on Thursday, Representative Abigail Spanberger (D., Va.) warned colleagues that the party would “get f***king torn apart in 2022” if candidates continued to call themselves socialists and support defunding the police, a sentiment shared by other moderate Democrats.
“We have to commit to not saying the words ‘defund the police’ ever again,” Spanberger angrily said on the call, a recording of which was obtained by the Washington Post. “We need to not ever use the words socialist or socialism ever again….It does matter, and we have lost good members because of that.”
However, Ocasio-Cortez pushed back on the conclusion of moderates in her party.
So the whole “progressivism is bad” argument just doesn’t have any compelling evidence that I’ve seen.
When it comes to “Defund” & “Socialism” attacks, people need to realize these are racial resentment attacks. You’re not gonna make that go away. You can make it less effective.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 6, 2020
“The whole ‘progressivism is bad’ argument just doesn’t have any compelling evidence that I’ve seen,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter. “When it comes to ‘Defund’ & ‘Socialism’ attacks, people need to realize these are racial resentment attacks. You’re not gonna make that go away. You can make it less effective.”
The New York Democrat, who easily won reelection with almost 70 percent of her district’s vote, said that the party had not spent enough on digital campaign efforts and had put lackluster efforts into door-to-door campaigning.
“The decision to stop knocking doors is one people need to grapple with and analyze,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote, claiming fellow progressives Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) “never stopped and may very well have helped delivered a Biden Presidency [because] of it.”
While Democrats appear set to retain their House majority, caucus members were disappointed with election results after hoping to pick up three to 15 House seats.