News

U.S.

Pelosi, AOC Clash over Reach of Progressives’ Influence

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., June 27, 2019. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) clashed over the weekend with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) after making dismissive remarks about the influence of Ocasio-Cortez and other young progressives in the caucus.

“All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world,” Pelosi told the New York Times. “But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got.”

Pelosi, 79, was referring to Ocasio-Cortez, 29, and Representatives Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. The four freshman members, nicknamed “the Squad,” voted against the $4.6 billion emergency-disaster-aid bill signed into law last month, or “our bill,” as Pelosi called it. The bill included funding for more resources to address the increasing flow of migrants over the southern border, and the four congresswomen said it did not contain strong enough protections for migrant children.

Ocasio-Cortez did not appear to appreciate the speaker’s comments and responded with a few choice words on her Twitter account, which has 4.7 million followers.

“That public ‘whatever’ is called public sentiment,” she wrote. “And wielding the power to shift it is how we actually achieve meaningful change in this country.”

“I find it strange when members act as though social media isn’t important,” she added. “I don’t believe it was a good idea for Dems to blindly trust the Trump admin when so many kids have died in their custody. It’s a huge mistake.”

“Patetico!” Omar wrote on her own Twitter account. “You know they’re just salty about WHO is wielding the power to shift ‘public sentiment’ these days, sis. Sorry not sorry.”

“It is very disappointing that the speaker would ever try to diminish our voices in so many ways,” Tlaib added on ABC.

“You know, people like us, people like me and Ayanna, Ilhan, and Alexandria, we’re reflective of our nation in many ways,” Tlaib continued. “Guess what? We know what it feels like to be dehumanized. We know what it feels like to be brown and black in this country. And I’ll tell you right now, we’re not going to stand by and sit idly by and allow brown and dark-skinned children to be ripped away from their parents to be dehumanized.”

Pelosi has previously downplayed the influence of the same group of congresswomen, calling that part of the Democratic caucus “like five people.”

“By and large, whatever orientation they came to Congress with, they know that we have to hold the center. That we have to go down the mainstream,” Pelosi said in April.

Most Popular

White House

The Trivialization of Impeachment

We have a serious governance problem. Our system is based on separation of powers, because liberty depends on preventing any component of the state from accumulating too much authority -- that’s how tyrants are born. For the system to work, the components have to be able to check each other: The federal and ... Read More
U.S.

‘Texodus’ Bodes Badly for Republicans

‘I am a classically trained engineer," says Representative Will Hurd, a Texas Republican, "and I firmly believe in regression to the mean." Applying a concept from statistics to the randomness of today's politics is problematic. In any case, Hurd, 42, is not waiting for the regression of our politics from the ... Read More
Elections

Put Up or Shut Up on These Accusations, Hillary

Look, one 2016 candidate being prone to wild and baseless accusations is enough. Appearing on Obama campaign manager David Plouffe’s podcast, Hillary Clinton suggested that 2016 Green Party candidate Jill Stein was a “Russian asset,” that Republicans and Russians were promoting the Green Party, and ... Read More
Culture

Feminists Have Turned on Pornography

Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the feminist movement has sought to condemn traditional sexual ethics as repressive, misogynistic, and intolerant. As the 2010s come to a close, it might be fair to say that mainstream culture has reached the logical endpoint of this philosophy. Whereas older Americans ... Read More
PC Culture

Defiant Dave Chappelle

When Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special Sticks & Stones came out in August, the overwhelming response from critics was that it was offensive, unacceptable garbage. Inkoo Kang of Slate declared that Chappelle’s “jokes make you wince.” Garrett Martin, in the online magazine Paste, maintained that the ... Read More