Dowd did her very best to get Trump elected, with weekly columns constantly attacking alternately Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, while ignoring the obvious monstrosity of Trump. She even let her fascist reactionary brother write her column each November. Now, she's figured out Trump really is catastrophic and is doing her reactionary best to undermine the energy and lifeblood that won in 2018--the activist Progressive Left.Scaling Wokeback Mountain
By Maureen Dowd
WASHINGTON — I was feeling on edge. Writing a column that sparks an internecine fight among the highest-profile women in the Democratic Party is nerve wracking.
So I went to the gym. Alex Toussaint, the digital Peloton instructor inside the little screen on my spinning bike, had some wisdom for me — the kind of New Age bromide dispensed in spin classes everywhere:
You climb the mountain to see the world. You don’t climb the mountain so the world can see you.
I only wished A.O.C. was cycling alongside me to hear it as well.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ensorcelled me from the start. I loved the bartender-makes-good Cinderella story, the shake-up-the-capital idealistic dreams, the bravado about how the plutocrat president from Queens wouldn’t know how to deal with a Puerto Rican girl from the Bronx.
And I imagined the most potent feminist partnership in American history: Nancy Pelosi as sensei, bringing her inside game, and A.O.C., the Karate Kid with a wicked Twitter game.
But instead, the 79-year-old speaker and the 29-year-old freshman are trapped in a generational and ideological tangle that poses a real threat to the Democrats’ ability to beat Donald Trump next year.
Pelosi told me, after the A.O.C. Squad voted against the House’s version of the border bill and trashed the moderates — the very people who provided the Democrats the majority — that the Squad was four people with four votes. She was talking about a legislative reality. If it was a knock, it was for abandoning the party.
That did not merit A.O.C.’s outrageous accusation that Pelosi was targeting “newly elected women of color.” She slimed the speaker, who has spent her life fighting for the downtrodden and who was instrumental in getting the first African-American president elected and passing his agenda against all odds, as a sexist and a racist.
A.O.C. should consider the possibility that people who disagree with her do not disagree with her color.
The young lawmaker went further, implying that the speaker was putting the Squad in danger, asking why Pelosi would criticize them, “knowing the amount of death threats” and attention they get. Huh?
A.O.C. pulled back and said she wasn’t calling Pelosi a racist. But once you start that ball rolling, it’s hard to stop. (You know how topsy-turvy the fight is when the biggest defenders of Pelosi, who has endured being a caricature of extreme liberalism for decades, are Trump and the Wall Street Journal editorial board.)
The A.O.C. crew threw down the gauntlet in a recent opinion piece in The Washington Post by The Intercept’s Ryan Grim. He wrote that when Pelosi and other Democratic mandarins try to keep the image of the party centrist, they are crouching in “the defensive posture” they’ve been in since the Reagan revolution.
Corbin Trent, a spokesman for A.O.C. and co-founder of Justice Democrats, the progressive group that helped propel her, told Grim: “The greatest threat to mankind is the cowardice of the Democratic Party,” with the older generation “driven by fear” and “unable to lead.”
Message: Pelosi is past her prime.
Except she’s not.
And then there’s the real instigator, Saikat Chakrabarti, A.O.C.’s 33-year-old chief of staff, who co-founded Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress, both of which recruited progressives — including A.O.C. — to run against moderates in Democratic primaries. The former Silicon Valley Bernie Bro assumed he could apply Facebook’s mantra, “Move fast and break things,” to one of the oldest institutions in the country.
But Congress is not a place where you achieve radical progress — certainly not in divided government. It’s a place where you work at it and work at it and don’t get everything you want.
The progressives act as though anyone who dares disagree with them is bad. Not wrong, but bad, guilty of some human failing, some impurity that is a moral evil that justifies their venom.
Chakrabarti sent shock waves through the Democratic caucus when he posted a tweet about the border bill comparing moderate and Blue Dog Democrats — some of whom are black — to Southern segregationists in the ’40s.
Rahm Emanuel told me Chakrabarti is “a snot-nosed punk” who has no idea about the battle scars Pelosi bears from the liberal fights she has led.
“What votes did you get?” Emanuel said, rhetorically challenging A.O.C.’s chief of staff. “You should only be so lucky to learn from somebody like Nancy who has shown incredible courage and who has twice returned the Democratic Party to power.
“We fought for years to create the majorities to get a Democratic president elected and re-elected, and they’re going to dither it away. They have not decided what’s more important: Do they want to beat Trump or do they want to clear the moderate and centrists out of the party? You really think weakening the speaker is the right strategy to try to get rid of Donald Trump and everything he stands for?”
In the age of Trump, there is no more stupid proposition than that Nancy Pelosi is the problem. If A.O.C. and her Pygmalions and acolytes decide that burning down the House is more important than deposing Trump, they will be left with a racist backward president and the emotional satisfaction of their own purity.
Emanuel isn't just a shit. He's wrong. Pelosi's been wrong in her predictions of House gains time and time again. She even predicted winning 25 seats and taking back the House in 2016--ask Paul Ryan how that turned out!
Pelosi IS a brilliant parliamentarian--no doubt about it. But, like all people in power she's lost the humility that HER power and fortunes are not indivisible from both her her party's power and fortunes, and the nation's. She's fallen into the "I'm the Indispensable Person" trap, justifying all sorts of machinations to protect her power, position and iron fist. In the minority, she was brilliant at that. In the majority, the flaws are blatant.
While Republicans gleefully gerrymander and suppress voters, Democratic so-called "Leaders" swoop in to districts to pick the candidates THEY want in Congress, not the ones the people in the district want. I live in NJ-11 and we lived through that. The DCCC swooped in, picked a good-looking, hits-all-the-checkboxes woman who DIDN'T EVEN LIVE IN OUR DISTRICT to help "flip" it.
But the DCCC didn't make NJ-11 flippable. They've been writing us off since 1984 (9 years before we moved to NJ and NJ-11). And they wrote us off for 2016. But NJ District 11 for Change, and Indivisible for NJ-11 got out and went after Rodney Frelinghhuysen, with weekly demonstrations at his office in Morristown, with constant phone calls, post cards, emails, and PR that he wasn't holding town halls, wasn't meeting his constituents, and the polls began to show that his usual 2:1 margin had slipped to a horse race or even a losing effort.
Only THEN, after WE did the heavy lifting, did the DCCC swoop in and dump Mikie Sherrill on us. Yes, she was a navy pilot (or was it army) was a prosecutor, married with kids, and tall, trim--a TV candidate all the way. And the first tough questions I and others asked her...she waffled and diverted. Since then, she's been a "reliable" Pelosi/leadership drone, keeps her head down, speaks out "boldly" on issues where there's no REAL controversy...and we'll probably be stuck with her unless the GOP flips NJ-11 back.
One could say that Mikie Sherrill's at risk whereas Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not, and that's true. But Katie Porter, from CA-45 squeaked by with an even narrower win to flip that district, doesn't fit the "appearance quotient" that Sherrill does, but has more guts, more spine, and more willingness to ask nail-em-to-the-wall questions that has made her an admirer in myself, and Laurence O'Donnell.
I had HOPED for a Katie Porter in NJ-11 but got stuck with Mikie Sherrill. Contrast these 2 freshmen and you'll see EVERYTHING wrong with the Party Leadership, determined to take us down the WRONG path again to possible defeat, as they did starting in 1952, and following in 1956, 1968, 1972, 1980, 1984, 1988, 2000, 2004, and 2016.
Those who keep repeating the same course and expecting a different result....you know the rest.