The following editorial appeared in the New York Daily News on July 13:
NEW YORK (Tribune News Service) — New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wants the world to know she is being victimized. Because of her race. By House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. And so, she claims, are fellow newbies Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley.
The complaints would be laughable were they not toxic to civil conversation and damaging to Democrats who must suspend petty internecine squabbling to defeat President Trump next year.
The spark that set off Ocasio-Cortez’s siren: Pelosi, responsible for steering a large and ideologically diverse caucus, urged the group to keep disagreements inside the tent, reminding them that “They’re four people, and that’s how many votes they got.”
Which triggered AOC, sounding more like a college freshman demanding a safe space than a freshman lawmaker, to decry “the persistent ... the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color,” which she deemed “outright disrespectful.”
It is deeply disheartening to see someone as smart, talented and otherwise savvy as this fail such a big political test.
Ocasio-Cortez surely knows she is one of 235 Democrats, who happens to represent a safe district in a liberal city. Surely she knows the size of her small band of pure progressives pales in comparison to that of the moderate New Democrat Coalition, now 101 members strong.
Surely she knows Omar was not picked on by Pelosi; she singled herself out by claiming Jewish Americans had dual loyalties and were motivated only by money.
Surely she knows intra-party fights are a tradition older than the Hill itself. Just four years ago, Speaker John Boehner wrestled the hard-right Freedom Caucus over budget and spending votes. Some members even lost committee posts in the process. They all happened to be white men; nobody howled about race or gender.
Republicans have long claimed Democrats too quickly resort to pulling identity cards when criticized. One of the Democrats’ brightest young stars shouldn’t help prove them right.
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