They are known as AOC’s “Squad,” and they are increasingly a force in the far-left’s eye-thumbing of the Democratic Party’s power structure, and a four-arrow quiver in the woke anti-Trump outrage hunting party. The “Squad” claims to represent the Democrats’ new party priorities.
Young, brash, woke, feminist and largely anti-Semitic, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib are a four-woman voting block with an outsize press footprint. They’re a burr in the bottom for Speaker Nancy Pelosi, while at the same time a tempting target for Trump, which makes them valuable as troll bait.
They’re the Suicide Squad, and they take no orders or prisoners. Yet most of the Democratic presidential field follows in their footsteps, knowing that these four are a recipe for Congressional chaos and muddled messages, but believe they are the template for motivating young Democrats to vote in November 2020.
All four faced no measurable Republican opposition in solid-blue districts. Tlaib faced no Republican opponent in the 2018 general election. Omar replaced openly anti-Semitic former DNC deputy chairman Keith Ellison, who was shamed and exposed as a misogynist girlfriend abuser, yet remains Minnesota’s attorney general.
Pressley overthrew 10-term incumbent Michael Capuano, who found himself, as a fiscal moderate, at the bottom of a dogpile led by presidential candidates Sen. Elizabeth Warren, joined by Rep. Seth Moulton. The biggest name Capuano could muster behind him was Georgia Rep. John Lewis, a fossil with zero name value in Massachusetts. Pressley was a Boston City Council member for nine years, and a staffer for John Kerry. She’s also a black woman, the first elected to the Boston City Council and the House from the Bay State.
The woke spoke in Boston. The pale, balding Italian didn’t realize it was over the second the calendar ticked into 2018. He lost by 18,016 votes out of 102,476 cast.
AOC faced the most competitive race. She was one of a slate run by Saikat Chakrabarti, a 33-year-old Harvard grad, socialist, and Bernie Sanders supporter. Two PACs, Brand New Congress and Justice Democrats, formed by Chakrabarti in 2017, proposed to run pop-up campaigns with shared services and management for grass-roots far-left candidates. Osasio-Cortez was the one campaign that gained traction in the ultra-liberal New York 14th district.
Raising just over $2 million, the PACs threw their support fully behind the 29-year-old bartender, and she won the primary (realistically, the election) by 4,018 votes with 29,778 cast, or about 13.49% over 10-term incumbent Joseph Crowley. Crowley withdrew from the Democratic Party and ran in the general election with the Working Families Party, garnering 6.6% of the vote. Republican Anthony Pappas received 13.6%, with AOC taking 78.2%. Clinton won the 14th district 77% to Trump’s 22% in 2016.
The Suicide Squad, with four votes, can’t get any traction in the Democrat-controlled House. They have no power, no whip, and no voice with Speaker Pelosi.
But they have a massive press following and a lot of juice in social media. Their loose cannons, firing at will on friend and foe, lead to absurd friendly-fire incidents like calling Pelosi a white supremacist, while Pelosi calls Trump a white supremacist.
Behold the latest conflagration.
Omar pumped her immigrant “I love this country” shtick.
This led to a spectacular trolling battle with Trump on Twitter. (“You’re a white supremacist.” “No, you are.”) Even Pelosi had to jump in.
Pelosi joined in calling Trump a white supremacist:
Neither Trump’s nor Pelosi’s remarks rise above schoolyard taunts, and both are disgusting. The president telling anyone to “go back” to their old country brings to mind Palestinians (and Ilhan Omar) telling Israeli Jews to “go back” to Europe. I’m sickened by the reference.
But Pelosi’s volley against Trump is not an endorsement of AOC, who herself called the speaker a white supremacist, then backed off. New York Times opinion writer Maureen Dowd became so verklempt over AOC’s “outrageous accusation” that she penned a withering rebuke.
A.O.C. should consider the possibility that people who disagree with her do not disagree with her color.
Dowd warned that AOC puts Democrats’ plans for 2020 in danger.
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.
Former Maryland Rep. Donna Edwards opined in the Washington Post that “the Squad (and progressives) need Pelosi to be successful in Congress.” But four (freshman) votes won’t have any effect on Pelosi’s ability to pass legislation. So it’s something else.
The Democratic field has moved left as the Suicide Squad acts as cheerleaders. They’re pushing the whole party leftward, outside the mainstream opinion of American voters, even Democrats. They may overthrow Joe Biden, or Elizabeth Warren, and leave Democrats with a weakened field.
Republicans may achieve what Hillary Clinton sought to do (and did) in 2016: Place the most outrageous candidate into nomination. Except Hillary herself was so distasteful she couldn’t beat Trump. And Trump, though distasteful, has the incumbent’s advantage.
The Suicide Squad believes they are leading Democrats to electoral advantage, to increased turnout among younger, female, and minority voters. The candidates are following this Pied Piper song, mostly in lockstep, with Pelosi yelling “stop!” from her perch in Congress.
In fact, the Suicide Squad is leading Democrats so far left that no candidate is woke enough for their support. They may be winding up their supporters online, but this shift gives Trump, even with his immense baggage and immaturity, a ticket to four more years.