Tweets and trivia in the Squad Room

The an­gry ladies of the House trade broad­sides with the pres­i­dent

The Washington Times Weekly - - Editorials -

Pol­i­tics is some­times a lot like high school, with its sur­feit of back­bit­ing, goofy, mean oc­ca­sion­ally clever nick­names, and scram­bling for pop­u­lar­ity, but the latest can­nonad­ing of tweets and trivia between Pres­i­dent Trump and “the Squad” is taking metaphor a bridge too far. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s feud with Alexan­dria Oca­sioCortez and her ladies, and now with the pres­i­dent, is a se­ri­ous breach of how the gov­ern­ment is sup­posed to work. The exchange demon­strates just how ju­ve­nile things have be­come on Capi­tol Hill.

Sev­eral weeks ago, Mrs. Pelosi per­suaded the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives to pass a bill to send bil­lions of dol­lars to the Mex­i­can bor­der to ad­dress the chaos there. This was not enough for Miss Oca­sio-Cortez’s squad, who suffer from acute ig­no­rance of how the gov­ern­ment works. Life gets com­pli­cated when you get past 18, as the song goes, and life is even more com­pli­cated in Congress at any age. The Repub­li­cans control the Se­nate,

the Democrats control the House, the pres­i­dent pre­sides at the White House, and the speaker, who does un­der­stand how ev­ery­thing works, had done what she could for the Demo­cratic agenda in the face of the usual par­ti­san ob­sta­cles.

The Squad fumed that Mrs. Pelosi had ca­pit­u­lated to the Repub­li­cans. The speaker was dis­mis­sive of the Squad and its at­tempt to roll over the rest of Congress. “All these peo­ple have their pub­lic what­ever and their Twit­ter world,” Mrs. Pelosi de­scribed them in an in­ter­view with The New York Times. “But they didn’t have any fol­low­ing. They’re four peo­ple and that’s how many votes they’ve got.” The ladies of the Squad were not thrilled. Rep. Oca­sio-Cortez tweeted that “That pub­lic ‘what­ever’ is called pub­lic sen­ti­ment.” Rep. Il­han Omar of Min­nesota chimed in agree­ment.

The speaker was nat­u­rally a racist just for fail­ing to please the ladies. Racism has be­come the de­fault in­sult of the left, ren­der­ing it all but mean­ing­less, and il­log­i­cally ap­plied to Mrs. Pelosi for her sin of gen­tly re­buk­ing the ladies. Rep. Oca­sio-Cortez told her that her ladies don’t ap­pre­ci­ate crit­i­cism, and lec­tured her that the “per­sis­tent sin­gling out [of the Squad] … got to the point where it was just out­right dis­re­spect­ful … the ex­plicit sin­gling out of newly elected women of color.” Her chief of staff was harsher. He sug­gested that mod­er­ate Democrats live in a land some­where be­yond racism. “In­stead of ‘fis­cally con­ser­va­tive but so­cially lib­eral,’ let’s call the New Democrats and Blue Dog Democrats the ‘New South­ern Democrats,’” Miss Oca­sio-Cortez’s chief of staff tweeted. “They cer­tainly seem hell-bent to do to black and brown peo­ple to­day what the old South­ern Democrats did in the 40s.”

Noth­ing is new under the sun, as the Book of Ec­cle­si­astes re­minds us, and Mrs. Pelosi’s an­tag­o­nists are small fry com­pared to those en­dured by John Boehner and Paul Ryan, who wres­tled with tea­party zealotry, which gave rise to the Free­dom Cau­cus, ob­serves Los Angeles Times colum­nist Jon Healey. “The Free­dom Cau­cus con­trolled enough votes within the Repub­li­can cau­cus to de­feat any mea­sure (or can­di­date for speaker) that Democrats also op­posed, which was pretty much ev­ery­thing of con­se­quence that Repub­li­cans sought to do. So the free­domites used their mus­cle to wag the House, ex­ert­ing enor­mous in­flu­ence over the cham­ber’s agenda.”

It was in­evitable given the cur­rent state of the Demo­cratic Party that Democrats would pounce.

The pres­i­dent scolded the Squad, as is his cus­tom when a fat tar­get emerges in Twit­ter­world, and some Repub­li­cans called him over the line for telling the ladies to “go home” and fix the man­i­fest sins of the third world whence they came. They replied, as they should have, that they are home, Amer­i­can ci­ti­zens all. But the Squad, like most Democrats, have spent years prac­tic­ing in­sults of Mr. Trump — ac­cus­ing him of racism — and they’re get­ting what they asked for. We live in an­gry times.

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