Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may have pulled off an impressive underdog win in New York's 14th congressional district, but she has been more of a headache and a handicap for Democrats than a welcome addition. Ocasio-Cortez represents the young, radically progressive of the Democratic Party. The kind that wants the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency abolished and single payer health care. Instead of welcoming her with open arms, leaders have been trying to sweep her surprise victory under the rug. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi chalked it up as an anomaly.
Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA) is the most recent Democrat to cast doubt on Ocasio-Cortez's win and to urge a more moderate agenda. While Heck does not agree with the Trump administration separating families at the border, he sees the value in having ICE crack down on illegal drugs and bring violent illegal immigrants to justice. He also voted to reauthorize the agency last year, to the chagrin of some progressives. His reasonable view on ICE even has some liberal voters cheering on Heck's opponent, Tamborine Borrelli.
Former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has taken a similar approach to questions about ICE and about progressives like Ocasio-Cortez.
"I don't think abolishing ICE is a good idea," Landrieu said on CNN's "State of the Union." "Primarily, because when police departments get out of the way, do the wrong thing or govern in the wrong way, you don't say get rid of the police department; you reform the police department."
Landrieu said the Democratic Party needs to be "a big tent party," with room for everybody. He calls himself a "radical centrist." Like Pelosi, he has also been tamping down Trump impeachment talk, calling it "premature and ill-advised."
Landrieu's pragmatic views are probably why he was not invited to this year's Netroots Nation, a popular progressive conference held in his own state.
He did not believe that the snub, however, was "a sign of anything plus or minus."
Ocasio-Cortez, on the other hand, is preparing her Netroots speech.