House Democrats may have appeared united in the resolution condemning President Trump for a series of tweets aimed at Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), but behind the scenes we have chaos. A few talked to Tapper off the record and noted this whole fiasco has been a massive win for the Trump White House. There was infighting between AOC and Speaker Pelosi, which is good, but what’s even better is forcing the Democratic leadership to re-embrace this Leninist Girl Scout Troop from Hell and their extremist agenda and anti-Semitic remarks. Oh, and Omar made sure to make it clear to CBS’s Gayle King that she doesn’t regret her remarks.
"The president won this one,” said one House Democrat to Tapper, “What the president has done is politically brilliant. Pelosi was trying to marginalize these folks and the president has now identified the entire party with them."
He noted all of this in a lengthy Twitter thread:
House Democrats appeared unified in their votes this week but I've spent the day talking to a bunch of them and many are extremely frustrated. All agree POTUS's tweets needed to be condemned; they spoke under condition of anonymity so they could be candid. (Thread)— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) July 17, 2019
2/ "The president won this one," said House Dem 1 of the Trump v Squad (AOC, Tlaib, Omar & Pressley) showdown. "What the president has done is politically brilliant. Pelosi was trying to marginalize these folks and the president has now identified the entire party with them."— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) July 17, 2019
3/ Another issue: what are Dems focused on? Is it what will help the class of 2018 (largely more moderate than the Squad) get reelected?— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) July 17, 2019
Dem Rep 2: "The president's words and actions speak for themselves. We need to focus on the issues that got them here: jobs, health care..."
4/ "...instead of the issues the president brings up deliberately. Anything that takes away from bread and butter issues is playing into his hands."— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) July 17, 2019
5/ Other House Democrats are conflicted about having to defend the Squad given things they've said and done. House Dems cited: talk of supporting challengers to incumbent Dems in primaries, AOC's use of the term "concentration camps," anti-Semitic comments by Tlaib & Omar.— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) July 17, 2019
6/ This perceived selective outrage rankled some Dems.— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) July 17, 2019
"Everybody was completely outraged by what the president said," said House Dem 3, "and everybody thought it was appropriate to criticize him...
7/ "...but this was the *first* time the House has taken action to criticize him in any way, We couldn't even bring ourselves to have a resolution exclusively condemning anti-Semitism uttered by one of those members" -- Omar -- "but we leapt to their defense here."— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) July 17, 2019
8/ A few House Dems noted that Omar and Tlaib just introduced a resolution affirming the right of Americans to boycott, perceived as an expression of support for the anti-Israel BDS (boycott, divest, and sanction) movement that most House Dems oppose.— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) July 17, 2019
9/ "So we'll hear a tirade of attacks on Israel from the same group," said House Dem 3. "Hopefully they won't be anti Semitic."— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) July 17, 2019
House Dem 4 also brought up that bill coming "from someone with a history of anti-Semitism" -- Omar -- "So yeah it’s challenging."
10/ House Dem 4 recalls that "less than 2 weeks ago when members of our caucus were trying to support funds for children at the border," the Squad was arguing that "we're pro-putting kids in cages, we're against human rights. So there’s frustration."— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) July 17, 2019
11/ Others noted that this week the House Democratic Caucus stood by a group that is not perceived as standing by them.— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) July 17, 2019
"I can't tell you the number of Members who are angry and annoyed about them criticizing us," said House Dem 3.
12/ AOC, in particular "gives her chief of staff license to get candidates to run against her colleagues and to go after them on social media. It makes people's skin crawl," said House Dem 3.— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) July 17, 2019
House Dem 4 summed it up: "We were there for them; they should stop attacking us."
There were also worries that AOC and her crew’s antics won’t help moderate House Democrats keep their seats in 2020. With them defining the party, that’s very possible. Have you seen the polling? The agenda peddled by these women are viewed as straight trash.
“Anything that takes away from bread and butter issues is playing into his [Trump’s] hands, said another Democrat.
There’s also great hesitancy to defend this quartet over their absurd claims that we have concentration camps on the southern border in a not so subtle reference to the Nazi Holocaust. The irony is that soon after these allegations were lobbed by AOC, she quoted a Nazi sympathizer on Twitter. And defending these women means defending their anti-Semitic antics, which Omar has been their top quarterback. While some tried to work on a package to help the overcrowding in the detention centers, this crew attacked them for being complicit for putting kids in cages. Why? Well, anything that enforces immigration law is seen that way. It’s evil in their eyes. They’re for open borders.
“I can't tell you the number of Members who are angry and annoyed about them criticizing us,” said another Democrat.
And while there is agreement that the president’s tweets should be criticized, where were these people when the House tried to condemn anti-Semitism. Over the weekend, Trump said that these women should go back to their crime-infested places from whence they came, fix it, and come back. He later doubled down and said if they don’t like it here, they can leave.
Oh, and there’s the whole part about this four-headed monster backing primary challenged. AOC and her Justice Democrats have said they are in no way backing off from possibly challenging incumbent Democrats next year. Needless to say, that hasn’t sat well with their Democratic colleagues. It looks like Trump just outflanked them.