Jennifer Rubin: How Democrats should respond to Ocasio-Cortez


AOC's denial came after Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo., slammed her "inappropriate" suggestion that Pelosi is singling out the New Yorker and her "squad" of fellow freshmen due to their race.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defended her demand to be sworn-in during a public hearing Friday; saying she requested the odd procedure because Republicans "state that she's lying" about border security.

"It was such a weak argument to say she was being picked on and that four women of color were being picked on by the speaker", Clay said.

Ocasio-Cortez fired back at Pelosi, first in a series of tweets and then in an interview with the Washington Post, in which she called attention to the "singling out" of the young, progressive congresswomen of color.

"I'm not going to let us engage on a debate stage for who's going to be the next president of the United States - I'm not going to allow us to engage in revisionist history", she said.

Ocasio-Cortez has stood by her critique of Pelosi, telling CNN Thursday, "It's really just pointing out the pattern, right?"

The comment injects Harris into a spat between Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez, during which the House Speaker urged members against tweets admonishing fellow Democratic members of Congress. Pelosi later caved to Republicans and allowed the House to pass the Senate version of the bill, which lacked numerous protections progressive Democrats had sought.

Although Pelosi appeared intent on refocusing the party's attention, some lawmakers could not put the feud to bed.

Asked if the criticism is unfair, Bass said: "Well, I want to find out why she's making that criticism. And a lot of New Democrats and Blue Dogs did that today", tweeted Saikat Chakrabarti, the chief of staff for Ocasio-Cortez. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota are among four progressive freshmen who call themselves "the squad". The group is backing a handful of primary challengers to congressional Democrats, aiming for 25.

Clay, a long-term member of the Congressional Black Caucus, argued Thursday that Ocasio-Cortez and her allies were speaking out, because "they didn't get their way" after a days-long clash between the old guard of the Democratic leadership and "the squad" emerged into public view. "So, to even insinuate that I, or any other member of the New Dems, would promote policies that are racist and hateful or ones that would negatively impact communities of color is deeply offensive and couldn't be further from the truth". We're not talking about just progressives, it's signaling out four individuals. "I believed them when they said they were sleeping on concrete floors for two months", Ocasio-Cortez continued, beginning to cry.

The bill that struck a divide between Rep. Pelosi and the freshmen representatives was about federal aid funding.

. The hearing came as the number of families, children and other migrants entering the USA from Mexico has surged above 100,000 monthly since March, overwhelming federal agencies' ability to detain them in sanitary conditions and highlighting the issue as the 2020 presidential and congressional campaigns are in their early stages.

That's not exactly what happened in the Democratic House caucus on Thursday, but it was close.

Ocasio-Cortez doubled down on her pushback, implying that Pelosi's rhetoric might be motivated by racial animus.

Trump, who has had more than his own share of run-ins with Pelosi, came to her defense. It has no place in a civil discussion.