Progressive Rep. Ilhan Omar doesn’t think the Democratic party is divided, claiming the fissure between moderates and progressives such as herself is simply manufactured by the media.
“This rift is basically from the media and the pundits and the Republicans,” Omar said in an interview with the Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart Monday. “I think internally, you know, as a big family we might have our debates and discussions but the rift isn’t as strong as it’s being made out to be.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar, who overwhelmingly won reelection this election cycle, joins Jonathan Capehart for a one-on-one interview about the 2020 election, her legislative goals and more. https://t.co/LIQzpsHNUG
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) November 16, 2020
Despite Omar’s comments, Democrats are clearly struggling to reconcile the differences between the factions within their party.
Shortly after the election, “Squad” member Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticized Democrat Rep. Connor Lamb for spending too little on Facebook ads.
“If you’re not door-knocking, if you’re not on the internet, if your main points of reliance are TV and mail, then you’re not running a campaign on all cylinders,” she told the New York Times. “I just don’t see how anyone could be making ideological claims when they didn’t run a full-fledged campaign.”
While she tried to qualify her comments by claiming that Democrats should not see each other’s platforms as “the enemy,” she said any Democrats with an agenda that did not match hers is “just setting up their own obsolescence.”
“I need my colleagues to understand that we are not the enemy,” she later argued. “And that their base is not the enemy. That the Movement for Black Lives is not the enemy, that Medicare for All is not the enemy. This isn’t even just about winning an argument. It’s that if they keep going after the wrong thing, I mean, they’re just setting up their own obsolescence.”
AOC also singled out Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia days after the election, publicly stating her disapproval of his pushback to the radical, socialist agenda pushed by her progressive faction.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 12, 2020
Just a couple of weeks ago, Democrats on a leaked caucus call expressed also demonstrated a clear rift in the party after expressing frustration about the progressive rhetoric used for the 2020 election, claiming that it lost them seats in the House.
“[If] we are going to run on Medicare for All, defund the police, socialized medicine, we’re not going to win,” House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, a Democrat from South Carolina said.
While “Squad” member Rep. Rashida Tlaib tried to defend the democratic socialist agenda against other Democrat members’ attacks, saying that attempting to cater to one group’s preferences is wrong, Rep. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia reaffirmed Clyburn’s concerns, saying that if leftists couldn’t reevaluate the platforms they relied on for the Nov. 3 election, they would lose in a landslide in the 2022 midterms.
“No one should say ‘defund the police’ ever again,” Spanberger said. “Nobody should be talking about socialism.”
When questioned about Spanberger’s comments from the caucus call by WaPo’s Capehart, Omar merely brushed them off, blaming the losses on the narratives pushed by Republicans.
“I have not seen a single analysis to point to a research data point that that is actually something that had an impact,” she said.
Shortly after claiming that the Democrats are, despite all evidence, a united front, Omar claimed that the amplification of these “lies and smears” by some of her liberal colleagues as “shameful.”
“I mean, there are so many lies and smears that the Republicans engage in that have had an impact on races,” Omar said.
“To blame a movement that has shown up for us in the most aggressive way to deliver a decisive victory for President-Elect Biden is really shameful and something that I can’t even believe my Democratic colleagues are doing,” she continued.
And while Omar expressed gratitude that President Donald Trump was not re-elected, she failed to mention that despite sharing a party with former Vice President Joe Biden, her progressive platform may not be warmly accepted by his corporatist administration.