The Democrats’ Uncivil War: Liner Notes

I have a column up at The Federalist, “House Democrats’ Uncivil War Is Fueled By Identity Politics.”

Given that the news was a moving target and the inevitable delay of the editorial process (not complaining about that; I noticed a couple of things that were fixed in editorial), my approach is generally to illustrate larger points. Here, the piece sums up the Democrats’ internecine warfare to make a point about what it means for disputes to be filtered through identity politics.

What got left out? The column demonstrates that last weekend’s acrimony — which will return — was instigated by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti. Their roles at Justice Democrats (a group from which AOC had to detach herself and now the subject of two FEC complaints), threatening to primary mostly black colleagues, could have been emphasized more. That AOC is not requiring Chakrabarti to make the financial disclosures usually filed by a chief of staff is also raising eyebrows. These sorts of vulnerabilities would normally make people more cautious, which is a measure of the hubris in AOC-land.

Also left for later consideration is the fantastic passive-aggressiveness of these fights within the left. They will back down on the rare occasions they asked directly whether they are accusing a colleague of racism, choosing to label them as enablers of a racist system. The media loves to make Republicans squirm over Trump’s xenophobic tweets and chuckle over the lack of direct answers. The coverage of Democrats, as always, is a bit different.

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