Freshman Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came to Washington to chew gum and make friends. And she's all out of... well, friends, it seems. Actually maybe she came to D.C. to chew the scenery, because her scene-stealing act gets cornier and more over the top every day. Which is maybe why those "Friends" of hers -- you know, her own party -- think she's a fraud.
That's the word from a new report by Fox News after a week or two of seemingly endless scuffles and controversies caused by the precocious youngster, including a very public fight between her chief of staff and the House Democrats official Twitter feed.
The battle has been brewing for months as AOC and her three fellow first-years have become increasingly radical in rhetoric, not just about Republicans or Trump but about establishment Democrats like Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and basically the long-time caucus leaders.
This is not a minor fight over policy, either. Despite attempts to downplay when confronted, it's a fairly direct assault. AOC has tried to have her cake and eat it, too, downplaying the fight as a creation of Republicans who don't understand diversity of opinion in one's party. But apparently fellow Democrats aren't so easily fooled. Or mollified.
"She is a complete fraud," said a "senior" Democratic source to Fox News for their report.
Fox quotes another source, whom they describe as a "senior lawmaker, who is black," who said that the suggestion by AOC of racial insensitivity or even racism on the part of Pelosi is ""so inappropriate."
"Her peers do not take her seriously," Fox quotes that same source as saying. "They think it is absurd to call the speaker racist. Offensive and absurd."
The source also told Fox that AOC is "a nobody who has "no power," and is "not worth the speaker's brainpower."
Not everyone spoke anonymously. Rep. William Clay of Missouri, and the Congressional Black Caucus, told Fox that the rationale for attacking Pelosi on racial grounds was "such a weak argument."
"It shows their lack of sensitivity to racism. To fall back on that [trope] is a weak argument. It has no place in a civil discussion," said Clay, who was specifically referencing remarks made by Rep. Rashida Tlaib as well as by Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, suggesting that they were being singled out by Pelosi for their race and gender.
You see, despite her Tweeted attempt on Tuesday to blame Republicans for not understanding a simple matter of two women who "happen to disagree", AOC was directly going after Pelosi. They day after that tweet, Wednesday, the Washington Post published an article quoting her saying that the simple disagreement was part of a "persistent" and "explicit singling out of newly elected women of color" by Pelosi and the Democratic leadership.
Tlaib, for her part, last Sunday told ABC's Martha Raddatz suggested that Pelos doesn't know what it feels like to be "dehumanized," but The Squad does, and that they four wouldn't " stand by and sit idly by and allow brown and dark-skinned children to be ripped away from their parents to be dehumanized," which she implied was what Pelosi was doing.
Tlaib, in that interview, also said it is "very disappointing that the Speaker would ever try to diminish our voices in so many ways," with our referring to "women of color, within [Pelosi's] caucus."
President Trump on Friday waded in, saying: ""I'll tell you something about Nancy Pelosi, she is not a racist and for them to call her a racist is a disgrace."
Some will see that as "master trolling" as the kids say, but with the Democrats shooting at one another with such expert aim, it could also be seen as completely unwise on his part, and a way to give them something to join together about and use as an "out" from what has been escalating to epic proportions all on its own. Maybe Tweets, be they typed or spoken aloud to reporters, aren't a necessary part of strategy right now.
In any case, with or without the President's input, it's obvious animosity between the radical far left wing of the Democrats and the party's "swamp"-entrenched leadership is at an all-time high. It is a fascinating spectacle.