Democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) really does not appreciate that many members of her party — from moderates to liberals who still think straight-up socialism is a losing issue — are blasting the agenda she and her "Squad" have pushed for Democrats' overall poor showing in the 2020 elections.
The congresswoman has tried to lay the blame at the feet of moderates and their campaign failures.
One moderate Democrat is daring to call her out and saying she's not a team player and that her ideas are "unworkable and extremely unpopular."
Beyond the fight for the White House, Democrats were projected to expand their majority in the U.S. House, quite possibly flip the majority of the U.S. Senate, and flip multiple state legislative chambers.
They failed on all counts.
Following last week's election results, Democrats blamed anti-police and pro-socialism messaging from far-left members for their failures.
Ocasio-Cortez took exception to those claims and instead blamed the party's losses on GOP smears connecting Democrats to socialism and "defund the police" movements and on moderate Democrats' poor campaigning efforts that allowed Republican charges to stick.
In an interview with the New York Times during which she said she feels like her party thinks she's the "enemy," the congresswoman specifically called out moderate Democratic Rep. Conor Lamb (Pa.) for "criminal" political "malpractice." She blasted Lamb for spending only $2,000 on Facebook the week before the election as an example of how moderate Democrats' poor campaigning was what cost her party in 2020 and not radicals like her and her fellow liberal progressives.
Some of this is criminal. It's malpractice. Conor Lamb spent $2,000 on Facebook the week before the election. I don't think anybody who is not on the internet in a real way in the Year of our Lord 2020 and loses an election can blame anyone else when you're not even really on the internet.
But there's one problem in Ocasio-Cortez's logic: Lamb won re-election.
And now the congressman is speaking out and, as HotAir's John Sexton noted, daring to do what other members of his party have refused to do: "talk back to AOC."
How did Lamb respond?
The Times interviewed Lamb after his victory and noted that he is "one of those moderates who believes the left is costing Democrats in key areas" and that he believes a Biden administration will "govern as it had campaigned: with progressives at arm's length."
Lamb told the Times that what went wrong for House Democrats was the message being pushed by progressives (and self-avowed socialists). Their "unrealistic" calls for a far-left agenda alienated a lot of voters, Lamb said.
"I'm giving you an honest account of what I'm hearing from my own constituents, which is that they are extremely frustrated by the message of defunding the police and banning fracking," he told the Times. "And I, as a Democrat, am just as frustrated. Because those things aren't just unpopular, they're completely unrealistic, and they aren't going to happen."
The green agenda pushed by people like Ocasio-Cortez "isn't something to joke around about," Lamb added.
According to Lamb, the progressive policies and rhetoric have "gone way too far." Instead, he said, the Democrats' messaging "needs to be dialed back" and "rooted in common sense, in reality."
He urged that the party needs to have a "united" message when it comes to law enforcement and avoid the rabid calls to "defund the police." According to Lamb, when he and fellow House Democrats were working on a police reform bill, its wasn't the Squad that was doing the work.
"The people that I was on the phone with, when we were passing [the police reform bill] at the time, were not the freshmen members who are criticizing us today," he told the Times.
Lamb warned that the policies Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow radicals have been pushing "are unworkable and extremely unpopular."
He added that "people are not clamoring for" single-payer health insurance or the Green New Deal, noting that those issues separate a winner from a loser in a moderate district like his.
Asked about Ocasio-Cortez's specific comments about him and his campaign, Lamb responded, "She doesn't have any idea how we ran our campaign, or what we spent."
He went on to blast her for not being a "team player" and for pushing a damaging agenda.
But I got to say, as you've talked a lot about Representative Ocasio-Cortez, she can put her name behind stuff and that's I guess courageous, but when it's a damaging idea or bad policy, like her tweeting out that fracking is bad in the middle of a presidential debate when we're trying to win western Pennsylvania — that's not being anything like a team player. And it's honestly giving a false and ineffective promise to people that makes it very difficult to win the areas where President Trump is most popular in campaigns.
And he really didn't like that the socialist congresswoman was going after moderates.
I have to be honest and say that I was surprised about the whole interview on the day when Vice President and now President-Elect Biden was having the election called for him. I just don't think it was a day for people to be sniping at other members, especially in districts that are so different from their own.
I respect her and how hard she works. And what she did in an extremely low-turnout Democratic primary. But the fact is that in general elections in these districts — particularly in the ones where President Trump himself campaigns over and over and over again, and attacks members within their own Republican-leaning districts, like me and Representative Slotkin and Representative Spanberger — it's the message that matters. It's not a question of door knocking, or Facebook. It matters what policies you stand for, and which ones you don't. And that is all that we are trying to say.
He also offered a little reminder to the Squad types: "The American people just showed us in massive numbers, generally, which side of these issues that they are on. They sent us a Republican Senate and a Democratic president."