Former President Barack Obama delivered a jarring jab to AOC, Rep. Ayanna Pressley and the rest of the Squad that served to further marginalize the far left as its growing battle with moderates tears apart the Democratic Party.
The new spat came after Obama criticized the “defund the police” backers for losing voters.
“I guess you can use a snappy slogan like defund the police but you know you’ve lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely you’re going to actually get the changes you want done,” Obama said on the “Good Luck America” Snapchat.
Is Obama objecting to defunding police or just that they were too upfront about it with a snappy slogan?
The former president’s decision to weigh in is likely to push the far left even further out of the mainstream of the party as self-styled moderate Joe Biden prepares to take office.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley and other squad members fired back Wednesday in a sign the split between liberals and moderates will continue when Biden takes over.
“Lives are at stake daily so I’m out of patience with critiques of the language of activists,” Pressley said. “Whatever a grieving family says is their truth. And I’ll never stop fighting for their justice and healing.”
“It’s not a slogan but a policy demand,” U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, a member of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Squad” tweeted. “And centering the demand for equitable investments and budgets for communities across the country gets us progress and safety.”
We lose people in the hands of police. It’s not a slogan but a policy demand. And centering the demand for equitable investments and budgets for communities across the country gets us progress and safety. https://t.co/Vu6inw4ms7
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) December 2, 2020
Obama gets high bravery points for taking on the far left. It’s the sharpest criticism yet he’s delivered and shows how deep the divide is over the confrontational “defund the police” movement.
Even though Joe Biden won the election, a lot of moderate Democrat lawmakers lost, and that’s creating deep, post-election fissures within the party over how it should proceed in the Biden administration era.
Obama clearly signaled that the party needs to appeal to more mainstream Democrats to hold its advantage in the U.S. House.
But progressives and the Squad just as clearly signaled that they won’t cede the fight just because Obama is on the other side.
‘The thing that critics of activists don’t get is that they tried playing the ‘polite language’ policy game and all it did was make them easier to ignore,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. ‘It wasn’t until they made folks uncomfortable that there was traction to do ANYTHING even if it wasn’t their full demands.”
The murders of generations of unarmed Black folks by police have been horrific. Lives are at stake daily so I’m out of patience with critiques of the language of activists.
Whatever a grieving family says is their truth.
And I’ll never stop fighting for their justice & healing.
— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) December 2, 2020
Sure, what does Obama know? He only won two presidential elections and became America’s first African American president.
Damn, Mr. President.
Didn’t you say “Trayvon could’ve been my son?”
In 2014, #BlackLivesMatter was too much.
In 2016, Kaepernick was too much.
Today, discussing police budgets is too much.
The problem is America's comfort with Black death — not discomfort with slogans. https://t.co/DJUSZebgW5
— Jamaal Bowman (@JamaalBowmanNY) December 2, 2020
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