Led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), a growing number of young progressives in Congress have come forward in recent weeks to speak up about what they see as a need for a new generation of leadership in the Democratic Party — and according to the New York Post, “AOC has a point.”
In what can only be described as a humiliating moment for Democrat leaders like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Ocasio-Cortez went nuclear in an interview last week when she suggested that Pelosi, an 80-year-old California Democrat who has been in Congress for more than three decades, and her counterpart in the Senate should start making their exits.
“Are you ready to say, ‘Pelosi and [Senate Minority Leader Chuck] Schumer need to go?'” The Intercept’s Jeremy Scahill asked Ocasio-Cortez in an interview published Wednesday.
The congresswoman raised concerns about the “many years of power being concentrated in leadership, with a lack of real grooming of a next generation of leadership,” before saying it’s finally time for a transition. “The answer is yes,” she told Scahill. “The answer is we need to shift power; we need to make sure that we have a transition of power in the leadership of the Democratic Party.”
“Right about one thing”
On at least this point, the New York Post‘s editorial board apparently agrees with AOC. In a column published Friday, the board said “Ocasio-Cortez is right about one thing: It’s time for the House’s Democratic leadership to upgrade to a newer model.”
But according to the Post, AOC is wrong to say “there are no clear successors” to the likes of Pelosi and Schumer “thanks to a failure to groom younger leaders.”
“In fact, AOC’s fellow New Yorker, Brooklyn Rep. Hakeem Jeffries [D], is one likely next speaker as No. 4 in the leadership. He’s just 50 — but AOC would rather support a primary challenge to him than see him move up,” the Post argued.
And they might be right about that: while AOC denied in her interview with The Intercept that she has any interest in running for a leadership position herself, the congresswoman did express concerns that it would be moderates — and not progressives — who eventually rise to the top.
“So, you know, do we need new leadership of the Democratic Party? Absolutely. But how do we ensure that when we shift we don’t even move further to the right?” she asked Scahill. “And that’s the kind of thing that keeps me up when I think about what we’re going to do moving towards the future.”
AOC’s fatal flaw?
In the eyes of the Post‘s editorial board, “it’s up to ambitious politicians to claw their own way up, building alliances and friendships with their peers.” But Ocasio-Cortez and her ilk don’t seem to be doing that.
Late last week, the New York congresswoman was passed up by fellow Dems for a prized spot on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the Post noted, arguing that AOC would “rather stab her colleagues in the back than work with them.”
With that, the young progressives who are trying to take over the Democratic Party “might want to ask Jeffries for some advice,” the Post wrote Friday. But I wouldn’t hold my breath.