Tensions among Democrats reached a boiling point in the wake of the 2020 elections as centrist party members pointed fingers at progressives following a series of devastating losses and near-defeats across the country.
But while moderate Dems continue to square off against their progressive counterparts, it seems they all can agree on at least one thing: their current class of leadership, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), has got to go.
The sentiment was first expressed this week by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive New York Democrat who told The Intercept’s Intercepted podcast that while she doesn’t want a leadership role, someone else needs to step up to replace the likes of Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
“I do think that we need new leadership in the Democratic Party,” Ocasio-Cortez said, according to The Hill.
“New voices and new leadership”
AOC isn’t the only Democrat congresswoman calling for changes at the top, however. Moderate Rep. Abigail Spanberger, recently re-elected in Virginia for a second term, echoed her New York colleague’s remarks in an MSNBC interview Thursday.
“We’re a broad tent party,” Spanberger told host Andrea Mitchell, according to Breitbart. “I have long maintained that we need to have new voices and new leadership across the board.”
The Virginia Democrat added: “That’s why I’ve been working with colleagues, fellow Democrats, in the House of Representatives for weeks and actually months to put forth bipartisan and negotiated — and I say bipartisan because we have a Republican Senate and a Republican in the White House.”
Reining in the far-left
Spanberger also made mention of recent negotiations over coronavirus relief, which many have accused Pelosi and Democrat leaders of holding up.
“We need to ensure that the relief we’re negotiating will make it to the president’s desk, get signed into law, and deliver relief to the American people,” Spanberger said Thursday, according to Breitbart. “Leadership is what you make of it.”
In November, Spanberger was heard on a leaked conference call implicitly criticizing Pelosi for not doing enough to rein in the party’s more progressive members — AOC included.
“We need to not ever use the words socialist or socialism ever again,” she told her Democrat colleagues, according to Breitbart. “It does matter, and we have lost good members because of that.”
Spanberger also warned fellow caucus members not to “say ‘defund the police’ ever again,” arguing that Dems would “get f*****g torn apart” in November 2022 unless they take a new approach to winning over voters.