House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) once maintained an iron grip of control over her Democratic caucus but that has been increasingly challenged in recent years by young progressive members who have established themselves as future leaders of the party, such as “Squad” leader Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and Progressive Caucus chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA).
Pelosi reportedly ripped those two leftist upstarts in an upcoming new book and accused them of nearly costing House Democrats their majority and derailing the Democratic agenda in Congress, The Daily Wire reported.
This is just the latest example of the long-serving elderly D.C. establishment congresswoman lashing out at the younger openly socialist progressives who have upset the apple cart of business as usual on Capitol Hill from her left flank.
Young progressives fight
Punchbowl News reported Friday on a new book coming in May from political reporters Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns titled This Will Not Pass, which documents the 2020 election and the first year of the Biden presidency and contains some “juicy nuggets” about Speaker Pelosi.
Pelosi was reportedly resentful of having to “beg” and “grovel” her fellow Democrats to be elected as House speaker again and appeared to hold the likes of Ocasio-Cortez and Jayapal responsible for that and other challenges she has faced over the past couple of years.
“Pelosi privately blames progressives for nearly costing Democrats the House and said AOC and Jayapal were fighting to be ‘queen bee’ of the left,” the report noted. Further, the Speaker accused those two and others of having “alienated” Asian and Hispanic voters with “loose talk” of socialism and not being “careful” when speaking about abortion among devout and faithful voters.
She also was enraged at how progressives led by Ocasio-Cortez and Jayapal had undermined her carefully laid scheme to pass President Joe Biden’s progressive-backed Build Back Better agenda alongside the bipartisan infrastructure package and, in private, “told another House Democrat that Pramila Jayapal and Ocasio-Cortez were vying to be the ‘queen bee’ of the left, but that their reward might be serving in the House minority after the next election.”
History of mocking AOC
As noted by The Daily Wire, this is far from the first time that Pelosi’s ire with the young progressive leaders has been publicly displayed or reported, as Axios reported almost exactly one year ago on what Pelosi said in multiple interviews with top USA Today reporter Susan Page for a book titled Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power.
According to Axios, “Pelosi unloads on the Squad, at one point adopting a child-like voice when discussing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and offers the Squad this blunt advice: ‘You’re not a one-person show. This is the Congress of the United States.'”
The Daily Wire had also reported separately in 2019 on Ocasio-Cortez striking back at Pelosi, even insinuating the Speaker was “racist,” in response to snide dismissals of the young congresswoman’s growing influence among the left-leaning base of the Democratic Party.
In interviews at that time with both The New York Times and CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” Pelosi had denigrated the influence of Ocasio-Cortez and the “Squad” as being confined solely to social media and, when pressed on their rise in popularity, retorted that the group was comprised of only “like five people.”
Speaker Pelosi had also in April of 2019 downplayed Ocasio-Cortez’s initial election in 2018 — in which she had successfully primaried a top Pelosi ally — and basically argued that a mere “glass of water” with a Democratic “D” label could have won the “Squad” leader’s New York City district.