At a time when Democrats should be crowing, they’re imploding. Right on cue.
The party, infamous for its internal squabbles, is now in full damage control after one of its own was accused of spreading anti-Semitic falsehoods, while top leaders in Virginia are fending off allegations of racism and sexual assault.
The disarray was bound to happen sooner or later, but few figured it would erupt this quickly.
It’s been only a little more than a month since Democrats led by Nancy Pelosi took over the House, vowing to launch multiple investigations of Donald Trump and cripple his presidency, and only weeks since Pelosi won a standoff with Trump over the government shutdown.
And just a few days ago, a historic group of candidates, led by women, launched their White House campaigns.
But those triumphs have been quickly overshadowed by a self-inflicted barrage of bad news.
U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, the Somali-American from Minnesota, was forced to apologize Monday after Democrats led by Pelosi denounced her for attacking pro-Israel groups and suggesting they were paying off politicians.
“It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” Omar tweeted in a particularly juvenile tirade against AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobbying group. Never mind the fact that AIPAC doesn’t actually contribute to politicians.
Omar is going to be a continuing problem for the Democratic party. Pelosi and other party leaders may try to rein her in, but good luck. She sits on the Foreign Affairs Committee. If Omar is the poster child for Democrats in 2020, you might as well hand a second term to Trump.
Same with U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her Green New Deal. Democrats like U.S. Sen. Ed Markey are using the costly and overly ambitious plan for their own political purposes but they may live to regret it.
AOC is already butting heads with Pelosi, who refuses to embrace the Green New Deal, but how long can Pelosi hold her off when scores of her own Democrats are rushing to support it?
Then there’s the ongoing drama in Virginia. Democrats across the country have been scrambling to denounce the two most powerful Democrats, Gov. Ralph Northam and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who have been caught up in salacious scandals.
The accusations against Fairfax have been especially damaging to Democrats, who last year tried to take down Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh for similar allegations of sexual assault. If Fairfax and Northam, who is facing his own racism scandal, continue to hold on, they’ll be an ongoing embarrassment to the party’s carefully crafted image.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, meanwhile, is another problem that won’t go away. The Massachusetts senator was forced to apologize after the Washington Post unearthed a Texas State Bar document from 1986 where Warren identified racially as “American Indian.”
If Warren’s campaign gains steam — or she actually becomes the nominee — the party will be saddled with a standard bearer who for at least a decade claimed to be a minority.
And if Omar, Ocasio-Cortez and Justin Fairfax come to define the Dems, they’re cooked.
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