Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) rejected calls from within her party to curb progressive sloganeering such as “defund the police,” asserting that such calls amounted to “silencing” her and her voters.
Tlaib pushed back against the calls to moderate in an interview with Politico on Tuesday. Moderates in the party have blamed poor results in a number of close races, with several incumbent Democrats losing to their GOP challengers, on the extreme stances of many prominent Democrats such as Tlaib and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Tlaib said that the moderate Democrats’ complaints are an attempt to shift blame and avoid responsibility. Tlaib also accused the moderate members of the party of attempting to sideline the party’s progressive wing as former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden is likely to win the presidency, according to Politico.
“We’re not going to be successful if we’re silencing districts like mine,” Tlaib said. “Me not being able to speak on behalf of many of my neighbors right now, many of which are black neighbors, means me being silenced. I can’t be silent.”
“We are not interested in unity that asks people to sacrifice their freedom and their rights any longer,” she continued. “And if we truly want to unify our country, we have to really respect every single voice. We say that so willingly when we talk about Trump supporters, but we don’t say that willingly for my black and brown neighbors and from LGBTQ neighbors or marginalized people.”
During a conference call with House Democrats last week, Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger blasted the progressives in her party, accusing them of nearly costing her own re-election bid. Spanberger said that Democrats had to distance themselves from policy proposals such as the Green New Deal and Medicare-for-all and ditch movements to “defund the police” if the party is to survive long term.
As The Daily Wire reported:
Amidst a lackluster performance in congressional races across the country, freshman Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) reportedly unloaded on a conference call with House Democrats on Thursday afternoon for harming the party by pushing and promoting radical left-wing talking points, such as “defund the police” and “socialism.”
According to CNN congressional correspondent Manu Raju, Spanberger unloaded on the phone call with other Congressional Democrats, declaring to them that they shouldn’t be talking about “socialism” and “defund the police.”
Ocasio-Cortez has fought back against the criticisms from the moderate wing of the party while defending the progressive platform.
“When it comes to ‘Defund’ & ‘Socialism’ attacks, people need to realize these are racial resentment attacks. You’re not gonna make that go away. You can make it less effective,” Ocasio-Cortez Tweeted on Friday. “How do you make it less effective? Invest in year-round deep canvassing. Data shows that this kind of work helps blunt the force of racial resentment at the polls.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has announced her intent to run for control of the House caucus again. It remains to be seen how she hopes to heal the growing rift in her party and unify it in the new year.