Squad Member's Planned SOTU Response Triggers Major Infighting Among Democrats
Rep. Rashida Talib hasn’t even made her speech yet, and already it’s being panned.
The radical Democrat from Detroit is a darling of the party’s left wing, a founding member of the congressional “squad.” She plans to give a response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on behalf of something called the Working Families Party.
It isn’t going over well, and she hasn’t even opened her mouth.
In an interview with the generally left-leaning news site Axios, one of Tlaib’s fellow Democrats, Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey likened Tlaib’s planned address to a particularly spiteful brand of vandalism — performed on yourself.
“It’s like keying your own car and slashing your own tires,” Gottheimer said.
“It’s massively counterproductive,” he said.
“This only highlights the real tension between the socialist far left and the common-sense moderate wing, which is focused on crime, costs, tax cuts and affordability, and turning the page on COVID.”
It’s a little tough to stomach Gottheimer’s claim that the party has a “common-sense moderate wing,” given that its members have marched lock-step to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s orders since January of 2019.
There may be a few lightweight moderate feathers on some issues — Gottheimer being one of them — but to claim there is a whole wing is a stretch. When push comes to shove on big progressive priorities, such as impeaching then-President Donald Trump in 2019, then impeaching him again in 2021, say, Gottheimer and the other Democrats fall in line like dominoes.
But even if Gottheimer’s premise is weak and politically self-serving — given that he represents a swing district that went for Trump in 2016 but helped make Joe Biden president in 2020 — he does have a point.
When Americans see a president delivering a State of the Union address, they expect to hear from the opposition party – generally a low-key affair that comes off pallid next to the pomp and ceremony of the president speaking before Congress. (Last year’s response to Biden by South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott was the rare exception that exhilarated conservatives and infuriated liberals in one masterful performance.)
What they don’t expect to see is a member of the president’s own party elbowing her way onto television to screech about how the party isn’t doing enough for the poor, for blacks, for women, for gays, for Muslims, for career criminals, for the hearing impaired, for those with a sweet tooth, for former professional bowlers … or whatever the favored class of Americans happens to be at the moment.
According to Politico, Tlaib is going to focus on hitting Democratic “moderates” who stood in the way of Biden’s Build Back Better monstrosity, among other initiatives, but it’s a pretty good bet there’s going to be a fair amount of “discrimination” talk thrown in.
When members of a party do that on any issue, it makes the president look weak and tired, like someone who’s distracted, who’s not in charge, like someone who’s incapable of commanding the respect of his own party, much less the rest of the country or the world.
In this case, in short, it makes Joe Biden look like Joe Biden.
And Democrats and their fellow travelers simply can’t have that.
HBO’s Bill Maher, another “moderate” by contemporary lunatic liberal standards, took a few swings at Tlaib on Friday night’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.”
Instead of the property crime of vandalism, though, he opted for a sports analogy.
“Now, I’ve always seen the opposition party give a rebuttal. This is from the same party. This is like sacking your own quarterback,” Maher said, according to Fox News.
In the real world outside of “Real Time,” it’s not likely that Tlaib is going to be doing the sacking when it comes to a response to Biden’s State of the Union. Her following among normal Americans is limited, to say the least.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, who is handling the Republican response, will be responsible for the real hits.
Like her colleagues Govs. Ron DeSantis in Florida and Kristi Noem in South Dakota, Reynolds is one of the elected officials willing to say the emperor has no clothes – particularly when it comes to the coronavirus epidemic.
But it’s telling that on a night when partisans should be celebrating their president, Biden is going to be facing pressure from his left — and not only from Tlaib.
Democratic Rep. Colin Allred will be giving yet another separate response on behalf of the Congressional Black Caucus, according to the Dallas Morning News. (It’s a pretty easy bet which favored Democratic bloc that’s going to focus on.)
So, if Biden’s administration didn’t already look divisive and fractious enough, with half the country questioning his mental capacity and more than half doubting his abilities, now comes his State of the Union address that’s going to leave him open to attacks from not one but two wings of his party, one leftier than the next.
No wonder those “moderate” Democrats are worried. Sane Americans might just find out how loony the party really is.
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