07:37 GMT +315 October 2019
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    US Reps Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) hold a news conference

    'Four Horsewomen of the Apocalypse': Why Split Among Dems is Fraught with Serious Risks

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    The House Dems put aside their differences on 16 July, to pass a resolution against Donald Trump denouncing him for his "racist" remarks. A former American politician and a political scientist explain why the divisions within the Democratic Party are deeper than imaginable and what risks they bring.

    Donald Trump's weekend tweets targeting Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts aka "the Squad" have seemingly drawn the party together, after the fierce strife within its ranks last week.

    ​Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the United States House of Representatives, who was castigating the Squad a week before, has now resolutely denounced the president's remarks as "racist".

    War of Words: Pelosi vs The Squad

    The war of words between Pelosi and the four progressive politicians erupted in late June, when the House passed a bill, expanding funding for Trump’s immigration authorities by $4.6 billion, despite the Squad's opposition.

    On 6 July, in an interview with The New York Times, the speaker noted, referring to the four congresswomen: "All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world. But they don’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got".

    In response, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted: "That public 'whatever' is called public sentiment. And wielding the power to shift it, is how we actually achieve meaningful change in this country".

    The controversy continued on 10 July, when the speaker scolded progressives over their attacks on moderates and asked them to solve their contradictions privately instead of discussing them on Twitter.

    Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speak after US President Donald Trump agreed to a deal to end the partial government shutdown on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 25, 2019
    © AP Photo / Joshua Roberts
    Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speak after US President Donald Trump agreed to a deal to end the partial government shutdown on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 25, 2019

    Three Forces: The Right, the Left & the New Left

    The question then arises, as to what is behind the split in the Democratic Party.

    "The current split in the Democratic Party is very serious with potential long-range consequences," says Elbert Lee Guillory, a former member of the Louisiana State Senate. "Their in-party battle takes energy away from creating good legislation for the country and creates greater possibilities for the Republican Party to make gains".

    According to the politician, there are "three forces at play": the Left, the Right and "the progressives or the New Left or the Socialists or the Communists". As Guillory remarked, the latter "are anti-American in every political way".

    He believes that Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi "have much more in common with the American Right than with the new far-left".

    Guillory opined that the New Left is seeking to fundamentally change American economics, foreign affairs and politics. These people "selected and funded" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, known by the acronym "AOC", to former President Barack Obama, and other progressive politicians.

    "I believe this movement will lead to a major pushback and a turn to the politics of the right", he said. "Judicial decisions, legislation, the closing of borders will come at a minimum. At worst, there will be a violent civil war to cleanse and eliminate the new left. Barring outside intervention, given the numbers and the weapons, such a war would result in the elimination of the new left".

    Split within the Democratic Party May Backfire During 2020 Vote

    For his part, Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University, suggested that "the recent Republican majority had its Freedom Caucus and the current Democratic majority has its Progressive Caucus".

    The professor noted that the split within the Democratic Party may make it "unable to pass legislation" and "unable to go into the 2020 elections with a coherent message", being "demonstrably ineffective".

    He admitted that Donald Trump has yet again become the unifying factor for arguing Democrats:  "Speaker Pelosi is working hard to make the point that House Democrats should be training their fire on Trump, rather than on each other. Trump’s recent tweets, directed at AOC and her associates, have done a great deal to make Pelosi’s point and bring Democrats’ back together".

    How Dems are Playing 'Race Card' Against Trump

    At the beginning of the week, Donald Trump denied that his weekend comments were racist: "Those Tweets were NOT Racist. I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!" he tweeted.

    ​After the Democratic-controlled House passed a resolution condemning his tweets as "xenophobic", President Trump again verbally attacked the Squad and praised his Republican Party fellows for not supporting the House Dems' initiative.

    "In America, if you hate our Country, you are free to leave. The simple fact of the matter is, the four Congresswomen think that America is wicked in its origins; they think that America is even more wicked now, that we are all racist and evil. They’re entitled to their opinion, they’re Americans. Now I’m entitled to my opinion, & I just think they've left-wing cranks. They’re the reason there are directions on a shampoo bottle, & we should ignore them. The “squad” has moved the Democrat Party substantially LEFT, and they are destroying the Democrat Party. I’m appalled that so many of our Presidential candidates are falling all over themselves to try to agree with the four horsewomen of the apocalypse", Trump tweeted on 17 July.

    Elbert Lee Guillory believes that "the race card is a serious factor in this battle" between the progressives and the president.

    "It has been used effectively to split the black community and pull many into the orbit of the new left", he suggested. "There is, however, a major move, in the black community, away from the policies of the left. In a civil war, expect 60% of blacks to side with the left and 40% with the Americans. The 60% would include more urban, less educated, fewer military [enlistees] and younger blacks".

    Professor Jillson echoed the former Louisiana State Senate member by saying that "race is often described as America’s ‘original sin’ and is always a sensitive issue".

    "Usually, it is an issue that presidents seek to ameliorate rather than exacerbate, but it is not so today", the academic noted.

    Although Trump's tweetstorm brought the Democrats and their progressive branch together, the question of "for how long" remains open.

    The views and opinions expressed by the speakers do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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