Corbin Trent made the dramatic statement in an interview with Ryan Grim that appeared in Grim’s essay Friday in The Washington Post.
Trent, a co-founder of Justice Democrats, which helped propel Ocasio-Cortez and her other progressives to victory in the House, told Grim that the Democratic leadership is “driven by fear. They seem to be unable to lead.”
Grim, Washington Bureau chief of The Intercept (and formerly of HuffPost), pointed in his piece to the compromise the House made on the Senate’s border aid bill. The House supported it instead of its own version of border aid, even though the Senate bill failed to address the humanitarian crisis of immigrants detained at the border.
Ocasio-Cortez called support for the Senate bill an “abdication of power.” Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) tweeted that a vote for the Senate bill was a “vote to keep kids in cages and terrorize immigrant communities.” And Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) challenged: “If you see the Senate bill as an option, then you don’t believe in basic human rights.”
Grim argued in the Post that the old-guard Democrats — led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — were buffaloed long ago by The Gipper: by Ronald Reagan’s presidential landslide in 1980 and 1984 reelection. They suffered a “traumatic political coming-of-age” in Reagan’s rise and have never been the same, he argued.
Because of that experience, their consistent fallback position is: “Now is not the time; push too fast or too far, and there’ll be a backlash,” according to Grim.
The old-era Democrats are still now “unable to embrace the new political environment in which the progressive agenda is genuinely popular,” he noted. “For people under a certain age, this slinking in the corner is deeply strange behavior.”
For the newcomers, Grim emphasized, “Republicans shouldn’t be feared, they should be beaten.”