After being maligned for months, Democratic progressives like Cori Bush and AOC have proven they’re a force to be reckoned with
後に 2020 選挙, when Democrats shed a significant part of their House majority, many blamed the rhetoric of the more progressive wing of the party. 担当者. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia 前記, “We need to not ever use the word ‘socialist’ or ‘socialism’ ever again.”
順番に, the progressive “Squad” — often characterized as members like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and, 後 2020, Reps. Cori Bush of Missouri and Jamaal Bowman of New York — became the scapegoat for Democrats’ ills.
The constant blame also put the quad in a weakened position politically. But when the eviction moratorium that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had put in place during the coronavirus pandemic lapsed, the seemingly “responsible” and “non-woke” Democrats — be they the Biden administration or House leadership on the other side of Pennsylvania Avenue — were embarrassed.
The White House said its hands were tied because of a Supreme Court ruling earlier this year and added that they needed an act of Congress. その間, the House broke for August recess without extending the moratorium, leading to both pointing fingers at each other. 突然, the so-called savvy Democratic leadership that is trying to temper the impulses of the young blood didn’t look so wise as people faced being thrown out of their homes.
に応じて, it was Bush — who at one point lived in her car with her two children — as well as Ocasio-Cortez and the rest of the Squad who led the charge, with some of them sleeping in front of the Capitol or demonstrating to push for the eviction moratorium to end.
“When it got cold, it was just too cold,” Bush told reporters Monday of sleeping outside in protest. “I didn’t have enough blankets; that sleeping bag, the wind was blowing straight through it. I was freezing.” She noted that that is what would happen to constituents.
The group even got House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern on their side (thanks to some prodding by his daughter on Saturday night, as he told a rally), as well as Senator Elizabeth Warren, while members like Adam Schiff and Jimmy Gomez also spoke to the crowd.
When I asked Senator Bernie Sanders on Monday whether he had spoken to Bush about the moratorium, 彼は言った, “I actually have not but I applaud her for what she is doing.” By the end of the day though, he had visited the demonstration, あまりにも.
The Squad got many young people to join their protest, including a number of Hill interns I spoke to on Saturday evening. And if you know Hill interns, you know there are plenty of other things they can do Saturday night in DC.
All this came despite the fact the members and demonstrators were not allowed to lie down while protesting. Ocasio-Cortez relied instead on a meditation cushion, while Bush told reporters on Monday that in 24 hours she had only used the restroom twice.
“And if anybody knows, that is not good on your health,” she said on the Capitol steps Monday. “That’s what happens to people who actually have to live on the street.”
This proved to be the first important test for the Squad. They had previously lamented the lack of people of color in the bipartisan infrastructure negotiations and threatened to not to vote for the package if a reconciliation bill, which has many of their other priorities, didn’t pass
But by Tuesday, they scored a big victory when the White House announced measures to extend the moratorium for areas with high levels of Covid-19 transmission, これ would protect about 90 パーセント of the United States. It was a massive victory that led to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer telling Bush and her team, “You did this.」
It was also a significant flex of muscle and a show that the Squad can’t be taken for granted. In the past few months, the White House has focused extensively on bipartisanship and appealing to moderates like Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema, somewhat understandably given the 50-50 makeup of the Senate. This has caused frustration among some progressive lawmakers even outside of the Squad.
But in the same way, the fact Democrats’ House majority winnowed down to 220 メンバー, giving them only an eight-seat majority gives them leverage. All it takes is a few members of the Squad raising their voices to jeopardize other parts of the Democratic agenda and it can provoke change.
The eviction moratorium was the first major test of political power for progressive Democrats, the Squad and Bush as Democrats hold the House, Senate and White House for the first time in a decade. And by sleeping on the Capitol steps, they awoke everyone to their power.