After 26 moderate Democrats bucked their party by supporting a Republican-sponsored amendment to a gun control bill in the House last week, Democrat leaders exploded with outrage behind closed doors, even threatening to purge their caucus of disloyal members.
Lacking the votes to defeat a bill to expand federal background checks for gun purchases, Republicans introduced an amendment requiring that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) be notified if an illegal immigrant seeks to purchase a gun. Thanks to the votes of more than two dozen Democrats, the common-sense provision was added to the final bill, which later passed in the House.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was infuriated by the defections, saying in a private meeting, "We are either a team or we're not, and we have to make that decision."
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., was even more apoplectic, threatening to put those who voted for the Republican amendment "on a list," warning them that she would be seeking to punish moderate Democrats by helping liberal activists unseat them in the 2020 primary elections.
Corbin Trent, a spokesman for Ocasio-Cortez, confirmed that she made the comment, explaining that she intends to provide the list of moderate Democrats to liberal activists.
"She said that when activists ask her why she had to vote for a gun safety bill that also further empowers an agency that forcibly injects kids with psychotropic drugs, they're going to want a list of names and she's going to give it to them," Trent said, referring to ICE.
The intra-party bickering isn’t just about gun control or illegal immigration policies, though – it’s an early sign of the looming civil war between the dwindling number of moderates in the Democrat Party and an ascendant faction of neo-socialist hardliners who wish to enforce absolute conformity to their extremist ideology.
Dozens of moderate Democrats who represent districts that President Donald Trump won handily in 2016 are now fighting for their political lives against far-left liberals hellbent on an extremist agenda that appeals greatly to Democrat primary voters but disgusts the centrist and independent voters who decide the outcome of close elections.
Thanks to President Trump’s daily onslaught of tweets exposing the outrageous antics of Democrat radicals, and with the help of a rock solid House Republican minority, the growing rift within the Democrat Party is becoming ever more apparent to the American people.
During the eight years that Republicans held a majority in the House, from 2011 through this January, they didn’t lose a single one of the procedural votes Democrats tried to use to force them into precarious political positions.
The Democrats, conversely, have already lost two such votes this month alone, including the one that caught moderate Democrats flat-footed last week. It’s no wonder that Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez are so frustrated.
The way things are going, the far-left wing of the Democratic Party will either drive the moderates from their ranks or force them into submission. Whatever the outcome, the ideological infighting is sure to weaken their electoral prospects in 2020.