Democrats in the lower chamber went to duked it out again with one another on Twitter late Friday night when the House Democrat account slammed Saikat Shakrabarti, the chief of staff to New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for a two-week-old tweet of his that criticized Kansas Democratic Rep. Sharice Davids.
Who is this guy and why is he explicitly singling out a Native American woman of color?
Her name is Congresswoman Davids, not Sharice.
She is a phenomenal new member who flipped a red seat blue.
— House Democrats (@HouseDemocrats) July 13, 2019
Davids voted for the Senate version of the $4.5 billion border funding bill that more progressive members were against back in June. The policy division over the bill set off fireworks on Twitter among House Democrats since the vote.
During recess, Shakrabarti slammed a number of new freshman members who represented swing districts and supported the border bill. He also went after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The online war morphed into bickering between the speaker herself and Ocasio-Cortez.
“Instead of ‘fiscally conservative but socially liberal,’ let’s call the New Democrats and Blue Dog Caucus the ‘New Southern Democrats.’ They certainly seem hell-bent to do to black and brown people today what the old Southern Democrats did the 40s,” Chakrabarti tweeted among other criticisms.
By the time members returned to capitol hill this week, Pelosi made it clear to her caucus that she did not want progressives to attack moderate Democrat members on Twitter anymore.
“So, again, you got a complaint? You come and talk to me about it,” Pelosi told Democrats, a source in the room told Politico. “But do not tweet about our members and expect us to think that that is just OK.”
The Justice Democrats Twitter account, House Progressive members (aka the “squad”), immediately shot back at the House Democrats Twitter account and gave a reminder of the Speaker’s comments about ceasing online attacks to other Democratic members.
Tensions flared up even further after The Washington Post reported Ocasio-Cortez said Pelosi criticizing her and her fellow freshman progressives was essentially “singling out of newly elected women of color”
Pelosi’s defenders in her caucus hit back and accused Ocasio-Cortez of using the race card unfairly against the speaker.
“Because you can’t get your way, and because you are you getting pushed back, you resort to using the race card. Unbelievable,” Missouri Democratic Rep. Lacy Clay told reporters.
— Justice Democrats (@justicedems) July 13, 2019
Shakrabarti defended his comments about Rep. Davids saying he has known the Kansas congresswoman for a long time and considers her a friend.
This tweet was in response to someone else's tweet where they specifically brought up Rep. Davids. Why did you leave that out?
I've known Rep. Davids for a long time, consider her a friend, and encouraged her to run for Congress back in the fall of 2016. I'm glad she did. https://t.co/3PNhGeAa3V
— Saikat Chakrabarti (@saikatc) July 13, 2019