Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said that the Democratic Party needs new leadership, specifically stating that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer need to go. She warned, however, that a power vacuum within the Democratic Party could be filled by “nefarious” forces who are “even more conservative” than the current caucus leaders.
The self-described democratic socialist made the remarks during a podcast interview on “The Intercept” that aired Thursday.
“I do think we need new leadership in the Democratic Party,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “I think one of the things that I have struggled with, I think that a lot of people struggle with, is the internal dynamics of the House has made it such that there [are] very little options for succession.”
Pelosi, who is 80 years old, was handily re-elected as speaker for another two-year term last month, despite the Democrats’ lackluster performance in U.S. House races in which they unexpectedly lost a handful of seats to Republicans. She first ascended to the speakership in 2006, which made her the first—and still only—to serve in the influential role. She has indicated that this will be her final term as speaker.
Since the 2020 election, Democrats from different factions have clashed with each other over the direction of the party as the progressive wing’s influence has grown meteorically in recent years, thanks in part to Ocasio-Cortez, who was first elected during the 2018 midterm elections. A major incident occurred on a November 5 Democratic conference call, during which moderate Rep. Abigail Spanberger (Va.) and other Democrats reportedly criticized progressives and accused them of playing a role in their 2020 losses.
Schumer, who is 70 years old, also easily won re-election as Senate Minority Leader unopposed.
The direction of the party’s leadership also concerned Ocasio-Cortez, indicating that a power vacuum could allow members who are more conservative than the current leadership to seize the reins.
“My concern—and I acknowledge this as a failing, as something that we need to sort out—is that there isn’t a plan,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “How do we fill that vacuum? Because if you create that vacuum, there are so many nefarious forces at play to fill that vacuum with something even worse. And so, the actual sad state of affairs is that there are folks more conservative than even they are willing to kind of fill that void.”
The New York City congresswoman also said that there are a lack of leadership opportunities, which ultimately spurs talented freshmen representatives to depart Capitol Hill or to run for statewide office instead.
“The answer is we need to shift power,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “We need to make sure that we have a transition of power in the Democratic Party.”
The Bronx and Queens congresswoman shut down the possibility of running for House leadership anytime soon.
“The House is extraordinarily complex and I’m not ready,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “It can’t be me. I know that I couldn’t do that job.”
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Trump: Tanks to Ukraine could escalate to use of ‘NUKES’
Former President Donald Trump stated bluntly on Truth Social, “FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do!”
Trump was referring to the escalation of war in Ukraine. He, like many other commentators and lawmakers, are warning that the decision to continue sending weapons – and now tanks – could potentially lead to the use of “nuclear weapons.”
It’s mission creep and it’s dangerous, they say.
Why? Because Russian President Valdimir Putin has indicated in two different speeches that he would use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, if needed. Those warnings are not just bluster but a very real possibility.
And the escalation of war is visible.
Russia launched 55 missiles strikes across Ukraine Thursday, leaving 11 dead. The strikes come one day after the United States and Germany agreed to send tanks to Ukraine in an effort to aide the country. 47 of the 55 missiles were shot down according to Ukraine’s Air Force command.
Eleven lives were lost and another 11 were injured additionally leaving 35 buildings damaged in the wake of the attacks. According to The New York Times, Denys Shmyhal, said in a post on Telegram. “The main goal is energy facilities, providing Ukrainians with light and heat,” he said.
Ukraine is now demanding that they need F-16 fighter jets. In a post on twitter Ukrainian lawmaker, Oleksiy Goncharenko said, “Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.”
Morning. Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.
— Oleksiy Goncharenko (@GoncharenkoUa) January 26, 2023
The US has abstained from sending advanced jets in the chances that a volatile decision could foster more dangerous attacks like former President Trump’s post on Truth referred to. If the US did authorize the decision to lend Ukraine the F-16 jets Netherlands’ foreign minister, Wopke Hoekstra, would be willing to supply them. According to The New York Times, Hoekstra told Dutch lawmakers, “We are open-minded… There are no taboos.”
F-16 fighter jets are complex to work on, they are not the average aircraft that can be learned in a matter of weeks. It can take months for pilots to learn how to fly these birds. European and US officials have the concern that Ukrainian forces could potentially use the jets to fly into Russian airspace and launch attacks on Russian soil.
Western allies are trying to avoid such a provocation, because that could lead to nuclear warfare in reference to what Putin has said he would do to defend his country.
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