Sometimes politics make for strange bedfellows, and other times it makes for “no duh” bedfellows. The Left’s Congressional Freshman phenoms fall into the latter group. Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley and their supporters are calling themselves “The Squad.” Although they came from different backgrounds, they are united by their politics, positions, and drive to make the country more progressive.
What makes these four women and their followers so special? I’ve been trying to figure that out since the Left made them their de facto leaders/golden children/rock stars. Are they the next generation of leaders or the political equivalent of Pogs? Let’s find out!
What the Left thinks it means – four strong female Congresswomen who represent the future and care about the important issues of the day
What it really means – the personification of identity politics
I have a confession to make. I actually do know why The Squad is being held up as the Great Not-White-At-All Hope, and it has nothing to do with what they do or have done. Their appeal to the Left is literally skin deep. The fact they’re women and progressive only adds to their appeal to many. And the fact they’re all vocal opponents to President Donald Trump makes them the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Which begs the question of how great an invention sliced bread is, but that’s the blog post for another time.
As someone who looks for results rather than hype, I did some digging to see what The Squad has accomplished. In terms of legislative accomplishments, let’s just say I tied them and I wasn’t even trying. Outside of the political realm, they’ve created a great brand that people can identify with, especially on social media. Of course, social media isn’t the real world, so their accomplishments are pretty much the same as mine: being opinionated in cyberspace. The differences, though, are I don’t try to pass stupid legislation while I do it and I’m not wasting taxpayer money to do it. Taxpayer time, yes, but not taxpayer money.
The Squad has also been thorns in the side of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (which makes me laugh because of what her party has done to bring about The Squad and how they repay her with openly suggesting she’s a racist). The same Leftists who propped up Pelosi are now ready to throw her under The Squad bus because…she’s not as progressive as The Squad is! (Quick investment tip: buy a LOT of shares in Orville Redenbacher.) Although this kind of behavior is red meat…sorry, white tofu to the Left, it isn’t working very well with the rest of the population. I can’t account for all of them, but from what I’ve read at least half of The Squad are seeing approval ratings lower than the President’s. Not nationally, mind you. In their own districts.
Granted, The Squad may be in districts safely in Leftist hands, so there may not be reason to worry…except if people decide to challenge them from the Right and the Left. So far, there is at least one known challenger to The Squad’s most vocal leader, the aforementioned Rep. Ocasio-Cortez (a.k.a. the Socialist Socialite), and there is enough time before the 2020 elections for more to join the fray. This has the potential to open a wider rift between The Squad and the Not-Leftist-Enough Democrats, who have watched The Squad go from back-benchers to unintended spokespeople for the Democrats. The impending Leftist civil war is going to be interesting to watch, if only because it underscores the pyrrhic nature of the victory they achieved in 2018 in part because of The Squad.
Congratulations, Leftists. You’ve created the means of your own destruction. But unlike in the original (and vastly funnier) “Ghostbusters,” it’s not a giant marshmallow man coming to destroy you; it’s identity politics which you helped to make mainstream.
Of course, anyone who decides The Squad isn’t all that great will get showered with allegations of racism, sexism, Islamophobia, fascism, white supremacy, patriarchy, Nazism, and other invectives that have become the new slang for the Left (along with copious amounts of vulgarity). The issue is none of the legitimate criticisms raised about The Squad have anything to do with any of that. Sure, there are people out there giving as good as they’re getting, but most of us between the Left and the Right see The Squad not as a powerful force for good, but as a group whose watched their expectations drop lower than a snake’s belt buckle because it’s hip to hate President Trump yet manage to limbo underneath these expectations all while standing upright.
I don’t have an issue with Rep. Ilhan’s faith. I have an issue with her possibly breaking the law repeatedly prior to becoming a Representative.
I don’t have an issue with Rep. Tlaib’s faith, either. I have an issue with her ties to Hamas, a known terrorist organization.
I don’t have an issue with Rep. Pressley’s race. I have an issue with her suggesting there are blacks that should be silent on racial issues because they may not agree with her.
I don’t have an issue with Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s gender. I have an issue with her being intellectually and emotionally unsuited to represent herself, let alone her Congressional district.
And collectively, I don’t have an issue with any boxes the members of The Squad can mark off on a checklist. I have an issue with them criticizing others for doing what they do instead of finding a way to bring people together. As the old Spider-Man comics say, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Maybe The Squad prefers DC to Marvel, but the point is they still haven’t grasped the concept of leadership, all while putting themselves out there as leaders. The longer The Squad goes unchecked in the political and communication arenas, the harder it will be to topple them.
And, no, I do not condone violence or threats against these women. Beat them with better arguments, not with your fists. And given some of the stupefying things The Squad has said since taking office, you won’t even have to work that hard!