AOC Chief of Staff Compares Moderate Dems to Southern Racists

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez / Getty Images
June 27, 2019

The chief of staff for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) compared a group of moderate Democrats in the House of Representatives to Southern Democrats in the 1940s.

"Instead of 'fiscally conservative but socially liberal' let's call the New Democrats and Blue Dog Caucus the 'New Southern Democrats,'" " Saikat Chakrabarti said in a now-deleted tweet. "They certainly seem hell bent to do to black and brown people today what the old southern Democrats did in the 40s."

Chakrabarti deleted his tweet after it became target of quick criticism, but then doubled down with a pair of tweets defending his initial point.

"Didn't realize this needed to be said, but: you can be someone who does not personally harbor ill will towards a race, but through your actions still enable a racist system," he wrote. "And a lot of New Democrats and Blue Dogs did that today."

"This is in reference to my comparing Blue Dogs and New Democrats to 1940s Southern Democrats," he said in a subsequent post. "Southern Democrats enabled a racist system too. I have no idea how personally racist they all were. And we're seeing the same dynamic play out now."

The current leader of the Blue Dog Coalition in the House is Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D., Fl.), an Asian-American woman serving her second term in congress.

The comment from Chakrabarti comes after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) relented to moderate Democrats over the Senate's border supplemental bill, allowing a clean vote on the bill with no potential amendments to attach progressive priorities.

The bill, which allocates $4.6 billion in border funding, was approved by the Senate by a margin of 84-8. Progressives in the House opposed the bill because they claimed there was no guarantee the Trump administration would use the money for what it was allocated for.

"This Senate Bill will have us write a $4.6 Billion blank check (incl military $) for the border w NO accountability—just a verbal pinky promise," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. "Trump is not to be trusted with protecting our immigrants. Why must that even be stated? We need hard lines of protection, in ink."