On CNN’s New Day, CNN political analyst Rachael Bade portrayed the Democratic House caucus as paralyzed by infighting, even as she went on to note that media outlets aren’t covering substantive policies Democrats are voting on, inadvertently underscoring this failure of the press. Bade described a debate among Democrats started by recent comments by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) as “a mess,” and co-host John Berman brought up up a New York Times story that he said claimed “the Democratic platform may have been derailed a little bit.”
However, Bade herself pointed out that Democrats last week passed a “landmark gun control bill basically expanding background checks” and that they plan to pass a “landmark sort of bill regarding campaign finance.” The For the People Act seeks to address “the overwhelming influence of money and special interests” in politics and focuses on automatic voter registration, eliminating partisan gerrymandering, and “making campaign finance more transparent and less dominated by big money.” Bade’s commentary that “right now nobody’s really writing about” Democrats’ policy moves inadvertently underscored the media’s persistent problem of failing to cover policy.
From the March 7 edition of CNN’s New Day:
JOHN BERMAN (CO-HOST): Rachael, you’ve got some terrific color from inside this Democratic caucus meeting, and it does appear there are real fissures among the Democratic members.
RACHAEL BADE (CNN POLITICAL ANALYST): Yeah, you know, Democrats kicked off the year strong. They really -- they stuck together through the shutdown fight. Pelosi was sort of able to rally the troops and get the president to cave when it came to his border wall. But ever since that shutdown, we've seen the Democratic Party in the House, the new majority, really struggling as they get up to speed with their new power and we're seeing these sort of fractures in the caucus, some folks on the far-left clashing with some of the more moderate members, and it's really been a mess. And it came to a head yesterday morning in a really contentious caucus meeting where people started basically scolding their colleagues for tweeting at each because over the weekend and over the past few days we've actually seen lawmakers, from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, tweeting at some more senior members in the House about [Rep. Ilhan] Omar's comments. And right now there's this sort of divide about what do they do regarding these comments where they were very much anti-Semitic and a lot of Democrats are uncomfortable with them and want to condemn them. At the same time, a lot of progressives say, listen, why are we calling out one of our own for something like this when we never call out other Republicans who might have said something racially charged? Of course they did that with [Rep.] Steve King just a few weeks ago. But Democrats say they rarely do that and they say they shouldn't be going after one of their own.
BERMAN: And, as you noted, there are real frustrations among some in the party -- The New York Times has a whole story on this today -- that the Democratic platform may have been derailed a little bit by this and some of the other activities. This is not what they wanted to be talking about in the beginning of March.
BADE: Not at all. Last week they passed a landmark gun control bill basically expanding background checks, a very popular issue that they both ran on and that voters generally approve of in high numbers. That got little attention because some of their moderate members joined with a bunch of Republicans on an obscure vote right before that bill passed, and that ended up being the headline, that the moderate Democrats had broke from the party and Pelosi was mad at them and scolding them on the House floor. This week, same thing. The Democrats are trying to pass, and will pass, this landmark sort of bill regarding campaign finance and the whole, you know, elections and sort of opening up and being transparent on elections. But, again, Omar's comments have totally derailed those talks and right now nobody's really writing about it.