Come, join the Squad. We’re looking for the most progressive Democrats in Washington. Join us so that we can cause as much trouble as possible.
Seriously, this is what a recruitment video would sound like if Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and the rest of the Squad were to start actively recruiting.
They are interested in growing. They need all the help that they can get, too. Moderate Democrats have dared to blame AOC and the gang for losing seats in the House.
Well, Ritchie Torres is going to be the new kid on Capitol Hill, and the liberal ladies have set their targets on getting him on their side.
He’s got a message for them, though. He’s not interested.
He may be progressive, but he wants to draw the line in the sand right away. He is not with them. He has very different views.
Ritchie Torres is representing the South Bronx in Congress. He’s not a Democratic Socialist, and he’s also pro-Israel.
He told The New York Post that he has observed that there are a number of activists with “a visceral hatred for Israel” and he believes that it’s the very definition of being discriminative.
Torres is well aware of what he’s up against and he also has personal stories as to why he’s tied to being pro-Israel. He has visited Israel twice – in 2015 and in 2017. He shares stories about meeting the families who are interested in promoting “dignity for both the Israelis and the Palestinians.”
It’s important for Torres to identify what side he is on. Support for Israel used to be bipartisan. However, in the past few years, the more progressive left has chosen to be confrontational. This includes Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) who are in support of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Additionally, these two outspoken members of the House are part of the Squad and have been accused, repeatedly, of making Anti-Semitic remarks. AOC, too, has denounced the occupation of Israel in Palestine and voted against the House majority in a resolution to reaffirm the U.S.’s support of their two-state solution.
There is definitely a division between AOC and Torres – and the two of them have feuded throughout New York for some time.
The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) are the ones responsible for backing AOC politically speaking. The co-chair of the New York DSA chapter, Sumathy Kumar, refused to identify whether Israel had a right to exist.
This is when Torres got particularly loud, identifying that “insane” is the word he’d use to describe whether Israel can exist or not.
The leadership of the DSA declines to affirm that the state of Israel should exist. ‘Insane’ is the word that comes to mind. https://t.co/P8bYRI49A8
— Ritchie Torres (@RitchieTorres) August 6, 2020
Torres is finding that it’s hard to be a progressive Democrat when he doesn’t share all of the same views as the Squad. Torres backed Sanders in 2016, primarily because he was willing to take a tour of public housing. Sanders didn’t return the favor when Torres was being nominated, though – Sanders chose to back Samelys Lopez, a Democratic Socialist instead.
What’s exciting about Ritchie Torres joining the House is that, while he is a progressive Democrat, he doesn’t share the same views as AOC and her Squad. He has new and exciting ideas, and he’s willing to go head-to-head on some of the ridiculous views that the Democratic Socialists have.
As one DSA lawmaker said, “We do not like him, and he does not like us.” Well, if he doesn’t like the Democratic Socialists of America, he can’t be all bad.
He also refers to the rhetoric of defunding the police as “arbitrary and irresponsible.”
Perhaps he’s a closet Republican and doesn’t even know it yet. It wouldn’t be the first time someone decided to change parties once they made their way into Congress.
Torres is sure to bring a new perspective – he’s gay, he’s progressive, and he’s pro-Israel. He did receive a congratulatory call from AOC when he won the election. As for joining the Squad, it’s not going to happen.