Bose T-shirt, tweets put PIO political operative at heart of mega Dem feud
An Indian-American techie-turned-political operative is at the center of a flaming internal war that is threatening to scorch the Democratic Party in the US.
Saikat Chakrabarti, a Texas-born techie who is chief of staff to Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, is facing the wrath of Democratic leader House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the party’s old guard after several controversial tweets, including ones in which he suggested the party is still hadn’t gotten rid of its racist legacy and its leadership is soft on President Trump.
The latest row — coming amid his boss Alexandria’s ongoing public clash with Speaker Pelosi — began when Chakrabarti, in a now-deleted tweet, described centrist Democrats as “new Southern Democrats” that “certainly seem hell bent to do to black and brown people today what the old Southern Democrats did in the 40s”. Before it became moderate and liberal, the Democratic Party was the original white primacist party in US; Republicans have taken over the mantle in recent years.
Chakrabarti’s attack on the party leadership was followed by his boss Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez herself accusing Speaker Pelosi of singling out “women of colour” in the party after she (Pelosi) had referenced his tweets and warned in a closed door meeting against party cadres airing grievances in public. “You got a complaint? You come and talk to me about it. But do not tweet about our members and expect us to think that that is just OK,” Pelosi was reported to have said at the meeting.
Meanwhile, Chakrabarti continued to attack Pelosi and the party leadership, accusing them of going soft on Trump, particularly on the impeachment issue. “Pelosi claims we can’t focus on impeachment because it’s a distraction from kitchen table issues. But I’d challenge you to find voters that can name a single thing House Democrats have done for their kitchen table this year. What is this legislative mastermind doing?” he tweeted on July 6. He also attacked a Native-American lawmaker whose votes he said enabled a racist system.
That led to another rebuke from the Democratic leadership with the House Democratic Caucus tweeting: “Who is this guy and why is he explicitly singling out a Native American woman of colour? Her name is Congresswoman Davids, not Sharice. She is a phenomenal new member who flipped a red seat blue. Keep Her Name Out Of Your Mouth.” Chakrabarti’s responded: “I think the point still stands. I don’t think people have to be personally racist to enable a racist system. And the same could be said of Southern Democrats.”