Election 2020

'Dessert Storm': Justice Dems Blame Pelosi's Ice Cream Stunt in Election Postmortem

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

On Wednesday, a quartet of far-left groups blamed the moderate wing of the Democratic Party for Democrats’ losses in the U.S. House of Representatives and in state legislatures, and its likely failure to take the Senate majority. The organizations also claimed that credit for Joe Biden’s likely (albeit contested) presidential victory goes to the radicals in the party.

“The economy was voters’ top concern in this election,” read an election postmortem from the far-left groups New Deal Strategies, Justice Democrats, the Sunrise Movement, and Data for Progress. “When Democratic leaders make unforced errors like showing off two sub-zero freezers full of ice cream on national television or cozy up with Wall Street executives and corporate lobbyists while Trump tells voters we are the party of the swamp, it is not surprising that we lose.”

The letter referred to an infamous moment when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) showed off her selection of fancy $13 pints of ice cream in her $24,000 Sub-Zero freezers as an illustration of how she was coping with COVID-19 lockdown.

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Justice Democrats and their allies accused Democratic leaders of being out of touch and predicted that Republicans would retake the House in 2022.

“Democratic leadership has failed over the years to make sustained investments in field organizing, forcing grassroots organizations to carry the bulk of organizing work in key battleground states on their own,” the leftist groups alleged.

Justice Democrats and its allies claimed that Latino organizers and black activists won Biden Arizona and put the state of Georgia in play.

“In Georgia, after being told it could never become a swing state, it was progressive Black-led organizations like Black Voters Matter, New Georgia Project and Fair Fight Action who registered over 800,000 new voters, almost 50% of them under 30 and people of color since 2018 to prepare for this moment,” the leftist groups claimed.

In the wake of the 2020 election, moderate Democrats have rightly warned that the far-left policies of Medicare for All, defunding the police, and the Green New Deal likely cost the party in swing districts. Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) argued, “We need to not ever use the words socialist or socialism ever again.” Yet Saikat Chakrabarti, former chief of staff to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), argued that Pelosi should resign after the House Democrats lost seats.

The Justice Democrats and their allies took AOC’s perspective, claiming that leftists like Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) led Democrats to (likely) defeat Trump.

“While the Biden-Harris campaign resisted in-person canvassing, Omar’s campaign kept doing it, hiring dozens of people to knock on doors and pull out votes,” the leftist groups argued. “Trump and the GOP really thought they could win Minnesota — what they didn’t count on was 88% turnout in Ilhan’s district with over 400,000 votes.” (The postmortem did not mention the disturbing reports of cash-for-ballot schemes in Omar’s district.)

While moderates like Spanberger may be right, leftists like Omar and AOC are likely to win the argument in the Democratic Party. One way or another, ice cream-gate is likely to keep plaguing Nancy Pelosi. The New York Post dubbed the scandal “Dessert Storm.”

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Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.

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