‘He does not honor the integrity or the responsibility or the empathy or the compassion, and so, for that reason I call him “The Occupant”…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) Of the four members of “The Squad”—the radical freshman congresswomen backed by the Justice Democrats PAC—Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., may be considered the “Fredo.”
Her vaunted seat in a Boston district once held by current Sen. Ed Markey, with a background that included working for Rep. Joseph Kennedy II (RFK’s son) and Sen. John Kerry, puts Pressley firmly within the ranks of the establishment, in contrast to the populist outsider appeal of Reps. Alexandria Ocasio–Cortez, D-NY; Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.; and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.
But in an appearance Tuesday on the “Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Pressley sought to rehab her reputation as the forgotten and neglected member of the sorority.
Refusing to acknowledge President Donald Trump by name, instead calling him “The Occupant,” Pressley proved during her appearance that she can be just as bombastic as her socialism-spouting colleagues.
“He is just occupying space,” she told Colbert. ” … I mean, we went from a president who sang ‘Amazing Grace’ to one who displays zero of it.”
But she insisted she wasn’t being petty since the president was entirely to blame for incurring Democrats’ wrath.
“He does not honor the integrity or the responsibility or the empathy or the compassion,” Pressley said, “and so, for that reason I call him ‘The Occupant’—not because I dishonor the office but because he does.”
Despite her best efforts, Pressley seemed to lack the passion, charm and charisma that her Squad colleagues rely on to convey their radical messaging, instead rattling off the same outlandish claims and rhetoric as if reciting from a script.
Much of it relied on race-baiting, with Pressley invoking her “privileged” status as a woman of color, according to her own acknowledgement.
She claimed solidarity with her constituents—40 percent of whom she said were immigrants—because she also felt marginalized by American culture and society.
“As a black woman, I know what it is to show up in the world and to be criminalized simply for how you show up in the world,” Pressley said.
Falling back on a tired trope about a child separation policy that the Trump administration implemented for roughly a week in June 2018 to address loopholes in the asylum laws, Pressley said the enforcement of immigration laws called to mind the past wrongs of slavery and the exploitation of American Indians.
“Right now, the system is doing what it was designed to do—and that is to separate families and to decimate communities,” she said.
“And we’ve been here before,” she continued. “We were here at the auction blocks during slavery, we were here with indigenous people on reservations—we know that it is a very effective tool of oppression to separate families, and in particular to take a child from the arms of a mother.”
Pressley did show a small measure of charisma when Colbert asked if she were among the House Democrats who supported impeaching the president.
“Absolutely,” she replied chipperly—before falling back on a more serious tone.
“I didn’t go to Congress to impeach a president,” she continued. “This is something that you enter into with, uh, great—I mean, really sober about.”
To date, no evidence has been presented against Trump that would fit the standard outlined in the Constitution for impeachment.
While many in Democratic leadership fear the political repercussions of moving forward without a solid case—which would invariably fail to result in Trump’s removal—more than half of House Democrats still support the partisan maneuver.
“This is bigger than Donald Trump,” Pressley said. “I know that, you know, they like to say that this is a partisan witch hunt, but this is bigger than him—this is about the office of the presidency.”
Pressley appeared to suggest that the lack of solid evidence was the very reason why haste was so important for her and her constituents, who regarded impeachment as a condemnation of his policies more than anything.
“For anyone who says we can wait, they’re not experiencing the real fear and fragility that people are living with every day,” she said.