Former President Barack Obama is expressing his concern that progressives often shoot at each other like a “circular firing squad” in an attempt to achieve political purity.
During a town hall speech organized by the Obama Foundation in Berlin, the former president touched on the growing divisions of ideology within his own party.
“One of the things I do worry about sometimes among progressives in the United States, maybe it’s true here as well, is a certain kind of rigidity,” he said. “Where we say, ‘I’m sorry, this is how it’s going to be.'”
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— The Hill (@thehill) April 8, 2019
Obama continued to describe the dynamic of the party, noting that some Democrats have a tendency to target their political allies for not embracing the most progressive stance in every scenario.
“And then we start sometimes creating what’s called a ‘circular firing squad’ where you start shooting at your allies because one of them is straying from purity on the issues,” Obama added, seemingly pushing the notion that a broader array of views should be respected within the Democratic Party.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who is tasked with leading a Democratic majority that contains staunch progressives and political moderates, recognizes the challenges she faces in uniting the party among common interests.
In an interview published on Monday by USA Today, Pelosi struck a similar tone as Obama, urging Democrats to continue fighting for the “boldest common denominator.”
“I’m a progressive from San Francisco. I think I can have some credentials on the left, as a person who has represented a very liberal city,” Pelosi said.
“But you have to govern mainstream,” she added, noting that any House bill requires support from at least 218 representatives to pass.