Founder of the The Young Turks news network, Cenk Uygur, was accused of “gaslighting” after sparring with commentator Jimmy Dore over the idea to pressure progressive Democrats into forcing a House vote for Medicare for All.
Last week Dore caused a splash on social media after he and NFL’s Justin Jackson urged Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to buck House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s bid for speakership in order to force a vote on the ‘Medicare for All’ universal healthcare program. From that point, the discussion around the plan in the American left only heated up.
On Sunday Uygur engaged his former co-worker Dore on Twitter, attacking his proposal which was at that point concised into the hashtag #ForceTheVote on Twitter.
“[Jimmy Dore] has his feelings hurt so much he lashes out wildly against all other progressives,” Uygur tweeted, accusing the comedian of being overly focused on purity-testing his supposed ideological allies.
Most notably, Uygur attempted to rebuke the “half-baked” #ForceTheVote plan, by repeatedly arguing that challenging top Democrat Pelosi would only lead to Republican leader Kevin McCarthy grabbing the speakership.
“If you want to challenge Pelosi, you have to do your homework and figure out ahead of time who could run against her in the caucus, not wait till the choice is between her and [McCarthy],” Uygur tweeted, adding, “That’s what some of us did a month ago. Some of us chose to be hot-tempered and childish instead.”
If you want to challenge Pelosi, you have to do your homework & figure out ahead of time who could run against her in the caucus, not wait till the choice is between her & @GOPLeader. That’s what some of us did a month ago. Some of us chose to be hot-tempered & childish instead.
— Cenk Uygur (@cenkuygur) December 20, 2020
This appears to be a very unlikely outcome, as the House speaker is elected by the absolute majority of the total votes cast for any of the candidates. Thus, Republicans being the minority faction in 2021, McCarthy would require quite a few Democratic supporters to become speaker.
You cannot hand the speaker position to the GOP because if you check the house rules, you would no that is impossible unless you have actual democrats voting for a Republican. https://t.co/fUlXVDAtAqpic.twitter.com/vxTAfarnaQ
— Esha (@eshaLegal) December 20, 2020
Uygur’s point was largely seen as a bad faith argument, with Dore himself calling him a “liar” and suggesting the ex-Republican was being paid to “gaslight” the left.
Sorry but @cenkuygur is misleading his audience again. If Pelosi doesn’t get enough votes it doesn’t get “ handed to the @GOP”. That’s not how it works at all. He’s gaslighting everyone now and running interference for the democrat party. Don’t fall for it! #ForceTheVotehttps://t.co/ggwQxjSyRg
— Jimmy Dore (@jimmy_dore) December 20, 2020
And YOUR LYING ABOUT @GOP taking over the speakership , that’s not how it works , how much $ are you being paid to try and stop this?
— Jimmy Dore (@jimmy_dore) December 21, 2020
The dispute between the two prominent indie-media figures attracted quite a few other left-wing commentators, who landed on both sides of the argument.
Hosts Ryan Knight and Nico House agreed with Dore, joining him in accusing Uygur of being a bad-faith actor.
— Ryan Knight 🌹 (@ProudSocialist) December 21, 2020
Translation:“Progressives in congress, you’re making a mess by being totally inconsistent and feckless and you know the corporate money I take requires me to defend you no matter what. So please get it together, you’re making me look bad. Blink twice if Putin” #forcethevote
— Joe Biden Hates Black People (@nikoCSFB) December 21, 2020
Former NYC public defender candidate Nomiki Konst criticized the #ForceTheVote movement from an identity standpoint, mockingly calling Dore a “rich white dude,” supported by an audience that’s “87 percent male under 45 years old.”
Why are rich white dudes supported by an audience 87% male under 45 years old dictating our leftist political discourse??????
— Nomiki Konst (@NomikiKonst) December 21, 2020
Former presidential hopeful Marianne Williamson, however, sought unity, calling on all the progressives involved to “stop fighting.”
Jimmy! Ana! Cenk! Emma! Nomiki! Stop fighting! Meet me in the kitchen for milk and cookies RIGHT NOW!!!!
— Marianne Williamson (@marwilliamson) December 21, 2020
Curiously, Uygur’s TYT held a poll asking the network’s viewers if progressives in Congress should withhold their votes for Pelosi unless she guarantees a Medicare for All floor vote. The overwhelming 85 percent majority of those polled voted “yes,” going against the position of the network’s founder.
BIG THANKS to @cenkuygur & @AnaKasparian for covering #ForceTheVote & letting their audience weigh in!! They OVERWHELMING support the idea of elected progressives withholding their Vote for Pelosi until she agrees to a floor vote for #MedicareForAllpic.twitter.com/in9PlesEHu
— Jimmy Dore (@jimmy_dore) December 20, 2020