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"It wasn’t that we didn’t feel badly when someone was expelled. We did. Very badly. But Party discipline had at all costs to be upheld, defended. This was a fundamental no one questioned. And when someone was expelled it was because—and this we could always see clearly—Party discipline was being threatened. (Vivian Gornick, Romance of American Communism, 176.)


I don't understand the emphasized phrase means in this context, can you help me?

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They could always see clearly that the person was being expelled because party discipline was being threatened. In other words, the reason for the expulsion was always clear.

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Thank you, again, GPY, you're a great help.