"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?


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.


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