Here we go again…

As I write this, sixteen Democrat representatives have signed and sent a letter stating that they want new leadership leading them in the U.S. House of Representatives. In short, they’re opposed to Nancy Pelosi becoming Speaker of the House. Given the projected membership of the House of Representatives sixteen is almost enough to deny her the speakership.

Of the sixteen, fourteen are white males, and two are white women. Why doesn’t this surprise me? Even though something like 60% of the Democrat members of the next Congress will be women, minorities, or LGBT, we have fourteen white males, most of whom aren’t newly elected and who should know better, saying that they don’t want a woman leading them, even though, at present, no other Democrat representative has presented himself or herself as a candidate to oppose Pelosi. Isn’t one party being led by good ole white boys more than enough?

Pelosi spearheaded the fundraising drive to raise much of the enormous sums necessary to allow Democrat candidates to compete with well-funded GOP candidates and was instrumental in pushing for more well-qualified women to run for Congress. She’s also been an effective Speaker of the House, so effective that the Republicans would love to see her shoved aside. She’s an effective strategist, and, like it or not, the Democrats don’t have anyone else who comes close.

I have no doubt that the Republican politicos would jump for joy [except most don’t know anything about joy] if the Democrats sidelined Pelosi, because there’s no one else with the proven will of steel necessary to stand up to Mitch McConnell and Trump.

For the sake of the country, I hope the Democrats think this through, but the Democratic Party has been known not only to shoot itself in foot before, but to blow off both legs [figuratively, of course] and then complain because things didn’t go according to plan.

And sidelining Pelosi would be just another case of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

10 thoughts on “Here we go again…”

  1. Jeff says:

    Good insights, Lee. But what about her age? At some point, it seems to me, the Democrats need to think about cultivating younger leaders (actually both parties seem to be reluctant to do this)

    1. The age of leaders in both parties is an issue, but I don’t see many people on the GOP side agitating violently for youth. Also, most of those opposing Pelosi are either conservative Democrats or newcomers elected from conservative districts, and if they succeed in stopping Pelosi, anyone else selected is going to have a partisan divide worse than the GOP had with the Tea Party. Right now, Pelosi is the only one who even has a chance of both holding the Democrats together AND standing against Trump and the GOP Senate. The Democrat dissidents are basically saying, “Screw everything else. I want to hang on to my seat.” And that’s ironically exactly what the newcomers ran against.

  2. R. Hamilton says:

    Pelosi reminds me of an arrogant High Holder: capable at the game, but hardly bringing anything constructive to the table; and often giving the appearance of being thoroughly addled. (not saying she’s the only one! there’s no lack of elderly white males in either party, and at least one elderly black woman, that appear equally un-constructive)

    On the other hand, the younger Democrats are dominated by the far left, who are the existential enemy of liberty. So bad as Pelosi (or most Democrats) may be, she might not the worst of a foul lot.

    And NOT because she’s a woman! I cheerfully vote for any conservative regardless of gender. It’d be great to persuade Condoleezza Rice to run for something, just to prove once and for all (as if the propagandists would be convinced by mere facts to stop playing the gender or race card) that neither women nor minorities have to be trapped on the socialist plantation.

    Not that it wouldn’t be interesting to have a unifier for a change; but one whose premise is the benefits of liberty, not lifetime federal babysitting service.

    1. Derek says:

      It’s weird hearing politics characterized as centrist throughout the rest of the world be described as the existential enemy of liberty.

      1. Wine Guy says:

        Semantics – or perhaps, definitions – are very important.

        … especially when discussing politics.

        And Pelosi is not a centrist by any stretch of the imagination with respect to US politics.

        As an aside, trying to judge one country’s politics against another’s by only looking at the names stuck on the various parties is comparing apples to goats. Or rocks.

        1. Nathaniel says:

          I could certainly be misinterpreting the comments, but I don’t think he was referring to Nancy Pelosi (although I will point out that she is hardly on the far left wing of the Democratic Party). I think he was referring to Mr. Hamilton’s comments about the policy preferences of incoming freshmen democrats (which I read as a reference to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) being the existential enemy of liberty. And specifically how those policies (like free universal healthcare) are pretty centrist mainstays of much of the developed world.

          1. R. Hamilton says:

            Universal meeting of any need (other than law and border enforcement, and air, since you don’t have to fractionally enslave anyone to deliver that) is the enemy of liberty. Liberty is _not_ being free of need, but free to have your choices have consequences, even at risk of being in need if you choose badly.

            Yes, that’s not a common outlook in the world anymore. Too many people never heard (or cared) about the Franklin quote about temporary security vs liberty. I even understand why people might prefer today’s needs over tomorrow’s liberty; there was a brief time when (due to my own bad choice) I had no trouble at all keeping my weight down. But even so, I still say, better free and dead than less free and subjected to the needs-met-with-strings-attached that government provides.

          2. Nathaniel says:

            You and I have both looked at the same world and drawn some very different conclusions. Which is completely fine. It’s what humans have done for the entirety of history.

            My issue with politics as it is currently being practiced is the lack of acknowledgement for the honest intentions of others. When you speak of the people who disagree with you as the “existential enemy of liberty” you are writing in the very presumption of your own correctness and completely demonizing everyone who dares to contradict you. This attitude comes through so strongly in so much of your language (like implying that for the government to meet any need other than law enforcement would require “enslavement”) that it seems to be functionally impossible to actually have a discussion with you.

        2. For better or worse, from what I’ve observed, Pelosi likely is close to a centrist in the Democratic party. There are certainly quite a few much farther to the left, as well as a bunch to the right — like the sixteen who signed the letter saying that they won’t vote for her.

  3. wayne kernochan says:

    I would not be so concerned at this point. The rebels’ only named alternative to Pelosi has now indicated that she is not interested, one of the 16 has now changed his mind, and the Democrats appear to have added two more seats, giving Pelosi extra margin.

    Pelosi appears to have been very successful in her maneuvering so far. According to Nate Silver, the rebellion was quite clumsy, since it went public prematurely: some members were concerned about Pelosi’s unpopularity in their districts but didn’t want to face backlash from activists without cover from many more members. Already, Moulton has been threatened with primarying at a town hall. Fudge, the named alternative, apparently met with Pelosi, got an assignment to a subcommittee from her, and decided based on Pelosi’s explanation that House Speaker was just too much work. The cave-in rebel got an assignment he wanted to a voting reform subcommittee — a win-win. I expect a few more defections before the final vote, and as of now Pelosi appears to have a margin of at least four votes, not the one-vote margin implicit in the rebels’ letter.

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