More House Speaker Details on Who Will Lead
Paul Krugman noted on twitter, this is a group that is “still in the old cringe position, buying into GOP demonization (which happens to any strong Democrat) despite a huge midterm victory.” Cringing at the GOP’s demonization is a tactic that too many Democrats embraced in the past and is what sent so many of them on a journey rightward in search of validation. In other words, it is a losing strategy undermining liberal values. The really superb Democratic candidates in the 2018 midterms completely rejected the approach and it is clear that Nancy Pelosi joins them.
Nancy LeToureau at Washington Monthly detailed a Pelosi experience giving her remarks on Twitter. “On Wednesday some young climate activists joined by newly elected Alexandria Ocasio Cortez held a demonstration at Nancy Pelosi’s office. While we can debate whether it is a smart move to hold such an event at the office of a leader who is on your side as opposed to the myriad of Republican leaders who are climate deniers, Pelosi welcomed them with open arms.
Nancy Pelosi, Nov 13, 2018 on Twitter:
Deeply inspired by the young activists & advocates leading the way on confronting climate change. The climate crisis threatens the futures of communities nationwide, and I strongly support reinstating the select committee to address the crisis.
We welcome the presence of these activists, and we strongly urge the Capitol Police to allow them to continue to organize and participate in our democracy.
Nancy LeToureau: These types of actions are what makes Pelosi a great leader and is a wonderful example of how Democrats embrace grassroots activism and organizing.
The Letter’s 17
On the same day, some House Democrats were organizing against the election of Pelosi as the next Speaker of the House. There are those who mistakenly conflate the two developments; however, the group challenging Pelosi’s leadership has different motives.
About a dozen incumbent Democrats and a half-dozen incoming Democrats are preparing a letter pledging to not support Pelosi on the House floor for speaker. The members also intend to note another contingent of Democrats who privately say they won’t support the longtime California Democrat but won’t sign the letter, according to Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), one of the ringleaders of the effort to block Pelosi.
Sources (HuffPost) familiar with the letter say there are currently 17 names on it, but the group is trying to get more than 20 members before releasing it. Currently on the letter, though not certain to stay on it, are:
– Tim Ryan (D-Ohio)
– Seth Moulton (D-Mass.)
– Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.)
– Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.)
– Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.)
– Filemon Vela Jr. (D-Texas)
– Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio)
– Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.)
– Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.)
– Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.)
– Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.)
– Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.)
– Joe Cunningham (D-S.C.)
– Max Rose (D-N.Y.)
– Anthony Brindisi (D-N.Y.)
– Ben McAdams (D-Utah)
There is another contingent of Democrats ― including Conor Lamb (D-Pa.), Dan Lipinksi (D-Ill.), Ron Kind (D-Wis.), Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.), Jason Crow (D-Colo.), Haley Stevens (D-Mich.), Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.) and Andy Kim (D-N.J.) ― who are seen as likely to vote against Pelosi, but who appear to be hesitant to sign the letter.
In comparison, just “How progressive Is Nancy Pelosi” when compared to the 17?
Kevin Drum (Mother Jones) writes; “not only has Pelosi consistently been in the top third of the most liberal Democrats in the House, Pelosi is a lot more liberal than Republican Paul Ryan is conservative.” The insurgency against Pelosi amongst House Democrats consists of people who are to Pelosi’s right on the ideological scale. The 17 Democratic signatories on the anti-Pelosi letter when compared to FiveThirtyEight’s DW NOMINATE ranking / Trump scorecard shows that only two of those people have voted against Donald Trump’s policy preferences more than Pelosi has.
The person from that group who’s being floated as a potential replacement for Pelosi, Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio, is accused of being openly hostile to LGBTQ rights. Osita Nwanevu of the New Yorker: “The anti-Pelosi stuff in Congress is mostly backed by centrist & conservative Dems who want to cave to the right’s sexist & latently anti-LGBT messaging (‘San Francisco values’) against her.”
Do We Want to Be a Part of the 17?
One sure way of dampening the forward progressive movement of the Democrats in the House is to have open warfare amongst ourselves on leadership when the leader is already more progressive than the upper third of Democrats in the House and much of the 17. Such fighting will give rise to questioning of the ability of new and incumbent representatives to gain bi-partisan agreement in the House for passage of Democratic bills. If they can not agree amongst themselves without open warfare, then we have already lost even before the new session has started.
This is not the time to kick the most experienced Progressive House leader out the door. It is time to start grooming new and younger leadership who have returned to the House over the last decade. First term representatives should spend time learning the politics of the House, the Democrats and Republicans, and avoid the conflict being led by those to the right of Pelosi. Only two of the 17 have voted against Donald Trump’s policy preferences more than Nancy Pelosi.
I have a problem with calling Fudge ” openly hostile to LGBTQ rights.”
Where does it come from?
I would guess it comes from her not supporting the Equality Act, but she said:
“November 15, 2018
WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11) released the following statement confirming her support of the LGBTQ community:
“I would put my record of support for the LGBTQ community against anyone else’s and challenge anyone to refute it. I fully support equal rights for the LGBTQ community. There is not one vote that I have ever taken that is anti-LGBTQ. Every vote that has been brought to me, I have supported.
“What I opposed was including the Equality Act in the current Civil Rights Act. The Civil Rights Act is over 50 years old and isn’t even adequate to protect the people currently in it. I want us to do a new and modern civil rights bill that protects the LGBTQ community and updates protections for this era. I do not believe it is appropriate to open and relitigate the current Civil Rights Act.”
That seems like a pretty good reason to me. Also, her record on this is at:
That being said, signing that letter is beyond stupid. Serves no good purpose.
I see your point; but, what is easier to pass considering she is not hostile? I would think an amendment would be easier. The climate is not ready for a whole rehash of civil rights.
I agree about the entire rehash of the CRA, but that is what putting the Equality Act into the CRA would cause. Why not just a standalone Equality Act?
Meanwhile, this letter and the attitudes really get on my nerves. Trying to come up with votes to keep Pelosi out of the Speaker’s position is really meaningless without another candidate showing enough support to be elected Speaker.
It is like that tiresome BernieBros bs quoting polls that suggested Sanders would have beaten Trump. Meaningless and tiresome to quote polls in an election where two people were not running against each other.
Same thing here. Pelosi is running, who else is? That’s why the letter is so annoying to me.
My new Rep who I supported by pushing back on lies publically said she would not vote for Pelosi as it is time for new blood. She did support Stabenow another older person. It tells me there is politics here. Slotkin did not need my financial support as she was backed by $millions in Contributor donations minus Corporate. This is on Facebook and I know they read some of my stuff. I am kind of saying “leave this well enough alone” you have better thing to use your energy on.
The Senate will block anything. You could go on record by doing it. The House could control the budget and force issues that way.
I altered the original post and still left it in the sentence. Your comment here will rebut it.
You surely have heard the saying that good is the enemy of excellent. Democrats have become the masters of passing mediocre legislation because it is easier then really fighting for excellent legislation the will do real good.
Case in point, health care reform, which is not about health care and is not reform. It is about health insurance, which is not health care, and it contained no real reform but merely extended the existing system to about half of those who were previously barred from it.
Nancy Pelosi is a master at creating illusion by saying what people want to hear and then doing the easy thing instead of putting up a real fight and doing the right thing, which is exactly why the Democrats need new leadership. We need the kind of leadership that is hated by big money and says proudly that they welcome that hatred.
Associating ACA issues with Pelosi is wrong (period). There was a public option in the ACA the same as there were cost controls as to what insurance could claim as administrative cost. Go corner the Betsy DeVos shill Joe Liberman who refused to vote for a Public Option leaving the Senate and going to the Democratic controlled House at the time to be approved. Pelosi did not cause that, Joe Liberman did, and with Kennedy dead and Scott Brown replacing him the balance tipped for the ACA in the Senate. If Kennedy had lived, we would have had LTC also as that was the next issue he was going to tackle.
Healthcare insurance is a reflection of actual healthcare costs of which 50% of the pricing increase from 1996 to 2015 was simply increases in healthcare (supplies, pharma, hospital, etc.) pricing. Pfizer is intending to increase prices in 2019 in a profit-taking move. The issue with premiums rests largely with Those >400% of FPL and who are approximately 15 million of the population. There could be a better percentage of what would be paid in premiums but it still would not fix healthcare actual costs.
None of this is Pelosi’s fault.
If you are going to discuss issue with healthcare, I read a lot on these issues. At least be right.
Is no one for peace among the fresh-person centrist climate warriors?
Is it too early to be seen soft on the empire, unwilling to sell out the common wealth to the pentagon trough?
Climate response is capital formation…….. regardless the push back from the Koch ilk.
This is not the time to kick the most experienced Progressive House leader out the door. It is time to start grooming new and younger leadership who have returned to the House over the last decade.
Pelosi is a very strong leader. And she’s been a very active leader with a full calendar. So as far as I’m concerned Krugman’s argument about demonizing Pelosi just doesn’t hold any water. I agree with Krugman that she’s been a very successful leader and has earned her place in the Democratic Hall of Fame. But for me the core problem is to wonder if not now, then when is the right time to “kick the most experienced Progressive House leader out the door”? Supposing that the Democrats retake the WH in 2020. Would that be the right time? I hardly think so because all of the arguments marshalled today for keeping her as Speaker would apply with even more force in 2020 than they do today. And then it will be the same story in 2022. There’s probably no good time to replace Pelosi, but it seems to me that 2018 is the least bad time precisely because the Democrats won’t really need her talents over the next two years. Pelosi is very good at herding cats and pushing through difficult and controversial legislation. But is that really going to be much of an issue given the near certainty that there won’t be any significant legislation moving through Congress anyway? This new Congress isn’t going to do anything except investigate and hold hearings. I think Democrats are kidding themselves if they believe Trump and the GOP Senate are going to support meaningful healthcare reform. Tax reform to reverse the Trump tax cuts? Seriously? Climate change legislation? Good luck with that. This is going to be a caretaker House just waiting for 2020. I think that argues for transitioning power now when it would be the least disruptive. It could be a gradual slide, but the Democrats need a new leadership team up and running before 2020. We don’t need three octogenarians running the Democratic caucus after 2020, and if Pelosi & Co. don’t step aside now then they’ll never step aside until the Grim Reaper casts his vote. Finding the right time to replace Pelosi, Hoyer and Clyburn is sort of like trying to find the right time to begin that exercise & diet regimen.
Many of those new Dem Representatives campaigned in their respective states they could cross the aisle and gain bipartisan support just by asking for it, Elissa Slotkin in particular. It may be possible to do so; but, I do not believe it will happen that easily. To your point of not needing sound leadership and that we can experiment these next two years, I believe it would be a mistake to do so. Again Slotkin won in a mostly Repub district with a lot of money in hand against Mike Bishop who thought he could ignore many of his constituents. These constituents are going to expect something in return besides just talk. Come 2020 and House Dems do not have much to show, I am sure there will be greater opposition. Repubs will not make the same mistake twice. Everyone knew Obama was blocked by Repubs from even before day 1. The excuse did not work for him and it will not work for House Dems either. We do need experience to hold this together for 2 years.
By the way, ageism is not the answer to racism, misogynism, etc. There appears to be as hint of this in our newly elected young leaders who were supported heavily monetarily and otherwise by old people voting.
Is Pelosi ready to publicly embrace Medicare-for-All funded from created money (ie, no borrowing, no taxes)? Is Pelosi ready to publicly embrace an adequate SNAP program funded from created money? Is Pelosi ready to publicly embrace a locally-administered Job Guarantee program funded with created money? If not, she’s doing more disservice to the American people than even Trump is. At least Trump isn’t blinded by 20th century economics.
“Is Pelosi ready to publicly embrace Medicare-for-All funded from created money (ie, no borrowing, no taxes)?”
Medicare for All may be a noble goal so why are you mucking this up with your fantasy “created money”. My understanding of what Senator Sanders proposed was using taxes on the well to do in order to pay for Medicare for All. We do not need any Paul Ryan fantasies here as this is an economist blog.
“At least Trump isn’t blinded by 20th century economics.”
I guess Trump believes in created money. As if neither one of you ever heard of the long-rum government budget constraint. Ahem!
Pgl: It is not fantasy! Our politicians have been misrepresenting monetary reality for 50 years to the detriment of all – see. eg, http://tenonline.org/the-no-free-lunch-myth.html . Also, so far as I know, Trump doesn’t believe in anything. And only damn fools still believe in “long-run budgetary restraint”.
Ed Zimmer is being misled.
The source for this new macroeconomic nonsense about created money is The Entrepreneur Network? Seriously? OK he writes:
“But I had now picked up an interest in macroeconomics — and started seriously reading many of the economists’ blogs and papers. But the more I read, the more disillusioned I became. Having no previous introduction to economics, I initially assumed economists were scientists (and that was reinforced by the math I was seeing). But as I read their blogs and papers and worked through many of their mathematical models, I came to realize they’re not scientists at all — but philosophers. A model reflecting reality simply CANNOT be built from variables that cannot be precisely defined and accurately measured — so their models are essentially useless. They may give insights (for readers to test with their own logic), but any notion that they’re offering “truths” is just simplistic.”
At least he admits he has no training in economics. To date – he has written 3 blog posts about economics all of which are utter BS.
This TEN macroeconomic nutcase has two references. One is to something written by Cullen Roch who is one of those investment adviser types who take your money on promises of big bucks only to let you down. Roch is not an economist. The other is Warren Mosler – a hedge fund type who hanged out with Art Laffer. Need I say more?
C’mon folks – let’s not turn Angrybear into a right wing free lunch lunatic shop!
Usually, they quit after a bit and they are ignored.
Ed thinks the proposition that the present value of future tax revenues must cover the present value of future government spending + the debt is equivalent to “long-run budgetary restraint”. No Ed – it is clearly not. Try learning a little economics before writing such nonsensical things.
Pgl: If you had continued reading, you would have seen that the site is The Economic Novice, no longer the The Entrepreneur Network. Actually I’m thankful I’ve had no training in economics – it’s saved me from having my head buried in the sand like so many others. If you care to argue anything on that site with logic (not name-calling, history or authority), I’d very much welcome it.
Pelosi is done after this term. She has talked about passing the torch after 2020 and indeed, that is what this debate is really about. Who leads the party after 2020?
Actually they are pushing for now which is premature.
“you would have seen that the site is The Economic Novice”
Yes Ed – a lot of nut jobs call themselves economists. I judge someone’s expertise by his writing and this dude is truly off the wall.
Huh! Pelosi progressive…… in the past year she has voted yea on FY 19 NDAA and FY 19 DoD appropriations. 67% of house democrats (the Bill Kristol wing) voted with her, lock step with humbug from Atlantic Council, Hoover and Heritage selling permanent war.
Pelosi is more progressive than Paul Ryan is conservative and has voted more time against Trump than 15 of the 17. At least Drum believes so. Lockstep? Perhaps Repubs?
Seriously, an MMT litmus test?
One comment on MMT.
In a world where overheating can exist, raising taxes to cool the economy is insane. And that’s without even mentioning that for tax increases to have any effect they would have to be automatic stabilizers.
Let me know when you can find a country willing to have their taxes controlled by some geek figuring out the inflation rate.
Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez supports Pelosi as the most progressive potential Speaker.
I do not believe I said AOC was against Pelosi. AOC was an example of how she supported climate change with the protesting group and what we can do to slow it. My point there was Pelosi embraced the protest and AOC. Thank you for the link. I had not read this yet.
Pelosi to create New Green Deal select committee. She should appoint AOC to chair it!
It would a great move and eliminate any complaining of critique. Start shuffling responsibility around.
Pelosi is as left of center as i have wetlands in West Texas. Pelosi is just a good foil always ready to stop the promotion of “leftist ideas, Single Payer, Free Education for all, Public infrastructure,” or anything that would create an FDR type of Government.
with Pelosi, Trump has his Democrat in name only Vichy Democrat to keep screwing the Working Class/aka Deplorables.
the money that keeps Pelosi as Speaker is who and what Pelosi represents. The Vichy Democrats, Pelosi, Schumer, Hoyer, Kaine are all out to screw the rest of us for MONEY.
Pelosi is a Vichy Democrat, nothing more nothing less.
such is why the Blue Wave will never amount to much as long as the Vichy Democrats keep the power they have. and will never ever give it up to real “progressives” from being elected, much less run in states the Vichy “own.” like stopping Bernie Sanders, at all costs. which gave us Trump.
Actions speak so much louder about what kind of “Democrat” Pelosi really is. Even California, Democratically “owned”, wont pass Single Payer. the Left has most of the working class behind them. that’s why Pelosi and the rest of the Vichy Democrats will never allow real “left” thinking candidates into the Voting Booth. AOC is just an accident Pelosi and the Vichies will stop, at any and all costs.
Like I said:
End of story.
Shorter Bernand: “Pelosi does not parrot Bernie Sanders verbatim so the heck with her”. Dudes – this meme is REALLY OLD!
Hard to imagine how people get these ideas implanted permanently in their brains, isn’t it?