Pelosi Challenging Outdated Norms
From Washington Monthly Nancy LeTourneau
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.
Pelosi Nov 13, 2018
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.
These types of actions are what makes Pelosi a great leader and is a wonderful example of how Democrats embrace grassroots activism and organizing.
As it happened 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. But the group challenging Pelosi’s leadership is completely different.
As 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.
The theme demonstrated by Nancy Pelosi and well articulated by Nancy LeToureau at WM? In her leadership role, Pelosi is challenging some of the old vestiges of power and strengthening the small “d” democratic processes in overall party. It should come as no surprise that these changes are being resisted as power shifts from top-down to bottom-up. But it’s important for all of us to be clear about exactly what’s happening and weigh in accordingly.
It is startling to me that so many Democrats have this GOP inspired view of Pelosi. It goes hand in hand with the demonization of Hillary by so many of the same people.
They adopt so many of their thoughts right from the GOP media. It makes no sense at all. They stop short at the absolute lunacy regarding “benghazi” type attacks on Clinton and Pelosi, but not by a whole lot. Amazingly, they never pay any attention to what these women have actually done, nor how they have voted.
I have never liked Clinton much at all, but I don’t invent reasons not to like her, nor did it affect my support and vote after the primary. Pelosi is another story for me. I have seen her do nothing wrong, and an awful lot right in a Congress that has been dominated by the GOP for most of the last 25 years.
And that is my main complaint about the “leftier than thous” who rail against the lack of progressive legislation during that time frame(and longer), while totally ignoring the reasons that led us to where we are.
They blame Dems for not winning enough elections(state and federal) and implementing progressive policies while their complaints against Dems prevent Dems from winning elections. These Susan Sarandons of the world are a huge part of the problem in implementing progressive policies.
And they cannot figure it out.
My problem with Nancy Pelosi isn’t some imagined demonization. Pelosi is very effective and deserves a ton of credit for navigating Obamacare through Congress. My problem with Pelosi is the same problem I have with Hoyer and Clyburn. Pelosi is 78, Hoyer is 79 and Clyburn is 78. The Democratic Triumvirate is not immortal. One of the things that made Pelosi such an effective politician was her ability to fend off rivals; but it’s that same strength that has prevented her from grooming potential rivals. That’s bad news for the Democratic party as an institution. The Democratic bench is pretty thin, and Pelosi deserves as much blame for that as she deserves credit for being an otherwise effective leader. I hope that Pelosi wins again, but uses this term as a transitioning step. Maybe she should step down after a year or so. For the good of the Democratic party she needs to start grooming her own successor. Same goes for Hoyer and Clyburn.
A clear indication of Pelosi’s treatment by the “leftier than thous”, “sarandonistas” and the “berniebros” (btw, they all all the same people) is regarding the ACA.
Pelosi was the single most important person in the country in getting the ACA passed. Her actions as the Speaker at that time were beyond masterful, and without her there would be no ACA that has helped millions of Americans, and mostly Americans of lower incomes.
But that’s not enough for those people. It did not have a public option(though ignored is that the House bill passed did have one), so she screwed up in their eyes. That, combined with her marrying a rich guy, means she is not lefty enough.
I do not disagree with the need for young house Dems to gain more importance and stature. But you gotta pay your dues first. And the hard part is that means you have to win your election every two years. One loss and you are almost done being a major factor. You need that safe seat to move up the ladder.
Remember, Pelosi was in the House for 15 years before gaining any real power. And her seat is so safe she gives almost all of her campaign contributions to other Democrats as she usually wins with 80% of the vote.
That is where House leaders come. Hopefully, these young people in safe seats will emerge as leaders. But none of them are remotely close at this point of being an effective Speaker. And these next two years make the Speaker the most important person in the US.
There are plenty of Democrats who have been serving multiple terms. Here’s a list of current House members and how long they’ve been in Congress:
Nah, that list is too hard.
Use this and ignore the Reps.
Let me know which ones you think have enough experience and a safe enough seat to be a leader(s).
I gotta tell you, there are not many.
was just discussing Pelosi with email correspondents, who agree that she will be a big gift to Republicans running in 2020…
Here is a link to Krugman’s twitter:
Notice this “Hero of Our Time” is mad at her and Krugman for not bowing down to every single word out of Bernie Sanders mouth. Of course others on Twitter are trying to reign this fellow in. Pelosi is a progressive even if she is not a Bernie Bro parrot. But the Bernie Bros stopped listening 3 years ago.
Now it is the Pelosi is too old? Ruth Bader Ginsberg is a lot older than Pelosi. And we all hope she stays on the Supreme Court until we have a decent President (hopefully in 27 months).
Look we need Pelosi as leader for this term but certainly not forever.
Ditto on the last sentence.
I can find several names on that list:
Bobby Scott from VA-3
Adam Schiff from CA-28
Brad Sherman from CA-30
Marcy Kaptur from OH-9
Jan Schakowsky from IL-9
And that’s just for starters. My point isn’t that the Democrats need to replace Pelosi this January, but that they need to use the next two years as an opportunity for Pelosi and Hoyer and Clyburn to pass the baton to a new crop. I don’t want to find the Democrats in power in 2020 with a bunch of 80+ year old leaders. If Pelosi won’t give up power sometime in the next two years, what chance is there that she’ll give it up when holding power actually means something if Trump loses in 2020? It’s better to get the succession thing straightened out now when it’s easiest rather than wait until it will be harder. It’s not like the Democrats need Pelosi & Co. to help pass new legislation because that’s not going to happen anyway. The next two years will just be time spent circling the airport waiting for 2020. The party’s priority should be positioning itself for a post-2020 world and forget about trying to pass any significant legislation during Trump’s last two years because that’s never going to happen. Besides, just because someone else gets selected as Speaker doesn’t mean the Democrats can’t use her talents. It’s the same with Hoyer and Clyburn.
One lesson of history is that successful political leaders also tend to be very bad at arranging for their succession. Pelosi was grooming Debbie Wasserman Schultz, but that didn’t work out so well.
“they need to use the next two years as an opportunity for Pelosi and Hoyer and Clyburn to pass the baton to a new crop”.
Pay attention to Pelosi as I truly believe this is her plan.
I agree that we don’t want RBG to retire now; however, if we had to do it over again I’m pretty sure we would both agree that it would have been better if RBG had retired earlier during Obama’s second term. By waiting too long and passing up the chance for a smooth transition on favorable terms we’re now faced with the not insignificant risk that Trump will get to pick a third justice…God forbid! Mortality is one of Hannah Arendt’s ten elements of the interaction between the Human Condition and the political world.
And just like Columbo, “one last things…” There’s no legal or constitutional requirement that the Speaker has to be a member of Congress. It wasn’t always thus. One possible out-of-the-box solution to the succession issue might be to have Obama or possibly Joe Biden serve as Speaker during a kind of interregnum period. It will never happen because personal egos tend to trump the good of the party, but there is no legal impediment to that kind of solution.
I want Biden to spend his time running for President not serving as Speaker. But does 2slug realize Joe Biden is 75 years old? Bernie Sanders is the darling of progressives even though he is 77 years old.
My point is simple – if your litmus test is age, I’m not paying any attention to what you write. Geesh!
Ageism does not work in a supposedly liberal and progressive political party. There is a way to bring about change without pushing today’s leadership out side of the teepee.
Obama was a great president, but he would be a terrible House speaker. Yes, he can give inspirational speeches, but can he whip votes? One major problem with the Democratic Party today is that the de facto head of the party, the president, did little to build the party brand during his 8 years in office.
Obama was ready to alter SS and Medicare to achieve bi-partisanism. I am not that willing to do so.
I could not disagree more about the importance of the Speaker for the next two years. Obviously not in terms of any kind of progressive legislation, but in terms of coordinating the oversight functions and insuring that Dems solidly secure their 2020 platform.
You cannot have someone incapable of herding cats as the Speaker. Cause that is what the job will entail.
Nancy, herself, has suggested she hold the office only until the 2020 election while someone else is prepared to take over.
Apparently it is not enough for some.