Pelosi is just what the GOP needs to win again in 2012

I’m watching amazed as it appears House Democrats may vote deposed speaker Nancy Pelosi as next session’s minority leader in Congress. Hasn’t she done enough to destroy the Democratic Party? She forced through ObamaCare, forced through Cap-’n-Tax, and regularly insulted Tea Party activists. Independents deserted the Democrats because they saw her face when they visualized “the Obama agenda.”

Yet, as Jennifer Rubin  Read out in Commentary, most of the same pundits who assured us we love ObamaCare are backing Nancy. Eugene Robinson, E.J. Dionne, the gang at MSNBC, all think she’s the one. Robinson wrote, “She’s losing her job not because she does it poorly but because she does it so well.” One liberal icon isn’t convinced Pelosi should stay as a leader. The New York suggests Democrats need a “more persuasive communicator.” Read

That’s good advice. A Pelosi- or even Reid-led Congress could lead to a disaster in 2012, where 21 Democrats and two independents who caucus with Democrats face U.S. Senate re-elections. Sens. Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Jimm Webb (Va.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Bill Nelson (Fla.) Joe Manchin (W.Va.) are all vulnerable. In fact, Manchin and Webb might be party-switchers if the Dems don’t move toward the center.

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9 Responses to Pelosi is just what the GOP needs to win again in 2012

  1. Al says:

    Hasn’t she done enough to destroy the Democratic Party? She forced through ObamaCare, forced through Cap-’n-Tax, and regularly insulted Tea Party activists. Independents deserted the Democrats because they saw her face when they visualized “the Obama agenda.”

    Another interpretation is that she shepherded important legislation with the support of her majority caucus. Remember that the health insurance reform package that came out of the house was far more progressive than the watered-down version that was able to overcome the Republican filibuster. It wasn’t that way because Pelosi crammed legislation down anybody’s throat but because she effectively (and I repeat myself) led her democratic caucus that held the majority.

    So she’s a target for demonization why? Because she’s an effective legislator who used her party’s majority to advance her party’s causes? That’s a shame. If the senate had not been obstructed at unprecedented levels by the Republican party, her record would have been one of even greater — and positive — accomplishments. And, I have to think, that same obstructionism played a big role in the poor approval ratings of the Congress that no doubt contributed to the electoral loss. In other words, Pelosi is out as Speaker because Mitch McConnell cares more about political wins than legislation. Nasty.

    Doug, did you call it Cap N Tax when McCain supported Cap and Trade just a few years ago, or when it was a Republican invention in the 1990s? Or was it okay then?

  2. Charles Trentelman says:

    The point about cap and trade is an interesting one — I was always led to believe it was a market-capitalistic approach to controlling pollution or whatever.

    Isn’t capitalism the answer to every question? Not in a hyper-partisan environment when absolutely ever proposal by the opposite party — even your own proposal blatantly stolen — must be opposed. I wish Obama would say something in favor of public roads so the Tea Party could deride them a socialistic.

  3. Michael Trujillo says:

    A republican criticizing a democrat is like a Born again Christian criticizing a Mormon – and we all know how seriously you take criticism from holy rollers who say Mormons aren’t Christian. So why do you, a non-democrat, think you have valid criticism of Pelosi’s democrat credentials?

    Let the democrats decide whether Pelosi is the “right type” of democrat.

    p.s. Heard an interesting comment on the radio regarding one difference between republicans and democrats when it comes to a “common voice”. People who need order and a clearly defined organizational hierarchy, who accept what comes down to them from the “authorities”, tend to be republican. People who speak their own mind and may agree with others in principle, if not in detail, tend to be democrats. The speaker offered this as a possible reason that republicans all mouth the same rhetoric, but democrats seem to have an unclear agenda.

  4. Daniel Zappala says:

    Doug, this blog post really saddens me. You’ve become just another right-wing conservative who rails against “Obamacare” and “Cap-n-Tax”. Are you going to go back to trying to be civil in your discussions of health care and global warming? Why can’t you adopt the same measured tone as the official Standard-Examiner editorials?

    I’m not even going to bother to engage you in dialogue on this one (though Al has a good response) because your language and tone are sending the signal that you don’t care to listen.

  5. Bob Becker says:

    The problem for the Democrats — my party — is not in the House or Senate leadership. It’s in the White House. A Democratic president, elected in a landslide and given a majority of both houses to work with has caved on very nearly every item he campaigned on [except foreign affairs]. Caved on ending don’t ask don’t tell. Caved on national health system with public option and caved early, and often, leaving behind the Rube Goldberg health care plan we have now that now one understands and a majority of the country dislikes [even though 60% of the voters said national health care was a major issue for them in the presidential election]. Caved on habeus corpus, and is now claiming even more authority than Bush to hold for years on suspicion of terrorism without judicial interference or review. Caved on reigning in warrant taps, searches. Caved [or is the midst of it] on the Bush tax increases scheduled to happen Jan. 1. Caved on strong legislation to reign in the bonus baby crooks who ran Shearson Lehman, AIG, City Bank into the ground and so the American economy as well and settled for a laughably weak-kneed Wall Street “reform” law. Caved on closing Gitmo [though is own party stabbed him in the back on that in Congress.] Caved on a New Deal style public works program to fight unemployment. I’m hard put to think of much at all he’s stood tall on when the going got tough.

    That said, neither Reid nor Pelosi has proven to be particularly effective legislative leaders. Granted, they’ve both had to deal with spineless Democrats like Matheson who can’t seem to recall which party he is in. But still, neither has shown a particularly good talent at caucus management. Both should go. Pelosi has high negatives and the camera and mikedto not love her. Unfair, maybe, but we live in the media age whether we like it or not, and if you’re going to be an effective national spokesman for the party, the camera has to like you. Reid would now be a retired Senator had the Tea Party crowd not forced a true loon into the race against him — Sharon Angle who wondered on the air one day if a fifteen year old being raped and impregnated by her father might not be “God’s plan” for her. Reid too has high national negatives.

    New election, a fully deserved pounding at the polls: time for new leadership. Hopefully some that can supply the backbone the President has not.

  6. Bob Becker says:

    Just found this posted on Ed Brayton’s Dispatches from the Culture Wars blog. Link to full blog posting follows:

    From Adam Serwer:

    The last thing Democrats should do is indulge in public rituals of consternation and apology, promising to be more subservient to the interests of the wealthy and more deferential to cultural biases against Hispanics and gays and lesbians. There’s already a party that does that.

    He continues:

    <b?Majorities don't last forever, and if there's anything to be learned from Tuesday, it's that a lot can change in two years. But Democrats have to be willing to recognize, as Republicans did in 2008, that surrender is not a strategy. It ain't over till it's over, and in democratic politics, it's never over.

    Unfortunately, this requires that the Democrats in DC become less invertebrate, something they seem to have a difficult time doing.

    That about sums up my views precisely. Full link here:

  7. Doug Gibson says:

    Any Republican who takes the same condescending, “we’re the start of a new majority” attitude that many Democrats took in 2008 and some Republicans took in 2004 are wrong. Politics is cyclical. But if Pelosi is retained as the Democratic Party’s leader in the House, it becomes much more difficult for Democrats to make a comeback. Debra Saunders has a column worth reading:

  8. Charles Trentelman says:

    actually, a commentor on Slate whose link I do not have at the moment makes the very good point that Pelosi — say what you will — is hated by the GOP precisely because she did a darn good job — and she did. Look at what got passed despite the best stonewalling money could buy in the GOP — financial reform, health care, a bevy of other things. If the quality of your job is indicated by the attitude of your enemies, she did a very good job indeed because they really really hate her guts.

    Or look at it this way: If the GOP was going around saying \Wow, that Pelosi. What a gal!\ then the Democrats might have cause to wonder.

    So advice from Republicans that she, really, seriously, ought to go away for the good of the Democratic Party really needs to be taken as the self-serving joke it is.

    I mean, come on Doug — you like St. Sarah — what else do we need to say?

  9. Bob Becker says:


    But she headed the House majority, and she had a substantial majority to work with. The House does not have a filibuster rule that requires 60% vote to break. Even with defectors, quislings, Mathesons etc. she had a working majority on major issues. Your analysis might apply better to Reid who had the Party of No filibustering more bills than any party had before in the history of the Senate. But not so much to Pelosi.

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