To Progressive Dems: Nancy Pelosi has to be House Speaker
Nancy, I believe is one of the greatest Speakers we ever had and will once again be one of the greatest Speakers we ever have after we get through this cycle,
If you’re not politically-aware, this quote from Obama would make you think that Rep. (D-Cali) Pelosi is a favorable progressive Dem such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT.). But for progressive millennials all over the country, a lot of them have a profuse disdain for the glass-shattering, history making Congresswoman. Why is this the case for the First woman elected Speaker of the House? Is it because she’s a centrist that isn’t progressive enough? Or is she too progressive, and dems want a more centric speaker? My answer? It’s neither, taking these two facts into consideration. First, Pelosi’s voting history makes the conservative racists nibble on their own tongue until it comes off, because it literally mirrors the sentiment of the average liberal. And secondly, the national platform of the Democratic Party leans more progressive than modest, so “down the aisle” candidates would not do good on the national stage. “Down the aisle” Dems usually win big in House districts that are reliably republican, but not on the national stage, definitely going forward. No matter the House Dems strategy for 2020, it must involve Pelosi and here’s a few reasons why.
Nancy Pelosi holding a weekly news conference as minority leader. February 2016 (GettyImages)
Before we discuss who could be a better replacement for the Californian Congresswoman, we first must understand her aptitude and why Obama praises her works. In 2010, Obama was looking at imminent defeat concerning the Affordable Care Act (ACA), when republican candidate Scott Brown won the late Ted Kennedy’s seat. This caused Dems to lose their power of filibuster in the Senate, something Obama needed if he wanted the bill to be passed smoothly. But here comes Pelosi, she pushed Obama to continue the fight anyway. And told him that scaling back on the original draft of the bill would be a form of “kiddie care” compared to the ACA. Nancy Pelosi managed to get it passed in the house with a 219–212 vote. What makes her strategic prowess so great, is that it doesn’t involve compromising. She understands the line between bipartisanship and moderate Dem, so she never leans off an issue just because it’s not unanimously supported or harped on by the Democratic Party. She has voted in support of pro choice, even before the “socially aware climate” we have today. She was one of the few democrats who voted against the 2003 Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, which made late term abortions illegal. And for those who thinks that isn’t progressive enough. She was also one of the first ranking members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (1991) alongside Maxine Waters (D-Cali.) and then Rep. Bernie Sanders. And she has also voted to do away with offshore drilling permanently. So where does the Nancy hate come from? Well besides Trump supporters, the most hate Pelosi receives are from like minded liberals who just want a new face of leadership for the House. Millennials who say that she is a corrupt corporate are usually riding the waves of current views. Pelosi is not only progressive, but more progressive than some of her colleagues who pinned a letter wanting her to step down and not run for house speaker. Representative Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) is one of the top Democrats aiming for Pelosi to step down. He even ran against Pelosi for the minority leader spot and lost, and he lost because even though Pelosi is unfavorable, Tim Ryan is a centrist , who voted multiple times for anti abortion laws, such as Stupak Amendment. Concerning Domestic Affairs, Pelosi has an honorable voting history that any left wing would support, same can’t be said for Ryan. But is there one woman who’s prepared to take on Pelosi? The current anchor of the Black Caucus?
Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) is the only person to hint at a bid for speaker. But even from gaining the support from her fellow statesmen, Ryan and a few other house reps. It still looks like it won’t be enough to stop Pelosi. Which is upsetting to many, but is overall a great thing if you’re a liberal. No matter the plan, if Dems decide a moderate centric approach (which most likely won’t happen) or a heavy progressive approach, Pelosi MUST be House Speaker if they want to win big in 2020. Not only is she methodic and diplomatic, but she serves at the biggest contributor to thousands of Progressive Campaigns around the country. And when she becomes speaker she will most likely devote her time lobbying senate and drafting bills all awhile taking no chairs from any committees. I feel a lot of millennials want a new fresh face, but when we are discussing house speaker you must think more about aptitude than novelty. A lot of young Dems want a house speaker that could galvanize voters for 2020, someone with charisma who can get people fired up about the political process. Like a Beto O Rourke or Barack Obama, but why are we looking for presidential candidates to become house speakers? The job of the house speaker isn’t to galvanize. Like Newt Gingrich (R-GA) proved when he won the speaker seat in ‘95, you can galvanize voters with a charismatic leader. But it could backfire and shape your party entirely. Pelosi proved in ‘07 the speaker is most strategic behind the scenes. And that’s what Pelosi role will be once she’s re-elected. I do agree, that more Dems should get opportunities in leadership roles in the house, Pelosi just needs to stay as Speaker. Now here are some changes that could really shake things up. Jim Clyburn (D-Missi.) is running for majority whip, his voting history is okay, really basic Democrat. But he doesn’t advocate strongly for certain heavy left wing issues. Such as social identity, if Diana DeGette (D-CO) became majority whip, we would have the most progressive majority whip in history. The job of the majority whip is literally to “whip” votes and convince all house members to vote for a bill. If we could get more progressive leaders to persuade moderate conservative voters, that could end up changing the whole electoral map of the U.S. Making things like the legalization of weed and human identity main democrat platforms. Even though Clyburn can prove more efficient at actually whipping votes, if Democrats wanted to test how huge the progressive “Blue Wave” truly is, this would be the best position to test that theory. But throwing away Pelosi without an equally adequate replacement could put the Democratic Caucus of the house in a stagnant position until 2020. Winning the house doesn’t mean anything if the Dems can’t get a victory out of this gain before 2020. It’s not just about blocking Republican Congress, but shaping a Progressive Congress that can pass laws and protect the Mueller investigation. That’s why we need the skills of Pelosi until the presidential election. Republicans say keeping her as house speaker will damage democrat campaigns in certain areas. That’s all malarkey when you look at the results of this years midterm elections. A lot of moderate Dems won in places like Michigan (Trump Country). Like Representative-elect Elissa Slotkin (D-Michigan) who trumped republican incumbent by just saying “I won’t vote for Pelosi”. And if the vote goes to the floor she can do exactly that, and just mark present for vote. Even House Democrats know that Pelosi is needed right now, that’s why they are quick to speak, but reluctant to challenge.
If Democrats want to have a phenomenal year in 2020, these points must be apart of their strategy.
•Campaign towards likely voters and apathetic voters: it’s just not enough to get your normal voters excited about voting. Dems need to appeal to larger demographics of low propensity voters if they want to cut deep in red states, like Beto O Rourke did in his past senate defeat. He might’ve lost, but he definitely got way more Dems out to the polls than in a normal Texas senate election.
•Push Progressive platform nationally, think moderately during house elections in red districts: moderate candidates can win in more rural areas of the country, but not nationally.
•Appreciate Nancy Pelosi: Obama says she is one of the best speakers in history for a reason. She can pass progressive legislation like the Green New Deal easily. I know she’s old as hell and she’s not a Beto O Rourke or Stacy Abrams. But she’s the only one that could get the job done, and leave house Dems in the best place gearing up for 2020. When asked about the disdain she receives from her own political colleagues she said “I’m OK. Just win baby!”.