Curse of the Pelosi

The Democratic House Caucus leadership decisions are right up near the top of the list of the great mysteries of life. Nancy Pelosi led the Democrats into its worst massacre in the 2010 mid-term elections and was immediately re-elected as House Minority Leader in the next Congress. Now, after failing to regain control of the House, by a large margin, the caucus is set to elect Pelosi once again to lead their party in the House of Representatives.

Nancy Pelosi announced Wednesday that she will remain as House Democratic leader, a position she has held for the last decade as minority leader or Speaker of the House.

Pelosi made a public announcement, flanked by dozens of elected Democratic women.

“I have made the decision to submit my name to my colleagues to once again serve as the House Democratic leader,” Pelosi said.

“My colleagues made it very clear. In fact, I think they must have coordinated with each other. Their message was clear – don’t even think of leaving,” Pelosi asserted. “That was I got over and over and over again.”

Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland and Assistant Democratic Leader Jim Clyburn of South Carolina will hold onto their spots as the second and third ranking House Democrats, while Rep. Xavier Becerra of California will take over as Democratic Caucus chairman.

Pelosi will lead the most radically liberal Democratic caucus in the history of the house. For the first time in history the caucus will have a majority of minorities.

“This new class makes our caucus historic,” Pelosi told her colleagues in private. “The first time in legislative history that a caucus will be a majority of women and minorities.”

Seeing a growth in minority participation in Congress is a positive thing; but is it too much of a good thing? In a perfect world the representation would mirror the general public; however in the general public only 36.6 percent of population are minorities. Is this an argument for fewer minorities in the Democratic caucus? No more than it is an argument in favor of the miserable job the GOP has done in recruiting minorities in their caucus. What it does represent is a strong push to the left extremes in the Democratic Party; moderate Democrats in the House simply no longer exist. The “blue dog” Democrats became extinct in 2010.

Pelosi, Clyburn and Hoyer: With no future the Dems cling to the past

The GOP has one big advantage over the Democrats and that is youth. The young guns of Congress are all on the GOP side of the aisle. Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy are all in their early 40s, while Pelosi and Clyburn are 72, and Hoyer is 73. House leadership on the GOP side for the next 20 years is predictable while the Democrat’s succession path is a total mystery.

Pelosi bristled at a reporter’s question about her age as well as that of Hoyer and Clyburn, intimating that her decision to stay on as leader prevents Democrats from developing “fresh blood.”

Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi said she doubted it “was a legitimate question, although it’s quite offensive. You don’t realize that, I guess.”

“The mandate of the election was to tax the rich and protect programs like Medicare and Social Security from benefit cuts,” added Adam Green, co-founder of the liberal Progressive Change Campaign Committee. “Steny Hoyer would likely not have respected that mandate, but given her track record, we have high hopes for Nancy Pelosi. Today is a good day for progressive power.”

“There is no better person to preside over the most liberal House Democratic Caucus in history than the woman who is solely responsible for relegating it to a prolonged minority status,” said Paul Lindsay, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. “This decision signals that House Democrats have absolutely no interest in regaining the trust and confidence of the American people who took the speaker’s gavel away from Nancy Pelosi in the first place.”

A Democratic caucus led by Pelosi isn’t likely to be willing to work with their Republican counterparts, spelling at least two more years of partisan bickering in the House. The nation would be much better off had Pelosi stepped down and allowed Steny Hoyer to take the leadership position; Hoyer has at least shown flashes of statesmanship, something completely foreign to Pelosi.


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