The Democrats have some legitimate momentum heading into the 2018 mid-terms. If they want to maximize that momentum and sweep the Republicans out of D.C. and statehouses all over America, Nancy Pelosi should cede the leadership role to a capable hand she can support. New blood and new energy can give the Democrats the boost they need to seize control rather than just wait on the Republicans to implode and give it away. Of course, that is exactly what they are doing but that is not a long-term winning strategy. The fact that Democrats lack a coherent legislative message to counter the conservative wet-dream bills that keep getting floor votes is a problem born of low energy leadership. That is not an insult based on age. This woman has been putting it down for a very long time and human beings have their limitations regardless of whether they can see them or acknowledge them.
Nancy Pelosi has been the sage of Democratic legislators since she took over as the Speaker of the House for the 110th and 111th Congress. Her record as a legislative leader is second to none. NONE. Nobody could whip votes, keep her caucus in line and count the support and opposition better than she could.
She was Barack Obama’s sword and pushed through his legislative agenda including the all-important Affordable Care Act. Without her, Barack Obama would not have been the kick-ass president that the record proves beyond any doubt that he was. If Paul Ryan ever dreams that he is as good as Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker, he better wake up and apologize. And whether he is waking or sleeping, John Boehner knows that he couldn’t do anything in that chair nearly as well as Nancy could.
For all of the above reasons, we owe a lot to Nancy Pelosi- but we also owe her a loving kiss good-bye. It is time. With all of the love and respect that we can muster and all the pomp and circumstance appropriate for the occasion we have to bid the Gentle-lady from California’s 12th District farewell.
It is time for the Democrats to change leadership in advance of the 2018 midterm elections. If it is not already obvious by that tender-loving preamble, this is not about Nancy’s capability or capacity to do the job. This is about the political reality that after a while, a losing team has to change the coach. It is easier to change the coach than it is to get all new players. The reason for the change is that Nancy is a electoral liability that the conservative right has been very successful at exploiting.
It is just a reality of politics. It is ok to be a big fat juicy target for the opposition party if you beat them anyway. But when you are a big fat juicy target for the opposition that they keep using to win, you have to consider making a change. Nancy has been a big time player in congress for so long that people all over the country know her well enough that Republicans just run against her in any tight congressional race. It matters little who the actual candidate is. In the end, she was the strong arm of Barack Obama so every Republican in America has a red-hot poker with her name on it.
Consider the fact that Jon Ossoff lost in Georgia’s 6th District to Karen Handle and every commercial run against him mentioned Nancy Pelosi. Every one of them. And Karen Handel is a train-wreck disaster that has no business representing anybody in Washington D.C. She is the cretin most responsible for the whole “defund Planned Parenthood” movement amongst conservative lawmakers. That’s right, a woman fully committed to the destruction of Planned Parenthood- an organization whose sole purpose is to help women access quality medical care. There is nothing else you need to know about her beyond the fact that she ran against Nancy and got elected.
There comes a time when any team needs to shake things up to create a new energy and new possibilities. That time is now for the Democratic Party and the signs are promising that 2018 could be the year that changes everything and turns back the tide of Ayn Rand-ism that has infected our politics since the Republicans took the house.
I will state it plainly: suggesting that Nancy step aside is not an easy thing to do. She is the first woman to ever serve as Speaker of the House in American history and she proved to be one of the best ever, if not the best ever. I have been on record pushing the point that we need to have a huge influx of women into the top leadership roles throughout our American institutions.
But she is the minority leader now because we lost the house in 2009. And Nancy is now 77 years old- 7 years older than Donald Trump who I believe is almost too old to be serving his first term as president. His status as a novice gives him the feel of someone fresh and new when he is the exact opposite. Sure, Hilary would have been in the same age range but given her opponent and the circumstances supporting her full throttle was and is an easy call. Nearly as easy as it was to install Nancy as the Democratic leader in 2006. She proved why when she got her dream dance partner when President Obama got elected.
But if the Democrats don’t replace Nancy Pelosi as their congressional leader they will not take over the House in 2018 and there is a legitimate mathematical opportunity for that to happen. It is an opportunity that we cannot afford to blow because a Democratic House is the first line of defense for the country against the Trumpster fire that is raging in the White House. It is true that we may not take the House with a new Democratic leader but I am prepared to bet all I’ve got and all I will ever have that we certainly will not take it back if we run again behind Nancy Pelosi. It is not her fault- it is just that politicians have an expiration date on them and hers has come. Toast can never be bread again- and politically speaking, Nancy is toast. It is time for us to give somebody else in the Democratic caucus an opportunity to lead the team. Who knows, somebody sitting on that bench could be the next Tip O’neal or Henry Clay. Or better still, they could be the NEXT Nancy Pelosi.