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Pelosi, FWIW

This is my second post on Pelosi in the last two days. Oh, you didn’t read the first one? Maybe that’s because WordPress helpfully updated the app on my iPhone while I was posting it and, poof! It disappeared into the dark ether, and even now is being pushed around by the cyber wind, skittering along the intertoobs, lost forever, lost… lost.

Enough of that.

I’m lukewarm in my support of Pelosi. Nevertheless, ruling the House Democrats and keeping order is going to be tough for anyone. As I wrote to a friend yesterday:

Democrats are like cats. Difficult to herd. And they have a lot of good ideas at the same time. Like hypomanic bipolar people. And they tend to run around with scissors. Like kids with ADHD. You know why we like the nanny state? It’s because Democrats need nannies.

Here’s my issues with Pelosi:

She got the House to pass the Affordable Care Act. But the act itself was so flawed, didn’t address cost controls and was sabotaged by the stupidest subsidy system ever imagined. That lead to the Democrats losing the House in 2010.

She’s an excellent fundraiser. But there’s more to leadership than just raising money.

She’s a very powerful female politician and a role model. But she hasn’t groomed her successor and her bench is sparse.

All that being said, this is not the time to be arguing over replacing her. Right now, the Democrats have a lot of new members and they need firm, experienced leadership from someone who can keep them focused and in line.

I don’t blame new and current Democrats for being dissatisfied and chomping at the bit for change. So what can they do?

They can issue demands before they vote. List conditions that must be met. For example, there needs to be a pipeline of future speakers that Pelosi will work with closely. Model it after the Queen of England taking on Prince William as her aide.

Set up a backlog of issues and bills and prioritize them strategically. Make Pelosi commit to them.

Then give her two more years. Just dance with the one what brung ya.

And for gawd’s sakes, do a better job of message control. None of us should even be thinking about who the next speaker of the house is going to be this week when there are still over 600 people missing in the fires in California from last week.

THAT is a national tragedy with human dimensions and deserves our attention.

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48 Responses

  1. Well, I will discuss Pelosi a bit, even though of course the fires are a massive catastrophe. Much of this is due to global warming, no rain, the atmosphere being very dry. At least people in CA realize this, and vote for virtually all Democrats, as opposed to Florida, where they keep electing Republicans who do nothing at all to fix the precious ocean. In CA, much work must be done to make buildings more fireproof, and keep the forests manageable, while we hope that some national leader will pay attention to global warming before it is completely too late.

    I am still upset that Pelosi did not stand up for Hillary in 2008, and pretty clearly favored Obama. Once Obama won, I lost a good deal of interest in the daily politics; not to say that I wanted McCain to win, of course. So I did not closely follow the ins and outs of the ACA. My sense was to blame all the compromises on Obama. I’m not even sure that this should have been his first priority, with the 55-45 Senate majority, plus a large House majority to use while he had it. But he put all his efforts into this bill, which was watered down to appease insurance companies. I don’t blame Pelosi for that, she was sort of running plays gameplanned by the coach. But she is certainly remarkable in her ability to run her Democratic caucus, count and whip votes. And if anyone is responsible for losing all those seats in 2010, it was Obama, who did virtually nothing to help the Congressional campaigns. Of course, some of it was just because of people who hated him because of race or whatever else. But he should have known and been concerned that his base usually never came out in midterms, and he didn’t seem to do or care much until we had lost all those seats.

    I do remember various Democratic speakers to some extent; McCormack, O’Neill. Pelosi is the best I have seen. As we know, Speaker is not a position of charisma or cheerleading, it is mostly a nuts and bolts legislative role There is no one of stature in the House who can do this as well as Pelosi. And removing her would offer no gain whatsoever, but make the Democrats look like idiots. She is also one of the best Democratic fundraisers; and we very much need money, whether the purists scorn it or not. It seems that this opposition to her is coming from conservative white men in the Democratic caucus, plus a few people on the always dissatisfied Left. And the really ridiculous thing is when people say, “well, she is too polarizing; she has polling negatives.” Republicans live for demonizing various Democrats. They did it to Harry Reid, for one example. They would do it to anyone who took over the Speakership; cue the insulting nicknames.

    What Democrats should have done is to have applauded the election results, vowed to work hard to make America better, even though the realities are that there is not much that they can do in terms of legislation. Having various people grab TV time by demanding “new blood,” or “time for a change,” unfortunately emphasizes all the stereotypes about Democrats all running around in various directions. We are fighting a totally evil foe which wants to turn the country into a permanently fascist religious state. We simply cannot indulge ourselves with this purity, or change for change”s sake. The reasons the Democrats lost most of the seats in every area from 2010-2016 were not at all related to Pelosi, who for my money could stay Speaker for another six years. How would Marcia Fudge, or Tim Ryan, or Barbara Lee (all mentioned by the anti-Pelosi forces) help the Democrats’ agenda one iota? It is going to be harrowing to to see if this new Democratic Party will work as a unit, because that is what is required in politics, PARTICULARLY when the opposition always votes as a bloc on everything. Work in the caucus, bring up different ideas, but do not try to undermine the leadership, unless there is a really good reason for it. I do believe that there are at least some people in the country who call themselves Democrats, or perhaps caucus with them, who would just as soon see the entire Democratic Party fall apart, to usher in their fantasized ideal world.

    • William,

      Well said. When the Democratic Party decided that it was Obama’s time in 2008, it failed to see his immaturity and narcissism.

      The Ron Suskind op-ed in the NY Times was an excellent recap of Obama’s failures.

  2. […] Source link […]

  3. If I can indulge, and write a little more on this, the really interesting thing will be with regard to how Pelosi and the Democratic caucus members deal with Republicans. Some people are upset because Pelosi said that she wants to work with Republicans, but of course she has to say that at the outset. The question regards the endgame. Democrats cannot allow Trump to win another term. This is not the ’50’s, where Rayburn and Johnson were able to work pretty well with Eisenhower on domestic policy, or when O’Neill and Reagan partnered ion some matters. Trump cannot be allowed to claim any victories. But of course there are also the people to think about; the Democrats cannot just turn their backs on them in the interest of making Trump look bad. Republicans do it all the time, but someones let them get away with it.

    The key will be an infrastructure bill. The country needs it, but if Trump can claim credit for it, he very well may win the election. Immigration would be another one, perhaps. How do the Democrats try to move the country in a positive direction, while not giving Trump the ability to claim the credit? Not completely possible, but there has to be some thought along those lines. An infrastructure bill is what trump dearly wants, to help him win the Rust Belt; and he would sign one even if it further explodes the deficit, figuring that it won’t matter to him after he is out of office. I would be much more confident in Pelosi being able to figure out the right strategy, than any other Democrat in the House or Senate.

  4. Your point about not having a bench is good. Why? Rs fall in line and Ds are like herding cats, to repeat your words.

    Looking for GIF of herding cats I saw recently, can’t find it.

  5. It is crazy that this guy is the AG. Where is the uprising?

    • Nobody is talking about this yet. Rachel talked about how skimpy his resume was when W appointed him US Atty in 2004. Why did W appoint him and what did he do during his tenure as US Atty? Don’t you think it is a good project for a journalist to dig in and report back.

  6. Maybe that’s because WordPress helpfully updated the app on my iPhone while I was posting it and, poof! It disappeared into the dark ether

    This happened to me at least with two comments.

  7. RD:
    I agree with you 1000%.
    Let’s Pelosi take the lead and groom the up and coming; because there are too many things at stake in the present with the rumps and trump’s dystopia.

    • Pelosi has been in House party leadership since 2002, first as Whip, then as Minority Leader, then as Speaker, and then as Minority Leader again. She’s had almost 17 years to “groom the up and coming” – I’m not saying she should be replaced, but if you contend there are no other House Democrats qualified to take leadership, doesn’t that say something about her own leadership skills? Isn’t developing the skills of your subordinates a vital part of leadership?

  8. Here is a radical idea. Make Hillary the speaker. Give her at least that honor so that part of the country may make peace with how she was treated in 2008 and again in 2016.

  9. Chris Matthews wanted to tell us again that “Bill Clinton would keep telling the people of Arkansas to vote for him again for governor, and that he wasn’t going to run for President, and then he did run,” as an apparent example of a politician not telling the truth about his intentions. The fact is that Clinton was governor tor four full terms before he ran for President during his firth term. Matthews’ tingler, Barack Obama, said that he wasn’t going to run for President, and then declared about a year and a half into his first term as Senator. Other examples abound, but somehow Matthews only wants to focus on Clinton.

    Then Matthews wanted to tell us about the A&$ special about Clinton and Lewinsky. Then someone mentioned the Gary Hart movie coming out. And I think Matthews laughed and said, “Snakes come in pairs.” Unless he said “mistakes,” but I don’t think so. So Matthews thinks that Bill Clinton is a snake . Of course he called Hillary a witch back in 2008. Matthews, apparently a devoted Catholic, doesn’t seem to have too much of a problem with any of his political heroes having had extramarital affairs. We now see why Matthews refuses to ever say anything positive about Bill Clinton, conspicuously leaving him out of any talk about good things various Presidents did; and we have seen that he also despises Hillary Clinton, I guess for staying married to Bill Clinton. If someone offered me $500 to watch this miniseries about Lewinsky, I wouldn’t take it. It’s my fault for turning on the show to try to get some political news, and I won’t make it again.

    • I changed the channel as they started their Monica Lewinsky farce. Older, more powerful man chasing an innocent 22 year old is how she put it (and she looked young enough that it didn’t look like she had lived through that time — so her opinion is based on hearsay or second hand information). Another show had brought back Linda Tripp (!) and it was time to change that channel. What is wrong with these people? It is like they are guilty and they just want to keep making their stupid case why it is Clintons’ fault that they are unlikeable, again and again. All the stuff that is going on right now be damned.

    • As you know, Matthews worships-worships JFK and Bobby, both of whom would make Bill Clinton look like a choir boy but, of course, Bill is a hillbilly despite Georgetown, Yale and Oxford and his brilliant IQ. As bad as Matthews is about Bill, Chuck Todd is even worse about Hillary. What channel am I supposed to watch?

      • Matthews is a Beltway Insider, and like other Beltway Insiders (including the execrable Sally Quinn) detested the Clintons from the moment Bill was elected.

      • Sue, it is a challenge to find a politically oriented show which is acceptable. I don’t watch them all, but I would recommend Nicolle Wallace, just because she spends the hour hammering Trump. She doesn’t talk issues much, and we know that she was spokesperson for Bushes, but she handles herself with dignity and compassion on her show, and it’s fun to watch, sometimes I tape it to watch in the evening.

        Maddow is on the right side, but she is sort of the voice of gloom or worry, not that this is inappropriate at times. She and her staff do a good job on historical research, which sometimes is interesting. O’Donnell seems to be another one who despises the Clintons; I cannot forget the one time he had a Clinton aide on during the campaign,and then grilled him for ten minutes about the intricacies of Hillary’s tax plan; “How can you raise rates to 39.6 percent and still raise have enough to pay for (sometthing or other)?!!! In eight years, I doubt that he ever criticized any flaws in any bill that Obama supported, he attacked the Clinton aide just out of spite at Hillary. He does hate Trump, of course, and he can on occasion turn an eloquent phrase, as apparently on “West Wing,” which I never felt like watching; I guess he wrote some of it.

        Actually, Ali Velshi does a conscientious job, seems to be on the right side of most issues, and is fair-minded. The show is somewhat boring, but not frustrating. I always like Chris Jansing, but she only gets to substitute in on occasion; she should have a regular show. Katy Tur is not bad, though I like Jansing better.. No, I do not watch all of these shows! (though I did for a few days during the Kavanaugh hearings,and also right before primaries) So there are a few shows where you could watch, and not get upset, at least not at the hosts. I never watch CNN, those ten-person mostly insipid panels are infuriating. They’re okay for election returns, though we don’t have to worry about that for a while. Oh, I will say that though Chris Hayes is always having the Far Left people on, like Ocasio-Cortez, MIchael Moore, of course Bernie, he does seem to like Sherrod Brown, and has had him on. But I imagine
        he will be supporting Sanders again.

    • I’m not sure anyone who works for the company that supported and enabled Matt Lauer has any business criticizing Gary Hart or Bill Clinton.

  10. Oh my! Rachel is on fire tonight. LOL! She will run the motherfucker Whitaker out of town all on her own.

    • #MasculineToiletMathew… your esteemed AG, LOL!

    • Good job Rachel on cia/Khashoggi/Turkey/Saudi and the motherfucking trump report. If reporters express the same disdain and dismay on all things corrupt and despicable emanating from trump administration this would be a better country.

  11. Something to chew on: every bill that Speaker Pelosi brought to the House floor passed-a remarkable achievement in this era. We need this particular grown up in charge.

  12. In these dark and dangerous times we don’t need to be having some naif running the house. Did we not learn anything from having Obama as president? Seriously, these people challenging Pelosi need to wake up and smell the coffee. They are only helping the GOP with their nonsense.

    • Well, one could argue that the absence of an experienced back bench ready to take on leadership positions is one of the surest signs of leadership failure.

      • That was an argument to be making years ago. It actually would have been a good argument to make while in the minority during Obama. Pelosi could have easily been replaced while Obama was president as minority leader. We can’t change the past but these jagoffs are not helping themselves nor the party with this nonsense. They could have just as easily made these arguments 2 years ago.

        • And if they’d proposed it two years earlier would you have suggested that they were two years late *then*? I don’t understand your reasoning here – it’s like saying that people shouldn’t vote against Trump in 2020 because they had their chance to vote against him in 2016.

          Why is it “nonsense” to question your leadership in a democracy? Isn’t that the whole *point* of democracy?

          Not that I can think of a reasonable alternative to Pelosi – I’m just not willing to reject the notion of new leadership out of hand.

          • Actually I would have been going along with replacing Pelosi after 2010. However the losses in 2010 were really more on Obama than Pelosi. We didn’t have the house, we didn’t have Trump as president and we did not have all the problems we are currently encountering. The people like Kathleen Rice are wanting to cut more deals with the GOP not less. Seth Moulton is working the Freedom Caucus. I feel like replacing Pelosi is just a bunch of nonsense by people who do not take the threat of the GOP seriously enough. I mean are you really okay with cutting more deals with the GOP and working with the dimwitted Freedom Caucus? Do you see the same complaints about Schumer who has been less effective in the senate?

  13. I have family in SF and San Jose, the air quality in the Bay area is literally unbreathable. The number of missing is almost incomprehensible. And the MSM, in general, seems to be soft pedaling Trump’s initial tweets, especially that he threatened to withhold federal disaster funds.

    This same media is spoiling to present the newly Democratic majority house as in disarray.

    It is all speculation and ridculously, I think, overblown. And i also beleive that Pelosi’s position as a powerful and influential woman makes the primarily male executives in the MSM nuts, similar to their reactions to Hillary.

    • My hubs was in SF last two days and he said you could tell who was local and who was visiting by looking at people who wore masks. He said air quality was pretty bad.

    • They postponed the Stanford-Cal game, which is always a big thing in the Bay Area. They cancelled or postponed basketball games at Cal the other night, also at USF. This is such a terrible calamity, and in addition to the human tragedy, there is the knowledge that global warming has made the air much dryer, and the fires take off with a speed not before seen. Meanwhile, Trump, whose only interest is in trying to get the timber industry more logging opportunities, spends his time trying to blame the California Forest Service for the fires, which even by his standards, is utterly despicable.

  14. You know, I have been suspecting the motive of these 15 or so new Dem elects in their opposition to Pelosi. Are they there to subvert Dem majority?

    • pm317, I would say that you are onto something. Most of these anti-Pelosi members are conservative Democrats, and maybe a few on the far Left, who of course are never happy with anything. Ironically, the only person who might be able to forge a workable Democratic caucus which includes the angry Left and the Republican-leaning Democrats, is Pelosi. I actually worried that if Democrats won the House, and it was by only a couple of votes, Republicans would find ways to get a few Democrats to vote on their side. In fact, maybe even for McCarthy as Speaker. What is going on now seems to show that my concern was quite reasonable.

  15. Wow, this should worry Bill Browder and others like him. Remember how after Helsinki, trump was ready to give up Ambassador McFaul to Russia questioning.

  16. But he is a multi-billionaire. Go figure!

  17. Very disappointed to read that Beto is supporting Tim Ryan over Nancy Pelosi for speaker. Is this another case of naif, politically unsophisticated “rising star” enthralled with his own celebrity and blinded by his own campaign rhetoric.

    • That is disappointing, Lucy. 50 demerits for Beto. Wonder what Beto’s next political move will be….i hope he stays away from grand pappy Sanders.

    • So am I. What are Tim Ryan’s accomplishments? Such hubris.

    • This is a really bad look for Beto. Tim Ryan is a conservative Democrat, and he’s not very bright, either. He would be a terrible choice as Speaker. And yes, Lucy, it appears that O’Rourke is full of himself. He ran a fine race, and a lot of people from other states sent him money. He is betraying most of them by supporting Ryan. And if Ryan more reflects Beto’s positions than does Pelosi, he is then in the 20% of the Democratic Party which skews Right. This is such an arrogant and ham-handed move, but it is not atypical of Democratic “rising stars,” who seem to think that they transcend party affiliation and loyalty, and are a party unto themselves.

    • It seems that no one wants to pay their dues by starting at the bottom anymore.

      Yes, Pelosi should develop the bench.

      I think another problem with electing Obama in 2008 when he was in his first term as a US senator was that it seemed as though intelligence could overcome a lack of experience. It doesn’t and it also made tRump’s campaign more valid because tRump had experience as a CEO.

  18. What is the population of Finland? Why won’t they challenge the motherfucker when he spouts of stupid stuff trying to blame the victims?

    • What a fucking moron (sorry ladies and gents, but he is f-bomb inducing). I’m pretty sure Finland and California are nothing alike. I suspect the US does more deforestation than forestation as well because it is “good for the economy.” And he wants to work with environmentalists? Does he even remember what damage he has already caused to the planet due to climate change denial, deregulation and rapacious greed? I want to disavow all knowledge of this man; this is just a nightmare and when i wake up Hillary will be prez and stomping black-hearted rethugs like cockroaches, a warrior queen in kitten heels. Splat, splat, splat.

      And why oh why did that reporter ask pumpkin head a question that Smokey the Bear could answer better?

  19. I think Tim Ryan is one of the gang of five white male congressmen who is trying to unseat Nancy Pelosi. They know they have to promote a woman so it is Marci Fudge they are pushing.

    Why does this feel like the same Hillary hate psychosis. I expect it from the right but not from the left.

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