Should We Really Make Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the House Again? An Analysis
Nancy Pelosi is even less popular than Donald Trump, but Democrats are poised to make her Speaker of the House again. Should they? Is Nancy Pelosi really the most effective congressional leader of modern times? Or is Pelosi a One Percent millionaire heiress whose feckless complacency will be no match for Trump’s creeping, racist fascism?
Pelosi is not the hero Gotham deserves or the one it needs. Also, arguably not a hero.
— francesca fiorentini (@franifio) November 8, 2018
Pelosi deserves massive congratulations for winning Democrats the House of Representatives a second time, which is precisely two times more than any of her most vocal critics have ever won the U.S. House of Representatives. But at least ten Democratic representatives have come out and said they will not vote for her to be Speaker when that vote comes up on Jan. 3, 2019, and FiveThirtyEight lists a whole bunch more who also might vote against her.
Should Pelosi be anointed the leader of The Resistance until Democrats crown their 2020 nominee? Or are we better off with fresh leadership? Let’s apply some San Francisco values to both sides of the argument.
— Ari Melber (@AriMelber) November 9, 2018
POINT: NANCY PELOSI GETS FUCKING RESULTS IN WAYS HER MALE COLLEAGUES CANNOT
In our lifetimes, only Nancy Pelosi has taken the U.S. House of Representatives twice. The last House leader to take back their previously-held majority was Sam Rayburn in 1955, who was Speaker on three non-consecutive occasions. Pelosi won it in 2006, and helped deliver Dems the 18-seat majority they now have (that margin keeps growing as votes are still being counted).
It was too a Blue Wave (see the graphic above) and that didn’t just happen automatically. That happened because Nancy Pelosi spent the last 10 months busting her ass harder than you ever have to beat Donald Trump. The Wall Street Journal reports Pelosi raised and then handed out $135.6 million to Democratic congressional candidates this year, money without which the House of Representatives would still be led by Trump’s rubber-stamp lickspittles.
Sure, Bernie’s cool. But he didn’t steal the Senate from Republicans this week, nor did he even try. (Nor is he even a Democrat.) Nancy Pelosi did steal the House of Representatives from Republicans, again, because she’s been laser-fucking-focused on doing just that since the moment Trump was elected.
In all fairness, Nancy Pelosi deserves to be chosen Speaker of the House by the Democrats. If they give her a hard time, perhaps we will add some Republican votes. She has earned this great honor!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2018
COUNTERPOINT: EVEN TRUMP WANTS NANCY PELOSI TO BE SPEAKER
When you agree with this asshole, it’s time to look in the mirror and evaluate how full of shit you might be. Apparently Trump and Pelosi are pretty cordial with one another, as Trump gave her a congratulations call right after the Dems took the House. Pelosi told CNN that “[Trump] said ‘I’m sure we can come to agreement on some things,’ and we have some obligation to find common ground.”
FUCK (handclap emoji) THAT (handclap emoji) SHIT (handclap emoji)
Trump probably relishes having Pelosi as his new pantsuit-wearing villain to sic his sexist tropes upon, and she’s a well-established conservative punching bag whom most of America already despises. His crowds will be doing “Lock her up!” chants about Nancy Pelosi within ten days, mark my words.
Sick of every MSNBC anchor asking newly elected Dems whether they support @TeamPelosi. No one ever asks GOP about whether they think Mitch should be replaced. No one ever raises issue of “new blood” with regard to him.
— Susan Bordo (@SusanBordo) November 8, 2018
POINT: PELOSI OPPOSITION IS PURE SEXISM
The reason Trump lackeys love shouting “Lock her up!” is because it has the word “her” in it. Nancy Pelosi will be hit with criticisms about her age, wealth, gender, and career length that are never an issue with men of her stature. Russian bots and Infowars warriors will embrace and spread memes that play upon this, and it’s critical that we push back against this obvious bias against women in power.
Pelosi herself said this best, referring to her Senate counterpart Mitch McConnell. “I mean, he’s got the lowest numbers of anybody in the world,” she told a Rolling Stone reporter. “Have you ever gone up to him and said, ‘How much longer do you think you’ll stay in this job?’ Nobody ever went up to Harry Reid and said that. Nobody ever says that to anybody except a woman. But it’s a thing.”
COUNTERPOINT: YES BUT JUST LOOK AT THIS FUCKING TERRIBLE VICTORY SPEECH
Christ did Pelosi lay an egg in her majority-winning speech Tuesday night. Read these words, if you can stomach them.
“Let’s hear it more for pre-existing medical conditions!” she said, in the most bizarre applause line ever. “We will strive for bipartisanship, with fairness on all sides. We have a responsibility to find our common ground where we can, stand our ground where we can’t, but we must try. We’ll have a bipartisan marketplace of ideas that makes our democracy strong.”
As Katherine Krueger writes at Splinter, “Pelosi vowed to ‘strive for bipartisanship’ and, even worse, hyped something called the ‘bipartisan marketplace of ideas.’ This is the next House Speaker’s idea of a victory speech; this is the elected official charged with leading the Democrats into battle once more. Trump and the Republicans will continue to stoke white America’s fear of a black and brown country until they stop drawing breath, but at least we’ll be armed to hilt with uh, the ‘bipartisan marketplace.’ We could all find ourselves in one internment camp or another and there will be Nancy Pelosi, still asking for civility and compromise in this moment of adversity.
"This huge win for Democrats is a terrible loss."
—every fucking hot take today
— Dennis DiClaudio helped flip the House! (@dennisdiclaudio) November 7, 2018
Nancy Pelosi is not really a great speaker, but she’s effective at becoming Speaker. She’s poised to do it again. We do owe her a debt of gratitude for taking back the House of Representatives majority, but it’s an open question whether we owe her the job she had once and lost.