Friday, November 05, 2010

Minority Leader Pelosi 

I almost wrote a post yesterday entitled "St. Nancy the Martyr," on the assumption that Nancy Pelosi would retire from Congress, but had achieved her progressive legislative goals at the cost of her position of House Speaker. I'm glad I skipped it.

AP reports that "Pelosi will seek to stay as House Dem leader" -
Despite widespread complaints about massive losses that will put Democrats in the minority, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday she will try to stay on as leader of her party in the House.

The decision exposed a rift between Pelosi's liberal allies and the dwindling number of moderate Democrats, who feel besieged and eager for substantive and symbolic changes in direction after Tuesday's Republican rout. It also is likely to trigger leadership battles farther down the ladder.
Assuming that Pelosi would not make such a statement unless she knew she had the votes in hand, it of course makes sense from a mathematical standpoint. Many of the Democratic losses in the House were among the more centrist members who might more naturally align with Steny Hoyer. The remaining rump party in the House -- just three-quarters of its former size -- will skew somewhat farther to the left and would be more inclined to keep Pelosi as their leader. Hoyer could be out altogether, replaced by James Clyburn of South Carolina as the number two.

The headline at The Hill? "Republicans jubilant over Pelosi decision," presumably because they see this as a form of doubling down on stupid. I am not so sure, though I am not a big fan of the soon-to-be-ex-Speaker. Nancy Pelosi is known as the master of the stiletto thrust in House politics. If she can take certain actions on the Hill that distract from the Republican effort to reduce spending, or otherwise help President Obama win re-election in 2012, Republicans may not be as jubilant. I would rather see a Minority Leader in place who could work with the new Speaker. There was a time when House Minority Leaders could work with the majority and get meaningful legislation passed in some bipartisan fashion (Gerald Ford, Bob Michel). Perhaps that is just wishful thinking in 2011.


By Blogger Kinuachdrach, at Sat Nov 06, 12:06:00 AM:

We don't need "meaningful legislation". The law books are overflowing with legislation already.

We need meaningful spending reductions, and meaningful regulatory rollbacks. Need, as in "dire consequences if we don't get those soon".

San Fran Nan is not going to help with anything meaningful. And she remains as a reminder that the Democrat Party is in the iron grip of an out-of-touch gerontocracy. Not really the way to appeal to young voters cynical about a failed establishment.  

By Anonymous feeblemind, at Sat Nov 06, 01:17:00 AM:

My thinking is that Pelosi in charge of the dems will contrast sharply with the GOP and her presence will continually remind voters why they abandoned the Democratic Party.

As unpopular as she is, her continued presence in the limelight may well be a political plus for the GOP.  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Sat Nov 06, 08:52:00 AM:

The Democrats lost over 60 in the House ... but Pelosi, Reid and Frank are still leaders in their party. Go figure.

In his recent press conference Obama called for a Slurpee Summit on November 18 with Boehner and McConnell ... and pointedly invited Pelosi and Reid.
Pelosi is the most hated public figure in the USA. Boehner has a particular hard-on for her ... and not the good kind. So continuing to have her in the mix just screams "We don't get it ... and we don't care that we don't get it."

Obama needs to get a middle class tax cut approved or shift the blame to the Republicans. That's his Priority One at the Slurpee Summit. If he doesn't get the cut and can't shift blame, his popularity will drop by ten points by the end of January.

In theory, the Democrats still have the necessary lame duck votes. But over 70 Democratic congresscritters are Dead Men Walking. Do they go quietly into that good night ... especially with Pelosi still staying on as Queen?

We still don't have a 2011 budget. Boehner/McConnell won't let that go by. Boehner is the presumptive Speaker but when he negotiates with Obama it'll be with a bayonet in his back, held by Eric Cantor. Boehner can't "compromise" nor do I think he wants to.

Boehner has a particular interest in the "process" of how legislation has been getting enacted. Expect that to be made an issue.

Were I Boehner, I'd go further. I'd press Obama to participate in re-visiting the CBO scoring of Obamacare ... and for Obama to publicly admit that it will increase the deficit, not cut it. If Obama doesn't agree, I'd publicly say that you'll do it without him as soon as the 112th Congress gets seated. [Suck on that, Ezra Klein.]

Were I Boehner, I'd press Pelosi to confess to her purposeful participation in the shenanigans in around the adoption of Obamacare and the House's passing Energy. If not, it too will get taken up in the 112th Congress ... right after the trial of Charlie Rangel.

Who's making the popcorn?

"MSNBC had some completely different "inside baseball" reason for canning Olbermann"
MSNBC will have have a new owner by year-end ... Comcast. Expect a lot of shake-ups in all arms of NBC News because of this. Without Bush to bash, Olbermann is a money loser. Last week's election made it clear that his ratings would only continue to decline.
My paranoid side says GE tolerated Olbermann in order to suck up to Obama -- this isn't crazy as it's been reported that Immelt told his NBC news heads to support Obama. Immelt had a private dinner with all of them way back. Immelt wants to sell a lot of windmills.
Chris Matthews is either in denial or too stupid to understand this. Rachel Maddow gets it, which is why she's gotten so nervous / strident in tone lately.
The suits at MSNBC figured it was better to fire Olbermann for cause rather than over his politics/ratings. Violating a waive-able corporate policy is a better basis for this than claiming that he fiddled his expenses or that he diddled a summer intern.
If Olbermann's ratings were good, he could get caught with a porn star hooker trashing a hotel room ... with blow all over his face ... while his kids were sleeping in the next room ... and the suits wouldn't care.
Clarification: Olbermann wasn't fired. He was suspended indefinitely without pay ... better still.  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Sat Nov 06, 09:03:00 AM:

Sorry for the tag-along post (cut and paste).

Also, I meant that Cantor will be pointing a bayonet. It won't be in Boehner's back, at least not yet.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Sat Nov 06, 10:12:00 AM:

I hope she stays. It's always clinically interesting to see Botox dementia at work in the public forum, especially now that she is: a.) Harmless and b.) a public reminder of the aloofness of the Democrat party.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Nov 06, 11:52:00 AM:

Anyone/everyone who votes for Hoyer and against Clyburn is, flat out, a RACIST!  

By Blogger mdgiles, at Sat Nov 06, 01:22:00 PM:

The moderates may "walk across the aisle" simply to save their own skins. After all, it's not as if the left wing of the party likes or respects them. Moderates leaving the party would make the Dems even further left then they now seem. And if it looks like a winner in the House the moderate Dem Senators may follow suit.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Nov 06, 03:52:00 PM:

i think you're giving princess nancy too much credit for cat-like stiletto thrusts, etc. the GOP has, for once, actually *used* liberal media bias to its favor, and made her, her face, and her idiotic policies the poster gal for "most despised woman in america."

oh, sure, being the GOP, it took them a few years to figure out how to do it, but they finally got there. but now they *know* how it's done. they've gotten pretty good at it - witness who runs the house now.

and nancy in all her narcissistic glory is gonna give them 2 MORE years to beat her on a daily basis? 2 MORE years to highlight and feature every profoundly stupid thing she says? (it's pelosi: there'll be lots to choose from.) ANOTHER election cycle for the GOP to morph the face of whatever dem they want to beat into her face, and then obama's?

works for me. RUN, nancy, RUN!!  

By Blogger Stephen, at Sat Nov 06, 08:14:00 PM:

Republicans will love forcing votes on spending cuts and rolling back Obamacare. They are in a win-win situation. The public wants lower deficits and reduced gov't spending. If the dems vote against this, their votes will be used against them in 2012. Nancy will be on the wrong side of every vote.  

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