“Rejecting demands that she relinquish power after her party’s losses in the midterm elections, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Friday that she will run for minority leader, potentially setting up an ideological battle within the Democratic membership.”
A handful of gems from the National Republican Congressional Committee, however, serve to nicely supplement Kane and Bacon’s insight:
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result,” said Ken Spain, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. “Of course, if House Democrats are willing to sacrifice more of their members in 2012 for the glory of Nancy Pelosi, we are happy to oblige them.”
On Friday, the “FIRE PELOSI” sign that hung outside Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington was changed to read, “HIRE PELOSI.”
Will the ensuing battle for House minority leadership have ideological implications? No doubt. The idea that Nancy Pelosi—the representative from one of the nation’s most liberal districts—ought to be tasked with directing the entire country’s legislature has long since been lost on me. How, for instance, could it be posited that Nancy Pelosi is well situated to both placate her uber-liberal base and look out for the rest of the nation’s best interest? Hypothetical answers obviously abound, but one seems especially easy: America stands to benefit from Pelosi/San Francisco style liberalism. Whether or not this is a response that has the capacity to gain much rhetorical or popular traction is utterly irrelevant. The point, though, is clear. Pelosi’s renewed bid for party power has ideological implications a plenty.
The political point, well-captured by the pieces of Republican banter cited above, is pretty obvious as well. As a national figure, Pelosi is unpopular. Congress is not, by any stretch, overly well-liked, and she’s seen as having set its slate. Was Tuesday a “repudiation of Obama-Pelosi-Reid”? No, not really. Do Democrat leaders—Obama in particular—desperately need of coming off as more “in touch” with the will of the American people? Absolutely. Keeping Pelosi in power is not the way to go.