Why is everyone down on Nancy Pelosi?

Today’s political post takes up two issues. The first is the widespread calls I’ve seen for Nancy Pelosi, likely at least the interim Speaker of the House (of Representatives) to recuse herself or resign, as she’s been on the job too long and “fresh blood” is needed. Even some Democratic representatives have signed a letter saying they’ll vote against her, and if enough of those sign it (she needs 218 votes to be re-elected Speaker), she won’t get the job.

Pelosi herself still wants the job, and is confident she has enough votes to get it. What I don’t understand is why everyone says “fresh blood” is really needed. She was Speaker of the House for only four years (2007-2011), and since then has been Minority Leader.  Her stands, as far as I can see, have been good ones, and her crowning monument the passage of Obamacare, something that even Obama himself thought should be cut back, while Pelosi refused the cutback on the grounds that the watered-down version was “kiddiecare”. A broader version of course passed narrowly, and Obama gave Pelosi credit for that, calling her “one of the best Speakers the House of Representatives has ever had”. And Obamacare is still the law of the land.

So what’s wrong with her? The Republicans hate her, of course, but that’s because she’s effective (they really hate Obamacare), and probably in part because she’s a powerful woman. But there anyone who could do a better job as Speaker? I’m no political pundit, but I can’t think of anyone better, and, like surgery and airline piloting, experience counts in a job like this. I’m sure readers will have something to say about this, but right now I’m not with the Democrats who want to dump her. Perhaps the move to do comes from a feeling that something has to be changed in the Democratic Party in view of sweeping Trumpism. But throwing out the pilot doesn’t seem to me the right solution.

Speaking of Congress, you may have read that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a young Democratic Socialist, staged a green environmental demonstration inside and outside Nancy Pelosi’s office, claiming that Pelosi hasn’t gone far enough on remediating climate change. Here’s part of a video:

 

Ocasio-Cortez is seen by many Democrats as the salvation of the party, being young, enthusiastic, and of course a “person of color.” But to me she’s the Sarah Palin of the Democratic Party: prone to unthinking statements, not experienced, and having wonky views on many things, including Israel (where she doesn’t seem to have a real stand at all). She’s been unable to propose a way to pay for her platform, which mandates both free healthcare for all (something that I’m in principle in favor of) and free college tuition for all.  The Washington Post, hardly a right-wing paper, has called her out for a number of fibs or inaccuracies, as has the leftist Politifact and The Hill. 

What Ocasio-Cortez has going for her is her enthusiasm and a progressive agenda. But she also appears to be pretty ignorant about many of the things she proposes, and is already having her head turned by all the attention coming from the misguided people who see her as one of the saviors of the Democratic Party.

She isn’t. Her demonstration in Pelosi’s office was not only a violation of the law (Pelosi was gracious enough to not only refrain from having Ocasio-Cortez removed, but to praise her), but also a sign that Ocasio-Cortez has an inflated idea of her own value and potential accomplishments.

If she matures and succeeds in doing something, more power to her. After all, I did vote in the primaries for another Democratic Socialist, Bernie Sanders. He wasn’t perfect, either, but lacked the hubris that Ocasio-Cortez has, fueled by the Regressive Left’s view that it can only be young women of color who can save progressive politics in America.

169 Comments

  1. Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Pelosi is fine, but in the Senate, Schumer is letting Republicans have whatever they want and tried to stop investigation of Facebook.

    • rickflick
      Posted November 15, 2018 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      Senate Republicans are in the majority. How is Schumer letting them do anything? He’s gone before the press almost every day denouncing the Republican agenda. What else can he do?

  2. Cate Plys
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Ageism.

  3. Bruce Thiel
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Ageism, pure and simple.

  4. YF
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Pelosi should stay at this time. The last thing we should want right now are political battles within the democratic party.

    We must be extremely focused on the task at hand- and that is to investigate Trump, Inc. and to try to undo all the damage that the GOP has caused to our democracy. We can consider a replacement for Pelosi, if needed, later down the road.

  5. GBJames
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Potosi’s liability is that she is highly effective. Consequently she’s been on the Republican hit list for a very long time. Some Dems make the mistake that Republican sliming will go away if new leadership in put in place.

    I”m with Brian, above, that Chuck Schumer is much more of a problem for the Democratic wind of the Democratic Party.

    • Posted November 15, 2018 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Schumer is a disaster but people have short memories. These two people have led the party and curbed positions and policies that would have threatened not only their positions but their connection to Wall St., insurance companies and corporations in general. We dont have universal health care because of these two people who specialize in keeping the congressional Dems in line and keeping out the more “radical” elements, whether Sanders or anyone else. Why do you think that so many new candidates got elected? And some of them were explicitly told by the Schumer/Pelosi/Hoyer axis to stay out and not stand in the way of the incumbent Democrats, many of whom were center right and fit right in. It’s hard to imagine that people have already forgotten the betrayals of the Democrats and their obeisance to their large funders on Wall St. and elsewhere. It’s time to get rid of not just Pelosi but all the other compromisers and obstacles, Schumer and Hoyer included. (I saw the video where a new candidate was told, out loud. by Hoyer, to move out and stop making trouble for the party. Outrageous. We need MORE trouble…and you dont have to be a socialist or Marxist to favor universal health care, shut down fossil fuels, tax the rich and have free public education. The Demos could have done this at any time. They wont do it without real pressure from challengers. Hold their feet to the fire!

      • Posted November 15, 2018 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        I don’t see how you can blame them for not passing universal healthcare. It was almost a miracle that Obamacare got passed in any form. At a first approximation, it was the biggest step toward universal healthcare that was passable under the circumstances. Now it’s a wedge that may yet give us universal healthcare. There are two ways it could go. The GOP could take us back to where we were before Obamacare or the Dems could take us forward in the direction of something much better. The public seems to be moving toward the latter.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted November 15, 2018 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

          Well said. I agree wholeheartedly.

          I also agree with everything GB James said above.

          In that interview with Ocasio-Cortez in Jerry’s post, she wasn’t actually able to answer the main question about how a greener economy would take the US forward. That is profoundly ignorant given that’s one of her main claims to fame. All she needed to do was point to what is going on in several states re alternative energy that’s creating jobs and helping the economy and all she gave were platitudes.

        • Posted November 16, 2018 at 1:23 am | Permalink

          In 2009, Americans favored universal healthcare by wide margins. The Dems had the WH and the so-called “supermajority” in Congress. The time was ripe, but obama had already made a backroom deal with the insurance industry, allowing them to write the bill based on a Heritage Foundation proposal. Instead of universal public health care, we got mandatory purchase of private health insurance via a law that is three ways unconstitutional.

          • rickflick
            Posted November 16, 2018 at 6:46 am | Permalink

            I seem to remember at the time the insurance industry had a kind of veto over the proposals. They “owned” enough democratic legislators to make a full blown bill impossible. Obama went for half a loaf. Better than none at all.

            • Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink

              That’s a nice retcon. obama never favored universal healthcare during his campaign, but no one seemed to pay attention, entranced as they were by his mellifluous demagoguery. He’d worked out a backdoor deal by April, 2009, to introduce a bill for mandatory private health insurance. The ‘healthcare town halls’ that Pelosi mismanaged so badly, and which were disrupted by astro-turfed protests, were a charade — the fix was already in.

              • rickflick
                Posted November 16, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink

                I respect your right to believe any version of history you like.

              • Posted November 16, 2018 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

                Which of my assertions do you consider ahistorical?

              • rickflick
                Posted November 16, 2018 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

                The strong popularity of health care reform is no guarantee it could be passed. Obama was a pragmatist and a minimalist to the frustration of many. He must have done a probability calculation and decided it would not be a good time to go for the whole enchilada. I’m almost certain he would have wanted the government to have a much bigger role in the health care system. He may have been wrong in his restraint, but it’s hard to say. You seem to be saying he could have accomplished more than he actually did, which wasn’t nothing. I say maybe. But maybe not.
                You are a glass half empty kind of person, I take it. I think I’ll take what I can get. Maybe the next Democratic president will be in a better position to put it over the goal line.

              • Posted November 17, 2018 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

                You might feel that 75% approval is not a sufficient mandate for a party that had just won a landslide, but the fact remains that was the level of public support in 2009 for universal health care.

                In its campaign literature, the obama campaign expressly eschewed the public option in favor of a vague private health insurance plan. Your certainty that obama would have preferred public healthcare is unfounded.

                Enlisting Baucus et al. to persuade Republicans to vote for a healthcare plan was unnecessary given the Dems super-majority. Pelosi’s Summertime town halls were a charade, as obama had already sold out to the health insurance industry by April.

                A president who was both motivated and experienced at drafting and passing legislation could have easily shepherded a universal healthcare bill or bills into law. (cf. HRC’s strategy in her 2007 NYT op ed.) Your hagiography notwithstanding, obama was neither of those.

              • rickflick
                Posted November 17, 2018 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

                The only alternative then is that Obama thought people don’t deserve health care as a right. He may also have been on the take from the insurance industry. Neither of these seems remotely plausible.

                “A president who was both motivated and experienced at drafting and passing legislation could have easily shepherded a universal healthcare bill or bills into law.”

                Maybe someone like Lyndon Johnson could have done it. But he’s dead.
                My feeling, given his emphasis on the need for legislative bipartisanship, is that he genuinely believed he would get considerable Republican party buy-in which would protect the legislation until improvements could be made. It turned out that the Republicans had concocted a diabolical strategy of denying Obama any votes ever for anything. Your mileage may differ.

              • Posted November 18, 2018 at 10:35 am | Permalink

                I agree. Even if Obama wanted universal healthcare (I don’t know if he did), he was smart enough to know it had a snowball’s chance of passing. Even now, serious analysts have written articles on how difficult it will be to move our healthcare system from where it is now to where it would need to be for universal healthcare. Entire industries would need to change how they do business with potential job losses to boot. I’m sure Obama knew that as well. It is totally unfair to blame Obama for our lack of universal healthcare.

              • GBJames
                Posted November 18, 2018 at 9:12 am | Permalink

                “his emphasis on the need for legislative bipartisanship”

                Bingo. This was Obama’s Achille’s Heel. If he had not bent over backwards, to appeal to Republicans who would respond to no appeal, he likely could have gotten an ACA that appealed to his base. Or at least he could have looked as if he was being forced to abandon the public option. Instead, his supporters lost enthusiasm and failed to turn out sufficiently in that catastrophic census year.

              • Posted November 19, 2018 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

                He may also have been on the take from the insurance industry.

                Given his shady past in Chicago & Illinois politics, and the unprecedented size of donations he received from the healthcare lobby (https://www.commondreams.org/news/2010/01/12/obama-received-20-million-healthcare-industry-2008-campaign), that is eminently plausible.

                … the Republicans had concocted a diabolical strategy of denying Obama any votes ever for anything.

                You mean winning the House in 2010? How diabolical! The fact remains that obama enjoyed large majorities in both houses in 2009, the year ACA and not much else was passed.

              • Posted November 19, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

                This was Obama’s Achille’s Heel. If he had not bent over backwards, to appeal to Republicans who would respond to no appeal…

                The ad hoc excuses for obama’s record are endless! This is the ‘naive idealist’ excuse. Then why did you all chose a tyro over someone with considerable experience in legislating and politicking, including having learned the hard way about introducing healthcare initiatives?

                The most parsimonious explanation is that obama never wanted universal healthcare, never intended on creating green energy, protecting the environment, closing Gitmo, ending drone strikes, punishing fraudulent banks, etc. He was the Bait & Switch president.

              • GBJames
                Posted November 19, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

                If all that were true there would have been nothing for the Republicans to block for six years.

                Do you forget that Republicans controlled Congress for six of Obama’s years? And that they refused to participate in creating what they came to call “Obamacare” despite his repeated attempts at bipartisanship, and despite that it was a Republican program in the fist place? And that they voted to kill it 70 times. You know all that, right?

                Sorry, Matt, but you have no credibility on the subject. The fact that you can’t bring yourself to capitalize “Obama” says it all.

              • Posted November 19, 2018 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

                Do you forget that Republicans controlled Congress for six of Obama’s years?

                The ACA was written behind closed doors by the insurance lobby in April of 2009, and passed by the 111th Congress (56 Dem senators, 255 Dem house) later that year. Please explain how GOP House majorities in future years stopped obama and the Dems from passing universal healthcare. (I’m guessing tachyons.)

              • Posted November 19, 2018 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

                +1

              • rickflick
                Posted November 19, 2018 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

                You have problems with Obama? Do you like Trump better?

          • GBJames
            Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

            “Heritage Foundation” gets capital letters but “Obama” doesn’t?

  6. Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    “to me she’s the Sarah Palin of the Democratic Party”

    Wow, great turn of phrase. You knocked out of the park with that one!

  7. alexandra Moffat
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    All well said – agree. I have always wondered why Pelosi is so hated, except that Republicans seem to hate everything.
    I will vote for honesty and competence and don’t much care about any thing else except needed pluses would be secularism, well-read education, and a science background.

    • Posted November 17, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      I haven’t the impression that Republicans hate everything, but they definitely hate successful opponents (as any politician is expected to).
      The million-dollar question is why many Democrats seem to hate Pelosi.

  8. max blancke
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Ocasio-Cortez does not seem to be informed about any of the issues. She is just vaguely Marxist.
    I see two possible outcomes of those like her coming to power. Either she will be crushed by the democratic machine, or she will foment so much internal turmoil that they will be unable to function at all.
    I like the idea of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”, but that presumes that Mr. or Ms. Smith comes to the office with at least a solid understanding of civics, to go along with strong moral principals.

    But maybe she is an excellent representative of her constituents, having lots of strong views about subjects of which they have little knowledge.

    • BJ
      Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      I think if someone like Ocasio-Cortez becomes Speaker, it will become apparent over the next year that she is incompetent and has no idea what she’s dking. It’s easy to look good in an election in a single district with extremely favorable media coverage, but a hell of a lot harder to manage an entire party and how it’s Representatives vote, control policy proposals and decide on commissions, etc.

      Buy she’s young, good looking, is loaded with vague progressive platitudes, and is a woman and not white. So she’ll get support. Hopefully, she doesn’t get enough support to become Speaker (or achieve any significant power at this point in her career). There’s too much on the line right now. The Dems can’t afford incompetence in any position of power at this time.

      • GBJames
        Posted November 15, 2018 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

        Freshman reps never become Speaker. It takes years of relationship building within your party to get into leadership.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted November 15, 2018 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

          The House of Representatives has 435 members is based on a seniority system. It takes decades to rise through the ranks (and usually some time in a leadership position, like majority/minority leader, whip, or party conference chairman) before throwing one’s hat into the ring for the Speakership.

          According to Robert Caro’s magisterial multi-volume biography of Lyndon Johnson, on his first day in the House as a newly minted Texas congressman, the 29-year-old LBJ (who was brimming with political ambition, and came from a family where the men tended to die young) took one look around, whispered to himself “too long,” and immediately set his sights on a US senate seat.

        • BJ
          Posted November 15, 2018 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

          Yes, you’re right, but it feels like we’re at a point where, if enough constituents make enough noise in the right districts, she could get some “protest support,” as I like to call it — some Reps who will vote for her to signal how progressive they are. She certainly won’t become Speaker.

          • GBJames
            Posted November 15, 2018 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

            Not a chance. Maybe even less than that.

          • Posted November 17, 2018 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

            Hopefully she won’t; but so many Americans are enamoured with her that one never knows.

    • David Evans
      Posted November 15, 2018 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      Marxism is a very specific theory of society. Wanting free health care and free college tuition is not Marxism. The UK had both those things for many years, and Marxists were always a small minority in British politics.

      • max blancke
        Posted November 15, 2018 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        “Free Stuff” is a sales pitch, along with revenge against class enemies.
        They also seem to market whatever is trendy as possible only through socialism. Environmental protection is a good example.
        I have tried to get DSA people to explain the details of their platform, and I never get any real answers. Most of them do not seem to have read the published platform of their own party, much less the literature it is based on.
        At most, they seem to like the idea of collectivization, but they usually think of it as somehow voluntary.

        Anyway, it is like coming downstairs on Christmas morning to see a beautiful wrapped package under the tree with words like “diversity”, prosperity”, “ecology”, and “empowerment” written all over it, but when you unwrap the box, all that is in there is a ratty old copy of “We Shall go to Moscow Not With Ten Banners, But With Only One, With the Banner of Marxism-Leninism!” by Enver Hoxha.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted November 15, 2018 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

          “I have tried to get DSA people to explain the details of their platform, and I never get any real answers.”

          Be sure to let us know if you have any more luck getting explanations on the Right. Because everything conservatism used to stand for — free trade, limited government, balanced budgets, opposition to Russian aggression, respect for tradition and the rule of law, personal responsibility and rectitude, etc. — has gone by the boards in today’s Republican Party.

          • JezGrove
            Posted November 15, 2018 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

            You nailed that, Ken!

          • Posted November 17, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

            Ken, are you saying that people should not criticize the crazy phenomena and individuals in the Democratic Party because conservatives are worse?

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted November 17, 2018 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

              I’m saying it’s silly to criticize a fringe element of one side when the same criticism applies in spades to the side that’s had control of all three branches of the federal government for the past two years.

              • Posted November 18, 2018 at 12:55 am | Permalink

                Yes, but Democratic criticism-deserving stuff will be seen by everyone, while many will close their eyes to the spades of such stuff in the Republican camp.

        • David Evans
          Posted November 16, 2018 at 6:33 am | Permalink

          Did you read what I wrote? The UK had what you call “free stuff” for years when it was much poorer than the US. It’s not free, of course, it’s paid for out of taxation. Which UK people understood and consented to.

      • Posted November 16, 2018 at 1:27 am | Permalink

        Wanting free health care and free college tuition is not Marxism.

        Talking about the inevitable & imminent collapse of capitalism and predestined progress toward socialism, as Comrade Alexandra does, is marxist.

        • David Evans
          Posted November 16, 2018 at 6:35 am | Permalink

          Comrade? You mean she colluded with Russia? That would be enough to disqualify her, I agree.

          • Posted November 17, 2018 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

            Russia no longer pretends to be socialist. Are you saying that it is OK to vote into power Ocasio-Cortez just because she isn’t Trump?

            • rickflick
              Posted November 17, 2018 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

              “OK to vote into power Ocasio-Cortez just because she isn’t Trump?”

              I’ve thought that someone picked at random off the street would be better than Trump. I think Ocasio-Cortez would learn on the job as well as any sane person.

              • Posted November 18, 2018 at 12:47 am | Permalink

                I don’t find it wise to elect a clearly unsuitable person and hope that she wuold learn on the job.
                First, not any sane person can learn. This requires a level of intelligence that so far Ocasio-Cortez hasn’t shown to possess. Second, to learn, one must first realize that she needs learning, and Ocasio-Cortez apparently regards herself as omniscient.

              • Posted November 19, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

                I’ve thought that someone picked at random off the street would be better than Trump.

                a 28-year-old barmaid with no prior political experience, a twisted comprehension of US History, and inchoate pipe dreams instead of policy proposals, fits that selection process precisely.

                I think Ocasio-Cortez would learn on the job as well as any sane person.

                Whether ‘sane’ or not, O-C is clearly out of touch with reality and living in a fantasy world, typical of revolutionaries from cozy bourgeois backgrounds.

              • rickflick
                Posted November 19, 2018 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

                A twisted comprehension of US History can be corrected in a 28-year-old barmaid. Now, as for Trump’s comprehension of US History, you’d have to punt.
                BTW, do you like Elizabeth Warren? How about Bernie Sanders? Tell us what you think?

        • Posted November 17, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

          + 1

  9. Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    I think it is only for this reason: People want to remove the “Pelosi Bludgeon”™ from the GOP play book.

    Would it help? Probably not.

    • BobTerrace
      Posted November 15, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      That is it, exactly, the “Pelosi Bludgeon”™.

      The Republicans who are extremely far right, have used the “evil liberal”, hated progressive”, “out of touch with the people” labels on Pelosi for over a decade. They made her into the evil queen.

      Add into that the ageism and the misogyny, and now the Democrats who are newly elected and are not sharp enough to learn the real history are buying into the right wing buffoonery.

      • Posted November 15, 2018 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        I suspect those that don’t support Pelosi know the history and her abilities just fine. They believe that if too many of the voters hate her, she has to go regardless of the reason. I believe we have to fight the GOP’s attempts to define people and words to fit their evil agenda. The Dems need to counter with some of their own definitions. They still seem to not understand how powerful this approach can be even though they suffer so much under it.

  10. Merilee
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Last time people seemed to demand CHANGE for the sake of change we got The Orange Idiot🤬
    Just read somewhere that he railed against the leaders of Estonia, Katvia, and Lithuania for messing up Yugoslavia (Baltic /=Balkans).

    • W.Benson
      Posted November 15, 2018 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      Haha! Is there a link?

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted November 15, 2018 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      President Un-indicted Co-conspirator knows that his real Daddy, Vlad, has his sights set on both.

      Trump’s already raised questions about whether he’d honor the US’s joint-defense obligations under Article 5 of the NATO treaty to defend countries nobody who’s anybody has ever heard of — like Latvia or Estonia or that other one by the Baltic Sea; or Albania in the Balkans — especially since the little deadbeats don’t pay us enough protection money for their defense.

      • Posted November 17, 2018 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        I have read that Estonia does.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted November 17, 2018 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

          You think Trump would draw the line with Estonia once Putin had helped himself to Lithuania and Latvia?

          How comfortable would you be in Bulgaria, Maya, should Putin succeed in his plans to foment pro-Russian insurrection in Albania?

          • Posted November 18, 2018 at 12:53 am | Permalink

            No, I don’t think he would draw the line, I was just specifying.
            I have not felt comfortable about Russia ever since Trump got elected. I have expected some repetition of the 1940s, and I still do. This is why I get mad when I watch Democrats falling over themselves to ensure Trump’s victory in 2020.

            • GBJames
              Posted November 18, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink

              It seems you missed the results of the 2018 midterms.

  11. Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I think the opposition to Pelosi is that a) she is a corporate Democrat and b) she hasn’t been very effective in opposition. Granted it is hard to do anything in opposition in the House, but still. She has been very, very effective when she was Speaker.

  12. Mark R.
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    As others have said, ageism, and I think the Republicans consistent smear campaigns have even influenced some Democrats’ thinking.

    But Pelosi knows how to do this difficult job and do it well. I can’t think of anyone, let alone “fresh blood” that could fill her shoes. To me, the best scenario would be to nominate her as speaker and pick an apprentice or two who she can keep under her wing to later replace her. There is a lot that needs to be done in the House. The Dems need to put forth popular legislation (which probably won’t go anywhere, but the people will see what they are trying to accomplish) and at the same time open up investigations on a number of fronts.

    As an aside, I had to laugh when McConnell warned Democrats not to harass Trump. Yes, we should treat Trump with kid gloves, just as the Republicans treated Obama.

  13. Jon Gallant
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    The Republicans portray Representative Pelosi as some kind of effete radical-liberal from the farther shores of the left coast. In reality, she is a pragmatic and effective pol, every inch the daughter of her father, Tommy D’Alesandro. He was Mayor of Baltimore from 1947 to 1959 (when I began grad school there) and a power in the Tammany-like Baltimore Democratic machine. I’ll bet she learned at her father’s knee the techniques later used to slide the ACA through Congress.

  14. Alex K.
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Pelosi is an entitled corporate Democrat. She has a history of being in bed with the Republicans and big money donors, especially going along with Trump’s Syrian strike which is an illegal breach in foreign policy under international law. She’s more like a Republican than the press give her credit.

    All I hear from Pelosi’s defense of keeping her position is straw-manning her critics as sexists or ageists and deflecting her criticisms, boasting as being a “master legislator.” She’s out of touch with the changing political climate of DC and the interests of middle-class people. I genuinely think she’s doesn’t give a shit about us. I do want to see her and Schumer out of the Democratic sphere, but I support a more gradual process of replacement rather than a chaotic coup.

    Ocasio-Cortez isn’t perfect. I don’t think she’s right on with the Israel-Palestine issue and she may have to change her philosophy on some issues into her term, but I don’t see it arrogant that she goes to the people’s protest and address their concerns about climate change. I think it’s bold. We need more bold people than that poor excuse of that out-of-touch crone that was Joe Crawley. Guess where he is right now?

    • W.Benson
      Posted November 15, 2018 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      I’ve read down to #27, and Alex K.’s view is closest to mine.

      • Hemidactylus
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 6:19 am | Permalink

        I think there’s some ageism working against Ocasio-Cortez. She has a bachelor’s in economics and international affairs from Boston U and graduated cum laude (according to wikipedia) so at least somewhat book smart if not applied realistically. And J Street response shows she’s not out of bounds with Jewish Americans who are not find of Bibi and Likud driven policies:

        https://jstreet.org/press-releases/j-street-statement-on-the-primary-victory-of-alexandria-ocasio-cortez/

        • Posted November 16, 2018 at 6:27 am | Permalink

          Seriously? George W. Bush went to Yale and Harvard Business School. Was he a smart president? And did you read the three links I provided, or watch Ocasio-Cortez’s videos in which she stumbles and looks baffled?

          I’m sorry, but I find it insulting that you accuse my of basing my opinion on “ageism.”

          • Hemidactylus
            Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

            I was countering others who brought ageism up as a reason Pelosi is devalued. Come to think of it you did place some focus on Ocasio-Cortez’s youth in your OP. Three uses of “young” and the “If she matures” could be overinterpreted. If I mistake that impression I apologize.

            I am not really committed on Pelosi one way or the other. I have bad taste in my mouth for Democratic establishment for several reasons including some reveals from DNC hack.

            I did say Ocasio-Cortez isn’t applying any knowledge gained from her impressive educational backround realistically and I do think her gaffes are quite puzzling.

        • Posted November 17, 2018 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

          I wonder how she graduated Boston University. She talks like a high school dropout.

    • BJ
      Posted November 15, 2018 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      I agree that Pelosi is a corporate Democrat and dishonest, but the Democrats have become a corporate party. Having someone else as Speaker won’t change that, so we might as well have the most competent one at this crucial moment.

      I don’t agree that Ocasio-Cortez was “bold” in what she did. There were no downsides. The only thing that was going to happen was her getting positive media coverage.

      • Alex K.
        Posted November 15, 2018 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        I never advocated for Ocasio-Cortez to be Speaker. She’s far from her first legislative record as we speak.

      • Posted November 17, 2018 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        Don’t some Democrats (I mean voters) find her disloyal for harassing her fellow Democratic representative?

    • Posted November 15, 2018 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      Spot on.

    • Filippo
      Posted November 15, 2018 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      Feel free to reflect on Ocasio-Cortez’s ennobling commandeering of Pelosi’s office.

      Once O-C gets settled into her Capitol Hill digs, maybe some group will similarly impose itself on her, since it’s such a great thing to do.

      • Alex K.
        Posted November 15, 2018 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

        I wouldn’t surprised if a protest group did the same thing to her office if she settles in.

      • Posted November 17, 2018 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        I hope so.

  15. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    The Republicans hate her, of course, but that’s because she’s effective (they really hate Obamacare) …

    Or at least did — until they discovered how popular Obamacare was with midterm voters. Then they all started stumping and running tv ads claiming to be the great champions of people with “preexisting conditions” — even Republican congress-critters who’d voted over 60 times to replace Obamacare, the hypocritical SOBs.

    Of course, that was when the repeal votes were naught but empty posturing, since Republicans lacked the numbers to override a presidential veto, and, thus, had no real skin in the game. As soon as the GOP had control of both houses of congress and the presidency, it turned out they’d come up with diddlysquat on the “replace” end of “repeal and replace,” despite having had eight years to mull it over. Did I mention yet what hypocritical bastards they are?

    • Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know how many times I have posted this on FB: “Hypocrisy, a Core GOP Value.”

      • BJ
        Posted November 15, 2018 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        It’s a core value of nearly all politicians. And most people.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted November 15, 2018 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

          True enough, Beej. But certain people — oh, I don’t know, let’s just randomly say MITCH McCONNELL and his band of merry congressional Republican cohorts, off the top of our heads — have turned it into an art form, the ne plus ultra of all hypocrisy’s practitioners. 🙂

  16. Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think Ocasio-Cortez is as bad as Palin. She’s getting way too much attention right now. I suspect the positives we get from her energy and ability to get air time outweigh her missteps and lack of knowledge. After all, she’s not really talking about real legislation so it is all just cheerleading at this point which is fine. Once she gets involved with real legislation, she’ll be forced to deal with practicalities such as budgetary considerations, compromise with others, etc. She will either mature or disappear.

    • GBJames
      Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      I think you are right. I don’t think there’s much chance she’ll end up as candidate for Vice President.

      • Mark R.
        Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        And she’s not stupid. Palin is stupid.

        • mikeyc
          Posted November 15, 2018 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

          You’re correct about Palin, but, frankly, the is call is still out on Ocasio-Cortez. Personally, I’m withholding judgement on her in this regard. Listening to her speak is not too different to listening to Palin; often with both there is clearly little thought behind what is said and both speak mostly in sound bites.

          But then, that’s describes almost all politicians.

          • BJ
            Posted November 15, 2018 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

            Right, Palin didn’t look stupid until she had to sit down for interviews that actually asked more than softball questions. Once she was challenged to show her knowledge (or lack thereof), the facade fell apart.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted November 15, 2018 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

            AOC is a 29-year-old political neophyte. Palin was a supposedly seasoned political pro, one who was governor of Alaska and had been mayor of Wasilla (for whatever that’s worth), ready to be a heartbeat away from the US presidency. None it had made a dent in her stupidity. Neither did running for Veep.

  17. Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think Ocasio-Cortez is as bad as Palin. She’s getting way too much attention right now. I suspect the positives we get from her energy and ability to get air time outweigh her missteps and lack of knowledge. After all, she’s not really talking about real legislation so it is all just cheerleading at this point which is fine. Once she gets involved with real legislation, she’ll be forced to deal with practicalities such as budgetary considerations, compromise with others, etc. She will either mature or disappear.

    • Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      Sorry about the double post. I blame it on our cat, Brio, who is lolling against my
      keyboard, hiding out from the jack-hammering going on in our kitchen remodel.

    • Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      Sorry about the double post. I blame it on our cat, Brio, who is lolling against my
      keyboard, hiding out from the jack-hammering going on in our kitchen remodel.

      • Mark R.
        Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        I had to laugh at this double post apologizing for your double post.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted November 15, 2018 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

        You can say that again, brother.

  18. Historian
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    It is mystifying to me why some Democrats are so adamantly opposed to Pelosi’s leadership. I have not seen a good explanation of this. It seems that some of them have come to believe that she has been the cause of the Democrats’ woes in the last few years. Will they give her credit for this year’s victories? The right wing has portrayed her as a wild-eyed California liberal while the extreme left thinks she is a corporatist. Such are the views of the extremes. I view her as a moderate liberal, which characterizes most Democrats. Saying this, I believe the Democratic Party must begin the transition to younger leadership. The three leading Democrats in the House are nearing 80 (Pelosi, Hoyer, Clyburn). These oldsters would serve the Party best if they all announced that this session will be the last that they will be in House leadership.

    The Washington Post just published an in-depth analysis of the generation makeup of the House of Representatives.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/politics/young-democrats-pelosi-opposition/?utm_term=.f1d4d21911be

    I disagree that Ocasio-Cortez is the Sarah Palin of the Democratic Party – not by a long shot. Palin was a governor, nominated for vice-president, and had wide support in the Republican Party. Ocasio-Cortez is a first term House member. She will be a 28 year old back bencher with little influence on policy. Perhaps in a decade she will be a significant force, but not now. It is also doubtful to what extent her views represent the mainstream of the Democratic constituency. People should avoid falling for the Republican ruse that as an advocate of “socialism,” all Democrats are like her. Such a tactic didn’t work in the recent election and I doubt that it will work in the future.

  19. Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    I agree that Pelosi is effective and thats why the Republicans hate her.
    I think some Dems are against her because the Republican’s relentless, coordinated attack on her has actually sunk in and now Dems think theres actually something wrong with her.
    I’ve never heard any specific criticisms of Pelosi, they just lump her in with all of their liberal bogeymen (or bogeypeople) : Hilary Clinton, Saul Alinsky, George Soros, MoveOn, Micheal Moore,ACLU, BLM etc etc.
    I think this is why Dems would say H Clinton was ‘bad politically’ : its only because the 30 year Rep campaign against her has been so effective.

    ( the only caveat I’d have is that because C Hitchens was so much against her maybe there was something to the criticisms)

    • clarkia
      Posted November 15, 2018 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      The one criticism I have heard from a non-republican is that she should have brought the Kavanaugh allegations forward sooner.

      • GBJames
        Posted November 15, 2018 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

        I think you may be confusing Representative Pelosi with Senator Feinstein.

        • clarkia
          Posted November 15, 2018 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

          Oops – my bad. Well I guess Feinstein has to go… 🙂

  20. Roo
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    An aside – I’m still confused by the whole ‘women of color’ thing, since I have more or less the same complexion as Ocasio-Cortez and features that were labeled ‘exotic looking’ when I was growing up in a less diverse area – but I was never, to my knowledge, considered another race. Now I’m not even sure what box to check on those surveys. On the one hand it feels fake to suddenly adopt a label that I didn’t grow up with, on the other, if such things are decided by societal consensus, then yes, the consensus on that is probably changing (I saw firsthand how swiftly such things can change when in a Latin American country on vacation, where I was clearly received and addressed in a different manner than my two friends with porcelain complexions.) Now I feel awkward checking any box under race, especially if I know I’m at a place that is hopeful about upping their diversity statistics.

    With the Democratic party, my impression is that they feel completely burned by trying to ‘go moderate’ for many years, while the Right was reenergizing itself with the Tea Party, Trump and so on. So now I think they’re going with what sparks passion in voters. I think this is unfortunate on both sides – measured, thoughtful conversations on both sides of any issue are far preferable to keeping balance by tug-of-war by two extreme / reactive / zealous poles. That said, it takes two to participate in measured discussions – if one side sees it as a sign of weakness, then yeah, it won’t work and we probably do have to go through the long and exasperating process of seeing firsthand what happens when the alternative dynamic is in place. When people get sick enough of that then I think we realize all around that whatever gains are made by pushing / steamrolling / getting an inch and taking a mile aren’t really worth the cost of living in a society full of anger, witch hunts, the suspension of reason, and so on. Balance achieved by two tribal extremes means maintaining ideological ‘purity’ in the extreme ends of both camps so that no one is too lax. This is pretty much never a good thing.

    • Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      I think you’ve hit on my biggest problem with Ocasio-Cortez: she ran as a person of color, or a Latina, or whatever. Just as Obama let others claim first black President, she should have left the identity politics out. This waa a big contributor to Hillary’s loss. Yes, there’s a women’s movement but she needed to run on her policies and experience, not her identity.

      • Roo
        Posted November 15, 2018 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

        I think it’s understandable that candidates would promote having representatives who are more, well, representative of the overall population, or at least promote this to some extent – to what extent exactly, I’m not sure, I’d have to think more about it. That said, I just find it an interesting philosophical quandary that a person can look exactly the same, and if they are Latino they are considered a minority, if they are Mediterranean they are considered white (even if talking about someone who just immigrated here from Italy or Greece,) and if they are Middle Eastern it’s a toss-up.

        • Posted November 15, 2018 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

          Exactly. None of it should matter. It reminds me of the Star Trek episode with two warring races. One race is white on the left side and black on the right. The other is reversed. A bit heavy handed I will admit but it wasn’t wrong.

  21. BJ
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    My feeling is that the “progressive” wing of the Democratic party hasn’t turned against Pelosi for any concrete reasons of policy. The fact that Pelosi is a white career politician is enough for many people to think we need “change.” What change? Who knows. Apparently, change to a “person of color” who has no concrete plan, no knowledge of how the House and politics on the big stage works, and is all fluff and hype, is proper “change.”

    I think it’s all just a matter of directionless dissatisfaction. It’s kind of the same thing that drove a lot of people who voted for Obama to vote Trump instead: the idea that “something needs to change.” A lot of people can’t think on a much deeper level than that and, with Pelosi, those who can think deeper are thinking about identity politics

    • Posted November 15, 2018 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      You hit the nail on the head, BJ: it gets to a point where any change is better than no change. Which is why, once Bernie was not an option, I was willing to put my vote in the trash bin rather than the recycle bin. Pelosi represents the recycle bin.

  22. Michael Fisher
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    From 3,000 miles away Pelosi seems like a gem of a person – 78 years old, stinking rich & full of energy & social ideals. Rare.

    I suppose the rich republicans hate & fear her because she doesn’t politicise in favour of her wealth, she’s well connected & [as GBJames above says] she’s effective.

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, from looking & listening to her, appears to be barely out of the egg & yet she is 29 years – by now she should have the ability to reel off deep, connected rationales for her positions – but I haven’t seen her do that. I can’t trust that she believes sincerely in what she talks about – if she did believe she would have more knowledge than she displays.

    She reminds me of the British New Labour of the ’90s who were extraordinarily popular & glamorous [a new thing in brown teeth, shabby suit British politics!], what with embracing the youngsters’ cultural icons of the day [Oasis, Brit Art etc]… yet it turned out Blair’s approach to government was a image & media led long, posh coat with no knickers or boots underneath. Feet of clay & rocketing bank accounts. Bastards.

    • Steve Pollard
      Posted November 15, 2018 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Looking at Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez from the same distance as you, I agree. It seems to me that the DP needs some consistency and clarity in its message, and Pelosi is better able to provide this than many of the others. I find it astonishing that, more than halfway toward the next Presidential election, the Dems seem to have nobody capable of being a truly national candidate.

      Some of the UK media this week have been suggesting that Hillary is th best bet for 2020. Is she really?

      BTW, I don’t agree with you at all about the Blair governments. A lot if his ministers were serious, grown-up people, with some understanding of the jobs they were asked to do. I wish Theresa May had a few like that.

      • GBJames
        Posted November 15, 2018 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

        Hillary in 2020? Please, Jesus, no!

        • mikeyc
          Posted November 15, 2018 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

          Srsly.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted November 15, 2018 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

          There’s an idea whose moment has passed!

  23. Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    I just listened to Sam Harris interviewing Johann Hari, much of it about US culture. I think Hari has some salient things to say about why people in the US are dissatisfied with their lives.

  24. Posted November 15, 2018 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    I never had an issue with her as the Majority Leader nor as the Minority Leader. I didn’t always agree with her on things, but I can say that for anyone and everyone.

  25. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    There is more animosity towards Pelosi among Republicans than many previous Dem speakers.
    To what degree that’s because she is a woman or from San Francisco is hard to say.

  26. BillC
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Liberals should stop believing what conservatives say about them and the media spin that follows the conservative narrative.

  27. Posted November 15, 2018 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    The ones against her are probably getting money from insurance companies or other industries that she is against.

    She supports single-payer healthcare and the insurance industry is stopping at nothing to keep their stranglehold on our healthcare and their insane profits from it.

    There is no reason for anyone except republicans to be against her, but then again the DNC is just republican-lite these days, both sides are bought and paid for by corporations

  28. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    I agree with you on why Republicans hate Nancy Pelosi: she effective, an assertive woman, and from San Francisco — three strikes and you’re out, sister.

    Democrats, I think, see a need for new blood. In general, I agree with them; there’ll come time soon enough for a changing of the guard. But for now — with so much on the new Democratic House’s plate, reestablishing some separation-of-powers governmental oversight after two years of its utter absence — the Democratic caucus needs a seasoned hand on the tiller. Let Nancy keep the Speakership, I say.

    As for Ocasio-Cortez, as you say she’s young and enthusiastic — and, hell, let’s face it, cute as a basket of newborn kittens. And although no responsible Democrats I know view her as any kind of “savior,” there’s plenty of room for her and the like-minded inside the Democratic Party tent. Let AOC spend a decade or so as a congressional backbencher, learning the committee ropes, filling in the obvious gaps in her experience and knowledge, and, just maybe, mollifying a few of her more aggressive views.

    Maybe she makes it, maybe she doesn’t. And maybe she decides Washington-style politics isn’t really her bag. In the meantime, she’ll be speaking out and at least spurring discussion on some crucial issues the old-guard Democrats have long been too tentative to broach.

  29. Bat
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    I am late to comments again today. Seems like a combination of republican swift boating of pelosi, combined with some gullibility of some youngish dems, and a heaping serving of single issue dems and some herd mentality. Guys and gals: please do not buy into eating our own before you seriously explore all the alternatives with the requirements list!

    • Brujo Feo
      Posted November 15, 2018 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      +1 to Bat’s comment above. Speaking as a libertarian who switched reg in ’16 to Dem just to vote for Bernie in the California primary, in a losing attempt to prevent the inevitable self-immolation presented by the HRC candidacy, I am *really* hoping that the Dems can find, in the next two years, a better sport than absolutely ensuring a second term for His Orange Shitheadedness.

      Of course, this will require not only squaring away the speakership (I had my doubts about Pelosi, but if she enrages the GOP, so much the better), but actually considering finding a candidate to run against the Reich in ’20. A point which seems to have universally escaped all Dems everywhere. I’ve been beating the drum since forever for Tammy Duckworth (who had me at “Cadet Bone Spurs”) or Tulsi Gabbard, but I’m sure that arguments can be made for other candidates. What is frightening is that I haven’t met a single Dem yet to whom it has occurred that they actually have to do so.

      • Posted November 15, 2018 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

        How does the person who got more votes and lost by a few thousand votes some swing states count as “the inevitable self-immolation presented by the HRC candidacy”?

        Oh, and there was Russian propaganda and an FBI director who called a press conference for every nothing on the (fake) e-mail scandal while keeping quiet that they were investigating the Republican candidate for possible illegal campaign activities. Various journalists have admitted they were all too willing to follow the narratives suggested by Russia and Trump.

        A self-immolation so inevitable it required the help of a foreign power.

        • Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

          I suspect most of us here expected Clinton to win by a lot, at least up until the last couple of weeks before the election. Clinton thought all she needed for the win was to be cool, calm, and collected.

        • Posted November 17, 2018 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

          If the nation that is leader of the free world can succumb to Russian propaganda, then there is no hope for mankind.

          • GBJames
            Posted November 17, 2018 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

            Then there is no hope. The “leader of the free world” was installed, in part, due to Russian propaganda.

  30. Robert Ryder
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    It’s absurd for Ocasio-Cortez to blame lack of progress on climate change on Pelosi. Does she know who’s president? I think the Democrats ran excellent campaigns for the midterm elections and largely avoided the kind of stunts that Ocasio-Cortez engaged in at Pelosi’s office. Please let reason and sanity prevail, Democrats!

    • Bat
      Posted November 15, 2018 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      Yes as leader of the house dems she was able to stake out positions opposing the wacko r’s but not so out of bounds that traditional and moderate r’s would reject a dem candidate in 2018 out of hand…just look at the result of the recent house elections. The fact that are even talking about the speaker position now as opposed to minority leader says a great deal about leader pelosi’s abilities.

      • Bat
        Posted November 15, 2018 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        Should be clear by context, but By The first “she” in my post above, i of course mean pelosi…

    • Posted November 16, 2018 at 1:33 am | Permalink

      I doubt that Comrade Alexandra is aware that obama twice – at Copenhagen and Rio — personally intervened to block mandatory carbon emissions limits.

  31. Curt Nelson
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    A couple of things bother me about her. Her public speaking skills are not very good, and it seems like she’s trying to be sexy – the way she dresses and makes herself up. That’s a weird one, I know, but that’s my impression.

    When I see her speak I cringe, mainly because I imagine people who hate her politics feeling justified because of these superficial things.

    • Merilee
      Posted November 15, 2018 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      I personally think that Pelosi dresses very elegantly and “appropriately”.

    • Posted November 15, 2018 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      Agree about hearing her speak. It is just torture. But she is effective. I don’t know if anyone to replace her. I just do not want to hear it watch her speak. And she does dress and look somewhat odd.

      It would be nice to have someone the gop does not hate. It would be a step in getting out of the pattern of mutual hate.

      Much like the retirement of Mitch Mc would help.

      • Posted November 15, 2018 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        I don’t know if anyone to replace her.

        • Posted November 15, 2018 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

          of anyone

          • Posted November 15, 2018 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

            I just do not want to hear or watch her speak.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted November 15, 2018 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        I wouldn’t wait around for a Democrat that the House Freedom Caucus and other GOP Trumpists don’t hate, Old Guy. That’d be like hunting for snipe.

        • Posted November 15, 2018 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

          There is dislike, strongly dislike, distain, and hate.
          We could go try for strongly dislike, or maybe even just plain old dislike.
          Didn’t someone catch a snipe once? I thought I heard that.

        • rickflick
          Posted November 15, 2018 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

          I’m not sure why anyone would want to shoot such a lovely creature.

          https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Wilsons_Snipe/id

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted November 15, 2018 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

            I had in mind the mythopoetic snipe hunt, not the actual killing of any of nature’s own avifauna.

            • rickflick
              Posted November 15, 2018 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

              That’s a relief.

  32. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Oy. From here the Democrats is in general way right to our center, but Sanders and Cortez way left beyond realistic (i.e. tax financed) social democracy. Why the internal polarization?

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted November 15, 2018 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      Ocasio-Cortez, naturally.

    • Posted November 15, 2018 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      The way our system of voting in party primaries work, both parties are now winding up with candidates in some districts that are from the extremes. That and the gerrymandering. Those are two possible reasons.

  33. Paddy
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    My 2¢.

    The Republicans are getting the Democrats to do their dirty work for them. They can’t oust Pelosi, so they will tie every candidate to her, make her look like an anchor weighing the party down so the younger, upcoming in the party will see her a a millstone to be discarded.

    The problem is, they don’t have anyone to replace her. The right continues to line up behind any odious cretin that they think will suit them, the left will eat itself and blame itself for when it loses.

  34. Gabrielle
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    In the run-up to the recent election, there was a TV ad that appeared about two weeks before election day where I live, with the tag line “A vote for any Democrat is a vote for socialist Nancy Pelosi!!!” Accompanied by unflattering photos of Pelosi holding the Speaker’s gavel. There were also photos of Ocasio-Cortez in the ad, though she wasn’t identified by name. The only men in the ad were Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders. I take it the ad was aimed at independent voters. It was produced by some shadowy Republican group that I’d never heard of.

    Why is there so much disdain for Pelosi? I think it’s a combination of sexism/ageism/and people just wanting a change. But a change to what?

    I think Pelosi dresses appropriately. Hell, it’s only in the past year that women could wear sleeveless dresses in the House of Representatives.

    • Posted November 15, 2018 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

      I think some of it may be that she is such a well known figure. She had been prominent a long time and is easy to identify and vilify.
      Plus she is female and from California. Two strikes right there.

      Her views are not different from the Democratic Party line that I can see. That just leaves longevity and recognition to make her the target and the symbol for everything to the left.

      Her and Hillary. Most of the negative ads here in Georgia either pictured her or Hillary.

  35. CAS
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Fox and the Republican right have been attacking Pelosi for many years and some of it seems to have affected Democrats. I can’t see any other reason for the negative attitude of some Democrats towards her leadership. Experiments have shown that if you repeat something often enough people start believing it.

  36. Posted November 16, 2018 at 4:25 am | Permalink

    Here we go. The Democrats finally win something and immediately start a civil war.

    Trump is going to win in 2020. The opposition is incompetent.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted November 17, 2018 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      I’m willing to lay good, green money against Trump’s being reelected in 2020. Let me know if you’re interested.

      • Posted November 18, 2018 at 6:15 am | Permalink

        I’ll take that bet but only on the condition that, if Trump chooses not to stand for the election, it is declared void.

        If his name is on the ballot for the primaries and he does not subsequently become president in 2021, you win.

        Also, since the spirit of this is my assertion that the democrats are too incompetent to get rid of him, if he is impeached and subsequently either resigns or is removed from office, you win.

        If he is president in 2021, I win.

        Any other situation, and the bet is void.

        I’ll bet you one of our 2020 issue £20 polymer notes with JMW Turner on it against the one of yours with the Whitehouse on the back. Or, if you are prepared to wait for the new £50 you can have a note with a scientist on it. In fact, you can choose which scientist here:

        https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/50-pound-note-nominations

        If you go for that option, I’ll need the note with the Capitol on it if I win.

        • rickflick
          Posted November 18, 2018 at 9:24 am | Permalink

          Wait a minute. I didn’t come here for no bettin’ room. Where is the slots? I want the slots!

        • GBJames
          Posted November 18, 2018 at 9:37 am | Permalink

          I’m not in on this whole betting thing, but I think it is extremely likely that tRump will be on the ballot in 2020. He’s way too narcissistic to not run and the Republican Party is his cult. Nobody will be able to beat him in primaries.

          That said, I think it is highly likely he will be soundly defeated in the election. His insane antics will continue to roil the country for the next two years. This will lead to further losses for Republicans since the Senate R seats that are up far outnumber the Senate D seats. (The opposite of the midterms.)

          The big question is what happens next. Because at that point tRump will lose protection from the legal system. What I fear will happen is that he and his cult will refuse to accept the results of the election and the shit will hit the fan.

          • Posted November 18, 2018 at 10:47 am | Permalink

            I think Trump will be soundly defeated in 2020 also, assuming he doesn’t die, quit, or get thrown out of office beforehand. That said, Trump is willing to do anything, be anyone, and say anything in order to win. This is his superpower and I fear it greatly.

            • GBJames
              Posted November 18, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

              Quitting would be equivalent to surrendering himself at the police station. That won’t happen. Dying in office is a possibility, but probably not likely. There are limits on what he can do to influence the outcome before the election given his personality. Stoking the cult with racism and xenophobia pretty much exhausts his tool kit. I don’t think he would be successful in provoking a war. But it could be the case that some 9/11-equivalent event would swing things his way.

              • Posted November 18, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

                I doubt our minds are as devious and corrupt as Trump’s.

                I think we might quit if it was obvious that Congress had turned against him and was ready to throw him out of office. We’re a long way from that, of course, but we haven’t seen Mueller’s report or his tax returns. Mueller supposedly has seen his tax returns but perhaps hasn’t followed up all that they imply. The press and his enemies will certainly take the ball and run with it.

              • GBJames
                Posted November 18, 2018 at 11:25 am | Permalink

                The tRump cult is such that getting enough Republican Senators to vote for conviction pretty much rules that out, despite whatever Mueller produces. The one thing that is clear is that Republicans have few red lines they aren’t willing to ignore.

                (I assume you meant “I think he might quit…)

              • Posted November 18, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

                Yes, the GOP seems to be fresh out of red lines. On the other hand, if they think alliance with Trump is bad for their re-election, red lines may start appearing. I certainly agree with you as things stand today but things do change.

              • GBJames
                Posted November 18, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

                Unless there are red lines for the cult/base, which seems not to be the case, the politicians are doomed to follow tRump to Jonestown.

              • Posted November 18, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

                I hope you are right and the cult/base follows. Perhaps we need re-education camps for those red state loonies who think Trump is going to help them. Some of their problems are real and should be addressed but they are not going to find a solution in Trump.

  37. Posted November 16, 2018 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    A corporatist, conservative (by European and Canadian) standards Democrat. So, what the Republicans were like at the time of Nixon or whatever.

    Also, there is an interesting trade off that is perhaps at play on the age thing. Yes, experience helps, but so do new ideas. A role for both?

    Finally, I guess I should learn more what the speaker does in the HoR to see what would make sense. In a Westminster system, the speaker is supposed to be “respected by all” and enforcer of procedure … I take it is likely a bit similar, but …

  38. Posted November 17, 2018 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    To me, Ocasio-Cortez is a joke. No qualifications except a hyper-inflated ego full of hot air. I place part of the blame on the irresponsible people who named an asteroid after her when she was a high school kid. Yes, I know that she has an economics degree from the Boston University. I guess professors there didn’t want to fail a student “of color”. She had the economic thinking of an 8-yr-old – that all problems of the world can be solved by giving free stuff to whoever wants it.

    To me, her protest against Pelosi reveals total lack of loyalty, civility and decency. I am now ready to believe the claims of her former coworker that, as a bartender, Ocasio-Cortez took more than her fair share of tips.

    I see something irrational in the Democrats turning against their representatives such as Nancy Pelosi for no good reason. By the way, wasn’t Ocasio-Cortez’ rival in the primaries disliked just because he was an old Democrat and a white man? Ceiling Cat help the Democratic Party!

    • Posted November 17, 2018 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      She still has the economic thinking of a 8-yr-old, of course – past tense was a typo.

    • rickflick
      Posted November 17, 2018 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      Well, she graduated cum laude from Boston University. Not too many 8 year olds do that.

      BTW, the International Astronomical Union named a small asteroid after her: 23238 Ocasio-Cortez. 😎

      • Posted November 18, 2018 at 12:50 am | Permalink

        I think an internal audit is needed at the university.
        As for the asteroid, I wrote in another comment that I find these astronomers irresponsible, and I partly blame them for the maldevelopment of Ocasio-Cortez character. It is difficult for a kid to grow into a person with integrity if she has an asteroid named after her.

        • rickflick
          Posted November 18, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink

          I take it, then,…your not a huuuge fan. 😎

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted November 17, 2018 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      “I guess professors there didn’t want to fail a student ‘of color’.”

      Do you have any factual basis to back up that guess? Seems a bold claim to make without one.

      • Posted November 18, 2018 at 1:10 am | Permalink

        Ken,
        How can I have? I have not been present at Ocasio-Cortez exams (I wish I were).
        But I see a person with apparent lack of both the knowledge expected from a university graduate and the intellectual vigor required even from a freshman, and I read that she has graduated a prestigeous university with distinction. So I am seeking explanations.
        I saw the same in Bush Jr., but then it was easy: the legacy admissions pushing unfit privileged youths into universities.
        With Ocasio-Cortez, this is unlikely to have been the case. What, then? I know that the bar for Latinos to enter US universities is lowered. I also know that there is an obsession with race and racism in universities, Who would dare to fail the Latina “woman of color” who was so bright that an asteroid was named after her? I guess every professor has hoped that another one will do the right thing.


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