Pelosi Progressives — The Winning Formula for Republicans
The San Francisco Democrat raises an awful lot of money for her party, but her unfavorable status helps the GOP.
Political parties once had the power to stand on their own platforms of ideas and policies. Voters would ideologically or practically align with Democrats or Republicans based on values and issues. As money and the power of incumbency have grown, along with the now-24/7 cable news cycle and the rise of social media platforms, individuals in leadership, particularly those of significant tenure and position, have become the face of their respective partisan groups.
It’s true that some conservatives and Republicans cringe at that fact. Now that President Donald Trump is moving his agenda, complete with his, er, extraordinary mannerisms, as the face of the Grand Old Party, angst is on display among the Republican ranks. Democrats are buoyed by this fracture and perpetuating the fairytale of Russia/Trump collusion to derail any agenda.
But there’s a chink in the Left’s political battle armor that’s proving to be an existential threat to their work to regain the House majority in the 2018 mid-term elections: The face of the Democrat Party and the political Left is House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
In the special congressional elections that have occurred following Trump Cabinet appointments, Democrats intentionally declared each one served as a referendum on Trump’s unpopularity. Yet all four special elections were lost by well-funded Democrats. So much for the all-out rejection that is supposedly brewing among the American electorate against Trump’s agenda.
Two of these congressional races must be noted. First, in Montana, the GOP candidate to replace Ryan Zinke was charged with misdemeanor assault of a reporter the evening before voters went to the polls. Despite his popular folksy Democrat rival looking to benefit from a nationwide flurry of horrible press for manhandling a member of the “fake media,” Greg Gianforte won — maybe because he manhandled the media. Not only did Trump not cost Republicans a seat, but the accepted belief that media is the problem worked in favor of a fed-up Gianforte, who was pressed with a hail of questions about the GOP health care proposal. Montanans chose that over the whole state being represented by Nancy Pelosi’s values.
In Georgia’s 6th congressional district, a peach of a race shaped up with historic fundraising. Democrat nominee Jon Ossoff, who hadn’t found it necessary to yet live in the district he sought to represent, couldn’t vote for himself, nor could most of his California donors and big money coming from Planned Parenthood. When records showed that of the almost $24 million raised by the Democrat, nine times more contributions came from California than within Georgia, Karen Handel, the GOP candidate was accurately able to state, “He’s raised millions outside of Georgia from Nancy Pelosi and outsiders who just don’t share our priorities. My opponent doesn’t live here [and] doesn’t share our values.” Ossoff and Pelosi lost to Handel.
In short, Pelosi’s unabashed hard-left stances based on sensationalized information are rejected, as were Barack Obama’s. But Nancy gets a little extra help in her public disapproval due to some of her antics. Let’s walk down memory lane.
Who can forget the oldie but goodie during the cram-down-our-throats passage of the insultingly named “Affordable” Care Act? Then-House Speaker Pelosi declared, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” Or what about her later declaration that “I believe the [Republican-controlled] House of Representatives, at this time, is an unsafe place for children and other living things”? In December 2016, the California congresswoman whose worth is estimated at $100 million avowed, “I don’t think people want a new direction. Our values unify us and our values are about supporting America’s working families.”
Another favorite videoed moment of Pelosi was in January 2017, just days after Trump’s inauguration. Democrats marched in protest of Trump’s so-called “Muslim ban,” which merely called for a temporary pause in travel from nations Barack Obama identified as being of risk. Oh, the theatrics as the anti-Trump crowd watched Rep. Andre Carson of Indiana trot out to the microphone to challenge Trump’s move. The hot mic picked up Pelosi feeding lines to him: “Tell them you’re a Muslim. Tell them you’re a Muslim.”
Pelosi provides reliable ammunition for Republicans — and no, the use of this metaphor is not a call to arms or violence. So why does she remain as the face of the Democrats?
It’s simple, really. The 77-year-old, first elected to Congress in 1993, is a fundraising powerhouse on the Left. Since rising to House leadership for Democrats in 2002, she is credited with raising almost $568 million for leftist candidates. Perhaps it’s no wonder the Democrat Caucus has moved so hard-left. Furthermore, as noted in the June 27 CNN analysis declaring “Nancy Pelosi Can’t Be Beaten,” you can’t beat anybody with nobody. The shallow pool of candidates who might oppose Pelosi’s leadership are not viewed as credible — there are no young guns in the wings who pose a threat.
Pelosi’s unpopularity is no recent development. Back in 2013, Gallup showed she earned the distinction of being the most unpopular congressional leader. Just over the last eight weeks in 11 House districts that are targeted by Democrats for 2018, Pelosi’s job favorability didn’t surpass 37.2%.
Democrats may want a new face of their party, but their blindness to the authentic issues facing working Americans has been exposed. Republicans have much work to do in the House (and Senate) to capitalize on what’s become a gaping hole in Democrat armor — the obstinacy of the hard-Left. Thank you, Madame Pelosi.