Last week, when the Republicans, to use Obama’s word, gave House Democrats a “shellacking,” I was obviously very happy. But there was one thing I was going to sort of miss: Nancy Pelosi would no longer be entertaining us. We’d have to just make due with Obama and the even less humorous Harry Reid.
Pelosi oversaw a US House which clearly overreached. The American people sent a message by decisively handing control to the opposition party. After such a massive turnover, I pictured Pelosi’s Democrat colleagues figuratively putting layer after layer of duct tape over her mouth. No more embarrassments, PLEASE!
I suspected we’d have Minority Leader Steny Hoyer in the next Congress. Hoyer is slightly more reasonable than Pelosi.
So, imagine my surprise when I heard that Pelosi was considering running for Minority Leader. Did she not get it? Did she not realize what she is responsible for? Is power so important to her that she will risk further damage to her party? But I hoped she would go through with it. I really did. And I got my wish. Pelosi is indeed planning to be Minority Leader, and it is likely the rest of the existing leadership will stay in place. No “change we can believe in” in the Democrat House leadership after being walloped in the election. Same old same old for them. What was it I heard about the definition of insanity?
So, Pelosi will continue to stay in the news, entertaining us. As Eric Cantor notes, it looks like the Democrats are telling the voters they aren’t listening. The Republican National Committee, anxious to maintain control of the House and even expand Republican numbers, went from a campaign of “Fire Pelosi” to posting a sign that reads “Hire Pelosi!”
When Dick Gephardt failed to win more seats in the 2002 midterm election during George W. Bush’s first term, he had the good sense to not run for Minority Leader in the next Congress. He turned the party over to what was then a new leader: Nancy Pelosi.
When Republicans took their own “shellacking” back in 2006, the useless do-nothing Speaker Dennis Hastert announced he would not run for any kind of leadership position among House Republicans. The buck stopped with him and he stepped aside. Good idea as he was basically a joke.
Nobody can say Pelosi was a do-nothing type. She was more along the lines of someone who did far too much. But regardless, under her leadership, the Democrats were pounded. There are plenty of other Democrats who might have new ideas. They could bring “hope and change” for the Democrats and fresh faces. It’s in their best interests to try someone new rather than clinging to someone who has been responsible for such damage to their numbers. I’ve heard of people clinging to “comfort zones” but this is ludicrous.
Republicans tied a number of House Democrats to Pelosi and managed to win at least 60 seats. Some Democrats actually had ads during the election that criticized Pelosi, trying to distance themselves from her. It doesn’t sound like a winning strategy to put her anywhere near a leadership position.
For Republicans, this is all for the best. They know what to expect from Pelosi and they already know how to successfully play against her. Someone new might have shaken things up and forced Republicans to come up with a new strategy.
Pelosi also serves as an excellent motivator to keep Republicans in line. Should the country club blue blood Republicans try to drift back into the mediocrity of the pre-2006 days, they will be laying the groundwork to return Pelosi to the Speaker’s position in 2013. The tea party must hold the new Republican majority’s feet to the fire.