When I first heard Nancy Pelosi make this statement, my first thought was that it sounded like an unwillingness to take responsibility for the heavy losses Democrats suffered at the polls on November 2nd. My second thought was even more clear: she’s in denial. While Pelosi doesn’t deserve all the blame for the trouncing Democrats got at the hands of Republicans, she should certainly get her share. I live in Pennsylvania, and there’s no doubt that Democrats being linked to her name did not help their efforts at re-election. I’m also a moderate independent, and I do not feel that the former Speaker’s views represent the majority of the country. You cannot win ANY election without independent votes, and Nancy Pelosi is just too liberal for most people’s liking. What works for her in San Francisco, the most liberal city in the country, does not work here in Pennsylvania. And I doubt it will work in many vital swing districts come 2012.
This is not about the past, it’s about the future: I believe if Nancy Pelosi stays in leadership, she will endanger President Obama’s chance for a second term. And after witnessing eight long years of George Bush and Republican leadership, I’m in no hurry to go back there. I heard it all through this election season: “the Obama-Pelosi agenda”, with all the frightening implications. Sometimes they’d throw Harry Reid in for good measure, and it worked beautifully. While I appreciate the major legislation that was passed, it is clear a change is in order. The only reason Harry Reid won re-election was the weakness of his opponent, crazed right-winger Sharon Angle. The President has the ability to move to the center, and I don’t think Pelosi can. I also don’t think the President should bow to the far-right, but liberal Democrats shouldn’t be a drag on his re-election effort. The answers are in the center, and politicians who can’t get there should be voted out.
What bothers me most is that even in the face of major reversals, no one in the Democratic Party has even offered to step down. They’re willing to blame unemployment and an angry electorate, but where is the willingness to look inward and see the failures? And the humility to make the changes necessary to avoid further defeat? I know voters went against Democrats, not for Republicans. But that only goes so far, and the campaign for 2012 is already starting. It’s time for Nancy Pelosi to cede the leadership post to Steny Hoyer, and get the party in line. Some Republicans are totally willing to let things deteriorate for another two years so they can get back to power. I sometimes think Democrats don’t know who they’re dealing with. Republicans stick together and are totally disciplined. Democrats could learn from that.
I’m well aware how liberals don’t like to hear these critiques, but unless they want more Bush tax cuts, BP’s, outsourcing, war with Iran (can’t we finish the first two?), and the dismantling of health care, etc, think about it. If not, I can only hope Sarah Palin runs for President. That will surely get Obama another 4 years. Right?
source: Nancy Pelosi interview, NPR, Nov. 12, 2010