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Pelosi sees the disaster ahead … but can she avoid it?

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Pelosi sees the disaster ahead … but can she avoid it?

Pelosi sees the disaster ahead … but can she avoid it?
April 20
09:30 2019

Shortly after the 2018 election – while House Democrats were still in state of celebratory euphoria – it was already obvious that Speaker Nancy Pelosi was going to have a difficult task keeping her caucus united.  Could the divisive rhetoric of the factions that arose during the campaigns be ameliorated – meaning the progressive left of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the radical left personified by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The challenged was like the one faced by former Speaker Paul Ryan, who represented the so-called moderate Republican against the more dogmatic Freedom Caucus led by Congressman Mark Meadows.  The result of that split prevented action on major issues – such as healthcare and immigration – led to the retirement of Ryan and ultimately the shellacking of the GOP in the 2018 election.

There is also a parallel at the presidential level.  President Trump was not the choice of the party leadership from the get-go.  Apart from his being brash and pugnacious, he did not come from the Republican ranks.  That led to a schism in the Republican Party that exists to this day.  His nomination almost cost the GOP control of the White House, but a seemingly unelectable candidate was facing an even more unelectable candidate in Hillary Clinton – even if the Democrats and the left-wing media still does not accept that reality.

With a large field of candidates to divide up the vote – and with Senator Bernie Sanders having a hardcore base of more than 20 percent of the Democrat electorate – he could very well win the Democrat nomination.  However, the Pelosi/Chuck Schumer wing of the party considers him an interloper of the wrong political breed.  Sanders is an avowed socialist who only embraced the Democrat Party as the pragmatic means to run for President.

Even worse, Pelosi considers Sanders a sure loser for the Democrats if he should gain the nomination.  But Sanders is no longer an outlier in the Democratic Party.  He has two advantages even Trump did not have.  He now has a contingent of rabid left-wingers – socialists – within Pelosi’s Democrat House membership.

Sanders also has a fawning press.  Truth be known, much of the east coast media is not only left of center – which is obvious in their mendacious reporting – but they are on the far left.  They promote Sanders because he is one of them politically and philosophically.

Pelosi pays lip service to Democrat unity and she tries to smooth over the confrontational rhetoric that shows between the factions, but it is increasing evident that she does not have enough leg-length to straddle the growing divide.  More recently, Pelosi has had to pick a side – and the only rational one is the more moderate left.  She is shrewd enough to know that a capitulation to the personalities and policies of the radicals is a recipe for disaster in the 2020 General Election.

Pelosi has rejected the socialist label being applied to the Democratic Party.  She has demeaned the size and the influence of the radical left – although she cannot stop the biased news media she once loved from giving the hardliners a lot of political oxygen.

Part of the battle for the heart and soul of the Democratic Party is not being played out in public – although there have been hints.  As a pragmatic politician, Pelosi believes in the practical policy of supporting incumbents as the best means of maintaining control of the House.  In the spirit of the Tea Party Movement of the past, the radical Democrats believe in ideological purity over party loyalty or pragmaticism.  Ocasio-Cortez has already threatened to primary Democrats who are not in line with political extremism.

This division among Democrats has created an unimaginable situation in the House itself.  Pelosi policies and strategies are being posed arguably by the youngest, most junior and least knowledgeable member of Congress – Ocasio-Cortez.  She has become the focal point of the radical left.

Even some very senior members of the House have acceded to Ocasio-Cortez’ leadership.  The Green New Deal – which would hardly earn a passing grade as a freshman political science term paper – is being embraced by a significant portion of Pelosi’s members – and other Democrats outside the House.  They stand behind Ocasio-Cortez at the podium, nodding and smiling she talks her Green New Deal with platitudes, accusations and incredible naivete – to put it politely.

Pelosi has tried to diminish the winds of impeachment.  Without the loss of their centerpiece argument – that Trump is an agent … asset … a fellow traveler of Russia – Pelosi knows that the move toward impeachment could – maybe even would – create a backlash that will make her Minority Leader in the next Congress.  Still, the top members of her caucus who chair the critical committees seem hell-bent on opening impeachment hearings.  Folks like Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler are desperately seeking to find an excuse for the impeachment they so desire.

Pelosi also must deal with the growing anti-Israel sentiment among the more radical members of her caucus.  It is much more than a policy difference.  It is rooted in a visceral hatred for all things Jewish.  In anti-Semitic tropes, Democrats have attacked Jews for their influence on American policy, their bifurcated loyalty, their wealth and their role as capitalists.  So far, most of the pro-Israel Democrats – such as Jewish Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer — have been cowed into silence seemingly under the rules of political correctness.

Pelosi well understands that if Ocasio-Cortez is the face of the Democratic Party, if Sanders is the standard bearer in 2020 and if the next year or so is spent on fruitless investigations and talk of impeachment, the Democrat successes in the 2018 election could be wiped out in 2020.  The American voters may decide to give the Republican Party – including President Trump — another chance to get it right.

So, there ‘tis.

About Author

Larry Horist

Larry Horist

Larry Horist is a conservative activist with an extensive background in economics, public policy and politics. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman, as well as the White House. He has testified as an expert witness before legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress, and lectured at major colleges and universities. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He can be reached at lph@thomasandjoyce.com.

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4 Comments

  1. Tom
    Tom April 20, 18:39

    The Dems are done. 2020 can’t come soon enough so we can finally get rid of Omar and AOC and Pelosi and maybe Nadler, Schitt and Waters. Maybe then we can out our beloved country back on track and get something done.

    Reply to this comment
  2. toddy
    toddy April 20, 22:15

    Consistently finding grammatical errors in these articles, I would like to suggest that you raise the pay scale for the proof reader and get someone who does a better job.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Joe the Plumber
    Joe the Plumber April 21, 03:42

    Horist speaks the truth but to still support the evil Trump he is evil as well.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Chuck
    Chuck April 22, 12:46

    Larry,
    This was one of your very best columns!
    Thanks for your insight,

    Reply to this comment

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