November 20, 2018

Democrats Sign Letter Opposing Pelosi

The holidays are just around the corner. Now’s a GREAT time to forward us to friends and family, and not let politics ruin Thanksgiving dinner!

Washington Post

“Sixteen Democrats who’ve opposed Nancy Pelosi’s quest to become speaker released a letter Monday saying they will vote for ‘new leadership’ when the House picks its leaders in January, underscoring a significant threat to her effort to lead her party’s House majority in the next Congress."

AP News

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From the Left

The left supports Pelosi’s bid for speaker, touting her legislative accomplishments and progressive bona fides.

“As Democrats in the House begin the discussion of who should lead them, it is crucial they focus on the fundamental roles of Speaker of the House – to pass legislation and steer the ship through experienced oversight...

“As Speaker, Nancy Pelosi brings to the podium a wealth of experience and success… She knows how to pass bills. She knows how to steer a sometime cumbersome ship. She has worked to reach across the aisle when necessary... You change leadership when it suffers catastrophic losses, not when you win elections.”

The Hill

“Without Nancy Pelosi’s toughness, focus and legislative skill, there would probably be no Affordable Care Act. Her speakership during the Obama presidency left a legacy of achievement in other areas as well, including a far-reaching reform of Wall Street regulation and a massive economic stimulus that helped save a collapsing economy. [Furthermore] It would be hard to find a more effective fundraiser for Democrats, and she just led her party to its largest House gains since 1974...

"Oh, yes, and there is no obvious alternative to her leadership."

Washington Post

The anti-Pelosi movement is a mashup of opportunism on the part of a few wannabe leaders, such as Moulton and Ryan, combined with a dose of ageism, sexism and defensive tactical moves by a few Democrats who won in conservative districts."

Huffington Post

Many point out that “these talking points about ‘fresh blood’ and accusations that Pelosi is a ‘centrist’ seem to have convinced a number of progressive voters that ousting Pelosi and replacing her with someone new is about pulling the party to the left... [Except] not only has Pelosi consistently been in the top third of most liberal Democrats in the House... but the much-ballyhooed insurgency against her among House Democrats almost exclusively consists people who are to Pelosi's right...

“[Moreover] the person from that group who's being floated as a potential replacement for Pelosi, Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio, is openly hostile to LGBTQ rights... Ousting [Pelosi would] be a blow to ordinary women and LGBTQ people whose concerns will lose priority status if the anti-Pelosi wing prevails.”

Slate

Some, however, say, “Go ahead, Democrats. Fight over Nancy Pelosi. Just get it out of your systems now, please... Members old and new need to air their grievances, hash out their differences and set a course for how the team can better function over the next two sure-to-be-bonkers years... Better to have as many of these fights as possible before the new Congress convenes in January. At that point, the caucus will need to get focused and pull together for the real fights to come."

New York Times

“In theory, there’s no reason why a bad businessman can’t go on to become a good president. But a commander-in-chief whose signature legislative achievement expanded tax loopholes that he himself describes as grossly unfair is pretty much a bad president, by definition.”
Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

From the Right

The right is generally critical of Pelosi, highlighting her unpopularity and lengthy tenure.

From the Right

The right is generally critical of Pelosi, highlighting her unpopularity and lengthy tenure.

“Pelosi may seem the right choice for Democrats given the dues she’s paid since losing the Speakership in 2010 – even the sentimental journey of returning the Democrats to power. But it makes zero sense for a party trying to brand itself as an agent of change and a better approach to government. Think of House Republicans [winning] control in 2022 and trusting their fate in... John Boehner (talk about ‘tanned, ready and rested’).”

Forbes

Many note that “Mrs. Pelosi will have to work to secure the speakership. She’s less popular than President Trump; a Nov. 6 Economist/YouGov poll found 35% view her favorably and 55% unfavorably. An Oct. 28 Harvard-Harris poll had her even worse, at 28% to 54%. In an Oct. 28 Gallup poll, Democrats alone agreed by 56% to 39% that someone else should be elected speaker."

Wall Street Journal

The fact that Pelosi didn’t prevent a blue wave doesn’t mean she’s not toxic, it simply means she’s not as toxic as Trump and the GOP were this time. If she gets the credit for last week’s win, why doesn’t she get (some of) the blame for the previous four election cycles in which Democrats were relegated to the minority?...

“And who cares if she’s an effective legislator? She’s facing a Republican Senate and a Republican president. Nothing she passes is getting signed into law over the next two years. Democrats are better off booting her, installing a younger team, and letting them use these next two years as low-stakes on-the-job training in the hope/expectation that they’ll have total control of government after 2020.”

Hot Air

“The broader context here is North Korea's crop crisis. If Kim hasn't got sanctions relief by August's end, a painful winter is coming… Absent Kim's commitment to suspend all ballistic missile tests, the U.S. should not support the provision of food supplies to the North Korean people. A North Korean long-range nuclear strike capability poses an existential threat to American society… Trump must not allow North Korea's coming suffering to dictate his decisions. Supporting North Korea with food will both prolong North Koreans' suffering under Kim and directly undercut U.S. interests.”
Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

Some argue, “It stands to reason that if Kim is willing to starve his own people, deprive his economy of any growth, and pour billions of dollars into missile tech, he will, at some point, develop weapons America and its allies mastered decades ago. And short of an invasion or a diplomatic agreement, under the present circumstances, there is very little we can do to stop him… Taking a hardline approach—what many call the ‘big deal’—or only granting sanctions relief after full denuclearization and the end of Kim’s missile programs is completely impractical and something North Korea would never agree to… only a step-by-step process of disarming Pyongyang, where each side gets a benefit for making a concession, will work.”
Harry J. Kazianis, The American Conservative

Others posit that “the reason Kim is developing missiles that can strike Seattle or LA is that 28,000 U.S. troops are in South Korea… If we cannot persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons in return for a lifting of sanctions, perhaps we should pull U.S. forces off the peninsula and let China deal with the possible acquisition of their own nuclear weapons by Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan…

“After an exhausting two weeks [between North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and others], one is tempted to ask: How many quarrels, clashes and conflicts can even a superpower manage at one time? And is it not the time for the United States, preoccupied with so many crises, to begin asking, ‘Why is this our problem?’”
Pat Buchanan, Townhall

Counterpoint: “after the War of 1812, President Madison… enacted the Tariff of 1816 to price British textiles out of competition, so Americans would build the new factories and capture the booming U.S. market. It worked. Tariffs [also] financed Mr. Lincoln’s War. The Tariff of 1890 bears the name of Ohio Congressman and future President William McKinley, who said that a foreign manufacturer ‘has no right or claim to equality with our own… He pays no taxes. He performs no civil duties’… [A tariff’s] purpose is not just to raise revenue but to make a nation economically independent of others, and to bring its citizens to rely upon each other rather than foreign entities.”
Patrick J. Buchanan, The American Conservative

A libertarian's take

“The scoop reflects poorly on Trump, who willfully misled the public for a decade in hopes of fraudulently representing himself as a man with a Midas touch. But he could not have succeeded without the assistance of many Americans, some mercenary, others over-credulous, who helped to spread the deceit and deception, generating countless newspaper articles, magazine stories, and TV segments that misinformed the public about the publicity hound’s record in business. New evidence of his staggering losses in that decade therefore provides an apt occasion to reflect on the media’s complicity in Trump’s brazen deceit and deception… Let [this] be a lesson for today’s tabloids, gossip columnists, over-credulous or mercenary journalists, and reality-television producers.”
Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

On the bright side...

4,000-yr-old tablet is the world’s oldest customer service complaint.

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