Nancy Pelosi's war on the democratic base

Nancy Pelosi Has Chosen Her War, and it’s With Her Own Party’s Future

They call themselves the “Squad.” From climate change to student debt to migrants in detention, progressive House Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley have been energetic and outspoken since getting elected last November — and, as a result, have become inured to constant attacks from congressional Republicans and, of course, Fox News.

But how about from their own boss?

In an interview with the New York Times’ Maureen Dowd, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismissed the Squad as “four people” who have their “public whatever and their Twitter world” but don’t “have any following.”

Ouch. This isn’t the first time Pelosi has trolled the left-wing quartet. In April, when she was asked by Leslie Stahl on 60 Minutes to comment on the newly emboldened progressive wing of her party, Pelosi responded: “That’s like five people.”

In the wake of November’s midterms, Pelosi mocked calls from AOC and her allies for a Green New Deal: “The green dream or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it right?”

To be clear: none of these freshmen Democrats have personally attacked Pelosi and all four of them backed her bid for the speakership. As CNN’s Nathan McDermott tweeted, “It is pretty notable that the most vocally anti-Pelosi Democrats (ala the moderates in swing districts who opposed her leadership) don’t get as much criticism from her as the left-wing of the party.”

How about Donald Trump? Pelosi is willing to criticize Trump — “I’ve never encountered, thought about, seen within the realm of my experiences as a child or an adult, anybody like this” — but only criticize. Nothing more. Not impeachment, that’s for sure. The top Democrat in the House told Dowd that the president has engaged in criminal behavior but — wait for it — “you can’t impeach everybody.” (or you won't impeach anybody, Nancy)

The New York Times interview is yet another reminder for liberals and leftists that if they want to oppose Trump, they have to oppose Pelosi too.

Think I’m exaggerating? Consider three recent — and shameful — episodes.

First, the rape allegations against the president. On June 21, New York magazine published a cover story from the famed advice columnist and writer E. Jean Carroll, in which she documented in excruciating detail how Trump, back in the mid-1990s, forced “his penis halfway” inside of her in the midst of a “colossal struggle” in a Bergdorf’s dressing room.

Pelosi’s response to a reporter who asked her for comment a whole six days later? “I don’t know the person making the accusation… I haven’t paid that much attention to it.”

Now, she tells Dowd: “I respect the case she has but I don’t see any role for Congress.”

The sitting Republican president has been credibly accused of having committed a sexual assault and yet Congress, says the Democratic speaker of the House, has no “role” in holding him to account for it. Oh, and the speaker herself hasn’t been paying “attention to it.”

This, my dear liberals, is your (feminist) champion.

Second, the crisis at the border. One of the reasons Pelosi cited for not being familiar with the E. Jean Carroll story was that she was “busy worrying about children not being in their mother’s arms.” Yet on that same day, as the New York Times reported, Pelosi “capitulated to Republicans and Democratic moderates and dropped her insistence on stronger protections for migrant children in overcrowded border shelters” by signing onto a bill from the Republican-led Senate, giving the Trump administration $4.6 billion to tackle the situation on the southern border.

Last time I checked, though, this administration’s horrific decision to separate migrant children from their parents had nothing to do with a lack of funds. “The cruelty is the point,” as the Atlantic’s Adam Serwer so memorably put it. Plus, 18 so-called “centrist” Democrats pushed Pelosi into dropping her objections to the Senate bill and yet in her New York Times interview, the speaker decided to level her attack on… you guessed it… the Squad. They made themselves irrelevant and shouldn’t have voted against “our bill,” she told Dowd, adding: “They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got.”

Yet they were far from alone in opposing Pelosi’s decision. “The final vote, 305 to 102,” reported the Times on June 27, “included far more Republicans in favor, 176, than Democrats, 129.”

Meanwhile, over at the border, children continue to be starved, women continue to drink out of toilet bowls, and men continue to be held in standing-room-only conditions. The Trump administration is now contemplating mass video proceedings held over video.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Third, Trump’s tax returns. Last Tuesday, almost exactly six months after Democrats won control of the House, they finally took the president of the United States to court to try and force disclosure of his financial records. Trump administration officials and Trump’s army of personal lawyers have offered a range of excuses for refusing to release these records — and for defying congressional subpoenas in the process. But as Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern has noted, one in particular stands out from the rest.

On June 10, in an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Trump’s lawyers contested the claim that the House’s impeachment power could justify subpoenaing the president’s financial records while gleefully pointing out to the judge that impeachment is not even on the table. They wrote in their brief:

Is it not a source of shame for rank-and-file Democrats, whether on the left or in the “center,” that Trump lawyers are citing Pelosi’s refusal to impeach him as their defense in court? As their justification for ignoring congressional subpoenas?

The person who has the only right to subpoena Trump's tax records refused to do so because he was working on a bipartisan bill that will end up screwing us if it gets passed. After he finished doing this he still didn't ask for them because reasons... and he finally did two weeks ago, but by the time the courts decide whether to release them or not we will be close to the election. No democrat were ready to start their investigations into the Trump administration when democrats won back the house because they said they were waiting for Mueller to release his report. How long ago was that? Why didn't they start calling people in front of them after Mueller said that he didn't find any Collusion between Trump's campaign and Russians? After all that is what Nancy said she was going to do and see where that led.... snore.

Pelosi is really pissing off her base. Just like she did in 2006 Nancy and the democrats ran on holding Trump accountable, but just like she did in 2006 she is taking impeachment off the table. "He's just not worth it."

I had a Twitter twit with someone last night who told me that the democratic base let the democrats down because they didn't vote for them during Obama's tenure or during the election that Hillary lost. Even though she got 3 million more votes than Trump. Those darn deplorables in the 3 Midwest states that voted for Stein instead of Herheinous! Why should people vote for any party if they don't do anything that helps them? Remember when people said that the republicans were going to be in the minority for years after Bush's tenure because they drove their car into the ditch? Guess who called a tow truck and paid to tow their car out of that ditch? Obama and his bipartisan dealings with the republicans. Guess who thinks that he can work with republicans if he becomes president? ByeDone. But he isn't alone. Oh no. DiFi, Schumer and Nancy all said that they were looking forward to working with Trump after he became president.

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snoopydawg's picture

Pelosi made a sucker's bet. But then she knows exactly what will happen.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

@snoopydawg I’ve been skeptical of her so far. I think she’s made at the very least some unforced errors. It’ll be interesting to see how she deals with this or if this is just more kayfabe.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@snoopydawg

Pelosi made a sucker's bet. But then she knows exactly what will happen.

Are you saying that Pelosi sucks?

Wink

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Maybe that’ll change her mind.

Is the base getting pissed off though? I’d like to think so, but really are we seeing anything new here? And she keeps getting voted back in.

The one way I could see a difference is the Dems have really pushed impeachment more than they did with W. Back then, it seemed it was really only those of us paying attention who called for impeachment. There seems to be much more and wider support for impeaching Trump. Still, I wonder how many are paying attention and noticing the won’t do it rather than assuming they can’t do it, which I think people assume with the Dems too often.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter

Is the base getting pissed off though? I’d like to think so, but really are we seeing anything new here? And she keeps getting voted back in.

That's because her Congressional District has become so gentrified that there's no significant "Democratic base" (read: ordinary working people) remaining in it. Californica's 12th district, containing most of San Francisco, is currently the second most expensive place in the country to live, beaten out by New York City alone. Per Wikipedia, the median annual income is $111,717. By comparison, my own 5th Congressional District of Colorado's median annual income is $64,179 or a little over half that.

The "workerstans" serving San Francisco are outside the 12th District, and have no effect on whether she gets to serve in Congress. Hence, Nancy Pelosi has no need to pay attention to us 99%ers at all. And the Speaker's podium isn't really an elected post, despite being called that; it's awarded largely on seniority.

Diablo

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

WoodsDweller's picture

@thanatokephaloides plus fund raising ability. It's perfectly acceptable for a Speaker candidate to influence votes by throwing a little donor money their way.

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"I cannot ignore reality, but I can embrace beauty." -- magiamma

@thanatokephaloides
But Pelosi moved to SF just before the election whatever year that was because the Democratic party was rewarding her for fundraising with her own seat and CA 12 was an "open" but safe seat. (the incumbent had died in office and the most popular local contender was a gay socialist and an honest man. we can't have that now could we?)

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A PROUD Hillary hater since 1993

@thanatokephaloides Pelosi is of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%. She's surrounded by 1%'ers, and if not 1%'ers, then the wannabees. Want to sink her? Highlight her wealth and where she got it, what she has in common with the 99% (if anything) and her donor list, along with the crappy legislation she pushed, and the good legislation she sunk.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter @Dr. John Carpenter

quite a few diaries on ToP recently going after Pelosi for not doing anything and I just read that the NY mayor has offered Neal Trump's state tax records, but he says that he doesn't want them because he thinks it will interfere with him getting Trump's federal ones. Not sure I see the logic in that, but I am not alone.

I think Pelosi had a much better case for impeaching Trump BUSH because of the torture and war crimes, but if he had been that might have set a precedent to go after future presidents who also commit war crimes. Hell, I can't think of any past ones that didn't.

Ooops, I meant Bush not Trump. I seem to be making a few errors lately in grammar, spelling and who the hell I'm talking about. Stressed? Who me?.... heck yes I am stressed to the max.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

C99% is ahead of the curve. Just Heard some quote about the democratic party being the greatest threat to democracy, through its inaction. Sounds about right.

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skod's picture

for many reasons. Only by draining *all* the cash and support from those bastards will we be able to make them understand that that cliff they were driving near is *behind them*.

Can't wait to see how they do the screwing-Berne schtick this time, but it is a lock that they will. Not one more dime, not one more effort, not one more anything until it can be directed to whoever is actually willing to answer to the people and replaces them.

It's not the fall that kills ya, it is the sudden stop at the bottom. Right, Louise?

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Shahryar's picture

@skod

so I can have the option of voting in the Oregon primary. I can't think of another reason to be associated with them.

If it should come down to Warren vs Biden by that time (May) I'll skip it.

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skod's picture

@Shahryar that we scrapped the caucus system and went to open primaries here in CO (by ballot initiative in 2016). So, I'm lucky: I lose nothing by going NPP.

2020 will be the first presidential election where the party hoohaws will be forced to tolerate the unwashed, and can't just ratfuck the caucuses at the precinct or county level.

So I'm expecting the 2020 mechaniking to be done in the county offices, and probably just in a few key counties (one of which is mine). As a result, I'm trying to find a way to be named as a non-partisan observer when they actually run the ballots through the machines, to try and record for posterity the numbers that were produced (just in case the runners to party headquarters might be inclined to write a little fiction). If the fix is in *in* the machine, via a S/W hack, there's little that can be done- but I'd imagine the county offices are going to be watched very, very closely this time.

And it that observation is not possible, I intend to very vocally demand a reason why (in a polite and nonpartisan way, of course).

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@skod

....expecting the 2020 mechaniking to be done in the county offices, and probably just in a few key counties (one of which is mine).

Of course, that kind of rigging is "traditionally" caught by the exit polls in other democratic nations. However, in the US there is only one company in New Jersey that does the only exit polling that all the media monopolies are "traditionally" in bed with. So, all the estimated numbers that you see on TV on election night — the numbers the media monopolies use to call the winners — they all come from the same little New Jersey syndicate. They've been caught adjusting their exit polls to match the numbers that the counties announce. I imagine the counties have developed ways to bamboozle any observers.

I have a theory that things were actually set up for Hillary to win. But someone was two steps ahead of them on election night. I know some statisticians who say that the popular vote counts for 2016 are impossible.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
TaZsa's picture

@skod Lucky to live in Minnesota, where there is no party registration! I've never been a member of either party. I get to vote for whomever I want without telling anyone first who it's going to be. Freedom of a sort...

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As CNN’s Nathan McDermott tweeted, “It is pretty notable that the most vocally anti-Pelosi Democrats (ala the moderates in swing districts who opposed her leadership) don’t get as much criticism from her as the left-wing of the party.”

The biggest obstacle of progressives isn't Republicans.

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Big Al's picture

dangerous to liberty and freedom than the moderate democrats. They certainly don't represent me and I in no way want them to represent me. But, it's interesting that they're considered the "base", since 80% of democrats still support and/or approve of Obama's dismal and criminal performance while Prez.

Can't find it now but read an article over the weekend explaining how AOC is 180 degrees different with Pelosi in person and in actions versus her supposedly radical persona on social media, which shows she's just an actor doing her role.

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@Big Al
And Pelosi was just acting when she ripped into AOC and her allies. I'm sure they're having a beer and laughing about it someplace.

Admittedly Pelosi counts Benjamins rather than votes, but it's just possible that she noticed more Democrats sided with AOC than with the speaker on the senate bill.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Big Al

This cat fight might just be for our amusement which keeps other important issues from being focused on. Russia Gate is fizzing out and congress isn't holding any hearings so this could be a distraction. AOC wasn't the only person who didn't vote for the immigration bill, but she did vote for it to continue to a full vote. Same thing with Epstein being arrested now after being free for over a decade. Oops..there's my cynical side again.

The base does include the Obama supporters and they are the ones who want Trump impeached and are very mad that Pelosi isn't doing anything to get to it.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

one hand washes the other? on edit: pelosi provided cover for AOC's vote. but look at how many likes, claps or whatever she'd received for that response even on july 7: 115K! and i doubt trump had said that, much less known who evita was.

more adverts for AOC, not that either of them knows who evita peron was, but her thing is 'victimization' as at the co-del trp to the border; it's always about Her, not the concentration camps but the guards leering at her.

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

especially on twitter: 'oh, nancy has always been such a great activist!' and tra la la. which is what led to this rolling stone cover

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Big Al's picture

@wendy davis there's a six pack of beer on the floor.

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

hope it's Coors Lite.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@wendy davis

can't see it; hope it's Coors Lite.

Big Al did say "beer", not water. Biggrin

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

wendy davis's picture

@thanatokephaloides

but hey: it's brewed with rocky mountain Spring water...and the lite'd be low-cal.... ; ) sadly, beer snobs are apt to say it takes like...dilute urine, the cheeky devils.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@wendy davis

rotf! but hey: it's brewed with rocky mountain Spring water...

Not Coors Light (unless you live in Colorado). Coors Light is brewed in several locales across the Nation. Only original Coors -- Coors Banquet Beer -- can be relied upon to be the product of the original brewery in Golden, brewed with "Rocky Mountain spring water" (actually, water drawn from Clear Creek).

In Colorado, adverts for Coors Banquet Beer have actually featured these facts, which I found rather strange as one usually doesn't advertise against one of one's own products to favor another.

and the lite be low-cal.... Wink sadly, beer snobs are apt to say it takes like...dilute urine, the cheeky devils.

I tend to have that opinion of most yellow lagers anyway. Biggrin

As a loyal follower of the ilk of Tooth's Sheaf Stout, Guinness, and that ilk, I like my beer to be just the liquid side of the bread from whence it came. I do like New Belgium's Fat Tire Ale and Samuel Adams' Boston Lager, though.

Smile

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

wendy davis's picture

@thanatokephaloides

but your corrections are fine with me, and yes, i've lived in colorado for more decades than i care to admit. : ) back in the days when we could afford it now and again, i preferred stout as well: mother's milk, i used to call it.

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ggersh's picture

Neither has a grasp of reality


The famed Battle of Baggage Claim (1776): Many Lives were lost. And Bags too. Some people are saying it was the worst massacre they had ever seen.

https://www.commondreams.org/further/2019/07/05/we-move-under-cover-term...

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trump amerika's last president

Caitlin Johnstone

Anyone who's sure they know what humanity is and where we're headed is suffering from a psilocybin deficiency.

It seems that since AOC and others have entered Congress, they have been getting shit not only from Pelosi but other democrats as well. I even had to wonder at this point if there will party cabals working against them in the next election.

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