Hard to believe that last week, Ken Spain, spokesman for the campaign arm of the House Republicans, couldn’t think of anything other than a cliché when asked for a reaction to U. S. Representative Nancy Pelosi’s possible run for minority leader of the House. His unoriginal choice was, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result.” He added, “Of course, if House Democrats are willing to sacrifice more of their members in 2012 for the glory of Nancy Pelosi, we are happy to oblige them."
Sadly, Spain’s response simply reflects the House Republicans’ own commitment to insanity and the doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result: check out this collage of 15 potential members of the all-male revue to be headed by Ohio’s John Boehner. Given their length of service and frequently interchangeable appearances and positions, I’d say they’ve effectively killed the Republican narrative that voters wanted to get rid of incumbents and entrenched networks.
The Republicans hit Pelosi most often by tying her to the legislative successes they most despise: health care reform and Wall Street reform. Yet polls have shown consistently that voters support the new health care law. And although it’s been slow, no one has questioned that the economy is moving in the proper direction.
By staying on as minority leader, Pelosi becomes a symbol of political courage and tenacity, actively shaking things up and fighting the status quo that wanted her to move off-stage. It's a stand-your-ground choice that tea party followers like Rand Paul regularly champion. Personally, I'd recommend that Michele Bachmann take a hint from Pelosi's boldness if she too wants to continue her challenge to the old boys that otherwise will use the “wait your turn now -– we know what’s best for the party” rhetoric against her.
Full disclosure: Not so secretly, I want Pelosi and Bachmann to join forces and find common ground in making those old boys look as lame as they do in that collage. Because really, is there anything more frightening than those two powerhouse personalities teaming up to get something done? Seriously intimidating indeed.
Jill Miller Zimon is an award-winning political journalist and Pepper Pike City Council member. She blogs politics at Writes Like She Talks (www.writeslikeshetalks.com), provides commentary for CNN, C-SPAN, BBC, NPR, Newsweek.com, The Washington Post, Campaigns & Elections among other outlets, and chronicles life in elected office at In The Arena.
A Lesson in Political Loss
Democrats, I'm about to give you a lesson in how to turn temporary setbacks into permanent political losses. All you have to do is encourage Nancy Pelosi, whose primary accomplishment as majority leader was leading the majority straight into the minority, to run for minority leader.
Supposedly, Nancy's the only one with the balls to keep the Democratic Blue Dogs -- or what's left of them after they lost seats after being forced into compromise terrible big-spending bills -- in line. Clearly, the country, which overwhelmingly preferred to send its leadership careening into total paralysis rather than continue on its current path, is jonesing for more Nancy.
Sure, there's blame to share. In fact, the Democrats could point fingers and yell obscenities for days and never come up with a single person to take the fall, but here's the thing: Nancy Pelosi was single-handedly responsible for instituting an all-or-nothing approach to passing controversial yet what might have been originally acceptably progressive legislation. At every turn, and on every issue, she insisted that something no matter how gross and awful must be passed just to say they passed it. That's her plan and she says it herself: She's focused only on short-term success, not the long-term ground game that will really ensure a Democratic majority.
So what's the "long-term ground game?" Bipartisanship, pure and simple. If you share the bill, you can share the blame. The brilliance of bipartisanship is that you can spread the political risk. The Dems led the charge; the Dems got their asses handed to them last Tuesday. Had Pelosi dragged a few Republicans into the fray, the results might not have been such a Dem disaster.
The solution, OBVIOUSLY, is to nominate someone to drag the GOP into bipartisan measures, sharing the blame and probably the turnover. Do what America asks -- pass sensible, preferably job-creating legislation, keeping sniping to a minimum -- and you might save your asses in 2012. Nominate Pelosi and you might be pledging allegiance to President Palin, and that's just terrifying. For everyone.
Nancy is a liability to your shot at a recovery in 2012. So do us all a favor and drop the excuses because while I lust after a regime change to, say, President Mitch Daniels, in 2012, you're gonna f**k us all.
Emily Zanotti is a blogger, comedian, artist, activist, attorney, Catholic, pretentious urbanite, Social Media strategist, libertarian, observer, Rockabilly. Haiku.
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