Connect with us

Op-Ed

Democrats, This Is Why We Need Nancy Pelosi

Published

on

Democrats Continuing to Fight Pelosi Are Doing the Work of the Republican Party

To all those Democrats who are still opposing Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, it’s time to wake up. This is not the time to toss overboard the person who has the experience and skills to hold the new Democratic coalition together. 

Some newly elected progressive Democrats like Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez originally suggested Nancy Pelosi isn’t progressive enough for them. She now has changed her position and endorsed her, obviously realizing Republicans have been attacking Leader Pelosi for years as a “San Francisco liberal,” too progressive for the country. 

Democrats like Rep. Seth Moulton, leading the charge to get rid of Pelosi, have a lot to learn. At a recent town hall the women of his district tried to educate him and pushed back.

A new class of Democrats got elected, and now they need to learn how to pass legislation. Pelosi, a recognized environmentalist, supporter of the rights of minorities, women and the LGBTQ+ community, can teach them how to do that. She understands the federal budget and the process needed to move legislation through the House even in tough times, and is rightfully credited with corralling the votes needed to pass the Affordable Care Act. She is a master strategist and fundraiser. Many of the candidates who now oppose her won their races with money she helped raise.

Recently Pelosi spoke at the Institute for Politics at the Kennedy School at Harvard. Those who oppose her should listen to what she said.

She “ticked off a legislative to-do list including lowering health care costs, spearheading a national infrastructure plan and pushing for changes to campaign finance laws,” and she talked about introducing gun control legislation.

“The California Democrat said she wasn’t worried about Democrats campaigning for the House in part by opposing her as speaker, telling candidates: ‘Do whatever you have to do, just win, baby.'”

Pelosi needs 218 votes in the House to be elected Speaker. There will be 234 or 235 Democrats in the House on January 3, 2019, so Pelosi can afford to lose the votes of a few. Sixteen Democrats recently signed a letter to oppose her and one, Brian Higgins (D-NY) has already changed his mind and endorsed her. Marcia Fudge (D-OH), who considered opposing her has now endorsed her.  

Pelosi is proving the master strategist and will secure the needed votes. She has been endorsed by most progressive groups and the most respected Democrat in the country, President Barack Obama. He said of her, “I think Nancy Pelosi, when the history is written, will go down as one of the most effective legislative leaders that this country’s ever seen.”

He added, “Nancy is not always the best on a cable show or with a quick soundbite or what have you, but her skill, tenacity, toughness, vision, is remarkable. Her stamina, her ability to see around corners, her ability to stand her ground and do hard things and to suffer unpopularity to get the right thing done, I think, stands up against any person that I’ve observed or worked directly with in Washington during my lifetime. What’s most important are the ‘nuts and bolts’ of governance; the blocking and tackling involved in actually getting things across the finish line and my experience has been that Nancy Pelosi knows how to do that, and she was an extraordinary partner for me throughout my presidency.” 

Democrats continuing to fight Pelosi are doing the work of the Republican Party.

The infighting will hurt the ability of Democrats to move forward a coordinated agenda. They might also keep in mind when Pelosi wins and she will, she appoints committee chairs, controls committee assignments, and decides what bills come to the floor. 

Democrats need to bring a new generation into leadership positions and Pelosi should have done that before. She can do it now by expanding the leadership. If Democrats take back the Senate and the White House in 2020 we can have this debate again. Now is not the time. 

Now Democrats must unite, not an easy task, as they have the most diverse caucus ever elected. Some districts elected progressives, others elected moderates. They will all need something to take back to their districts when they are up for reelection in 2020. The only person who can help them go home with what they need is Nancy Pelosi. She is a proven winner, a proven master of strategy. She knows how the House of Representatives works and is the master at bending it to her will – in this case to the will of Democrats across the nation.

Peter Rosenstein is a community and Democratic activist based in Washington, DC, where he appears in the media as a commentator on issues including LGBT rights, politics and education. His columns may be found here

Image via Wikimedia

 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Continue Reading
Click to comment
 

Op-Ed

Op-Ed: Think Twice Before Attacking Pelosi

Published

on

The idea that President Trump should be impeached is appealing to many. After all, he is a scumbag with zero ethics who doesn’t know the meaning of the word integrity. He has lied to the American people and is hurting our country and making the world a more dangerous place. So, yes, let’s move to impeach seems to be a rational thing to say.

But impeachment is more than finding the votes in the House of Representatives to pass articles of impeachment. That has been done twice before in our history. The House has voted articles of impeachment for two previous presidents: Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. I believe the House could do it again for Trump. But let us not forget in those previous cases the Senate refused to convict and acquitted them both and they continued to serve as president.

In the wake of the House voting to approve two articles of impeachment for Clinton his approval rating in polls went up by 10 percent. So there is a political reason to consider if voting to impeach Trump would do the same for him. Would the public at large, not just Democrats, feel Trump’s crimes are much more serious or would impeachment generate feelings among a large bloc of voters that Congress is only acting for political reasons.

Continue reading the full op-ed at The Washington Blade.

Peter Rosenstein is a community and Democratic activist based in Washington, DC, where he appears in the media as a commentator on issues including LGBT rights, politics and education. His columns may be found here

NCRM from time to time publishes op-eds reflecting the wide diversity of our community’s views and beliefs. They do not necessarily reflect NCRM’s positions.

Continue Reading

Op-Ed

‘Rainbow Wave’ May Decide Florida Races

Published

on

1.3 Million Florida Voters Saying Candidates’ Positions on LGBTQ Rights Are Important Are a Game-Changing Voting Bloc

At a time of renewed political attacks on LGBT Americans, the pro-equality vote — the ‘Rainbow Wave’ — may prove decisive in Florida’s midterm election.

Candidates ignore this growing voting bloc at their peril.

Equality Florida has invested deeply in connecting with voters for whom LGBT rights are the motivating issue.

We have identified 1.3 million voters in Florida for whom a candidate’s positions on marriage equality, gay and transgender workplace protections, and LGBT youth are definitive. We represent a game-changing voting bloc in a state where fewer than 65,000 votes decided the last two races for Governor.

This cycle, we’ve run our largest ever campaign to turn out pro-equality voters with mail and phone programs targeting hundreds of thousands of voters in support of more than 110 endorsed candidates, including Andrew Gillum.

There are so many reasons for LGBT people and our allies to vote: The Trump administration’s relentless attacks on the transgender community, businesses refusing to serve LGBT individuals, and Gov. Rick Scott’s broken promise to protect LGBT state workers after the massacre at Pulse Nightclub are all top of mind.

And in the race for Florida Governor, a longtime pro-LGBT champion, Mayor Gillum, faces Ron DeSantis a former congressman with one of the worst records on LGBT rights in the U.S. Congress.

For the past 12 months, Equality Florida Action PAC, the only statewide political committee working to elect pro-equality candidates at the state and local level, has been testing and fine-tuning our strategies. Through local and special elections, we’ve proven that pro-equality voters can shift the electoral landscape and provide the margin of difference.

No clearer example of this can be found than this year’s primary election in Florida Senate District 38.

Embattled anti-equality incumbent Sen. Daphne Campbell faced off against political newcomer Jason Pizzo. Equality Florida Action PAC committed $25,000 and the full force of our political apparatus to elect Pizzo. We turned out volunteers to knock on doors, funded mail pieces contrasting the candidates’ positions on LGBT issues, and ran digital ads supporting our endorsed champion.

Campbell’s anti-LGBT record became a defining, headline-grabbing issue in the lead up to primary Election Day, including a memorable moment during a televised debate where while clutching a copy of our mailer she said: “The gays have their rights and I have mine.”

Pizzo won by 9 points.

Whether it’s the Senate District 38 primary, the 2018 St. Petersburg Mayor’s race, or the race for Governor of Florida, the battle for LGBT rights puts defining markers on the playing field.

Will we build a Florida of inclusion and prosperity or a Florida mired in the Trump era politics of division and exclusion? For a growing and bipartisan coalition of voters, a candidate’s positions on LGBT rights tells them all they need to know about which side of this divide a candidate stands on.

The days of using LGBT issues as a wedge are waning.

Failure to support basic LGBT protections is a liability. Some candidates, including DeSantis, try to have it both ways. They mute their public attacks, while voting to please the dwindling but fervent extremist base.

But the candidates who fully embrace equality are the ones thriving in this emerging electorate.

Gillum, who has been an unflinching advocate of equality for decades leads, unites and speaks to the values of equality and fairness, while DeSantis has no platform beyond slavish devotion to Trump. Even Donald Trump waved the rainbow flag and claimed support on LGBT issues during the campaign. Of course, it was one of many lies, but the political calculus that led him to lie proves the current place of LGBT equality in the electorate.

The rainbow wave of 2018 has been decades in the making. In the remaining days, we’ll work to unleash the power of the LGBT and pro-equality allies’ vote, to hold accountable elected leaders like DeSantis who place a target on us and our families, and to elect champions like Gillum who represent the future of Florida and the South.

Guest Author Nadine Smith is the executive director of Equality Florida/Equality Florida Institute.

This article has been reprinted with the author’s permission.

Image by Ted Eytan via Flickr and a CC license

Continue Reading

Op-Ed

Kavanaugh: Slime Ball or Slimed?

Published

on

The question in front of the Judiciary Committee was really whether Judge Kavanaugh is a slime ball or is he being slimed. Initially I was one who didn’t know. What I did know was his positions were an anathema to me with regard to many issues including Roe v. Wade and his generally right-wing stances.

During the debate over his nomination I learned he was part of the cabal out to get the Clintons back in the 90’s funded by Richard Mellon-Scaife. He was the leaker during the Starr investigation. He was a Republican operative in the George W. Bush White House. In his opening statement he showed everyone how caught up in all that he still is when he said, “This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record. Revenge on behalf of the Clintons and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups.”

Prior to Thursday’s hearing many thought his views were not enough to disqualify him for a seat on the Supreme Court. Some opposed him simply because the person who nominated him is considered a certifiable, congenital liar, without a shred of decency who is now our President as the result of many issues including people not voting or voting for a third party candidate in 2016.

So until the charges from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford came out it seemed he would be easily confirmed. Once she came forward the discussion turned to “can we believe her?”

Many said in cases like this there is rarely only one person to make such charges and soon we had more people come out and charge Kavanaugh with being a belligerent drunk and someone who acted inappropriately toward women. Kavanaugh denied everything and basically claimed he was a choir boy in high school focused only on grades, sports, his church and community service.

Many believed a final decision would turn not on whether he actually attempted to rape Dr. Ford though I believe her. But rather it would turn more on whether it appeared Kavanaugh had lied about his past or anything else. The final vote will rest on whether a few Republican Senators believe more witnesses should be heard. One of those witnesses is Mark Judge, who Dr. Ford said was in the room. Other potential witnesses include the women who have come forward, one with a sworn affidavit, saying in essence Kavanaugh is not who he claims to be and is lying about his past. Hopefully the FBI will not be contacting them all.

So like millions around the country I was glued to my TV set on Thursday morning waiting to see and hear Dr. Ford and then Kavanaugh. To see whether Senators on the Judiciary committee could stick to the issues in their questions and whether the Republicans, all white men and mostly old, would actually not trust themselves to ask any questions and delegate that to a woman they hired to do it for them.

By the first break in the hearing it was clear Dr. Christine Blasey Ford would go down as a hero to anyone, man or woman, who has ever been sexually assaulted. Whether it stops Kavanaugh from being confirmed to the Court or not the courage Dr. Ford displayed was amazing to watch and hear. Listening to her and remembering she was just fifteen years old when this happened was haunting.

Then it was Kavanaugh’s turn. He began his testimony and for the first few moments one had to sympathize with him. Then he went off the rails and talked about political hits and vendettas. He became a belligerent witness attacking Democrats on the committee. My view of him changed at that moment. I still believe he could possibly not remember the incident. He kept claiming others said he would never do something like this but he never answered the question about his drinking. He apparently lied about not watching Dr. Ford’s testimony according to a Senate staffer. He kept quoting the ABA saying they thought he was qualified. Yet one had to question how Republicans would react hearing the ABA has asked them to hold the nomination until the FBI does its background investigation on the charges.

Republicans have said they will move forward toward confirming a man who will sit on the highest Court in the land with a lifetime appointment. A man who at his hearing showed his true self. People say under stress people show who they are and Kavanaugh clearly showed who he is and it’s not pretty. He is an angry man and one with biases that have lasted decades. He has a right to be angry if he truly believes he has been maligned but we expect those who will sit on the highest Court in the land to be able to control themselves and deal with the issue at hand and not be influenced by decades old biases. The person at the hearing who made the point best that this is clearly a political appointment was Kavanaugh himself.

So what came out of the hearing aside from some outbursts like the one by Lindsey Graham is the courage of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

Dr. Blasey Ford is a woman who came forward and laid herself open in front of the world for no gain except to tell her truth. While the Judiciary Committee under Senator Grassley and Republicans under Sen. Mitch McConnell may not take her seriously there are millions of women and men around the nation who do and who will forever thank her for coming forward.

After the hearing it has become quite clear that Kavanaugh wasn’t being slimed but instead is a slime ball. It is sad for Americans of all persuasions if he is the best we have to elevate to the Supreme Court.

Peter Rosenstein is a community and Democratic activist based in Washington, DC, where he appears in the media as a commentator on issues including LGBT rights, politics and education. His columns may be found here

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2019 AlterNet Media.