House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., calls on Republicans who hold the majority in Congress to return to Washington from recess to deal with urgent and unresolved issues like the Zika virus, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Pelosi On The Way Out?

Ah, the Blame Game!  It’s a time-honored Washington tradition, right up there with pork barrel spending and unpaid interns, practiced by politicians for as long as they’ve had butts to cover.  It always comes around after there’s been some screwup that demands a ritual sacrifice to the media gods, lest voters get the idea that their government is less than competent.  That’s why it’s usually the lowest person in the pecking order that gets put on the chopping block.

Occasionally, however, the screwups start to pile up so badly that no ordinary sacrifice will do–and so the Democrats now find themselves at the seaside, pitchforks hoisted into the air, awaiting the march of Nancy Pelosi down the gravel path to the Wicker Man, where she can be immolated for the sin of leading the party to ruin.  It seems that after all of the losses leading up to Hillary’s loss in 2016, it was Jon Ossoff’s bungling of the GA6 special election that finally broke the camel’s back.  Now the people are demanding recompense for the $40 million they flushed down that electoral commode, and the pound of flesh they’re craving tastes a lot like Pelosi.

Or, as Politico puts it:

Some Democrats want to replace Pelosi atop their caucus, as they have since last November’s poor showing at the polls; they say there is no way to get back in the majority with her as their leader. And others who backed her in last year’s leadership challenge have now flipped their stance.

“I think you’d have to be an idiot to think we could win the House with Pelosi at the top,” said Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Texas), who supported Pelosi in her last leadership race. “Nancy Pelosi is not the only reason that Ossoff lost. But she certainly is one of the reasons.”

Ouch.  Tough words, especially when they’re not coming from an anonymous source.  Plus you know it’s bad when they’re starting to sound like Michael Corleone from The Godfather:

“There comes a time when every leader has to say, ‘For the good of the order and for the betterment of the party, it’s time for me to step aside.’ And I wish that that would happen right now,” [Kathleen] Rice said in an interview. “This is not a personal thing. I want to get back in the majority.”

Hear that, Nancy?  It’s not personal.  It’s just business.  Bada-bing, bada-boom.

So could it be that the Democrats are finally getting wise that having a San Franscisco liberal as their poster girl might not be the best way to win the Joe Sixpack vote?  Perhaps.  The fact that some in her caucus are willing to go on the record with their doubts is pretty interesting–and pretty brave, considering the risks involved with attacking the leadership.

Whether or not it amounts to anything is another matter.  Pelosi may indeed be the Big Drag people say she is, but she’s also a battle-tested warhorse who has a singular talent for raising money–a skill that doesn’t go unnoticed in a political party.  Of course, some may question the wisdom of keeping her in a leadership position when the Democrats just seem to be blowing all the money she raises on losing elections.  Then again, having no money at all is a guaranteed loser–and we still need to keep all those high-priced consultants in business now, don’t we?

At any rate, it doesn’t look like Pelosi is going anywhere.  When asked about if she’s worried, she brushed off any concerns.

“I am a master legislator,” she said. “I am a strategic politically astute leader. My leadership is recognized by many around the country and that is why I am able to attract the support that I do, which is essential to our election sad to say.”

As to her detractors who don’t want the party tied to her West Coast image, she poor-poohed, “I think I’m worth the trouble.”

President Trump, meanwhile, couldn’t agree more.

Let the games begin!

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Marc Giller

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