Time to put Pelosi out to pas­ture

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - BY JOSEPH CURL

Nancy Pelosi, at 77, is as over the hill as one can get. Sure, she’s al­ways been a dull bulb. But this cen­tury, she’s los­ing it. Be­fore we pro­ceed, let’s just note that Amer­i­cans should ap­pre­ci­ate Pelosi’s long ser­vice to the United States. She’s been in of­fice since 1987 — 40 years! — and that’s a long ca­reer. You don’t have to agree with her to know she’s served her coun­try.

But her best days are long past. This world is far dif­fer­ent from when she en­tered the House, and she has lost all sem­blance of con­tact with the com­mon man. In 2010 she said, and we quote: “We have to pass the [Oba­macare] bill so that you can find out what’s in it.” That’s like say­ing we need to let the me­chanic do his work be­fore he tells us how much it’s all go­ing to cost.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a dumber state­ment in the 21st cen­tury.

Lately, Pelosi thinks Ge­orge W. Bush is still in of­fice. Se­ri­ously. Last month, dur­ing a TV in­ter­view, she said: “I see ev­ery­thing as an op­por­tu­nity … win­ning means win­ning for the Amer­i­can peo­ple. That ei­ther we win, or who­ever wins, un­der­stands the pri­or­i­ties of the Amer­i­can peo­ple, and they are not with Pres­i­dent Bush.” Huh? Now, Pelosi has had so much plas­tic surgery and is so full of Bo­tox it’s hard to read her fa­cial ex­pres­sions — is she an­gry or sleepy? And the fact that she con­fuses the Dec­la­ra­tion of In­de­pen­dence with the Con­sti­tu­tion should scare the be­jee­bers out of you (it might be OK if you’re, say, a salesman for Ina­trode Inc., but we’re talk­ing the Demo­cratic leader in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives here).

Now, af­ter the fourth spe­cial House elec­tion loss in a row since Pres­i­dent Trump took of­fice, a grow­ing pack of Democrats wants to get rid of Mi­nor­ity Leader Pelosi, who they think is hold­ing the party down.

“We can’t keep los­ing races and keep the same lead­er­ship in place. You have a base­ball team that keeps los­ing year af­ter year. At some point, the coach has got to go, right?” Rep. Kath­leen M. Rice, New York Demo­crat, told The Associated Press.

The group of an­gry Democrats met qui­etly last week af­ter the party went 0 for 4 in the elec­tions, talk­ing about op­tions for re­plac­ing Pelosi. But that’s about all they’ve got: talk. “Right now, what I’m push­ing for is a con­ver­sa­tion within the cau­cus,” Rice said.

For her part, Pelosi says she isn’t go­ing any­where. “My de­ci­sion about how long I stay is not up to them.”

But this is how these things al­ways start in Washington. Pelosi, three years from 80, clearly knows her days are num­bered. And party lead­ers are des­per­ately search­ing for a new mes­sage — few want it to be “old white peo­ple.”

Sen. Bernie San­ders, 75, is still one of the party’s lead­ers (and he’s not even a Demo­crat!), as is Hil­lary Clin­ton, 69. But there is a new move on to in­ject some young voices into the party and be­gin to groom a new crop of lead­ers.

What’s more, Pelosi is still a driv­ing force for the Repub­li­can Party — in a bad way for Democrats. In the most re­cent spe­cial elec­tion in Ge­or­gia last Tues­day, Repub­li­can Karen Han­del put out a slew of ads fea­tur­ing Pelosi, not her opponent, Jon Os­soff. She made the case that if the Demo­crat won in the 6th Dis­trict of Ge­or­gia, Pelosi would re­ally be run­ning the show. Han­del won hand­ily.

Rice said it’s a tried-and-true strat­egy with Pelosi at the helm. “The Repub­li­can play­book has been very suc­cess­ful. It’s not fair. It’s not ac­cu­rate in its attacks on our leader, but it’s ef­fec­tive. They keep win­ning and we keep los­ing,” she said.

Pelosi didn’t like all the talk last week about her demise, taunt­ing Rice by say­ing, “when it comes to per­sonal am­bi­tion and hav­ing fun on TV, have your fun. I love the arena. I thrive on com­pe­ti­tion.”

And Repub­li­cans hope she stays right there. Trump, as he does, stripped it all down in a tweet.

The GOP plans to run di­rectly at Pelosi in 2018, ty­ing House can­di­dates to the Demo­cratic leader. “This midterm is go­ing to be a ref­er­en­dum on Nancy Pelosi and her San Fran­cisco lib­eral val­ues. That’s what the elec­tions are go­ing to be about. … We saw a lit­tle glimpse of that on Tues­day,” Con­gres­sional Lead­er­ship Fund Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Corry Bliss told The Hill.

So, for Repub­li­cans, Pelosi stick­ing around to fight is good news.

For Amer­ica, not so much. Joseph Curl has cov­ered pol­i­tics for 25 years, in­clud­ing 12 years as White House cor­re­spon­dent at The Washington Times. He can be reached at josephcurl@gmail. com and on Twit­ter via @josephcurl.

Nancy Pelosi

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