As nauseatingly usual, the tired refrain is being heard yet again: “He/she is just going to be a puppet of Nancy Pelosi, will raise your taxes, will throw our borders wide open … yadda, yadda, yadda friggin’ yadda.” It is most prominently voiced by the Pretender-in-Chief. But you can count on it being a common attacking point from now until Election Day on November 6th.
Let’s be clear, the Republicans would be chanting that regardless of who the Democratic Speaker of the House is. Just let them ramble on. That is no reason whatsoever for the Democrats to elect someone else to be their Speaker.
But that said, the Democrats have to have a serious discussion amongst themselves as to who they want their House standard bearer to be, and in much the same respect, who they want their party to be.
The fallacy of choice that I see is that the Democratic Party has to be either one or the other – Progressive or Moderate. The battle must be for the hearts and minds of the Democratic Party. To that I say … bullshit.
There is also the false equivalency that has been made between the Progressive wing of the Democratic Party and the obnoxiously far right, so-called Freedom Caucus in the Republican Party.
You just have to love how the term Socialist is spat out at the Bernie wing of the Democratic Party. As I have stated before on Facebook, there is a significant portion of the population, Democrats included, that simplistically equate Democratic Socialism with Communism.
Communism and Democracy cannot, and never will, be able to coexist in the same, free society. But to my mind, there is nothing at all mutually exclusive between Democracy and Socialism. Elements of both of those can and do coexist within the Democratic Party – just as I feel that the Democratic Party must embrace both the Progressive and Moderate goals.
My concern with the current Democratic Party is that the tremendous enthusiasm that is being generated by the Progressive wing is being seen as a threat to the potential success of the Party, and therefore to our nation. That enthusiasm, including for candidates like Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, should be embraced as a much needed breath of youth, diversity and fresh air.
But that doesn’t mean that Progressives should become the only voice of the Democratic Party. What I’m saying is that not only SHOULD there be a place for both Progressives and Moderates within the Democratic Party … there MUST be.
Logically, it just stands to reason. There are areas of the country, most typically urban, and coastal, that are clearly much more Liberal and Progressive than other areas of the country. Democratic candidates must reflect the varied ideological leanings of their various constituencies throughout this vast country.
There must be a place in the same Democratic Party for Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (NY) and for Conor Lamb (PA), just as there is a place for Doug Jones (AL). I think all three of these Democrats probably represent three quite diverse views of the direction which they believe the Democratic Party should take.
But the bottom line is that the Democratic Party does not have to choose one way or other. It has to be able to represent people who do have varying views. Then let the debate ensue within the Democratic Party and, if consensus on the direction for a particular issue can be reached, then that should be the direction of the Party for that particular issue. If consensus cannot be reached, then keep on discussing and compromising until a consensus position can be reached.
Which all leads to the discussion of Nancy Pelosi, and whether or not she should continue to hold the leadership position in the Democratic House of Representatives.
I believe that she should not. A new Democratic Speaker is necessary.
I do not feel that the kind of leadership that the Democratic Party needs at this time to be able to embrace the ideological differences within the Party, is able to be provided by Nancy Pelosi. Whether the new speaker be a Progressive or a Moderate, or somewhere in between, that person has to be able to demonstrate that they are willing and able to lead and to represent all of the divergent views within the Democratic Party. And they have to be able to do that enthusiastically – not grudgingly.
I also feel that they very likely have to be younger, but still female, to more accurately represent the overall makeup of the new Democratic Party.
A reason for keeping Pelosi as often put forth, particularly by the Democratic National Committee, is her experience and in particular her apparently very successful history as a Democratic fund raiser. Stepping down as Speaker, but continuing to be an effective fund raiser for the new Democratic Party, would be an excellent first step in this process of merging Progressives and Moderates.
When Pelosi retained her position as Speaker, I was equally disappointed at the time that Tom Perez was named to head the Democratic National Committee. All of the things that I have said about the House Speaker are equally true of the head of the DNC. I feel that neither Pelosi nor Perez is sufficiently able to embrace, and to be inclusive of, the enthusiasm and some of the ideals of the Progressive wing of the Party.
But for this to work, Bernie and the Progressive wing also have to be willing to be able to work with the old guard Moderates like Pelosi and Perez. “My way or the highway” will not work in either direction.
The unthinkable possible outcome of a fight to the ideological death within the Democratic Party will be the validation by default of Trump.
Time is getting very short. If the Democrats do not at least take back control of the House of Representatives in November, I can only begin to imagine the Hell that Trump will unleash over the next two years.
Retaking the Senate is almost as important as retaking the House. Both Houses of Congress urgently need to be able to exert the Constitutionally demanded “Check and Balance” over the Executive Branch, which the Republican controlled Congress has so pathetically abandoned.