NYT: Time to go, Nancy

posted at 10:12 am on November 8, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Nancy Pelosi’s demand to keep the top job in the House Democratic caucus despite leading it to the biggest electoral disaster in 72 years has run into some unexpected headwinds at the progressive editorial section of the New York Times.  Don’t get them wrong — they love Pelosi and put the blame for her inability to defend the agenda on the “ludicrous caricature” of Pelosi as a “fur-hatted commissar.”  But really, they’d just love Pelosi to move on now:

But is she really the best the Democrats can come up with as their leader as they slip into the minority?

Ms. Pelosi announced on Friday that she would seek the post of House minority leader. That job is not a good match for her abilities in maneuvering legislation and trading votes, since Democrats will no longer be passing bills in the House. What they need is what Ms. Pelosi has been unable to provide: a clear and convincing voice to help Americans understand that Democratic policies are not bankrupting the country, advancing socialism or destroying freedom.

If Ms. Pelosi had been a more persuasive communicator, she could have batted away the ludicrous caricature of her painted by Republicans across the country as some kind of fur-hatted commissar jamming her diktats down the public’s throat.

Pelosi’s backers made the case for her continued leadership to Congressional Quarterly the week prior to the election.  Care to guess how they framed the damage her departure would create?

Pelosi’s predecessor, former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), opted not to run for Minority Leader when Republicans lost the House in 2006; he resigned from Congress slightly more than a year later, on Nov. 26, 2007, after fading into obscurity.

But Pelosi’s backers think that while Republicans could get by without Hastert at the helm, Democrats would have a harder time functioning without Pelosi: They point to her hands-on leadership style and her near-unmatched fundraising ability.

They didn’t exactly call her a “fur-hatted commissar,” but “hands-on” in this context clearly means something other than “consensus builder.”  The implication from the article was that it was her diktats that drove the caucus, and that a sudden loss of that kind of control would be jarring and damaging to their ability to compete in the minority.  Without her top-down, “hands on” management style, her allies wondered if the caucus could function at all.

Besides, Pelosi did in fact shove two major pieces of legislation down the throats of Republicans and the electorate.  The first, Porkulus, turned into a political albatross with its utter failure to buffer unemployment, and Democrats wound up owning all of the political liability because of Pelosi’s decision to lock Republicans out of the process of writing the bill.  The second, ObamaCare, got passed despite angry protests for nine months over the equally top-down ObamaCare bill largely due to the machinations of Pelosi and Harry Reid, and again while ignoring Republican alternative proposals.

Nancy Pelosi couldn’t defend herself against a “ludicrous caricature” because of poor salesmanship; it was because it was no caricature at all.

The Times recommends someone with better sales ability as the mouthpiece of the House Democratic caucus, especially since the Times isn’t too pleased with Obama’s own track record on the stump, calling him a “surprisingly diffident salesman of his own work.”  But voters didn’t kick more than 60 Democrats out of the House because they missed their sales quotas.  They voted them out because Democrats promised moderation and fiscal prudence in 2006 and 2008 and then pushed a radical agenda and spent money wildly and to little effect.  Nancy Pelosi was the author of that deception, and if Democrats want to regain voter trust, it’s going to take something other than a new sales pitch with the same old leadership to do it.

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That job is not a good match for her abilities in maneuvering legislation and trading votes, since Democrats will no longer be passing bills in the House.

Abilities in maneuvering and trading votes? What abilities?! She and the Donks had an overwhelming majority in the House and a virtual super-majority in the Senate along with a Donk president. A block of cheese could’ve maneuvered as deftly.

Congratulations, Nancy! You passed very unpopular legislation (via wide majority control) that led to an historic purge of colleagues and almost single-handedly resurrected an essentially dead GOP. Why, the soon-to-be unemployed Democrats should probably thank you, right?

Frankly, the Democrats should’ve elected the block of cheese. Relatively, their fates would now smell like victory.

AnonymousDrivel on November 8, 2010 at 4:27 PM

Anyone else see Mara Liasson compare Princess Nanny to Winston Churchill, on Fox News Sunday? The rest of the panel was polite enough to not simply laugh it off.

Perhaps she’s worried about her NPR meal ticket.

slickwillie2001 on November 8, 2010 at 10:44 AM

I think Mara was trying to shore up her NPR street cred… Tee only alalogy that could have been worse was to compare Jeffrey Dahmer with Graham Kerr (The Galloping Gourmet)… After all, they both cooked things…

And BTW, Pelosi is more like a Tsarina than a Commisar…

Khun Joe on November 8, 2010 at 4:31 PM

At this point in time, the demo’s have nothing to lose by picking her.If the talk is straight about the Rep’s being able to redistrict a lot of Demo’s out of office, nothing anyone on their side does will make a diff. It’s all up to the Rep. It’s theirs too lose.

BruceB on November 8, 2010 at 4:33 PM

When I read about Obama and his now supposed failure to properly communicate all the wonderful things his legislation will do for us, I think of one of my favorite scenes from ‘The Outlaw Josey Wales”

Obama/Pelosi selling their snake oil:

It can do most anything!

The electorate:

How is it with stains?

pain train on November 8, 2010 at 4:38 PM

she could have batted away the ludicrous caricature of her painted by Republicans across the country as some kind of fur-hatted commissar jamming her diktats down the public’s throat.

Sorry Grey Lady but it wasn’t a caricature! People in this country saw it with their own eyes and saw her for what she was, a socialist with an agenda to take over the country.

flytier on November 8, 2010 at 5:21 PM

pain train on November 8, 2010 at 4:38 PM

Actually, I prefer;
Indian asking what’s in the Health Care Bill: “What’s in it?”
Pelosi/Reid : “I don’t know I’m merely the salesman.”
Indian: “You drink it.”
One of my favorite westerns.

chewmeister on November 8, 2010 at 7:17 PM

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