For potentially vulnerable Democrats, the unfolding radicalization of the congressional Democratic Party is scaring the hell out of voters back home. They feel forced to prove that they’re independent and put their constituents’ interests ahead of their party’s on key issues like gun rights. That’s why they feel even more compelled to vote against their party on motions to recommit.
Pelosi could rein in Speaker Ocasio-Cortez, but so far she is unwilling, perhaps scared by her popularity on the Left. And so, Pelosi’s only other option is to protect her vulnerable members from even having to take difficult votes, like the ones Republicans can currently force with motions to recommit. After all, you can’t lose if you don’t let the other side play.
Speaker Pelosi, instead of wounding the House as an institution with this cynical power grab, please get control of your party. Stop coddling and empowering crazies in safe, Democratic districts at the expense of the marginal voters and members whom you know you need to remain a governing party. Make it clear to showboat freshmen that they too can face repercussions if they work to endanger their party colleagues.