When Republicans do it, it would be boring if it weren't so dangerous. When Democrats do it, it is nothing short of maddening. So thank the gods of cable news Joy Reid put together a great group to discuss the stupidity and short-sightedness of Democrats joining in on the attacks on their own Party Leader, Nancy Pelosi. Republicans do it all the time - because she is so successful. That does not explain why some Democrats go along with it, and even follow suit.
REID: Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi has long been a boogeyman of the right, but even with a blue wave poised to break in November, some Democratic candidates are reviving what has become a time-honored tradition within part of the party -- giving in to Republican bullying by throwing Pelosi under the bus. The Washington Post found this week so far ten Democratic candidates said they would oppose Pelosi's return to the speakership and another ten have conspicuously declined to express support for her...But throwing Nancy Pelosi in has been a Republican staple since 2010. She's the boogeyman, the bad guy. That I get. But why do you think Democrats then respond to that by saying, oh, god, no, no, we don't know her?
MOODIE-MILLS: I don't understand why that is and which Democrats would do that, because Nancy Pelosi is the first woman speaker, the one that we should applaud for the Affordable Care Act and getting that through Congress. So I'm confused. I'm also confused when people start to bring up her age because we didn't have a conversation about Donald Trump's age or John McCain's age or any of the men that are still in leadership or run for president. But when it comes to women, for some reason it's like, oh, no, we need new, fresh blood. I'm, like, whoa, whoa, if we were to average the median age of Congress right now, it's like 103. So why is it okay, then, that we come for Nancy Pelosi about this? I think, first of all, she's raised $16 million in like the first quarter. Right? She is the Democrats' money woman. She has the Cardi B money bag. They should be applauding her, not running from her.
Right. So aside from the brilliant money-making machine she has been running for her party, there's the not-so-small matter of how important the actual role of Speaker of the House is, should the Emocrats-day take the Ouse-day. (I'm afraid to jinx anything.) It's absolutely critical the Speaker be experienced and knowledgable, with a very specific skill set. She's already proven got the goods.
REID: It's interesting, Michelle, typically when you think about a House Speaker, usually it's a combination of seniority, somebody who's raised a lot of money to Danielle's point, somebody who knows where the bodies are buried and can cajole members to take unpopular votes they don't want to take. That's all what Nancy Pelosi's done. She pushed her caucus to vote the Senate Health bill when the House bill was a lot better, a lot more liberal, she really forced people to do it. And she's considered the most productive speaker since like Sam Rayburn, right, I think when you add up the amount of legislation? So one wonders what would be the pragmatic reason why you would want to have -- you know, you get younger leadership, but in the Speaker's Chair, you want somebody less experienced, who's raised less money and done less hard work, somehow that's better for the party? I'm not sure I understand that argument.
BERNARD: Because their argument is absolutely insane. To add on to what you were saying, Joy, also remember that the Democratic party gets almost half of its votes from people who are non-white. There is a gender gap in the country. The Democratic party gets the majority of its votes from women. What are they thinking, particularly in the era of #MeToo, Harvey Weinstein, all the other atrocities that we have seen, and you look at Nancy Pelosi's effectiveness, it's like the Democratic party that says we are the party of diversity, we are the party of civil liberties, are wimping out and saying we want to go back to being the party of white males because then people will like us and they'll vote for us. The strategy is ridiculous. They should celebrate diversity, celebrate Nancy Pelosi's successes, go after the women's vote, go after all those white women who for some reason voted against self-interest and voted for Donald Trump. Nancy Pelosi is the person to bring those women back to the democratic fold.
THANK YOU. In this day and age, the Democrats are worried about catering to the white males? Throwing the talented, brilliant, effective and experienced woman overboard? AGAIN? Pay attention to your party demographics, people. At least half are non-white. Majority female. Yet, 53% of white women voted for the Orange Menace. (Personally, I don't have the same optimism Bernard does that Pelosi might bring them back into the fold - I think that 53% likely would hate Pelosi for the same reason they probably hate Hillary. But hey, if Pelosi sets her mind to it, I'm the last one to doubt her.)
Shermichael Singleton talked about the reason Paul Ryan didn't do so well - not necessarily because of his youth and lack of experience in that type of role, but because there are so many factions of the Republican party that couldn't cooperate. Oh, REALLY? Take a look at Pelosi's ability to bring factions together to get something done.
REID: And I think, Danielle, that is objectively true. The Democratic party needs to bring up younger leaders and leaders of color, but the leadership is a specific job. Talk about faction, the health care bill, she had to bring together anti-abortion Democrats who wanted stronger language on abortion with VERY liberal Democrats demanding a public option or they would not vote for the bill. The Democratic party is more racially and ideologically diverse than the Republican party. A younger leader, Tim Ryan, could he have passed that bill?
BERNARD: No. I don't think so. Nancy Pelosi has the background, the historical knowledge, the know-how and the grit to be able to grease things through Congress, which is exactly what you have to do. I don't think that a younger, inexperienced person -- I don't think that that is the role for them. Now, do believe that Shermichael is correct in the fact we do need diversity and need to see it in leadership. This was problem coming out of the Obama administration saying that oh my god, Obama, charismatic, amazing, you know, love him, but where was the building of the pipeline over the eight years from the rest of the democratic party? There wasn't one. So we have stars, absolutely, and figures that are fantastic, but at the end of the day, we're not building the pipeline. But that doesn't mean that then you just blow up the pipe and say we don't need Nancy Pelosi. Right? Because we do. You need that innate understanding of how government works. We have a president right now that has no idea how government works, and look at how it's running our country into the ground.
You have on this panel three brilliant Black women telling you Nancy Pelosi is the person for this job. Now, as always, we need to listen to and follow Black women. Please, for the love of all that is holy, let us learn that lesson.