On Wednesday, Democrats huddled together and nominated Nancy Pelosi to be the next Speaker of the House. This follows on three weeks of politerati drama and angst over whether she might be -- gasp! - challenged for that position. She has said all along to bring on the challenges, but no one actually stepped up.
So on Wednesday, Pelosi was nominated for Speaker by Democrats by a vote of 203-32. What ho!, you say. She needs 218 to be Speaker and OMG she must have to "peel away" some of those 35 to get there.
To which I reply, "Nay." The place to vote against Pelosi was in the nomination process. That's where the newbies get to fulfill their promise to oppose her without risking the Democratic agenda going forward. This is also the time where everyone does their power play and positioning for committees and agendas. Which is as it should be.
But for some media outlets, IT IS DRAMA, and Rachel Maddow called them out on it, noting that her snark had a basis in reality.
"The reason I'm being a little snarky," she explained, "is because all this comes as Nancy Pelosi led her party to an electoral victory that will return them to power in the House."
"No party ever in the history of the country has won a midterm election by larger margin than the Democrats just did in the House, and so now obviously Nancy Pelosi has to go, she's in big trouble."
Exactly. It's ridiculous. There are some freshmen who promised they'd oppose her, and Pelosi gave them her blessing to do exactly that, telling them to "Just win, baby." But as usual, the Beltway media and in particular, the New York Times just couldn't resist.
Two Speakers, two headlines from the New York Times:
"When Paul Ryan got that headline, he had 200 votes in favor, 43 against," Rachel observed. "Nancy Pelosi received more votes in favor, she had 203 yes votes and 33 no votes."
"Yet she gets the big asterisks, the significant defections headline," she said.
After the Times was properly dragged on Twitter, they changed the headline, and yet, they didn't back away from the "yeah but" in it. "Democrats resoundingly nominate Pelosi as Speaker, but defections signal fight ahead."
They cannot resist. Everything has to be drama, a horse race, a scary thing. At least, if you're a Democrat. For Paul Ryan, it's a cakewalk. For Nancy Pelosi, it's DRAMA. BIG DRAMA.
On January 3rd, Nancy Pelosi will be confirmed as Speaker. Steny Hoyer will be Majority Leader. Hoyer, at the spring-chicken-young age of 79, was confirmed to his leadership role unanimously, with no defections. I guess that means the issue the dissenters have doesn't have much to do with age or time in title, does it?
As Rachel says, "I would tell you to buckle up, but don't bother. It's not dangerous."
Indeed. There's enough drama in life without media boogety-boogeting the Speaker confirmation. Find a new game.
Bonus: Read Joan Walsh's analysis in The Nation.