Democrats Are Drinking the Pelosi Kool-Aid

Republican House candidates in 2012 just need to remind voters if Democrats win, Pelosi returns.

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Two weeks after the election, the blinders House Democrats continue to wear are astounding.

They lose at least 60 members, eliminating all the gains the party made since 2006, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blames Republicans for using her as a poster child. She says she was an easy target because she is effective. Clearly her caucus is drinking this Kool-Aid because barring the unforeseen, she will be re-elected as the leader of House Democrats.

[Check out a roundup of political cartoons on Democrats.]

Republican glee over this has been reported in great detail, and it's no surprise. Forget targeting President Obama in 2012, all a Republican House candidate needs to do next cycle—whether incumbent or challenger—is remind voters if the Democrats win, Pelosi returns. Obama and the Democrats campaigned this fall by telling voters electing Republicans would put the country in reverse. Two years from now it will be Republicans using this line—and it will actually work.

In interviews since the election Pelosi has indicated Americans were more interested in jobs and the economy than healthcare, and that sometimes what is the right thing to do is not always the most popular. There were even some reports of Democrats comparing the last two years of efforts to that of the Civil Rights movement.

Are you kidding? They can't be this out of touch and stupid, can they?

If the Democrats had spent even 15 minutes a week with people besides their staffs, partisan hacks, lobbyists, and donors, they would see that Americans are still hurting. The number of money saving blogs aimed at parents trying to make ends meet rivals what Meg Whitman spent unsuccessfully in California.

Now that Republicans are in the driver's seat in the House, they would be well served to not forget who put them there—the nonpolitical types outside the beltway. These people live paycheck to paycheck and expect lawmakers to do so as well. They balance their checkbooks and don't spend more than they can afford.

[See an Opinion slide show of the GOP's rising stars.]

If Democrats were smart, something no one has ever accused either party of being, they would replace Pelosi with anyone—including Rep. Heath Shuler of North Carolina.  Shuler could easily go into districts Pelosi can't and could recruit candidates who were moderate. His appeal would be obvious to independents, the people who decide elections. Finally, whether it's Shuler or someone else, this potential speaker-in-waiting could not be labeled as a liberal from the left coast dooming them to permanent minority status.

A party ruled by the extremes, whether left or right, is bound to fail. Need proof, look no further than the results from two weeks ago. From a philosophical point of view, Pelosi is a fantastic choice as minority leader, but Americans of all stripes don't want ideologues, they want action.

  • Check out a roundup of political cartoons on Democrats.
  • See an Opinion slide show of the GOP's rising stars.
  • Follow the money in Congress.