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Pelosi and the House Speakership Vote


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#1 LFC

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 03:59 PM

Josh Marshall lays things out pretty clearly. My fear is that a small group will cause trouble just to do so but with no plan forward. In that they'd be just like the Freedumb Caucus. They can't moving anything forward so they make a career out of throwing destructive temper tantrums and demanding the vast majority cater to their every whim. Here it is in full.

Quote

I wanted to share a few thoughts about the House Democrats’ leadership election. First, I’m ambivalent about Nancy Pelosi becoming Speaker again. Turnovers in leadership are good. The dozens of new House Democrats converging on Capitol Hill this week visibly shows the power of generational succession. The Democrats’ current House leadership has been in place for more than 15 years, an extraordinary length of time by historical standards.

There’s a separate matter. Somewhat like Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi has been so consistently vilified and caricatured by national Republicans that she has become, objectively, a highly charged figure as the face of national Democrats. We can lament that, think it’s the product of things that are vicious and unfair. I do. But that doesn’t make it not true.

At the same time, there are very few people who understand the inner workings of the House, what caucus leaders do and what she managed to get done between 2007 and 2011 who don’t think she’s a legislative leader of extraordinary ability. She also has critical support from a broad array of the parties different factions, in and out of Congress. As important as anything, Pelosi is tough, something particularly important facing Donald Trump for the next two years.

I make these points simply to put my own cards on the table. The relevant point to me is that it’s not clear what the small anti-Pelosi faction plans for day two – what happens after Pelosi gets knocked out of the leadership contest – other than a highly divisive leadership fight with no good consequences at all.

What I most want to discuss, though, is that it’s easy to get a misimpression of what’s happening right now. There’s zero question whether Pelosi can get the support to be the leader of the House Democratic caucus. But that’s not the question. Because of the peculiarities of how the House elects leaders, the Democrats need close to unanimous support for their leader for her to become Speaker. That means that between ten and twenty members can block Pelosi from becoming Speaker, even if she has overwhelming support from within her caucus.

The other part of the equation – and I think this is the key to Pelosi’s strength – is that she doesn’t just have opponents from the right of the caucus, mainly midwestern moderates. She also has a lot of opponents on the left of the caucus, members who are more ideologically to the left, more anti-establishment. Can those factions agree on a new leader? That’s hard to figure since they’d each like a leader that looks and thinks like their faction of the party.

Which brings us to yet another point. Let’s say Pelosi goes down to defeat and you have an open leadership contest which is won by Rep. X. Do the losers in that contest, the supporters of Rep. Y, support Rep. X in the floor vote? They basically have to, almost all of them, or else that person can’t become Speaker. Which is to say that they have to do what the anti-Pelosi faction now refuses to do, vote on the floor of the House for the candidate they voted against in the leadership vote. This kind of parliamentary blackmail can easily spin out of control.

The best argument for a generational change in leadership is not the absolute age of the top three caucus leaders: Pelosi (78), Hoyer (79), Clyburn (78). It’s rather that they’ve held the collective reins for so long that they’ve kept a generation of potential leaders who aren’t terribly young themselves – men and women in their 40s and 50s – from gaining the kind of experience and track record they’ll need to take over in the future. That is part of the present problem. There’s no tested person really up for the challenge.

The best outcome I can see is one in which Pelosi takes the Speakership with some kind of understanding that she will serve as Speaker only for the next Congress or some delimited period and add new members to the leadership team now.

What I see currently is a tiny number of members, none of whom appear willing – or able – to contest the leadership themselves, looking for a pliable replacement for Pelosi who will be in their debt. This is a recipe for a divisive leadership battle followed by a weak Speakership. That’s a bad outcome for the Democrats and, I would argue, the country too.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#2 JackD

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 05:51 PM

What Marshall calls the best possible outcome is what Pelosi, herself, has advocated.

#3 AnBr

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 11:40 AM

WaPo: The rebellion against Nancy Pelosi is absurd

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Something exceedingly bizarre is going on in Congress right now. Kevin McCarthy, second in command among House Republicans, watched his party get trounced in the midterms, and was rewarded with a promotion to Republican leader. Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer were quickly confirmed by their respective caucuses to stay in charge in the Senate. Yet Nancy Pelosi, who just engineered the biggest Democratic win in the House since the post-Watergate election of 1974, is the one facing a challenge to her leadership

Pray for Trump: Psalm 109:8

"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

— H.L. Mencken
On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Second inaugural address January, 1937

#4 LFC

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 12:25 PM

The supposed uprising may be smaller than the media wants it to appear. The Congressional Black Caucus is backing Pelosi over Marcia Fudge who is one of their own members.

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Despite the rumbles of rebellion, most members of the Congressional Black Caucus are backing House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for speaker over possible contender Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH), a member of the caucus.

According to a Thursday Politico report, many still see Pelosi as the best person for the job despite members’ long-held wish to see a black representative in the speakership role.

“She knows that, she knows that, she knows I’m for Pelosi,” Rep. Jim Clyburn (R-SC), the top African American in the House, told Politico of Fudge, his good friend. “I’m supporting Pelosi, I’m supporting Hoyer, and I hope they’re supporting me.”

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#5 LFC

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 12:28 PM

Josh Marshall makes the case that the people who are against Pelosi have no real alternative to offer.

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Last night I wrote up my take on whether Nancy Pelosi should be the next Speaker of the House under the incoming Democratic majority. Short answer: Yes. For the longer answer, click here. But the day so far as even more convinced me of a point that was partly implicit in what I wrote last night: that any question about Pelosi is quickly resolved when you look at the folks leading the charge to replace her.

Here’s how I’m looking at this. You have a dozen or more opponents of Pelosi, dissidents going back years, who make up the bulk of the people on that list of definite no votes. Then you have a number of incoming members who campaigned on independence from Pelosi and in many cases made pledges – of varying degrees of absoluteness – that they would not vote for her for Speaker. Those folks feel legitimately backed into a corner over this. They have to get elected again in two years in what are by definition competitive swing districts. As one of my colleagues put it to me a short time ago, the folks in the former category are leveraging the resistance of the people in the latter category to take Pelosi down.

The big issue to me is that the folks in both groups, but particularly in the first, have no real or clear plan for what happens after Pelosi. There’s no credible candidate among them. Democrats need a Speaker who can and will hit the ground running. I don’t see another member who can do that, not as the powerful Speaker the Democrats need to stand up against the President. Pelosi’s opponents do not have a good answer to that question. I’m not sure they’ve given it much thought frankly. A weak Speaker, which seems like the inevitable outcome of this gambit, is not a good outcome.


This reminds me of both the Trumpsuckers and the Bernouts. Ripping things out is easy. Replacing them with something better is hard. They're all gung-ho about doing the first but haven't put in the hard work to figure out the second.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#6 gmat

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 12:32 PM

The CBC will do whatever Clyburn tells it to do, en masse. And nobody can get elected Speaker without the CBC.

As for the Five White Guys, they are totally clueless where the future of the Democrats lies.

#7 AnBr

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 03:44 PM

View PostLFC, on 16 November 2018 - 12:25 PM, said:

Quote

Rep. Jim Clyburn (R-SC)

???
Pray for Trump: Psalm 109:8

"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

— H.L. Mencken
On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Second inaugural address January, 1937

#8 gmat

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 04:01 PM

Just a misprint

#9 HockeyDon

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Posted 19 November 2018 - 06:05 AM

I assumed it was spellcheck doing an auto-correct.
Well, fuck.

How can I be expected to distinguish BS from reality when so much of my reality is utter BS?!

"There seems to be a lot of people dying of ignorance while living in the information age." my sister-in-law.

#10 LFC

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Posted 19 November 2018 - 04:01 PM

Here's the 16 members of the anit-Pelosi temper tantrum.

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Sixteen Democrats have officially sent a letter to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) informing her they’ll vote against her bid to be Speaker on the House floor, a coalition that could be large enough to deny her the leadership and throw House Democrats’ newly minted majority into chaos on the first day of the new term in Congress.

“We are thankful to Leader Pelosi for her years of service to our Country and to our Caucus,” they write in the letter, which has been floating around for days but finally got sent. “However, we also recognize that in this recent election, Democrats ran on and won on a message of change.”

The letter includes signatures from all of the Democrats who’d been on the initial leaked list of signees except Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH), who is publicly weighing a bid against Pelosi. And it doesn’t include five other Democrats who’ve pledged to vote against Pelosi on the floor but decided not to sign the letter: Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA) and Reps.-elect Jason Crow (D-CO), Jared Golden (D-ME), Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) and Abigail Spanberger (D-VA).

One of the letter’s signees, Utah Democrat Ben McAdams, currently trails Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) in their close race and appears less than likely to be coming to Congress.

Democrats netted at least 37 seats in the midterm elections earlier this month, with a few races left to be called. They will have a majority of at least 232 seats in the House, and 233 if Democrat Anthony Brindisi’s narrow lead over Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) holds and they don’t win the other two outstanding races where they trail. Brindisi is on the letter. Assuming he wins, Pelosi can only have 16 Democrats vote against her on the House floor on Jan. 3 and still be speaker.

The group of anti-Pelosi dissidents, led by Reps. Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Tim Ryan (D-OH), initially said they had more than 20 opposed to Pelosi, so it appears that this group’s numbers are holding steady but failing to grow.


It doesn't seem to be holding up, probably not in the least due to the fact that they've got not viable alternative to present. The question is what do they expect to happen if they literally have no plan other than obstruct?

Quote

The anti-Pelosi faction has released its list of 16 incumbents or apparent midterm winners who say they will not vote for Pelosi in the floor vote for Speaker. That is at least a few fewer than expected. Marcia Fudge, who has half-suggested she’d challenge Pelosi, apparently pulled her name from the list. So on a few fronts it seems like the effort is flagging.

But it remains important to understand what’s happening here.

Both caucuses – GOP and Democrats – have an election for a leader who they put forward as a candidate for Speaker. Pelosi doesn’t even have a challenger yet in the caucus election. It’s almost certain she would overwhelmingly defeat any challenger, probably by at least a 3:1 margin.

That’s not what any of this is about.

These sixteen reps are saying that regardless of who the caucus chooses for Speaker, they’ll vote against that person. So if Pelosi wins the vote in the Democratic caucus and is then presented as the candidate for the Democrats vs Kevin McCarthy for the Republicans those 16 either won’t vote or will vote for McCarthy or most likely vote for some symbolic candidate, which in practice means for McCarthy since the Speaker is whichever of them get more votes.

This is the whole caucus of more than 230 reps being dictated to by 16 members, who won’t accept the results of the Democrats leadership election.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#11 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 19 November 2018 - 04:27 PM

Jaws of victory.
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#12 LFC

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 10:17 AM

Apparently the leader of the anti-Pelosi charge is Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) who I've never heard of. A quick web search showed that he's apparently been floating presidential aspirations but it looks like he blew it with this ill conceived and ill planned stunt. It could cost him his seat in 2020 as people are already looking to raise money to primary him.

Quote

Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), who has spearheaded the effort to pass over Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for the House speakership, faced some unhappy constituents at a Monday night town hall dominated by talk of the upcoming vote.

According to a Monday Politico report, constituents pushed back against his assertion that Democrats want the leadership change, demanding he at least name a replacement candidate.

Some pointed to the letter signed by a small group of House Democrats asking for new leadership as evidence of the underlying sexism behind the movement, as only two female lawmakers had attached their names. Moulton denied the claim, insisting that more women were quietly behind the effort who declined to sign the letter.

Moulton’s leadership on the attempted rebellion may cost him politically: per Politico, organizers have set up a crowdfunding site to support a primary challenger in 2020.


Some TPM writers went to his town hall. The words "a bit of a douchebag" were used. Sounds like this guy is in way over his head.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#13 LFC

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 11:16 AM

Tomasky's take on Pelosi and what he views as a serious miscalculation.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#14 Practical Girl

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 11:30 AM

We'll see how it shakes out, but definitely disconcerting for the party and the country, as a whole.

Most of these first timers seem to have no idea that getting elected and staying elected are often two different things. Moulton is but one of them. They also have shown a stunning lack of knowledge of what it takes to successfully run Party efforts. My guess is that Marcia Fudge may end up doing a lot of behind-doors pressuring/reasoning. Even she -bold and emboldened by juniors to take Pelosi on- has STFU since she and Nancy had a sit-down to talk about what it really takes. Marcia came out of that seriously questioning whether or not she wants the job. Turns out it's a bit harder than mouthing off on CNN.

Juniors who pandered to conservatives in their electorate to get elected, without understanding what Pelosi does. If they get their way, we're screwed.
Every woman needs a blowtorch.
---Julia Child


--- On September 17, 1787, as Benjamin Franklin was leaving the deliberations of the Constitutional Convention, at Independence Hall, in Philadelphia, a woman called out to him, saying, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?”
“A republic,” Franklin said, “if you can keep it.”


--- LFC, on Gorsuch ruling: "Awesome. A Christianist who swore an oath to uphold the laws of the nation and bore false witness when he did it"

--- "Write hard and clear about what hurts"
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#15 AnBr

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 11:32 AM

View PostPractical Girl, on 20 November 2018 - 11:30 AM, said:

We'll see how it shakes out, but definitely disconcerting for the party and the country, as a whole.

Most of these first timers seem to have no idea that getting elected and staying elected are often two different things. Moulton is but one of them. They also have shown a stunning lack of knowledge of what it takes to successfully run Party efforts. My guess is that Marcia Fudge may end up doing a lot of behind-doors pressuring/reasoning. Even she -bold and emboldened by juniors to take Pelosi on- has STFU since she and Nancy had a sit-down to talk about what it really takes. Marcia came out of that seriously questioning whether or not she wants the job. Turns out it's a bit harder than mouthing off on CNN.

Juniors who pandered to conservatives in their electorate to get elected, without understanding what Pelosi does. If they get their way, we're screwed.

The stupidity and ignorance of youth. Experience and time is the only cure.
Pray for Trump: Psalm 109:8

"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

— H.L. Mencken
On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Second inaugural address January, 1937

#16 golden_valley

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 11:37 AM

I agree that there needs to be new leadership, but it takes time to develop leadership. These 16 Democrats have no idea who they will support; they've offered no alternative. Do they plan to vote for McCarthy?

#17 JackD

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 11:40 AM

Tomaskey's point about the tax proposal really does call Nancy's judgment in question. However, for the next two years it won't make any difference because with the Senate and Presidency in Republican hands, tax increases of any size are not going to happen

#18 gmat

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 12:02 PM

View PostJackD, on 20 November 2018 - 11:40 AM, said:

Tomaskey's point about the tax proposal really does call Nancy's judgment in question. However, for the next two years it won't make any difference because with the Senate and Presidency in Republican hands, tax increases of any size are not going to happen

If they want to mess with taxes, write legislation to expand EITC, or some other refundable credit, where low to lower- middle household income get a significant check from the government.

Then send it to the Senate.

#19 Practical Girl

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 12:03 PM

View Postgolden_valley, on 20 November 2018 - 11:37 AM, said:

I agree that there needs to be new leadership, but it takes time to develop leadership. These 16 Democrats have no idea who they will support; they've offered no alternative. Do they plan to vote for McCarthy?

I'm all for Steny Hoyer going away, in favor of one of the young guns ready to lead and learn from the best. : Find out what it took to get the ACA passed. Find out how to raise mad dollars all the time AND how to recommend apportioning them. And hey- and long as I have my wish list out, can we make this a person with the ability to get reelected? It does us no good to have a newbie scratch his/her way to the leadership posts only to have them disappear the next cycle. Stability has been a huge asset for Pelosi. Easier to negotiate with somebody you know will be around in two years vs a pol who got swept in by the foggy idea of "change" and swept out with the same sort of whims.
Every woman needs a blowtorch.
---Julia Child


--- On September 17, 1787, as Benjamin Franklin was leaving the deliberations of the Constitutional Convention, at Independence Hall, in Philadelphia, a woman called out to him, saying, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?”
“A republic,” Franklin said, “if you can keep it.”


--- LFC, on Gorsuch ruling: "Awesome. A Christianist who swore an oath to uphold the laws of the nation and bore false witness when he did it"

--- "Write hard and clear about what hurts"
Ernest Hemingway

#20 J-CA

    Probably in one of my drunken stupors..

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Posted 21 November 2018 - 12:21 AM

Pelosi has said a million times in interviews that she is not going to just give up her position in leadership if the result is 3 old white guys, none of whom are better qualified or younger than herself, in charge of the house Dems because she finds that absurd and that she won't give up the post for a token younger woman or minority member just for the sake of moving on.
When the opposition to her coalesces around a real alternative then this will sort itself out, and in all likelihood she will step down when she sees it happening.
I am the burrito until someone hands me to a philosopher.





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