Articles

Topic A

November 06, 2010

If Speaker Nancy Pelosi succeeds in becoming minority leader, then House Democrats will get more of the same of what they got on Tuesday night.

Pelosi is a damaged, deeply polarizing figure whose retention as House leader will guarantee continued difficulties for those Democrats who had rough races in red districts Tuesday and those Democrats whose seats tilt more red because of redistricting next year.

The soon-to-be former speaker will also feed President Obama's worst instincts. She shares the White House view that Tuesday was the result of inadequate communications, insufficiently liberal initiatives, and not curt enough dismissal of Republicans. These got Democrats into their electoral pickle: Pelosi's continuation will only make conditions worse in the House.

(A separate question for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is whether he's up to managing a chamber with a six-seat, rather than an 18-seat, margin. Will his skills, energy and attitude allow him to steer the Senate's business while creating moments of compromise with an emboldened GOP minority?)

The biggest question for congressional Democrats is whether President Obama tries to copy Bill Clinton's model of '95, giving the GOP some of what it wanted (in Clinton's case, balanced budgets and welfare reform) while getting what he wanted (more domestic spending)? Or will Obama attempt a Harry Truman '48, digging in his heels on a liberal agenda and blasting the GOP for opposing it? Darned if I know and, I suspect, darned if Obama really knows yet either.

This article originally appeared on washingtonpost.com on Sunday, November 7, 2010.

Related Article

84a3030075b3ef626c823c5d82ea9c85
October 18, 2018 |
Article
Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings jolted Republican enthusiasm. The July 22 NPR/PBS News House/Marist poll, for example, found that 78% of Democrats and only 68% of Republicans considered this midterm “very important.”  ...
A476b40d267cfc263ad453234f86b0c4
October 11, 2018 |
Article
Many Republicans celebrated Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s swearing-in Monday as the end of a bitter confirmation battle. But the game isn’t over.  ...
Cf217cbc355dc10f4f3e9dfb577b39ab
October 04, 2018 |
Article
Following last week’s extraordinary testimony by Prof. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh, public attitudes are split and malleable.   ...
1d050a8f3afb58449cbeb2570b2e4943
September 27, 2018 |
Article
Thursday will be an immensely consequential day for America. As of this writing, Christine Blasey Ford is scheduled to appear in the morning before the Senate Judiciary Committee, followed by Judge Brett Kavanaugh.  ...
Button karlsbooks
Button readinglist
Button nextapperance