- The Washington Times - Monday, November 8, 2010


After last week’s midterm meltdown for Democrats, outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that she would seek the position of House minority leader in the new Congress. The Washington Times enthusiastically endorses her candidacy.

Mrs. Pelosi will bring the same clarity of vision to the position of minority leader that she did to the speaker’s chair. For those voters confused about the state of bipartisanship on Capitol Hill, Mrs. Pelosi will reassure them that it doesn’t exist. For those who ask if Democrats are interested in responsible fiscal policies to draw down deficits, Mrs. Pelosi will banish any such thoughts. For those wondering whether Democrats in Congress can move further to the left without control of both chambers, Mrs. Pelosi will respond with a resounding “Yes we can.”

Mrs. Pelosi is the perfect symbol of strident resistance to the will of the American people that Democrats seem eager to project. She can be counted on to fight to the last trench to defend all of the wretched excesses - or as Democrats stubbornly call them, “accomplishments” - of the rejected 111th Congress. She is fully in tune with the hard-line liberal rump leftover from the previous governing majority and can better give President Obama the opportunity to continue along the path that has seen both his party’s fortunes and his job approval ratings fall from historic heights. Mrs. Pelosi brings the outlook, the track record and the public approval ratings to keep Democrats solidly on their current course toward oblivion.

Mrs. Pelosi’s supporters point to the precedent set by Democrat Sam Rayburn, who between 1940 and 1961 served three times as speaker and twice as minority leader - or as he preferred to be called, “Democratic Leader.” Rayburn is said to have coined the expression “a jackass can kick a barn down, but it takes a carpenter to build one.” Mrs. Pelosi deserves the opportunity to see if she is as talented at rebuilding as she is at demolition.

A group of defeated House Democrats are writing a letter asking Mrs. Pelosi to rethink her run, cleverly arguing that, “one mark of a strong leader is the ability to discern when it is time to pass the baton.” But, thankfully, Nancy is no quitter. Some Blue Dog Democrats in the House - such as failed Washington Redskins quarterback Heath Shuler of North Carolina - have rumbled about a leadership challenge. These are sour grapes from people who clearly have no place in the contemporary Democratic Party, the party of reckless deficit spending, government-controlled health care, persistent unemployment and inflationary monetary policy. Those who oppose Mrs. Pelosi should understand that this is a time of retrenchment, with a shrinking number of hard-liners huddling under a smaller and smaller tent. Moderates have no business being Democrats and should either get with the ultra-liberal program or get out.

Mrs. Pelosi promises more of the same for Democrats, especially with Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, continuing to mismanage the Senate and Mr. Obama digging in his heels at the White House. If recent experience from their midterm shellacking is a guide, this familiar Democrat leadership team will be very good for the new Republican majority. The least popular, most polarizing speaker in memory can bring the same qualities to the role of minority leader and present the American people with painfully clear choices going into the 2012 election. If Nancy Pelosi didn’t exist, Republicans would have to invent her.

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