- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 16, 2019

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi used to be a powerhouse, a political brawler and bruiser of respectable weight, the one who ramrodded through Obamacare on the blithe wings of “we have to pass it to see what’s in it” rhetoric.

Love her or hate her, she was once, and for a very long time, the It Girl of political influence in Congress.

That was yesterday.

Today’s Pelosi has been cowed by farther-than-far-left loud-mouthed youths in her own party. Make no mistake about it: This bodes badly for all of America — particularly limited-government conservatives.

“Nancy Pelosi caves on anti-Semitism resolution,” MSN.com reported on March 6, in a story about the Democrat-led House’s response to freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar’s ugly remarks about Israel and Jews.

Yes, she did.

She started out strongly, vowing to rid her party of any and all anti-Semitism via a bluntly worded resolution. Then, facing backlash from her party’s youngest members and all their bulldoggish backers, she ran for cover and hid behind a bland resolution that denounced hate in all its many forms — especially hate that targets Muslims.

“Pelosi Caves to Anti-Semites and Supporters of Palestinian Terrorist Groups,” wrote The Investigative Project on Terrorism, about the same topic.

Then there was this, just a few weeks ago, a headline on Business Insider that sang, “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez replaces Nancy Pelosi as Republicans’ new boogeyman for 2020.”

Again: True.

But it’s not simply because of Ocasio-Cortez’s socialism that makes her the face conservatives love to hate. It’s because she brings influence to her socialist table. She is the face of what’s taking over the Democratic Party, the mover and shaker, the stirrer and stoker.

She’s the reason the Green New Deal hasn’t gone quietly into that not-so-polluted night, taking its economy destroying, fantasy-land-like zero emissions ridiculousness with it.

Remember, Pelosi, at first, scorned the measure.

“The green dream, or whatever they call it,” Pelosi snarked, when asked for reaction. “Nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it, right?”

Yet the plan’s still a plan.

It’s evoked the hatred of the Democratic Party’s big funding fawners, the AFL-CIO, who told Ocasio-Cortez in a letter the deal could bring “immediate harm” to union members and their families by threatening their “standard[s] of living.”

Yet the plan’s still a plan.

Pelosi has neither killed it — nor controlled it. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is poised to nail down Democrats on their yay or nay of the controversial issue by calling for a vote — and we all know how much politicians in general, and liberals in particular, hate to be nailed down on controversial issues.

It’s not like Pelosi to behave this vulnerably during a political horse race. It’s not like her Obamacare-ramming self to let Republicans score such a hefty public relations win.

Her weakness can only be a sign of the times in today’s new Democratic Party. The party’s being steered by far-left newcomers with names like Ocasio-Cortez, and Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, and the up-and-coming Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke. The socialists and progressives haven’t just entered the room — they’ve grabbed all the seats.

Pelosi? Speaker In Name Only. It’s a real possibility.

But conservatives should hold the cheer.

The farther left the Democrats go, the greater the distance between the two parties. And with the media being what it is, it’s not the Democrats who are going to be painted as radicalized for the shift of ideology, but rather the Republicans for failing to shift.

Ultimately, in order to win the middle, in order to appear cooperative, in order to present as if they are willing to work with Democrats and in order to run campaigns that end with success, Republicans will have to move left. But the left won’t be Democratic any more. It won’t even be progressive. It’ll be socialist. Outright, open, sash-flapping socialism. Progressivism, for its part, will become the new middle ground.  

Conservatism, as we know it, as the Founding Fathers envisioned it, will crumble. The Republican Party will become Democratic; the Democratic Party, socialists. In the end, all of freedom-loving Americans will lose.

In the end, America will become a country of progressivism, its shining light on the hill forever squelched. What an uncomfortable time it is, imagining the fate of a nation that relies on Pelosi regaining power.

But there it is: If not Pelosi, someone with sense and ability to reel back the socialist storm that’s bubbling on Capitol Hill.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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