Monday, November 08, 2010


There are a lot of reasons someone might be a good or not-so-good minority leader; here, Greg Sargent proposes one excellent reason to keep Nancy Pelosi on: "Minority leader Nancy Pelosi would play rough with GOP."

...The key thing to understand is that we're about to enter a period of bruising procedural wars -- precisely the type of thing that Pelosi has already excelled at. Republicans are already discussing ways to starve the new health-care law by, say, limiting funding to agencies that would implement portions of it or using spending bills to block federal insurance regulations they don't like. The next minority leader will have to be ruthless in her willingness to use procedural tactics to combat this kind of stuff....

It does sound like a job for Pelosi. I do think she's one of the only Democrats in Washington with any cojones at all.

Maybe it's reason enough to keep her on. Frankly, I thionk what I'd prefer is Pelosi somehow doing this behind the scenes, being the de facto minority leader, while some smooth talker had the title nominally.

Because I still think you've got to fight the GOP noise machine. This argument, from Jonathan Bernstein, isn't persuasive to me:

...what really matters in any of these positions is how effective leaders are inside Congress, not on TV. The GOP just won a huge landslide despite having, as far as I can tell, practically no one among their politicians who could effectively make their case on television. Surely not John Boehner -- I think he's a good pol, but can you imagine anyone more poorly suited to leading a populist charge than John Boehner? And surely not Mitch McConnell, either.

But nobody ever much tried to turn Boehner or McConnell into the Antichrist -- our side does that very ineffectively.

And those guys don't have to be good on TV because, obviously, they have Fox News and talk radio to do all that for them.

Yeah, I guess it's relevant that Democrats won Congress back in '06 with the non-telegenic Pelosi and Reid. But they were opposing a president who'd screwed up so badly he lost the country. Now they need to backstop a president who's losing the country. Very different task.

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