Ken Connor

These remarks bear striking resemblance to Ms. Pelosi's refusal to "accept" the concerns expressed about the trajectory of government spending and the pending health care legislation at townhall meetings and Tea Party rallies across the country during the summer of 2009: "This [tea party] initiative is funded by the high end – we call call it astroturf, it’s not really a grassroots movement.  It’s astroturf by some of the wealthiest people in America to keep the focus on tax cuts for the rich instead of for the great middle class."

Notice a pattern here?  If your opinion is contrary to Nancy Pelosi's opinion, then your opinion is illegitimate, period.  If you say something that Nancy Pelosi doesn't want to hear, then you aren't really saying it.  If you support an idea that Nancy Pelosi rejects, then you must be misguided, or confused, or a Nazi, or a racist.

Well, Ms. Pelosi was wrong about the Tea Party movement in 2009, and she is dead wrong about the meaning of the midterm elections today.  The same citizens that she arrogantly dismissed as "astroturf" went on to found a new movement in American politics, a movement that has challenged the status quo in Washington and given rise to a new generation of Americans dedicated to restoring America to its founding vision.  But instead of acknowledging the voice of this new movement, taking responsibility for her role in the Dems' electoral thrashing, and gracefully stepping aside, Ms. Pelosi has decided to run again.  She even hosted a special reception this week celebrating “the accomplishments” of the 111 Congress!

It's no wonder that this unprecedented display of arrogance is not playing well with Democrats on the Hill, who are eager for a fresh start with the American people.  They know that allowing Pelosi to retain her position as the top Democrat in the House would send a terrible message to the Republicans, and a worse message to the American people.  Even though no one has stepped up to challenge Pelosi's bid for Minority Speaker, several Democrats have made it clear that they that they are not willing to sacrifice the future of their Party on the altar of one woman's oversized ego.  Rep. Jim Matheson, Democrat from Utah put it this way:

"There's a growing number of people in the caucus saying, 'Why's she running for minority leader in the first place?'  We just got thumped in this election in a major way, and to act like we can just go back and do the same thing over again.  It just seems like a very obvious situation when change is called for."

Time is running out for Ms. Pelosi to execute a dignified and graceful exit.  In the end, it may take an Act of Congress for her to get the message that her time has run out.


Ken Connor

Ken Connor is Chairman of the Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC.