In the New York Times today, writers Jonathan Martin and Emmarie Huetteman conjecture, somewhat obliviously and with meandering avoidance, what it is about soon-to-be-elected House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, that symbolizes the 2016 downfall of the Democratic Party.
What aspect of Pelosi is it that embodies the seeming American dissatisfaction with the Democratic Party this election season?
Well for one, I would volunteer that the party should be renamed more accurately to something like the “Urban Elite Party.” Nancy Pelosi, from Northern California by way of San Francisco, embodies the essence of liberal out-of-step California’s elitist retreat from the American norm. The American norm is struggle and it is stretching the dollar to feed your family while praying that the factory doesn’t ship your job far away while the very elites who prosper at such off-shoring practices smugly wave the Democratic flag from their urban enclaves in California and the Northeast. This is the American norm. Nancy Pelosi represents a way of life that very few Americans know but one which wields inordinate amounts of power and influence by virtue of its concentration in dense urban areas.
In the Times article, Tim Ryan, an Ohio Representative who is mounting a challenge to Pelosi in next week’s Democratic vote, asserts, in explaining why the Democratic Party no longer speaks to blue collar values of the working class, “We’ve lost that brand, and that’s the brand that gets you elected.”
Brand? Is this all it means to the Democrats? A cheap vehicle, a marketing ploy to garner devotion?
Ms. Pelosi has her share of detractors. She retains a tight grip on important decisions such as who controls the party’s campaign arm, and, more to the point, she and the two other highest-ranking House Democrats are septuagenarians who have stood in the way of younger, ambitious lawmakers for over a decade now.
But the criticism of her tenure is as much a vehicle for airing broader complaints about the condition of a party that just lost the presidency, failed to regain the Senate and picked up only six House seats as it is an attempt to oust her from her post.
“This is not just on Nancy Pelosi,” said Representative Debbie Dingell of Michigan, who is supporting her. “Our entire party has to figure out how we appeal to everybody, how we reconnect with the working class.”
I would suggest that step #1 would be for the Democratic Party to remove all traces of elitist coastal control from its upper echelons. As long as there are Bay Area holier-than-though environmentally-friendly wealthy self-destructive tax-and-spend bureaucrats conjuring the Party’s mandate, they will sink.
Not in this day and age of Donald Trump populism.
Some Democrats appear to share this opinion.
The question is whether Ms. Pelosi, whom Republicans have demonized in the past, would be an impediment to a revival.
“I think we need a new face,” said Representative Ed Perlmutter of Colorado. “There needs to be new energy injected.”
Other Democrats privately agree, but believe that Mr. Ryan is not the answer.
Nancy Pelosi represents the “old political economy” I wrote about last February. Pelosi, Hillary, McCain, Bush…these are old political economy hacks playing by archaic rules of engagement. They defer to elitist, out-of-touch motifs as political currency but no one in the real American heartland has the capital necessary to raise such luxuries; Pelosi is emblematic of the Democratic Party’s isolated disengagement from the pragmatic urgencies of the moment. America is much more than small slivers of esteemed coastal real estate with all its ostentatious displays of consumerism and trendiness.
If the Democratic Party wants to prosper, it needs to leave the coastal urban zones behind because that shit doesn’t play in Michigan or Pennsylvania. Democrats abhor the thought that they need to share the stage with equally deserving Americans from less glamorous regions. This is why they despise the Electoral College. The EC is buzz-kill egalitarianism.