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Pelosi’s Bad Strategy

Presumptive Speaker, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and US President Donald Trump argue before a meeting at the White House December 11, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (... Presumptive Speaker, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and US President Donald Trump argue before a meeting at the White House December 11, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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July 16, 2019 3:45 pm

I really, really agree with this note from TPM Reader MA. There are lots of asides and elaborations along the way I’d quibble with, some disagreements about the structure and habits of the Democratic party and more. But we agree on this key point: top elected Democrats – and here I’m largely talking about Nancy Pelosi – are simply too dismissive of this hunger and this anger for oversight, for accountability and … yes, for confrontation. As MA himself notes, you’ve got a basic dynamic in which Democrats, even with the House, simply don’t have much power, not enough to meet the expectations and sense of urgency of many of their supporters.

She has tried to keep these expectations in check largely by being dismissive of them. (I’m talking here largely about impeachment; the dynamic with “the squad” is a bit different, though related). None of us should underestimate the magnitude of the challenge of keeping those expectations in check, keeping her caucus united when she has at least a couple dozen vulnerable freshman to protect in 2020. But dismissiveness is backfiring. It’s not modulating expectations or channeling them in productive directions. It’s giving a substantial percentage of Democrats the impression that she doesn’t see the problem, that she doesn’t know why people have such a sense of urgency.

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