Speaker Pelosi Should Remain in Leadership Post in Washington’s Democratic Structure

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 “Job Well Done”, Madam Speaker


 By Juanita Bratcher


On Election Day 2010, after polls had closed and most of the ballots had been counted in Congressional Districts across the country, Democrats were losing seats while Republicans were steadily gaining seats in the Congress. And when it was all over, it was a bloodbath for Democrats and there was absolute certainty that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would lose her powerful Speaker’s post.

While Republicans reeled from a setback in the 2006 election under House Speaker Dennis Hastert (D-IL), their loss was not nearly as widespread as the Democrats’ loss in 2010. Democrats’ loss was almost double that of Republicans. In 2006, Republicans lost 31 seats with zero gain. In 2010, House Democrats lost about 60 seats.

On November 7, 2006, the makeup in the House shifted from 202 Democrats to 233, a plus-31 gain for Democrats. Republicans slid from 232 to 202, a gain loss of minus-30. There was one Independent.

According to Wikipedia, The final result was a thirty-one-seat pickup for the Democrats, including the pickup of the Vermont At-Large seat, previously held by Independent Bernie Sanders who caucused with the Democrats. Democrats defeated twenty-two Republican incumbents and won eight open Republican-held seats.

Republicans won no seats previously held by Democrats in either the House or the Senate for the first time since the party’s founding, and it was the largest seat gain for the Democrats since the 1974 elections.

In August 2007, Hastert announced he would not run for re-election.

 Nancy Pelosi made history in January 2007 when she took over the gavel as Speaker of the House. She was the first woman ever to hold the high-ranking post and second-in-line to the presidency behind the vice president.

There is no question; she is aggressive, feisty, gutsy, knowledgeable and hard-working – all the qualities of an effective leader. And Pelosi did a great job in her post as Speaker, spearheading major pieces of legislation and shepherding them through which resulted in the passage of historic Healthcare Reform legislation, ethics reform, mortgage and credit card reform, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Student Aid, Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007,  Fiscal Responsibility Act and energy legislation.

Reportedly over 400 pieces of legislation that passed the House is still bogged down in the Senate.

Pelosi is a Democrat and a woman that wields tremendous power. Her supporters truly believe that she has always worked – and still works in the best interest of the American people and America. But she is despised by many conservatives and Tea Partiers who see her as an “extreme liberal”. And her reputation has been falsely smeared.

Pelosi was constantly under Republican attacks. And those attacks were boosted by Tea Partiers and heated up during the 2010 election campaign. She was bashed unmercifully at every turn, and was unashamedly “vilified” and “demonized” over criticism of her leadership. Leading up to the 2010 Election year, she was targeted for defeat by detractors. Their ultimate goal was to defeat Democrats up for re-election and work to elect a majority Republican House.

A Rasmussen poll conducted in March, 2010, showed that 64% of voters viewed the Speaker unfavorably, 47% of which viewed her very unfavorably. Only 29% of voters had a favorable opinion of Pelosi. In March 2010, CBS News conducted a poll which found that only 11% of registered voters had a favorable opinion of the speaker, well below that of Congress as a whole.

Although Pelosi will lose her powerful Speaker’s post, she will still serve the people of California’s 8th District. In recent developments, Pelosi voiced a desire to continue in a leadership post as Minority Leader in the House. But there are some Democrats in the House who expressed opposition; they would like to switch leaders and support a more conservative Democrat as an alternative.

Congressman Dan Boren (D-Muskogee) has said he will oppose Pelosi’s bid to remain in a leadership position (Minority Leader) in  the House; and Jim Matheson (D-Utah), a leader of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of Democrat conservatives, said he preferred an alternative.

In an exclusive interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, Pelosi said she had “no regrets” after losing her post as House Speaker, blaming the unemployment problem for Democrats’ loss.

“We believe we did the right thing, and we worked very hard in our campaigns to convey that to the American people,” said Pelosi, in the interview with Sawyer. “Nine and a half percent unemployment is a very eclipsing event. If people don’t have a job, they’re not too interested in how you intend for them to have a job. They want to see results.”

When Sawyer asked her to describe her leadership as Speaker, Pelosi stated that it was a “Job well done.”

In an article posted on her “Speaker’s Press Shop” in October 2010, Pelosi stated that the GOP agenda would cut Social Security, Reap billions for Wall Street and hurt American women and children.

“The GOP plan to turn Social Security over to Wall Street would disproportionately impact American women. 58% of Social Security recipients are women and for a majority of women over 65, Social Security provides more than half of their income.

“Social Security also provides a vital safety net for America’s children. More than 4 million young people under the age of 18 received income from Social Security survivors, retirement, and disability benefits. According to a new report by the Joint Economic Committee, 1.1 million children were lifted out of poverty in 2009 by Social Security.”

After losing her Speaker post, Pelosi said, “Based on those discussions, and driven by the urgency of protecting health care reform, Wall Street reform, and Social Security and Medicare, I have decided to run.”

And in a letter to fellow Democrats, Pelosi stressed that their work is far from finished, that their commitment to serving the American people continues.

“We have no intention of allowing our great achievements to be rolled back. It is my hope that we can work in a bipartisan way to create jobs and strengthen the middle class,” she said.

With Pelosi’s skills, experience, knowledge and know-how, she has the tools to work with and should remain in the hierarchy of Democratic leadership in the House.

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