If Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s vow to hang on until they carry her remains out of the U.S. Supreme Court on a shingle scared you, the words from Nancy Pelosi won’t make you feel any better.
The disheartening news comes on top of reports that the GOP will lose the House in November.
Pelosi’s Staying Put
Born in the happy days of the iron lung, Army women called WACs, and the “doctors” who assured smokers that Lucky Strikes — still in Green packs — cured an irritated throat, Pelosi plans to hang on in Congress as long as she can — and by the fingernails if necessary.
“If Hillary Clinton had won, and the Affordable Care Act was protected — I feel very proprietary about that — I was happy to go my way,” she claimed.
Of course, the ACA is called ObamaCare, not PelosiCare, but anyway, with Trump in office, Pelosi perceives a threat to the legislation, which she famously declared had to be passed before Americans could find out what’s in it.
And whether she becomes speaker again, the important thing is staying put to protect ObamaCare from the malevolent Trump: “But to have no woman at the table and to have the Affordable Care Act at risk, I said ‘As long as [Trump’s] here, I'm here.’”
As Pelosi has said in the past, we can’t have a bunch of white guys making all the decisions. Thus, she must stay put to protect America from predatory politicians.
Pelosi is confident Democrats will return her to the speaker’s throne when the Democrats win in November: “We will win. I will run for speaker,” she told the leftist Boston Globe. “I feel confident about it. And my members do, too.”
Pelosi might “feel confident,” but many Democrats oppose her, as The New American has reported. Representative Linda Sanchez wants Pelosi out.
“I think it’s time for that generational change,” Sanchez said in July. “I want to be part of that transition, because I don’t intend to stay in Congress until I’m in my 70s.”
And a lot of other Democrats want that generational change. In August, NBC posted a list of 57 Democrats — most candidates with a few incumbents — who are unenthused about Pelosi’s return. Representative Kathleen Rice joined Sanchez, saying it’s time for a new leader, perhaps not a soon-to-be octogenarian: “She has been a great leader, but like every leader, time immemorial, it's time for people to know when to go.... I'm sure that Nancy Pelosi believes that she is the one that can lead this party. I happen to have a different opinion, and I think it's important for people in my position to not be afraid to speak truth to power.”
GOP Will Lose
But the debate about the speaker might not be as important for the GOP as whether they will retain the House.
Multiple reports predict a “blue wave.” Last week, Politico reported that “roughly 100 of the 240 Republican-controlled House seats are currently within Democratic reach, posing the most serious threat to the GOP majority since the party won control in 2010.”
Despite the GOP’s built-in advantages due to incumbency and redistricting, 60 of those seats are precariously positioned, with the Republican nominee either holding just a slight competitive edge, dead even against their Democratic opponent, or trailing.
A GOP loss would be no surprise, as James Campbell reported at Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball. “As is well known, the president’s party routinely loses House seats in midterms. The presidential party has lost seats in all but three (1934, 1998, and 2002) of the 29 midterms held since 1900. In the 17 midterms held since 1950, presidential party losses averaged 24 House seats. Since the mid-1980s, the mean loss has been 20 seats and a median of only 10 seats.”
As well, midterms delivered double-digit losses to presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama — with two, Clinton in 1994 and Obama in 2010, losing more than 50 seats.
Then again, Campbell wrote, “The good news for Republicans is that then-candidate Trump’s numbers had not been high in 2016 when voters last elected a Republican House and Senate. If Republicans in Congress could survive candidate Trump in 2016, why can’t they survive President Trump in 2018?”
Charlie Cook’s political report rates 39 GOP House seats as a toss-up.
So Nancy Pelosi might well become House speaker again, 14 months before she turns 80.