House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said those who oppose her bid to become the Speaker of the House are like a leftist Freedom Caucus trying to ruin the overall agenda.
As noted by The New York Times, Pelosi is arguably facing the strongest political headwinds of her career, and she’s pulling out all of the stops to make her case.
“At a meeting Friday of the centrist New Democrat Coalition, a group she rarely visits, Ms. Pelosi argued that allowing her adversaries to take her down would thwart the will of a majority of the party and leave it paralyzed in the same way that the ultraconservative Freedom Caucus has stymied House Republicans,” the Times reported.
Last week, 16 House Democrats signed and sent a letter vowing to oppose Pelosi’s bid for the speakership.
After Pelosi said 14 of the 16 Democrats who signed a letter in opposition to her bid for Speaker are men, implying sexism was in play, a few have caved and announced that they will support her.
But she still has some work to do, and some Democrats are making unusual arguments to draw support for the California lawmaker.
The American Enterprise Institute’s Norman J. Ornstein told the Times that opposition to Pelosi is similar to a “circular firing squad.”
“It’s going to be about Democratic disarray. This is almost the definition of a circular firing squad, and the impact that could have on 2020 is quite significant,” he said.
Quite remarkable to see Pelosi compare her opposition to the Freedom Caucus, a massive group inside the GOP that supports limited government and conservative policies.
It also appears that pro-Pelosi Democrats are beginning to use the phrase “circular firing squad” as a talking point to convince Democrats to support Pelosi.
Movement Against Nancy Pelosi Is A Classic Democratic Circular Firing Squad | HuffPost https://t.co/03q1J7DENg
— ProudLiberal (@VannaLiberal) November 19, 2018
Rather than make the case that she’s a strong leader, it appears that Democrats are basically arguing that they should support Pelosi because there’s no one else who could do a better job.
The 79-year-old lawmaker also has some work to do with the wave of newcomers elected this month, which includes New York Democratic Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Former President Barack Obama may believe that Pelosi’s “skill, tenacity, toughness, vision, is remarkable,” by Ocasio-Cortez and others have signaled that if Pelosi does not get on board with their progressive policies, they won’t support her.
While dancing in her kitchen and making soup in her crock-pot last week during an Instagram Live video, Ocasio-Cortez was on the fence about supporting Pelosi to become the Speaker of the House.
“Right now, out of the field, I would say that she is the most progressive candidate,” she said, warning that she wants new leadership, but fears Pelosi may be the most liberal of the possible candidates.
“I do think that, overall, in government, we need more young people and we need to transform our leadership, but when we say ‘no’ to [Pelosi] just for the sake of that, we don’t want to put ourselves in a position where we end up with more conservative leadership,” she added.
Ocasio-Cortez and other liberal newcomers have also endorsed plans to primary members of their own party who aren’t progressive enough, which could be bad news for Pelosi.
Pelosi certainly has some ground to make up and it seems like Democrats are now arguing that members may not like her, but she’s all they have.