U.S. Rep Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, one of the so-called “Sweet 16” Democrats opposing Nancy Pelosi for speaker of the House, got an earful from a supporter about the searing pain he’s causing women across the country during a town hall Monday night.
Isa Leshko – “Artist. Activist. Vegan. Cat Lady.” – explained to Moulton how his opposition to the perhaps the most powerful woman in the country is really twisting her up inside. Leshko, a self-described sex assault survivor, wanted Moulton to know the Sweet 16’s anti-Pelosi crusade is revictimizing women who have already been through so much.
Here is a clip from my one-on-one with Seth Moulton after his townhall tonight. I tried to convey how much pain women in this country (and his district) are in right now, & how seeing him try to oust @NancyPelosi is another slap in the face. #StandDownSeth #StandWithNancy pic.twitter.com/deAV5UfdyC
— Isa Leshko Ⓥ (@IsaLeshko) November 20, 2018
“Here is a clip from my one-on-one with Seth Moulton after his town hall tonight,” Leshko posted to Twitter. “I tried to convey how much pain women in the country (and his district) are in right now, and how seeing him try to oust @NancyPelosi is another slap in the face. #StandDownSeth #StandWithNancy”
— Isa Leshko Ⓥ (@IsaLeshko) November 20, 2018
“What you have to understand is for the last three years, it has been really hard to be a women in this country,” Leshko told Moulton. “Um, we have seen a serial sexual predator who was not at all qualified take the office of the presidency over someone who was probably the most experienced presidential candidate we’ve had.
“We have seen,” she continued with a hard swallow, “a man accused of rape ascend to the Supreme Court.
“I, myself, am a sexual assault survivor, so this really hit home,” Leshko said.
“So what I’m saying is, a month or two after the Kavanaugh situation, what I’m seeing is you taking down someone who is, yet again, a highly experienced, highly qualified woman and it really hurts,” she said, hand on her chest to emphasize the anguish.
“I think you need to understand that,” she said. “There are women who are hurting in your district. What you are doing is really hurting us.”
Moulton first apologized to Leshko for her sexual assault survivor status, then pointed out the arguments women who signed a pledge to oppose Pelosi laid out for new leadership.
“I hope you read what Kathy Rice has written,” Moulton said.
He also explained that his opposition to Pelosi goes back years, and it has nothing to do with the California congresswoman’s gender.
“I’ve been encouraging another woman to run,” Moulton told Leshko.
“I mean that’s who I want to see as the next speaker, I think she would do a better job,” he said, referring to Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio, who is mulling a bid to oust Pelosi from the top spot in the Democratic Caucus.
Fourteen of the Sweet 16 who recently promised to oppose Pelosi are men, and the 78-year-old career politician has framed the fight for party leadership as a gender issue.
During Moulton’s town hall, he likened Pelosi to Margaret Thatcher, the long serving prime minister in the United Kingdom.
OH MY GOD SETH MOULTON JUST COMPARED OUSTING NANCY PELOSI TO OUSTING MARGARET THATCHER pic.twitter.com/8T2lLRttTu
— Brett Banditelli (@banditelli) November 20, 2018
“Different system of government, but same sort of thing where you go to the floor of the Parliament to get the votes to be elected prime minister,” he told the audience. “She had served several terms and then a lot of people said, ‘you know, prime minister, it’s time for a change.’ And she said, ‘no, no, I’m gonna stick with it.’ And then they said, ‘well, prime minister, you don’t have the votes.’
“She said, ‘no, it doesn’t matter, I’m going to go to the floor, I’m going to drag this out, I’m going to twist arms and I’m going to get the vote anyway.’ So she did that. She went to the floor and she twisted arms and she didn’t have the votes. And they elected a new prime minister. And everything went on and people were excited about the new prime minister,” he said.
Many of the folks who attended weren’t having it.
When Moulton told the crowd “The majority of Americans want this change. The Majority of Democrats want this change,” the backlash was immediate.
WBZ at 11p — Congressman Seth Moulton holds Town Hall in Amesbury and his constituents want to talk to him about his battle with Nancy Pelosi. Rep Moulton, “The majority of Americans want this change. The majority of Democrats want this change”. Audience, “No!!”. pic.twitter.com/63b638P4T5
— WBZ | CBS Boston News (@wbz) November 20, 2018
“NO! NO!” several shouted back.
“This is what the Republicans said that got Trump in,” one woman lectured. “They just don’t like Washington. Get rid of everybody. Put this guy in. And it just feels like you don’t think there’s a skill set necessary …”