2020 Was The Year Nancy Pelosi Totally Lost Her Touch

2020 Was The Year Nancy Pelosi Totally Lost Her Touch

The Speaker's instincts have atrophied. Her political gambits have failed. She’s been a source of one very public screw up after another.
Ben Domenech
By

It is looking increasingly like the House of Representatives will be a 222-Democrat-213-Republican split. This is an absolutely incredible outcome that none of the polling experts predicted. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) can only afford to lose four votes on anything, making it impossible to govern. And guess what? It’s her own damn fault. Here’s why.

When Nancy Pelosi returned to power as Speaker of the House in 2019, she was greeted as a liberator by the Washington press corp. There she was, smiling on the cover of every magazine, a welcome conquering heroine replacing evil, Republican nerd Paul Ryan. But while Pelosi’s tenure a decade earlier was lauded for her firm control of a difficult caucus, Pelosi version 2.0 turned out to be a political albatross.

Her instincts have atrophied. Her political gambits have failed. She’s been a source of one very public screw up after another. Along with her fellow octagenarian Democrat leaders, she stands in the way of generations of would-be progressive leaders. And now that they went through a terrible election to end up with the smallest majority Pelosi has ever had, House Democrats are open about how she hurt them in November.

Following the flurry of legislation and stimulus funding in the spring, Pelosi made the choice to essentially demand everything and the kitchen sink for any deal to be reached with the White House. The Trump administration was happy to give her just about anything she wanted, but even with that latitude, there was never really any possibility this would get done.

Pelosi had no intention of giving Republicans any kind of legislative success prior to November that would ease the pain for small businesses or individuals. By negotiating in bad faith, never intending to pass a pre-election stimulus, Pelosi likely doomed President Trump.

But in the process, she also abandoned her moderates, putting them in an untenable position of running ads promising help even as she blocked any aid—leading to an unexpected red wave that has left her with the tiniest majority she’s ever had for what is likely her last two years as Speaker.

If the media weren’t filled with Pelosi sycophants, it would be one of the biggest stories in the country. Let’s run through a few of her greatest hits from just the past year.

A year ago, the big thing the press loved about Pelosi was that she would keep Democrats from going down the politically fraught road of impeachment. She dismissed the idea. Instead, she’d do oversight, investigations, and other less politically risky things.

But Pelosi lost control. Led by the Squad, the left coalition led Democrats on a multi-month impeachment escapade that ended with Donald Trump not just escaping any ramifications, but having a higher popularity than when they began.

Pelosi dismissed the Squad’s relevance —they’re just like four votes—she said, I’m in charge here. And the Squad said to her: Do you feel in charge?

Again and again, Pelosi has bowed to the wishes of the far left, whether it’s the Green New Deal or short-circuiting a vote on Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-Minn.) antisemitism, it’s clear those magazine covers were a favor by the new generation to the octogenarian Speaker, not the other way around.

Remember when she refused to send the impeachment articles to the Senate in December and it was an act of political genius for about five minutes? Yeah, that’s what she does now.

Pelosi injected herself into Senate negotiations to insist on a larded up coronavirus aid measure. After she blew the process up, she responded to suggestions she asked for too much by accusing CNN and Judy Woodruff of using GOP talking points.

She weighed into the Massachusetts Senate Primary against AOC’s endorsement and a popular incumbent, and her favored candidate lost by more than 10 points despite being a Kennedy.

She promised that Trump’s RNC acceptance speech at the White House wouldn’t happen. It happened.

While Joe Biden was running on normalcy, Pelosi called Republicans “domestic enemies” of the country; when there were questions about Biden’s ability to debate, Pelosi said he should stay in his basement and not debate Trump.

And of course, she just had to get her hair blowout. After weeks of excoriating Americans, and with a presidential candidate who wants a national mask mandate, she even tried to claim that an appointment she made, where she chose not to wear a mask, was a setup by the single mother, small business owner. That’s how confident she is that the press sycophants will always protect their precious Pelosi.

And they did. Politico’s Playbook morning newsletter, which might as well add Pelosi as a co-author given how much water they carry for her, tried to spin this out of relevance. They say she still has “firm control” of her caucus—a caucus that increasingly views her as a detriment, a has-been, not a leader.

A turning point for the media may have been her shouting at Wolf Blitzer on CNN right before the election about that stimulus package, where once again she claimed that Blitzer, of all people, was just reading GOP talking points. It was just so ridiculous and over the top that Blitzer had to chide her in the interview. When you can’t even take an obvious question from Wolf Blitzer without shouting bias, you really have gotten used to being surrounded by trained seals.

In the end, 2020 showed Nancy Pelosi was a perfect foil for Republican House candidates. There’s one set of rules for her, and another for all the normies, and in the end, she left her moderates with little to run on other than a neutered meme of her tearing up a speech.

Heckuva job, Nancy.

Ben Domenech is the publisher of The Federalist. Sign up for a free trial of his daily newsletter, The Transom.

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