Pelosi’s House Rival Denounced As Sexist For Opposing “The Most Accomplished Woman in Congress”

220px-nancy_pelosiWe have previously discussed how Democrats have rallied around their leaders despite the failure to secure the White House or the Senate. Democratic leaders engineered the primary selection of Hillary Clinton despite polls showing that voters did not want an establishment figure and had deep seated misgivings about Clinton’s honestly and integrity. One of those leaders who has been most criticized over the years has been Nancy Pelosi. Nevertheless, many Democratic members have rallied to her side while younger members are calling for new leadership. Rep. Tim Ryan stepped forward to challenge Pelosi but he is now being denounced as sexist for even daring to challenge Pelosi after years of Democratic losses.

Ian Millhiser, “justice editor” at ThinkProgress, leveled the charge that you must be a sexist to dare to challenge Pelosi even after the losses this year and in prior years by the Democrats. It appears that it is Pelosi’s gender not her record that dictates such a conclusion. Millhiser wrote:

“This thing where an obscure male backbencher thinks he deserves to replace the most accomplished woman in Congress is how sexism works. I’m genuinely curious if anyone can argue why Tim Ryan should replace Pelosi other than ‘she was in the job when something bad happened.’”

I am “genuinely curious” how labeling anyone challenging a female leaders as sexist due to her gender is not itself sexist. Pelosi has long been found to be one of the best known and least liked politicians in Washington — an obvious problem for the leader of any party. Moreover, it is precisely the younger members (or in Millhiser’s view, the “obscure” members) who are calling for change in the Democratic leadership.

Pelosi is clearly a historic figure and deserving of respect for her accomplishment as the first female Speaker of the House of Representatives. However, the dismissal of opposition as necessarily sexist is deeply troubling. There is ample reason for Democratic voters and members to want fresh leadership. After losing what was viewed as highly promising election for the Democrats (in part due to the selection of a candidate that Pelosi pushed), why would it be sexist for some to demand new leadership? After all, Democrats lost 63 seats in 2010 and, while the election of President Obama picked up seats, they were defeated again in 2014. She was retained despite polls that showed her as the least popular figure among the Democratic leadership. Many believe that Pelosi, 76, and other leaders are both unpopular and associated too closely with the ruling establishment in Washington. Some members have grumbled that Pelosi seemed clueless in blaming Comey, millennials and others after predicting on election night an easy win for Clinton, a Democratic takeover of the Senate, and a significant gain of seats in the house. One can certainly argue that Pelosi was not responsible for this defeat, but (given the long decline in the House) it is absurd to dismiss challengers as opposing Pelosi because of her gender.

That brings us back to Ryan from Ohio. I do not know Ryan but it is grossly unfair to label someone a sexist simply because they want a change in leadership.

Ryan has served for 13 years in Congress.

What do you think?

168 thoughts on “Pelosi’s House Rival Denounced As Sexist For Opposing “The Most Accomplished Woman in Congress””

  1. >> This thing where an obscure male backbencher thinks he deserves to replace the most accomplished woman in Congress is how sexism works.<<

    As David French pointed out, Obama was a back bencher with only two years in the Senate when he challenged Hillary for the Democratic nomination. That makes Obama a sexist using the rule Millhiser invented.

    Identity politics is a dead end. Too many internal contradictions. Victims become victimizers.

  2. Think Progress was mentioned several times in the leaked Clinton e-mails. It was one of the go-to places to message the faithful. They were happy to help and they did so. I’m guessing they are also happy to help with Pelosi.

    Other than war mongering, votes for mass surveillance, banking protection laws and taking the impeachment of Bush off the table, I am hard pressed to find her “accomplishments”.

    A sexist doesn’t care about individual women. We are supposed to think of women as interchangeable human beings. Thus a water protector putting her life on the line against Kelcey Warren and other power brokers is “just like” Pelosi, one of those evil power brokers. They are both female so there’s no need to examine the character or actions of either person. That’s just crap! There is a difference and that difference is clear.

    She should have been challenged a long while back by any person who cares about this nation. Good Riddance!

  3. Stupid. She needs to rise or fall on her accomplishments as the leader not on her gender.

  4. Cease all this diatribe about male vs. female. The important issue with Ryan is that he is Irish. “NOT the Irish!” is the exclamation used on Blazing Saddles. I did not like Kennedy because he was Irish Catholic and he porked Marilyn the same night Bobby did — in the White House. And since Obama has been in office for 8 years it is time to quit calling it the White House. It is open to all. Even The Donald and his foreign wife.

  5. Yeah and Hillary was the most qualified person to be President since Jefferson. You aren’t historic for what you are but for what you do. That’s helpful to remember.

    1. Nice point, but you are fighting a concept that got a kick start back when The Romantic Age was in full swing. You could despoil some chick, run off and leave here, but if you were a cool and titled poet, then what the heck!

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

  6. It looks to me like the PC crap has come back to bite the Democrats in the butt! Which hmmm. Hey! I could make an Irish Poem out of that!

    Ouroboros Most Apropos-ous!
    An Irish Poem by Squeeky Fromm

    There once was a Tribe . . . I kid not!
    That cooked up its foes in a pot!
    When they ran out of foes,
    And couldn’t eat those,
    They ate up each other – Great Scott!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  7. Given the caliber of comments I believe that is not a grape farm she’s running in to Napa. Thus changed name Pelosillyni The reason for the last name is her first name became Benita. She has never failed to not change my mind. However ……she does have stiff competition and that is Comrade Reid. Just like last week the Democrats finally told him to ‘shut up’ he’s such an embarassment.

    However never speak ill of the almost dead – the party and their two eminem-ent leaders. With that caliber at the helm and Klinton gone the Republic need never worry.

  8. “When the debate is lost, slander is the only tool for the loser.” Seems to be a regular tactic of the Democrats these days. They even do it to themselves. Is there anyway we can make is racist, too? They wonder.

    I’d like to see her stay. She’s an excellent source of comic relief. Is that the “accomplishment” that they speak of?

  9. Status quo is likely best for the Reps. Pelosi is a walking piece of trash. “Most accomplished” at maintaining the Dem’s minority status since 2010!

  10. The democrats’ leadership is still entrenched in a moribund state of denial. They have been so accustomed to having and demanding only one course of action they cannot think outside the box. They’ve had too much inertia and no accountability to anyone other than themselves. If they were mid-level managers of a company they would have been sacked en masse after the election for sheer incompetence and malfeasance.

    Pols like Pelosi are the poster children for term limits.

    1. The only item on then-Speaker Gingrich’s “Contract With America” he failed to pass was term limits…..duh!

    2. Moribund is indeed the right term for the Democrat party (and possibly for both parties). But focusing, quite rightly on the losers, the Democrat elite have spent three decades undermining what the party once stood for and along the way they and it have become a cesspool of corruption and influence peddling. It is now a tear down in virtually everything but the illusions spun and sold by the main stream media to a segment of the public remarkably tribal and resilient to facts.

      Pelosi is the quintessential example of a Dem death rattle; and a nasty one at that, taking place before our eyes.

      1. Brooklin Bridge: +1

        “I . . . voted for Jill Stein, as a matter of conscience . . .” “I thought of my grandchildren, in deciding to cast my vote for Jill Stein, knowing that she and the Greens are hard at work trying to assure that my grandchildren will have the clean air and pure water that most of us ‘grown-ups’ still take for granted.” – Ray McGovern (11/7/2016)

        1. As a supporter of the system of representative democracy and Constitutional Republic may I thank you for your support by voting for Klein. Unlike the other messenger candidate she did bring up important issues which do need recognition as an entire body of concern. We are required to be good stewards of the planet and for examplenot waste time and energy chasing fairy tales when real issues are yet to be solved.

          May I suggest the current discussion on oil production. The offshore companies prncipally Shell (Dutch owned) and BP (British owned) with their reigning monarchs – Elizabeth and Juliana as major stockholders are seeking to have rules and safety requirements lifted. The excuse is we need offshore oil so as not to have to buy Saudi Oil.

          They disregard the SW Texas oil strike which I read is larger than the Saudi Reserves and does not count the current newly found extension. The USA lifted the ban on exporting oil (minus I guess Alaska) as a result.

          Point being considering the demonstrated perils of offshore oil spills and the demonstrated huge resources and being able to export why are we importing any oil?

          Offshore can be kept as a reserve and hopefully never needed.

          That would be a worthy goal for your attention.

          Second Suggestion. The most efficient way to transport energy is convert it to electricity at the source through transmission lines preferably buried. That leaves petro fuels for trains, trucks AND the family car for longer trips. The electric car has one major fallacy. What happened to the electric bill?

          TANSTAAFL Someone always has to pay a price.

          Let it not be the beleaguered working class nor the environment.

        2. When the time came, finally, to get up and go out and vote, I was too spent to think as far ahead as you. I voted for Jill Stein as well, but my reasoning was numb. Not Hillary. Not quite Trump. Get Jill over the 5% hurdle Get some sleep.

          I’m starting to wonder if the election was rigged after all. Jill should have made the 5%, I’m sure of it. That much was rigged. If it was rigged for Trump: 1) I’m surprised but not amazed, and 2) the DNC and the Clinton dynasty richly deserved what it got. Among other things, they are no mean riggers themselves.

          One rather simplistic reason I suspect the voting is rigged – always – is the level of general corruption in our governments from national to local level (at least in my area). Given that, how could voting machines that don’t even allow a fool proof audit (or no audit at all), running private software, be on the level? Card sharks would not play those odds.

          I’m not alone either,

          1. I voted for Jill Stein as well -> Like Ray McGovern, I voted for Jill Stein, but my reasoning was numb.

            Since you quoted Ray, not to mention the general aspect of your comments, I assume your thinking is as far ahead as his.

            1. As far as me having the factual knowledge to critically think about what otherwise is inexplicable behavior by our government, I have no relevant background like McGovern does if that’s what you mean. I’ve just been paying attention over the past few years and not taking for granted that our government can be trusted when the questions receive answers that make little or no sense.

          2. Good article. “Trump’s , , , $3 trillion in tax cuts to the top one percent” will be a problem along with what I’d guess will be increased, overt authoritarianism.

            Ever since Bernie lost the Demo primary to the Clinton status quo, I’ve thought it will have to get worse before it gets better, and Mr. Trump may be just the guy to get us there.

  11. I do not think that wanting new leadership is sexist! As a woman of 60 I am tired of politics as usual! Let’s shake this party up and get new blood into leadership! We won when we shook it up with Obama so let’s be bold again!

    1. The opposite of “politics as usual” is turning out to be “we haven’t any idea how government actually works.”

  12. I’m curious how many people other than this one person Millhiser have claimed that Tim Ryan is “sexist”? In other words, is this really much of a story? I’m not sure. I’d love to see new blood in the Democratic Party leadership, and so would millions of other Democrats.

    Professor, your continual, repeated focus on topics like these, to the exclusion of any meaningful discussion of the multiple issues swirling around Donald Trump and his transition, including what happened at the recent “off the record” meeting between Trump and the MSM, is fairly telling. Hey, it’s your blog and all that, so you get to decide what topics to address. And topics like this one are definitely worth discussing, But the fact that you don’t post much about Trump means your bias is showing.

    BTW, is it true that your House Republican clients have asked the Court of Appeals to stay the government’s appeal in the Obamacare lawsuit that you won at trial, now that Trump is about to become President? Sounds to me like your clients were using you and the lawsuit to drag down Obama, not to uphold an important principle of Constitutional law. Seems more that a bit slimy, like the tactics being used to attack Peolosi’s challenger, eh?

    1. Don, you’d have a complaint if you forward one reliable Rep. scandal similar to the dozens of Wikileaks emails (never ever proven to be false, a 100% accuracy record) confirming the DNC practically owns MSM and MSM news (except for maybe Fox).

      Sorry, can’t remember if it was CNN or which MSM news, but one email was from Podesta, who flat out states the DNC simply forwards UNEDITED talking points to one particular network news who publishes it like lap dogs. Sorry, it’s never been proven the Reps. have any similar MSM privileges.

      Then of course the fact that CNN’s Donna Brazile forwarded debate questions to HRC. Has the MSM much covered this, compared to if Fox’s Chris Wallace did the same favor for Trump? Dems would be calling for Trump to resign if that happened.

      Besides, as our dear. Dr. Turley has well proven, Comey dropped the ball and HRC has so far gotten away w/multiple felonies, the total penalty for which is about 8000 years (3 years per violation x thousands of violations). I interpret Comey as saying that HRC committed X # of felonies, but something along the lines of, “for which no current prosecutor would press charges”…..which also means all we need is a new AG, and Comey has the map laid out to prosecute HRC.

      For a short number of days after Obama welcomed Trump and was so civil, I thought I might accept Trump just letting the criminal charges go (against BO and HRC….BO had to avoid charging HRC because BO had a private anonymous email account with which he communicated w/HRC). But since then, hearing HRC’s lie blaming Comey for her loss, accepting no blame, and that scum BO lying in Europe saying he leaves us w/a great economy and Americans love his policies (they love BO and hate his policies), ordering Trump to “compromise” when he ruled by the “pen and phone” and gave the finger to Congress (“if they don’t like it, sue me” when the law prohibits such), promising to criticize Trump later…..I now say full speed ahead and toss BO and HRC in prison for as long as possible, ditto Bill Clinton, Chelsea, Podesta, etc.

      Re. current Generals grumbling they won’t follow illegal Trump orders: what the hell do they think is legal about fighting endless wars on POTUS orders only, ignoring the Constitution’s rule that ONLY CONGRESS CAN DECLARE WAR?

      1. Does Dr. Turley have a separate section of posts on the criminality of HRC and her multiple felonies?

        1. No.

          Just search or peruse article titles during the months pre and post Comey’s ridiculous initial decision not to call a grand jury and not to indict HRC. Are you among the handful of Americans who deny or don’t know that HRC committed several if not thousands of felonies, virtually identical to persons convicted during the BO administration, rotting in federal prison this minute, who lack HRC’s political connections? Ditto, another top source is retired Federal Judge Andrew Napolitano whose opinions virtually mirror Turley’s.

          Turley is among the best if not the best authors on this subject. He had and still has top secret clearance, has Chicago Democrat blood in his veins (correct me if wrong), and his biography in the legal profession is beyond reproach, filling about at least a half dozen pages.

          1. THOUSANDS?? Based on what? Fox “news”? And no, it isn’t a “handful.” I tell you what, you tell me exactly one “felony” you think she committed, and I’ll tell you why you are mistaken.

    2. Don,

      “Professor, your continual, repeated focus on topics like these, to the exclusion of any meaningful discussion of the multiple issues swirling around Donald Trump and his transition…”


      ‘That statement is so weak’: David Gergen brutally hammers Trump response to neo-Nazi supporters

      Former White House staff assistant David Gergen called out Trump’s statement as weak. He said, “Donald Trump is trying to have it both ways here. I don’t think he’ll be successful. On one hand, he puts out statements denying there’s any racism, sexism or any other things we all find so abhorrent in his administration.”

      “And thank goodness,” he continued. “We want presidents to do that. But on the other hand he’s appointed Steve Bannon as one of the most powerful people in the White House, one of the most powerful people in Washington, whose previous company … Breitbart, he said that it was the main platform for alt-right.”

      Gergen wasn’t finished, however. He said, “Now here comes alt-right, and we see their true colors, they have this conference in Washington. It’s overtly racist, it’s overtly anti-Jewish, it’s anti-Semitic, it’s overtly against women. And it is overtly white supremacist.”

      Washington Post political reporter Philip Bump chimed in on the conversation. He said, Trump is trying to have “folks who are enthusiastic supporters of his, and not slap them on the hand too hard, but still have them be part of what it is he’s doing.”

      “That statement is so weak,” he said. “This from a guy who spent months railing against Hillary Clinton for not saying ‘radical Islamic terrorism,’ can’t come out and say, ‘Those racist Nazis that were just in DC, that’s not me, stay away from me.’”

          1. He is also a legally re-elected president of a nation state who still commands the favor of a majority of the population in the lasts election (2014).

            On 16 July 2014, Assad was sworn in for another seven-year term after taking 88.7% of votes in the first contested presidential election in Ba’athist Syria’s history.[4][5][6] The election was criticised by media outlets as “tightly controlled” and without independent election monitors, while an international delegation composed of officials from more than 30 countries (including Bolivia, Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, India, Iran, Iraq, Nicaragua, Russia, South Africa and Venezuela) issued a statement asserting that the election was “free, fair and transparent”.[7][8][9] The Assad government describes itself as secular,[10] while some experts claim that the government exploits ethnic and sectarian tensions in the country and relies upon the Alawite minority to remain in power.[11][12][13]


            Being a legally elected president in the Middle East is a red flag to the US government (both Bush and Obama), that has proven itself only willing to recognize Washington selected dictators or failing that to maintain a constant state of mayhem with US armed forces or proxies making sure no spontaneous events of Democracy can take place.

          2. Jay, if you believe that the US should be overthrowing governments that don’t kneel to us, then that’s your business. I disagree.

            Getting along – as opposed to making war – means respecting others’ space.

            1. Exactly. Why put some lip time to stopping death and destruction and just complain about some other complainers. Once you scratch through the thin skin of these neo liberals, it doesn’t really appear that there is anything underneath. “Whirling mass of personality components” as Buddha would say…

            2. I think it comes down to whether or not you think isolationism is a viable long term policy. If we don’t bother them, will they never ever bother us?

              1. Jay: It’s not about them bothering us, and it never has been. It’s about us controlling their oil in an oil-based economy that the 1% doesn’t want to change, it’s about controlling the petrocurrency in an economy in which that oil is traded in otherwise valueless US paper dollars, and it’s about protecting the ruthless Saud family until they decide they don’t want to give us their oil:

  13. Ryan is not sexist. NP lost all leadership credibility when she long ago stated that “impeachment was off the table”. It’s absurd dems are only now facing up to weak leaders in the party. Btw ash, I’m a feminist and a card carrying Democrat-but I’m not carrying water for anyone over age 18 or under age 65. So kindly watch your crude judgements.

    1. As an aside, I am still puzzled why Howard Dean’s one cryout was such a career-ending event. Can anyone explain this to me?

      1. I didn’t get that either. God forbid a politician have a moment where they display something other than a Westworld personality.

  14. Ian Milhiser and almost all establishment and feminist Democrats are trying to snatch defeat out of disaster.

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