Pelosi: “I Don’t Think People Want A New Direction”

220px-nancy_pelosiWe recently discussed how Democrats seeking the removal of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi were called “sexist” for merely seeking change after the disastrous 2016 election. 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. However, democratic members overwhelmingly elected Pelosi again as minority leader in what was seen as a slap in the face of those who want to see serious change in the party. Within a couple days of her reelection, Pelosi went on the air to declare that everyone is wrong and people really do not want a new direction. They want the same leadership like her to pursue the very same course that has led to historic losses under her leadership in the House. It was the same dismissive logic applied by the Democratic National Committee and Democratic leadership (including Pelosi) in engineering the nomination of Hillary Clinton, the ultimate establishment figure when polls showed an overriding preference for an outsider and record low favorability numbers for Clinton (particularly on issues of honesty). The question is whether the obvious anger inside and outside the party will galvanize into continued opposition. The establishment seems to be betting on people forgetting about serious reforms or wanting other options than the current duopoly of power held by the Republicans and Democrats. Retaining the very same leadership in both parties may be just what reformers had hoped: a clear signal that any changes in Washington will require the continuation of the popular movement seen in the last election.

Pelosi appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday and was asked: “What do you tell Democrats who want a new direction and then, go to you, what are you going to do differently?” For those who fear that the Democratic establishment is protecting its own power rather than the party or the public, the answer was chilling:

PELOSI: “Well, I don’t think people want a new direction. Our values unify us and our values are about supporting America’s working families. That’s one that everyone is in agreement on. What we want is a better connection of our message to working families in our country, and that clearly in the election showed that that message wasn’t coming through. But we are united in terms of the security of our country, which is our first responsibility. To be smart and strong and not reckless in how we protect the American people, strong in how we protect our economy.”

After losing what was viewed as highly promising election for the Democrats (in part due to the selection of a candidate that Pelosi pushed), the answer seems to confirm that the party remains the domain of the party elite and not the voters.

Just to recap: the 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. Pelosi and the other top Democratic leaders will be in their 80s when the Democrats have another serious chance at retaking the House. (Notably, Joe Biden suggested today that he also will be back and is seriously considering a run for the presidency in 2020 when he will be 78 years old).

Saying that the election was simply not educating voters or getting their message through is basically saying that voters are misinformed about the wisdom of the Democratic leadership. The fact is that Hillary Clinton spent a record amount on the campaign and twice the amount per vote spent by Trump. The Democrats had the bigger campaign, the greater campaign coffers, and the overwhelming support of the media. Yet, Pelosi says the problem is that voters did not understand their message rather than the message itself (or the messengers).

Pelosi also dismissed widespread criticism of the Democratic leadership over the last two decades in pursuing the same unsuccessful course and messages. Here is the exchange:

DICKERSON: “Here’s my question, though, Democrats since 2008, the numbers are ghastly for Democrats. Democrats are down 10 percent, in the House down 19.3 percent and in governors 35 percent. The Democrats are getting clobbered at every level over multiple elections. That seems like a real crisis for the party?”
PELOSI: “You’re forgetting that we went up so high in 2006 and 2008, and let me just put that in perspective. When President Clinton was elected, Republicans came in big in the next election. When President Bush was president, we came in big in the next election. When President Obama became president, the Republicans came in big in the next election.”

That spin ignores that the Democrats have, over that period, lost a massive number of seats and made them little more than a passing irritant for the GOP in the House. For many, the interview highlights why Pelosi has been so unpopular in polls for over a decade. The leadership is refusing to accept that they are part of the problem or that there is really widespread discontent after the ultimate outsider just secured a historic upset over perhaps the greatest establishment figure in the Democratic party. Washington however views elections differently than the public. Leadership positions protect fixed interests for members who want committee positions, campaign funds, and other benefits. Even a losing leadership can supply those benefits if you are inside the tent. So one has to use a translator in such interviews. What Pelosi really meant is that “I don’t think that establishment wants a new direction” and she is clearly right.

200 thoughts on “Pelosi: “I Don’t Think People Want A New Direction””

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  2. The thousands who commented on Pelosi’s reelection in the Washington Post opposed it at a rate of 10 to one. At least half professed to be Democrats.

  3. Just another example of exactly why the election results speak for themselves. Just plain clueless as to what regular people want.

    1. Trump now has appointed 5 billionaires, 3 generals and 2 Goldman Sachs officials. Is that what regular people want?

      1. Dave – do you expect Trump to appoint the pizza delivery kid as head of Education? Everyone he has appointed has a background in that area. Obama nominated Janet Napolitano for Homeland Security. She knew nothing about the job. Now she is Chancellor of the California Universities and knows nothing about the job. She was appointed US Attorney for Arizona, didn’t know anything about the job.

      2. Do you have other suggestions? Should they be middle income or poor minorities to lead the agencies? Or, would it be better to have people who know how to make money, create jobs and experience success to lead the way for others in this country to succeed as well? Not sure what your objections are…..?

        1. And note that Trump tapped Ben Carson, MD to lead HUD. He is a minority who grew up in Detroit public housing with a single mother on welfare and became a pediatric neurosurgeon. If he in not the most qualified to lead that administrative agency, I don’t know who is. The man is self-made after growing in poverty in Detroit. And he in uniquely qualified to lead others on the path he took to experience success.

          Obama just wanted more and more to become dependent on government. Note the massive increase in those on welfare and food stamps under Obama. Trump wants to actually HELP people to succeed and move beyond government dependence.

          1. Progressives like Obama want to keep the inner cities dependent on government handouts. Trump actually wants to help inner cities thrive and rise out of poverty. Obama and the Democrats make sure the inner cities stay the reservations they have always been. Give Trump a chance to succeed. Trump’s success is the people’s success. And Washington DC does not want that to happen because that means they will be out of power. Persistant poverty = problems for government to solve = politicians staying in power. Trump wants to change this paradigm. Why not give him four years and support him in this effort?

      3. To answer your question: is that what regular people want? yes, it is. Think. And give Trump a shot.

      4. Dave has read the covers of all the books. He knows everything he needs to know.

    2. Who is clueless? Obama? Hillary? Because I truly believe Trump knows what regular people want and will do everything he can to deliver it…..but this is Washington… it will be an uphill battle to be sure….

    1. You can always find the “fake news” here without having to go to “infowars” and the other sites that peddle that trash. First heard of pizzagate here. Those that relish in the spreading of false news have taken up residence here.

      1. What sources are you relying on to make your assertion that it is indeed ‘fake news’? There are plenty of mainstream so-called news sources that peddle fake/slanted/liberal-narrative-driven ‘news’ as well. I believe it is called ‘propoganda’.

      2. I wouldn’t be so certain….there still may be something to Pizzagate. Just like it turned out there was something to Penn State and Jerry Sandusky, or the Catholic church, or Bill Clinton pal Jeffrey Epstein’s Lolita Express, or former speaker of the house Denny Hastert, or Anthony Weiner…..and yes, even Jared from the Subway commercials…..just sayin…..

        1. Well if you know something maybe you should testify on that poor fool’s behalf…. Ya know the one that took the gone up there.

              1. Is there a “news” source that you find so credible as to believe there is nothing to this pizzagate story? If so, please share.

            1. There’s a lot out there, but here’s another short video showing some of the creepy “artwork” Podesta enjoys having in his home. Tell me after seeing some of these artworks it doesn’t make you wonder what’s going on:

          1. Excerpt from a 2015 Washington Life article about the art collection in Tony Podesta’s home:

            “He regularly opens his house to casual pizza parties co-hosted by his friend James Alefantis, the owner of Comet Ping Pong. Over 200 pies emerge from the outdoor pizza oven as guests wander through the house and garden while studying his art collection.”

            …..and when you see actual pictures of the art collection in Tony Podesta’s home, you would have questions in your mind. Tony is the brother of John Podesta who was Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair.

            Just watch this three minute video of just some of the art in Podesta’s home. It is creepy to say the least:


            Or this one shows some of it as well – especially the art shown beginning at the 4 minute mark. It’s bizarre and beyond creepy:

        2. Pedlars of deception like you should be held accountable……someone could have been killed at that pizzeria or the bookstore next door.

          1. How on earth do you know that this is “peddling deception”? You have no idea what’s true or not. NO idea. So please share how YOU are making a determination that there is nothing to this story…..please share your unequivocal evidence that this is, in fact, fake news. Please share with us all.

          2. Right.

            Similar to an establishment media that promotes “hands up, don’t shoot,” and then looks the other way when cops get shot.

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