One of the subjects of extensive media coverage – although nothing near the time devoted to negative opinions about Trump – is the prospect of California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi reclaiming her political perch as Speaker of the House. The Democrat caucus will meet in a matter of days to elect its new leadership and the only question is how much “new” there will be in the new leadership. Understandably, the most important question involves Pelosi.
If there is a legitimate question regarding Pelosi’s future, there are two reasons. The first is her general unpopularity. Even though she is the most powerful Democrat in America – with apologies to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer – Pelosi is so unpopular that she was considered by Republicans to be the best reason for not turning the House over to the Democrats. Now that that strategy has failed, Pelosi’s future is now open to debate.
The second reason that some may see Pelosi as something less than a slam dunk to be Speaker in January is the number of Democrats who have promised voters that they would oppose her restoration to the chair overlooking the chamber. The #NeverPelosi faction includes a number of the rabid radicals that will be heading to Washington with only one primary objective – to oust President Trump and vanquish every Republican and moderate Democrat – if there is such a thing – from the halls of government.
Despite her unpopularity and the number of her newly minted Democrat caucus members calling for new leadership, the chance that Pelosi will not be the Speaker in January is between nil and none. All this conjecture and drama seen in the press is nothing but Kabuki Theater. Even when there is no drama, the minions of the Fourth Estate will conjure up faux drama just to engage in play-by-play coverage.
There are several reasons why Pelosi will win her race for Speaker without breaking into a sweat. The very fact that Democrats won an impressive victory in taking over the House gives Pelosi a lot of political capital. She was largely responsible for the selection of many of those winning candidates – and more importantly, providing record amounts of money for those winning congressional campaigns. She has a lot of political I.O.U.s put on the table.
In addition, no formidable candidate has emerged to challenge Pelosi’s reelection. For sure, there are whispers and several who would love to see an opening – but as of this moment, they do not. You cannot beat someone with no one.
If a challenger does come forward, it will be more for the publicity than any hope of winning. Such an impotent challenge will not intimidate or humble Pelosi. Once the gavel is in her hand, she will rule over the House with authoritarian fervor.
Of course, the biggest reason Pelosi will be elevated to Speaker is the most fundamental of all political reasons. She has the votes. With a majority of 226 seats — and counting – the #NeverPelosi faction is relatively small.
It is important to keep in mind that the vast majority of those who will be voting on Pelosi had repeatedly given her the Speaker’s gavel. There is no reason to expect a revolt to spread to the ranks of the incumbent Democrat establishment.
Rather than appear hypocritical, the most vociferous of the anti-Pelosi members will cast a vote for someone else IF there is a someone else for whom to vote. But that will not be adversarial. Under the rules of Kabuki Theater in Washington, they will be given a pass. They will be allowed to cast a meaningless face-saving vote against Pelosi as long as it is not a close race – after which the freshman class of Democrat legislators will do what all good Democrats do. They will fully engage in a game of follow the leader.
So, there ‘tis.