• Is That Pro-Pelosi Democrats We See Gloating? They Might Want to Reel It In a Bit

    Surge Summary: Pro-Pelosi Democrats are feeling pretty good about the Speaker of the House at the moment — but victory laps are definitely premature in the era of Donald Trump. 

    If you ever doubted it, don’t: Rarely is it safe to assume the dull or utterly predictable will ever be the norm in politics.

    Scott Wong over at The Hill calls them “the ‘I Told You So’ Caucus.”

    Democrats who argued during the Speaker race last fall that Nancy Pelosi was the right — and perhaps only — person who could lead the caucus in the tumultuous Trump era say they have been vindicated.

    Wong reminds us that after the 2018 midterm elections turned the majority in the House over to the Democrats, a number of insurgents led by Reps. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) had raised serious questions about Pelosi’s return to the Speaker’s office. She, predictably had other ideas, neutralizing the opposition one by one, effectively quashing the mini-rebellion. Pelosi-allies held that, in order to fend off the flamboyant and pugnacious Republican presently in the Oval Office, Democrats would need a seasoned veteran — someone like the Golden State Senator, in other words.

    Criticism, and even mockery, of Pelosi has been a commonplace for the past years or so — but, claims Wong,

    [i]n the first seven months of her second stint as Speaker, Pelosi proved her mettle, besting Trump in two key negotiations this year. After a 35-day shutdown in December and January, Trump flinched in his standoff with Pelosi, agreeing to reopen the government without getting billions for his border wall that he had repeatedly demanded.

    And just last week, Trump agreed to a $2.7 trillion deal that averts deep cuts to defense and domestic spending and avoids the need to lift the debt ceiling until after the 2020 elections. With a reputation as a master vote counter, Pelosi wrangled 219 votes on her side, demonstrating that Democrats could have passed the legislation on their own. House Republicans thought Trump’s deal was so bad that fewer than one-third — 65 out of 197 — voted yes despite the president’s tweets urging GOP support.

    “A crap sandwich” is how one top House GOP aide described the Trump-Pelosi budget deal.

    Some donkey-party figures bordered on delirium:

    “I’m just, I’m in awe,” Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-Ariz.) confessed.

    “No sequester for the next few years, a two-year budget. I mean, I don’t know if I could find any more happiness within a budget, other than I hate the fact that it costs so much.”

    Added Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.): “Who’s the one person that has been able to stand up to this president and the White House on issue after issue and has made him look like a fool? Nancy Pelosi.”

    Michigan’s Rep. Dan Kildee, a Pelosi loyalist and Democrat chief deputy whip snarked,

    “Those of us who have supported her and supported her in her Speaker’s run this time … we don’t exactly go around saying ‘I told you so,’ but we could if we wanted to.”

    It needs be said, some figure the Speaker caught a break last week with special counsel Robert Mueller’s less-than-stellar performance before Congress which seemed to sap momentum for the impeachment effort – a movement Pelosi reportedly regards as too risky at the moment. This turn of events appears to have supplied Pelosi and moderates a breather as the chamber’s summer recess begins.

    “Just going into impeachment for impeachment’s sake is not the correct thing to do for us as Democrats. But more importantly, it’s not the correct thing to do for Americans,” Meeks told The Hill.

    “Nancy has repeatedly said, and what I couldn’t agree with more, is we can’t allow impeachment to trump the work that we’ve done over the last 200 days and the commitment that we made in the last election, to make sure that everybody had affordable health care, that we will go to work to get an infrastructure bill, that we’re going to try to root out corruption in Washington, D.C.”

    But hold on, boys and girls! Obstacles awaiting the Lady from San Francisco have hardly evaporated.

    House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) is heading to court to obtain underlying grand jury material for the Mueller report that covered possible obstruction of justice by Trump.

    Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a member of Pelosi’s leadership team, frames Nadler’s scheme as basically the seeds of an impeachment inquiry minus a formal House vote.

    The final day before Congress split town, wanting to project an image of unity, Pelosi met privately for half-an-hour with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. The confab wrapped with a tweeted photo of the duo together.

    “I think the Speaker respects the fact that we’re coming together as a party and that unity,” said Ocasio-Cortez, who on her first day in Congress had joined a climate change protest in Pelosi’s office that had infuriated the Speaker’s allies.

    Pelosi doughtily spun the whole dust-up as a reaffirmation that

    diversity and differences of opinion in her 235-member caucus should be seen as something positive.

    “We’re not a lock-step, rubber-stamp representation of anything except representatives of our districts. … In our caucus we have our differences, so respect that instead of making a big issue of it. … In a family, you have differences, but you’re still family.”

    Makes you all warm-n-fuzzy inside, doesn’t it?

    Political onlookers ought to be expecting more of this stuff from the House Speaker and her party heading into 2020’s elections, particularly from Pelosi devotees.

    Is it true the President and Pelosi’s other GOP rivals have, at times over the past two years, gratuitously handed her some ammunition to wield against them? No doubt.

    Still, assuming Ms. Pelosi and her die-hards have noticed Donald Trump’s own capacity for rebounding from perilous, political straits, any exuberance on their parts ought to be tempered with a boatload of caution. She’s a leadership figure, after all, in a party whose best hope for the upcoming contest against the current president is, apparently, a faltering Joe Biden. That fact, all by it’s lonesome, ought to convince Nancy Pelosi an excess of wariness is definitely in order for her and her caucus colleagues.

    Democratic Gloating? In the Trump Era, definitely premature.

    Image: photo credit: Gage Skidmore <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/22007612@N05/47999049661″>Nancy Pelosi</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

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