Thursday, December 1, 2016

Nancy With the All-Too-Familiar Face

You knew it was going to happen.

Nancy Pelosi, 76, was re-elected House Democratic leader, and her septuagenarian henchmen, House Democratic whip Steny Hoyer and House deputy Democratic leader James Clyburn retained their respective posts.  A party flailing for relevance and freshness has decided to forge ahead by looking backward and resorting the old way of doing business in their approach to new issues.  And the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party couldn't be more pleased.  Some pro-establishment commentators have even heralded Pelosi's "victory" as a blow against sexism and ageism.  Oh, it's a blow, all right, but not against bigotry.  It's a blow against anyone who wants to infuse the party with new ideas.  And it might be a fatal one, if Pelosi and her allies insist on leading the party down the path of identity politics and elitist economic positions. 
Pelosi has promised to include younger members of the House Democratic caucus in the decision-making and leadership process - if she can find enough of them.  As Martin O'Malley might say, may I offer a perspective from my generation?  Democratic electoral losses from 2010 on have made younger House Democrats more than a little hard to find.  The party elders don't seem to get the new issues; they're fighting the last battle, which they lost.  If this is how House Democrats want it to be, they will not be in the minority for a long time, but in the very low number of days in existence that the the party has left to it.      

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