A 7-8-year-old white woman who lobbies Wall Street for cash and whose politics trend toward the center doesn’t embody today’s Democratic Party. Still, the House should be led by Speaker Pelosi in January. The idea of Pelosi returning to the speakership comes with the following caveat.
Nancy Pelosi should take back the gavel only if she is willing to retire at the end of this term.
The anti-Pelosi forces haven’t yet found a candidate to oppose her. While her record as the leader of the Democratic Party in the House is mixed, the truth is no one has yet made a case for replacing her.
If Pelosi is serious about her desire to be a transitional speaker, she needs to make that abundantly clear. If Pelosi is not running again, Democrats would have two years to establish their leadership going forward. They would have two years to figure out an agenda that is more in line with the values of most of us who vote Democratic.
The other side of this argument is if Pelosi is unwilling to announce this will be her last term is that she doesn’t intend to be a transitional speaker. If we can’t be sure her current reign would be temporary, she needs to be defeated now. At this point, we need to know there is a defined pathway to creating a Democratic Party that acts and looks like the kind of Democratic Party most of us want in office.
To my knowledge, no speaker of the House has ever simply walked away from leadership to serve as a member of Congress. If Pelosi isn’t willing to announce she will retire at the end of the term, we can’t believe her claims of being a transitional speaker.