The Blog

Morning Jay: Special "Umm...Pelosi?!" Edition!

Yes she can!

6:30 AM, Nov 8, 2010 • By JAY COST
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Here is more from Pelosi:

"In addition, we must build the capacity for effectively communicating our message of job creation and opportunity for all, while supporting our signature achievements of health care, Wall Street reform, and Social Security and Medicare," she wrote. "In the 2006 election with our ‘New Direction’ and ‘6 for 06’ message, we spoke with great clarity and unity — and we won. Now, we must further modernize not only that message but the way in which we communicate with constituents."

In other words, the problem hasn’t been the policy -- namely, policy that has been to the left of the districts that swept the party into power in 2006 -- but the way these liberal policies have been explained.

In fairness, this is a myopia of which Republicans have often been guilty. Strong partisans on both sides are loath to admit that they are not, deep down, right smack dab in the true political center – and so they like to explain their losses in ways like this.  

But there appears to be a difference in degree between the two sides, at least in the Congress. After all, in 1998 when the Republicans kept their majority, simply failing to win more seats, Newt Gingrich still stepped down as speaker of the House. Similarly, Dennis Hastert stepped down from the leadership after the GOP defeat in 2006. Now, the Democrats are in their weakest position since 1946, yet Pelosi appears on track to retain the leadership of the congressional Democrats.

In the long run, the structure of the Democratic House caucus is not going to change. So, what the Democrats need is a unifying force -- not a leader who pulls the Democrats to the middle (that's what Republicans need!), but one who instead can harmonize the interests of the left with the middle.  This task is easier said than done. In fact, I'd say that the last president really to do that was FDR. So far, it's pretty clear that Barack Obama is no Franklin Roosevelt.

Recent Blog Posts

The Weekly Standard Archives

Browse 19 Years of the Weekly Standard

Old covers