• The Falconer

2020 Vision: The Pelosi Effect

Updated: Nov 27, 2018

By: Rohan Myers

PTS Falconer Staff

November 26, 2018

📷The election season of 2018 is drawing to a close. While few races remain to be concretely decided, the majority have been accounted for. Generally speaking, the results have fallen in line with the anticipated expectations of many political pundits. Though certain races involving key swing states, specifically in our own state of Florida, were contentious and resulted in recounts and narrow Republican victories, overall the Democratic Party triumphed in this cycle. Most noteworthy, they managed to regain the House of Representatives. While conservative pundits have pointed out that in no way has this alleged “blue wave” rivaled the rather infamous rise of the GOP in 2010, the Democrats should nonetheless be grateful and overjoyed with the outcome.

However, the party is once again faced with a pressing matter: who among them is qualified and willing to lead the group to further wins in 2020 and beyond? With the near-certainty of President Trump becoming renominated for the Republican presidential ticket in less than two years, Democrats must quickly return from their post-election high and get to work.

At the top of their current agenda: selecting a representative to preside over the caucus as House Speaker.

Of course, many are looking to seasoned Democrats for much-needed guidance as Speaker of the House. Headlining the list is none other than Congresswoman and current Minority House Leader Nancy Pelosi. Although she is undoubtedly an accomplished woman in her own right (through breaking many glass ceilings such as becoming the first female speaker of the House), Pelosi has proven to be a controversial figure within the Democratic pool of opinion. While she may tout her prior experience working in tangent with former President George W. Bush as Speaker of the House, in no way does this fulfill the necessary requirements of the sharply eyed position. After all, it is evident following the 2016 presidential election that even rudimentary political experience is no prerequisite for the highest positions in our government. Donald Trump sits in the Oval Office -- most likely angrily on Twitter -- as we speak.

In a party still grappling with their intense losses in the 2016 elections, divisions have begun to form distinct factions under the Democratic Party umbrella. Yet one force has managed to unite most of the party (with the exception of Senator Joe Manchin). It is largely accepted that President Trump must be removed from power. The exact method of enacting this remains undecided but the necessity of doing so is understood. Who knows, maybe Hillary Rodham Clinton will see 2020 as “her year” and she will campaign for a third time. Are you still #imwithher? And more importantly, is the Democratic Party?

Congresswoman Pelosi’s embodiment of both orthodox and progressive Democratic ideals has projected her over the decades to become the de facto frontrunner in the race to become House Speaker. But the juxtaposition of such an enigmatic individual with an increasingly diverse -- demographically and ideologically -- party has naturally accompanied challenges to her power. As dissident Democrats rally against her, we will see in the coming weeks whether they will become lackluster and back bone-less in typical Democratic-style and concede to her authority. As the newfound Ocasio-Cortez wing of the party begins to take office in Washington D.C., Democrats will be obliged to deal with the subsequent complications of identifying themselves (something politicians tend to avoid engaging in). Will traditional faces, both in age and rank, adjust to the Trump-era or will they remain unphased, unchanged, and unchallenged?

A reckoning of why and how the Democrats so bitterly lost two years ago has not fully occurred. Finally now, only due to their victories in this election cycle, are they realizing the possible impact of their intended actions. To win back all chambers of government including the highly-desired executive branch is nearly impossible if Democrats do not choose their leaders wisely. The 2018 election season may be over but the game of American politics is far from its end.

If Democrats wish to secure key elections in 2020, Representative Pelosi may prove to be a hindrance in the process to do so.

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