New York Times JUST CAN'T STOP Sh*tting On Nancy Pelosi!
The House Democratic Caucus voted Wednesday to nominate Nancy Pelosi for a second tour of duty as speaker. This was perhaps the most foregone of foregone conclusions. Pelosi's opponents in the House still think they can block her on the floor but they're morons. I'm not the next speaker so I said that less diplomatically than Pelosi would, but that's the sentiment clearly expressed in a comment longtime Pelosi foe Kathleen Rice actually went around repeating.
RICE: Nancy Pelosi said it herself: Power is not given to you. You have to take it. And that's what this effort is all about.
Basically, Pelosi told Rice that she's a fool if she thinks that some ragamuffin Democrats are going to bully her into stepping down and giving them a clear, unobstructed path to power. If they want her gavel, then make their move. Otherwise they can get lost.
Note how Pelosi is such a political Svengali she has Rice quoting her cold diss like it's some ancient Chinese secret: "Like Confucius says, I'm a big moron with a big stupid head."
We all knew this coup was doomed when none of the geniuses involved could convince someone to seriously challenge Pelosi. When they last tried it, the best they could do was Tim Ryan. Pelosi has referred to Ryan as "inconsequential," but she was just being nice. He got 63 votes when he ran against Pelosi in 2016 for Minority Leader. This would've been impressive if there were 100 House Democrats at the time, but unfortunately, there were 194.
This was nothing short of a trouncing but the media spun it as a sign of discontent with Pelosi. They speculated that someone more accomplished than Ryan, like practically anyone else, could've "toppled" her. The people who get paid to say things that will inevitably prove incorrect (we call this Cillizza-ing) insisted that the next two years would likely be Pelosi's last. This was literally true: Pelosi won't be Minority Leader come January. She's gonna be speaker and mama's got a brand new dress for the occasion.
Notice how totally unconcerned about bullshit Pelosi is? The anti-Pelosi brigade should've noticed. This whole much-ballyhooed "speaker fight" was just a fly-swatting session, and the press covered it like a Serena Williams match against "consequential" people. They can't help themselves. As noted by David Nir at Daily Kos, the New York Times served up some silliness Wednesday with its article "Democrats Resoundingly Nominate Pelosi as Speaker, but Defections Signal Fight Ahead."
Fight! Fight! Sweet Christ. Pelosi's opposition has been led by Ryan and Seth Moulton, both of whom have been after Pelosi for a while. You can't "defect" from a person to whom you've never had loyalty. That's why we call it the "Judas kiss" and not the "Caiaphas cuddle." I don't think anyone who voted "no" was a shock or a personal betrayal. Pelosi didn't collapse on the Capitol steps and cry out, "Et tu, Conor Lamb?"
That's just the headline. The story's even worse.
In a secret-ballot vote that dramatized rifts among Democrats only weeks after midterm election victories handed them the majority, Ms. Pelosi, running unopposed, won support from 203 Democrats. Beyond the 32 no votes, three ballots were left blank.
The result kept alive the threat of a messy intraparty feud and touched off what promises to be an intense period of internal arm-twisting and cajoling by a leader renowned for both.
Now the Times just sounds desperate. It's like when a a student at a college party spills a drink on herself and some weird dude shouts, "Wet t-shirt contest!" That weird dude was Dean Baquet (no, it wasn't).
The current speaker, Paul Ryan, is terrible and despite the media's best efforts to prop him up as some great policy maker, he has always been a big blob of nothing, the legislative equivalent of an old bean bag chair. Nonetheless, dig how the Times
covered his rise to the speakership.
Mr. Ryan, an architect of sweeping budget and tax reform proposals who gained national prominence as the Republican Party's 2012 vice-presidential nominee, won the overwhelming support of his colleagues in the nominating contest and is now set to be installed as speaker in a formal vote on the House floor on Thursday.
Republicans said the vote was 200 to 43 over Representative Daniel Webster of Florida, Mr. Ryan's closest rival.
Although Mr. Ryan was short of the 218 votes needed to win Thursday's floor vote, supporters said he would pick up backers now that he is the nominee.
Yes, Pelosi is "renowned" for her arm-twisting and assorted nagging. Paul Ryan is an "architect" of "sweeping" proposals with no structural or moral integrity that crumble to the ground, trapping poor people beneath the rubble. He also gained "national prominence" getting actually disemboweled by Uncle Joe Biden in a losing vice-presidential campaign.
Paul Ryan fell short of the required 218 in the nominating contest, but the Times did not see much "threat" of internal strife. That was still "overwhelming support," no "defections" there. Pelosi's 203 is also more than Paul Ryan's 200 because of math.
The Times is selling a battle that might prove as anti-climactic as the opening of Al Capone's vault. The anti-Pelosi forces have no plan rooted in observable reality. Their non-existent candidate would need to rally another 186 votes to beat Pelosi. These morons don't have an actual vision for an alternate speaker. They've only flung around a lot of mostly baseless objections to Pelosi herself — "someone new," "maybe someone more moderate," "uh, definitely someone bigger than a bread box." That's a lot of consensus to reach for a total unknown.
It's over, guys. Moulton, Ryan, Rice, et al. should just go enjoy the holidays and prepare for their fulfilling assignments on the new House Committee to Determine Which Ties Best Match Stephen Robinson's Shirts.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).