It’s kind of ironic. After years of sustaining losses, the brightest spot for the Democrats on Nov. 6 was the fact that they retook the House of Representatives.
So, of course, there’s a movement to replace Rep. Nancy Pelosi as the party’s leader in the House. Why not snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?
Well, mostly because Pelosi is a polarizing figure who’s widely unpopular and seems aloof. She’s always been a great recruiting tool for the Republican Party and her holding the speaker’s gavel for the next two years could be a pretty good way to ensure a red wave in 2020.
According to ABC News, Pelosi might be heading off the challenge through diplomacy. A spokesman for the House minority leader said Pelosi and Rep. Fudge had a “candid and respectful conversation.”
Then again, Fudge’s challenge might also be headed off by the progressive wing of the party. According to them, Fudge’s record on gay issues is insufficiently pure.
According to The Washington Post, Fudge was one of two House Democrats that wouldn’t sponsor last year’s Equality Act, a piece of legislation that would have amended the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include protections for “sexual orientation and gender identity.”
This, as Breitbart noted, didn’t go over well with the hashtag activist set.
They think they’re going to make Marcia Fudge Speaker?
She’s well known to be skeptical-to-hostile to LGBTQ rights, and is one of the only Dems not to cosponsor the Equality Act. She and Dan Lipinski are the only holdouts/1 https://t.co/s329t9vP6O
— Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) November 15, 2018
Marcia Fudge was one of only two House Democrats to refuse to cosponsor a federal ban on anti-LGBT legislation, so you may want to tell this Democrat who’s pushing to dump Pelosi and make her 3rd in line for the Presidency how you feel about that. https://t.co/f96Zg49yXm
— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) November 15, 2018
Marcia Fudge is one of two Democrats in the House who did not co-sponsor the Equality Act, which would ban discrimination against LGBTQ people in the United States at the federal level.
— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) November 15, 2018
I will note that Marcia Fudge is one of two Democratic members who refuses to cosponsor the Equality Act, which would extend civil rights protections to sexual orientation and gender identity.
(The other is Dan Lipinski.) https://t.co/rte68HKS35
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) November 14, 2018
Well, at least the other choice isn’t Dan Lipinski. Wouldn’t that be awkward.
Whether or not Pelosi’s accession to speaker will run into any speed bumps remains to be seen. Fudge, for her part, seemed to indicate after the discussion that she would consider dropping the challenge if Pelosi agreed to limit her time as speaker.
“That would be strong,” Fudge said, according to Politico.
She also indicated that Pelosi’s potential tenure was on the agenda during the meeting, noting that they “talked about some succession plan, and we talked about some other things. I think the biggest issue that we discussed was the feeling in the caucus of people who are feeling left out and left behind.”
Of course, appeasing all of the aggrieved parties “who are feeling left out and left behind” in the Democratic caucus is a difficult task. Just ask Rep. Fudge. She’s as anti-Trump and progressive as they come — the lack of ideological diversity among Democrats is stunning — but one errant belief and that’s enough for the rabble to turn against her.
As of now, 17 Democrats have pledged to vote against Pelosi for speaker; she needs 218 votes and there are 231 Democrats with just a few seats left outstanding. That’s problematic for the San Francisco Democrat, but the president says he wants Republicans to vote for Pelosi as speaker for reasons one can probably guess.
And, if there’s no challenger, there’s no challenge. Given that the #NeverNancy movement has coalesced around someone the ascendant wing of the party finds unacceptable, it remains to be seen how much hope there is in either sticking behind her or scrambling to find a replacement.
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