The right side of the pond: If you want to understand American politics, forget Trump - focus on Pelosi

Saturday, August 11, 2018

In his column, talkRADIO presenter Michael Graham gives a conservative viewpoint on current issues.

That great American political philosopher, W. C. Fields, once said “I never vote for anyone. I always vote against.” And in many ways, that’s the dynamic of American politics in 2018.  So if you’re having trouble figuring out why President Donald Trump’s poll numbers remain steady despite an avalanche of negative news coverage, flip the channel from “Trump TV” and tune in the opposition:

Nancy Pelosi.

When Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2006 midterm elections, they made San Francisco liberal Nancy Pelosi the first woman Speaker of the House. It was an historic occasion. It was also, one could argue, the beginning of the end of Democratic control for a decade to come.

In 2010, Republicans swamped the Democrats, picked up 63 House seats and have kept control ever since—even in 2016, when Hillary Clinton received almost 3 million more popular votes than Donald Trump.  How? Most people blame Barack Obama, and they have a point.  President Obama elected more Republicans to public office than any person in history. During his time in office, Democrats lost more than 1,000 (!) federal, state and local elected offices.

But he did have some help, and her name was Nancy Pelosi.  

Pelosi is legendary on the American Right for the sorts of gaffes that can define issues.  During the debate over “ObamaCare”—a system to require Americans to buy private health insurance or force the already-insured into government-approved policies— Nancy Pelosi famously said “We have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it.” She recently referred to the GOP-backed tax cuts that will save the average family $4,000 and resulted in millions of workers getting thousands of dollars in bonuses as “crumbs.”

And now, with a strong, anti-Trump headwind blowing against the GOP, Republicans are counting on the power of Pelosi to help them cling to control of the House.

Jesse Hunt, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee says “When Nancy Pelosi becomes a central part of the discussion in any race, that is something we’re winning on because we’re not just talking about her, we’re talking about her policies,” Hunt said.

Corry Bliss of the GOP-controlled Congressional Leadership Fund says their focus group research shows Pelosi is the GOP’s biggest political asset. 

“To the average American — not the average Republican, the average American — Nancy Pelosi and her San Francisco liberal values are completely removed from reality. That means the resistance movement and everything that comes along with it — raising taxes, getting rid of ICE, trying to impeach Trump.”

And if independent polling is any indication, the Republicans are onto something. New numbers released this week find that three-quarters of Americans say Nancy Pelosi should be replaced. And that number includes half of the voters in her own party.

In politics theres an old adage: Nothing is good or bad except by comparison. And as bad as President Trump may appear, by comparison he and his Republican Party aren’t looking so bad.