You may have heard or read that Nancy Pelosi, resident crypt-keeper of the Democratic Party, has espoused some startlingly rational, impossibly sane rhetoric in recent days and weeks.
Pelosi, a lifelong Democrat, actually condemned Antifa as the violent extremist mob which they are. Her criticism wasn’t received with the shock and awe that Donald Trump’s post-Charlotteseville condemnation did. But in the wake of yet another violent showing by Antifa in her home ground, Berkeley, she did in fact say it, bucking the party line of silent commendation of Antifa in the process. She even said that they should be locked up!
(Nancy really said that?)
You better believe it.
Pelosi has been known, from time to time, to make statements that seem to indicate that she has some line when it comes to embracing increasingly hard-left policies. In the wake of the 2016 election, and in light of Bernie Sanders’ unexpected popularity, she laughed off the notion that her party should make a pivot to reflect the values of Bernie socialists:
“I have to say we’re capitalists. That’s just the way it is,” Pelosi told CNN.
Many consider the dichotomy between ‘we have to pass the bill to see what’s in it’ Pelosi and the capitalist, Antifa-condemning Pelosi an enigmatic one. Pelosi, as much as it is fair to portray her as a cliché of California liberalism, has come to represent the more moderate strand of Democrat.
To most, particularly those who have been witness to the 77-year-old Pelosi’s impregnable reign as the Representative of California’s Eight District, the use of the word ‘moderate’ is laughable. But the party has shifted further left while her views have largely remained somewhat grounded in stasis.
When the ever-radical Maxine Waters and other Democrats urged impeachment virtually the minute after the election was called, Pelosi advised that allegations of impeachable offenses were merely hearsay. Pelosi knows that to retain the vote of her San Francisco-area constituents, she must espouse a certain level of liberalism, much of which she is likely to genuinely believe. Still, she has never been quick to embrace extremism within her own party.
And, increasingly of late, she seems more willing to speak out against it. Perhaps these occasional shows of rationality, which go against the wishes of those eager to tap into the more socialist and anarchistic sects of the Democrat base, are the reason so many Democrats have called for Pelosi’s ouster of late. It is easy to lay the blame for the Democrats’ recent slew of losses at Pelosi’s doorstep, as they have.
But the reality remains that it is not Pelosi personally, but the Democrat ‘agenda’ and the political correctness and now violent suppression of free speech which they have come to largely embrace which is causing their unpopularity. Pelosi, if anything, has become one of the more level-headed Democrats due to her rare contrarian stances.
To be clear, it’s not saying much to label Pelosi as a moderate within a party which saw one of its state senators advocate for the assassination of the president. But, credit must be given where credit is due.
Pelosi’s penchant for embracing the occasional mainstream idea would be a wise platform for the party which has progressively alienated whatever blue-collar base it had. In the short term, the past election cycle revealed that aggrieved college students and young socialists are likely not enough to take back the presidency. At least, for now.
For now, Pelosi’s sentiment that the Party should not drive away more middle-line Democrats by pardoning Antifa’s actions and giving into incessant calls for political correctness would be the first step toward retaining on-the-fence Democrats such as Jim Justice, the West Virginia governor who recently announced his switch to the right side of the aisle.
While the party still has no discernable platform or policy agenda aside from the removal of menacing monuments, more moderate viewpoints would at least be a step toward re-establishing some semblance of normalcy within the party. Unfortunately, nobody is buying that Pelosi, even if she had the desire to, would complete a full turn into consistent rationality and bipartisanship.
It would be even more difficult to convince voters that Democratic leaders who have never displayed Pelosi’s ability to occasionally toe the moral and ideological line between parties– Pocahontas Warren, extreme abortionist Tom Perez, Bernie Sanders and “Single Payer” Kamala Harris come to mind– would ever truly follow through on any promises of moderation.
Long-term, these more extreme leaders, more willing than Pelosi to give this whole violence as a political tool thing the old college try, know that the base will continue to be filled by more radicals. Socialists, anarchists, communists, Mao-ists, and Al Gore-ists will lead a roster long on snowflakes and short on critical thought. And, if millennial demographics are any indication, it is almost certain that the number of radicals will continue to arise, and will continue to vote for Democrats who continue to promise them “free” shit, from college tuition to a universal basic income.
While an impending party switch by Pelosi is as unlikely as a sudden paradigm shift within the ranks of her current one, she once again cemented herself as an occasional beacon of morality within a Democratic party increasingly devoid of even rare shows of integrity. And, all she had to do was condemn Antifa, calling for their prosecution when they resort to violence.
And that– advocacy for law, order, and peace– makes her the best hope for the Democratic Party’s return to mainstream relevance. Just call her Nancy, the moderate.
Moderate because, at the end of the day, it’s all relative.