Nancy Pelosi presents a powerful case as to why she should remain the Democratic House leader, albeit in the minority role. Pelosi knows why the Republicans were so determined to attack her:
"Because I'm effective," she answers matter-of-factly. "It's why they had to do it. They had to put a stop to me because we were effective in passing health-care reform, which the health insurance industry wanted to stop; Wall Street reform, which Wall Street wanted to stop; [reforms of] students loans for taking the money out of the banks and giving it back to the taxpayer and to families."
And in what might be read as a reminder of why she should remain as leader, she adds: "I'm one of the most effective fundraisers that the Congress has had . . . because I believe in something."
Her analysis of why the party lost the House is compact. "Nine and a half percent unemployment damaged the majority," she says. "What made a difference in the election is the fact that they said we are spending money, and where are the jobs?" While she believes that what Democrats did on health care, education and Wall Street reform was ultimately about fixing the economy, the party has to think "shorter term" in putting "jobs, jobs, jobs front and center." That's her battle plan.
Pelosi is indeed an outstanding leader who passed major legislation despite unified Republican and Democratic Blue Dog opposition. She also has a clearheaded view regarding why the Democrats lost the midterms: jobs. That's the bottom line, and it has nothing to do with the right-wing noise machine's rants about "socialism" or "big government."
Similarly, if the administration starts to lead on employment, all the talk about whether Pelosi hampers Obama or whether she's "too liberal" will be irrelevant. In any event, it's high time that Democrats stopped running scared whenever Republicans hurl the term "liberal" at them. We need more Democrats like Pelosi, who embraces her liberalism and does her job effectively. Nancy Pelosi should remain the Democratic House leader.