Pelosi: I am woman, hear me whine

Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is warning Democrats that not re-electing her to her former position would send the wrong signal to women.

Pelosi, who may face stiff opposition from some younger Democrats, is making gender a central issue in her bid to regain the speaker post.

Politico:

In addition to arguing she’s the best qualified for the job, the California Democrat and her allies are also framing a Pelosi victory as a matter of protecting political progress for women at a critical moment. Push her out, and men may take over the party at a time when more than 100 women are heading to Capitol Hill and after female voters have been thoroughly alienated by President Donald Trump. Embrace her, and she’ll prioritize legislation empowering women on issues ranging from equal pay to anti-harassment legislation.

“I think it would look ridiculous if we win back the House … we have a pink wave with women who have brought back the House, then you’re going to not elect the leader who led the way? No,” said Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.), who leads the Democratic Women’s Working Group. “That would be wrong.”

This is actually a brilliant strategy. She can shut off debate by framing her election as a womens' rights issue, rather than how effective she can be as a congresswoman and leader. 

It may be especially important for many female Democrats since it appears that Democratic men may not be as wedded to the notion of equality as they let on.

The gender-inflected pitch comes as other women in the caucus are at risk of getting big-footed by their male counterparts. Rep. Cheri Bustos, a rising star from a red district in Illinois, had been carefully laying the groundwork to run for assistant Democratic leader. But after the party’s triumph in the midterms, Pelosi ally and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Lujan decided to jump into the race, all but forcing her out.

Realizing she didn’t have a shot against the man who helped win back the majority for the party, Bustos bowed out of the race and is now running for DCCC chair against several other colleagues.

A similar situation is unfolding for California Rep. Barbara Lee, a veteran progressive leader gunning for the No. 5 position next year: Democratic Caucus chair. Lee had been wooing supporters for months. But after the election, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a charismatic New Yorker whom many believe could be speaker one day, declared for the position.

You can throw experience and merit out the window when it comes to grasping for power. The only thing that matters to Pelosi and many other Democratic women is that, well, they are women and deserve a shot based almost exclusively on their gender:

“You cannot have the four leaders of Congress [and] the president of the United States, these five people, and not have the voice of women,” Pelosi continued. “Especially since women were the majority of the voters, the workers in campaigns, and now part of this glorious victory.”

Women deserve equal consideration for any job in the United States, be it in government or the private sector. But do they really deserve special consideration based on the idea that a woman's "voice" is always necessary and right?

Some women believe that no man can ever truly represent their interests. Many minorities feel the same about white people. The thinking goes that unless you stand in the shoes of a woman or a black person, you can never truly know what it's like.

Why, then, should women represent men? Or blacks represent whites? If a woman has no clue about what it's like to be a man, how can they possibly make the argument that their sex should be a determining factor in politics, or employment for that matter?

The argument is illogical and specious. But that hardly matters. This is the age of identity politics, where jobs and opportunities will be carefully divided among favored groups, regardless of ability or merit. It has nothing to do with "equality" and everything to do with power-sharing. On that basis, Pelosi and others have a point. And if they believe in it, they should develop a quota system where so many leadership positions go to men, women, minorities, gays, and trans people. Why hide behind buzzwords like "equality"?

That may be where the US us headed.

Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is warning Democrats that not re-electing her to her former position would send the wrong signal to women.

Pelosi, who may face stiff opposition from some younger Democrats, is making gender a central issue in her bid to regain the speaker post.

Politico:

In addition to arguing she’s the best qualified for the job, the California Democrat and her allies are also framing a Pelosi victory as a matter of protecting political progress for women at a critical moment. Push her out, and men may take over the party at a time when more than 100 women are heading to Capitol Hill and after female voters have been thoroughly alienated by President Donald Trump. Embrace her, and she’ll prioritize legislation empowering women on issues ranging from equal pay to anti-harassment legislation.

“I think it would look ridiculous if we win back the House … we have a pink wave with women who have brought back the House, then you’re going to not elect the leader who led the way? No,” said Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.), who leads the Democratic Women’s Working Group. “That would be wrong.”

This is actually a brilliant strategy. She can shut off debate by framing her election as a womens' rights issue, rather than how effective she can be as a congresswoman and leader. 

It may be especially important for many female Democrats since it appears that Democratic men may not be as wedded to the notion of equality as they let on.

The gender-inflected pitch comes as other women in the caucus are at risk of getting big-footed by their male counterparts. Rep. Cheri Bustos, a rising star from a red district in Illinois, had been carefully laying the groundwork to run for assistant Democratic leader. But after the party’s triumph in the midterms, Pelosi ally and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Lujan decided to jump into the race, all but forcing her out.

Realizing she didn’t have a shot against the man who helped win back the majority for the party, Bustos bowed out of the race and is now running for DCCC chair against several other colleagues.

A similar situation is unfolding for California Rep. Barbara Lee, a veteran progressive leader gunning for the No. 5 position next year: Democratic Caucus chair. Lee had been wooing supporters for months. But after the election, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a charismatic New Yorker whom many believe could be speaker one day, declared for the position.

You can throw experience and merit out the window when it comes to grasping for power. The only thing that matters to Pelosi and many other Democratic women is that, well, they are women and deserve a shot based almost exclusively on their gender:

“You cannot have the four leaders of Congress [and] the president of the United States, these five people, and not have the voice of women,” Pelosi continued. “Especially since women were the majority of the voters, the workers in campaigns, and now part of this glorious victory.”

Women deserve equal consideration for any job in the United States, be it in government or the private sector. But do they really deserve special consideration based on the idea that a woman's "voice" is always necessary and right?

Some women believe that no man can ever truly represent their interests. Many minorities feel the same about white people. The thinking goes that unless you stand in the shoes of a woman or a black person, you can never truly know what it's like.

Why, then, should women represent men? Or blacks represent whites? If a woman has no clue about what it's like to be a man, how can they possibly make the argument that their sex should be a determining factor in politics, or employment for that matter?

The argument is illogical and specious. But that hardly matters. This is the age of identity politics, where jobs and opportunities will be carefully divided among favored groups, regardless of ability or merit. It has nothing to do with "equality" and everything to do with power-sharing. On that basis, Pelosi and others have a point. And if they believe in it, they should develop a quota system where so many leadership positions go to men, women, minorities, gays, and trans people. Why hide behind buzzwords like "equality"?

That may be where the US us headed.