Cenk Uygur: Nancy Pelosi ‘not even close’ to being a progressive

Though Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi used to be viewed as one of the standard-bearers of the progressive movement, it has become increasingly apparent that the base of her party has moved further to the left than even she may have thought possible.

That was the crux of the message put forward by Cenk Uygur, one of the loudest and most outspoken mouthpieces for the current iteration of the far-left wing, who just asserted in an op-ed that Pelosi simply is not a progressive, and that it is time for Democrats to put that misconception to rest.

Pelosi’s progressive status is “fiction”

Uygur — CEO, founder, and host of progressive leftist media outlet The Young Turks — began by noting that Speaker Pelosi has recently been silent or even somewhat hostile towards the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, as evidenced by her criticism of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, her seeming unwillingness to defend Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, and her attempt to downplay the true size of the party’s progressive ranks.

“I’ll solve the big mystery for you: She isn’t a progressive. Not even close. In fact, she works against every progressive priority in Congress,” Uygur wrote. “The only people who still buy into the fiction that she is a progressive are her friends in the Democratic Party and the Washington media.”

He asserted that the mirage of Pelosi as a progressive largely came from Republican campaign ads that portrayed her as a liberal extremist, as well as the fact that she has long been a prolific fundraiser for the Democratic Party.

But Uygur argued that Pelosi’s fundraising is problematic in and of itself, because it shows that she is an elitist who is beholden to wealthy corporate and individual donors. Furthermore, he asserted that rather than being the “master legislator” she often claims, Pelosi instead has a tendency to dilute legislative proposals and diminish progressive priorities in order to garner support from “conservative” Democrats and moderate Republicans.

Speaker at odds with progressive goals

One of Uygur’s top complaints about Pelosi is the Speaker’s committment to the so-called “pay-go” rule, which provides that any legislative proposal that would add to the federal deficit must also be accompanied either by tax hikes or spending cuts to pay for it.

“Progressives despise that rule. It threatens to block every major progressive priority in Congress. Why would a progressive fight for that rule? There’s a very simple answer to that: They wouldn’t,” Uygur wrote.

As for the latest legislative objectives of the progressive left — Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, free college education — Uygur wrote, “Will Speaker Pelosi fight for any of these? No, in reality, she very likely will fight against all of them. She disagrees with the progressive base, and that’s why she is not a progressive.”

“She will not propose or fight for or pass any of those huge progressive priorities. In fact, she will work hard to block them. She’s not a progressive and she’ll prove it over the next two years,” he concluded.

Party’s future uncertain

So there you have it. One of the most prominent liberal voices of the day has declared Speaker Pelosi insufficiently “progressive” for the current base of the Democratic Party, which has moved so far to the left that the congressional veteran almost seems like a moderate in comparison.

The only thing left to see is how long it will take before the young progressive leftists prove capable enough to launch a successful effort to unseat Pelosi from the powerful perch where she has exercised dominion over her party all these years.

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