Looking back on the last year, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) doesn’t have much to celebrate.
According to a new analysis from Fox News, the House speaker saw her grip on Washington collapse in 2021 as she struggled to turn Democrats’ legislative dreams into reality, despite the fact that her party held control of both chambers of Congress and the White House.
Pelosi has also failed to convince many Dems to stay the course after the year of defeats. As Fox notes, nearly two dozen House Democrats have so far announced they won’t be seeking re-election in the upcoming midterm cycle, including Reps. Stephanie Murphy (FL), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA), and Albio Sires (NJ).
Many are taking the mounting retirements as a sign that the writing is on the wall: Democrats know that the GOP is going to take back the House in 2022, and those vulnerable to defeat are heading for the exits, rather than staying to fight a difficult election battle that they’re historically likely to lose.
As Fox notes, Republicans only need to net five seats to take back control of the House. And with a victory like that, America could finally be free of Speaker Pelosi.
But even if Democrats do pull off a surprise “blue wave” this November, there’s no guarantee that Pelosi would be able to hold onto the speaker’s gavel in the lower chamber. As Fox reports, infighting between congressional Democrats reached a fever pitch in 2021, and Pelosi often found herself stuck in the middle of it.
Indeed, the battle between the more moderate and progressive wings of the Democratic Party was on full display ahead of the New Year as negotiations continued to stall on a number of pricey legislative packages including President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act.
Progressives agreed to back a more narrow infrastructure bill earlier in the year if it would guarantee the passage of Biden’s larger spending package, but they were sorely disappointed when Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) killed any hopes of getting Build Back Better to the president’s desk before the New Year.
It’s not exactly the party unity that one would expect to see under the leadership of Pelosi, a once-respected politician who really should have more pull in Washington after so many decades there.
Just retire already
In its recent analysis, Fox also highlighted some problems that Pelosi brought upon herself: She made headlines for failing to wear a mask in adherence with COVID-related restrictions, and she also faced questions about her husband’s stock trading.
Of all people, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) hit the nail on the head on this one: “There is no reason members of Congress should hold and trade individual stock when we write major policy and have access to sensitive information,” the progressive congresswoman wrote in a December tweet, according to Fox.
When even members of your own party don’t support you, it’s a good sign that it’s time to throw in the towel.