Pelosi’s First Year

AP does an interesting analysis of the boom and bust of Pelosi’s first year as Speaker.

Nancy Pelosi crashed through a glass ceiling when she became the first female House speaker a year ago. That turned out to be the easy part.

The reality of leading a bitterly divided Congress at odds with a Republican White House is that victories are difficult and disappointments many. Chief among them for the liberal San Francisco Democrat was failure to deliver on her biggest goal: ceasing U.S. combat missions in Iraq and getting troops on their way home.

I’m really terribly divided on the issue of Pelosi and Reid and whether they are to blame for the past year’s losses. Their staff will tell you (and they are correct) that’s it’s very hard to get conservative southern Dems on board a lot of progressive legislation. It’s very hard to get anything passed in the Senate when it’s basically evenly divided D and R. And it’s extremely hard to override a presidential veto.

I agree with all of that.

But… (More after the jump)… I can’t help but get this nagging feeling that if the Republicans were in power they’d know how to handle a recalcitrant president. They’d know what to do with members of their own party who stray far too often. And they’d know how to handle Republicans in Congress who continually defend a president hated in the polls. On each of these points, I think our guys are lacking. And when I ask myself the question Joe always asks – “What would Karl Rove do?” – I just can’t imagine the Republicans being as stymied as we have been the past year. It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the Republicans are smarter and tougher than our guys. And that needs to change. It’s all well and good if we can increase our majorities in the House and the Senate next fall, but we will always be dealing with southern Democrats, obstructionist Republicans, and the majority of our elected officials running for the hills any time they have to vote on an issue smacking of “defense.”

I doubt an increased majority in the Congress is going to make many of our members tougher. And it certainly won’t make anyone smarter or craftier. And that worries me.

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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