Democrats better off without polarizing Pelosi

Pelosi TortureMost observers think that the smaller, more liberal Democratic caucus in the U.S. House will have no problem obliging the desire of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to move from speaker to minority leader. But that doesn’t mean it should happen. Even the New York Times editorial board thinks it’s a bad idea and that Democrats can do better, arguing that “What they need is what Ms. Pelosi has been unable to provide: a clear and convincing voice to help Americans understand that Democratic policies are not bankrupting the country, advancing socialism or destroying freedom.” Bloomberg columnist Al Hunt counts Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s survival and Pelosi’s decision to seek the minority leader post as two more gifts to the GOP of the 2010 election. Pelosi, Hunt wrote, “produced victory after victory on controversial measures with a combination of toughness and charm that no one could have replicated. She kept a disparate band unified and supportive of the White House.” But her continuing role may make it harder to recruit Democrats to run next time. “Thus, the speaker, who cares passionately about the policies she helped enact and the party she leads, could set back both by staying on.”