House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has taken both criticism and praise for her handling of President Donald Trump’s impeachment.
On the left, she is regarded as a “masterful” politician – the sole member of the Democratic Party who can stand toe to toe with the president and come out victorious. Countless year-in-review pieces were illustrated by her “clapback” at the State of the Union, her reluctant-yet-triumphant decision to impeach Trump, and her “clever” decision to hold on to the impeachment articles instead of sending them directly over to the Senate.
On the right, she is regarded as something in between an unhinged partisan and a political blunderer, someone who has been itching to impeach this president from the day she took the gavel and wound up doing so on the flimsiest evidence available. These critics point to polls trending in the wrong direction as all the proof needed to show that Pelosi made a grave political error by pursuing impeachment over the Ukraine scandal.
But in an interview with Rep. Jason Chaffetz (filling in for Fox News host Laura Ingraham), House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) said that Pelosi really deserves neither the blame nor the credit. Indeed, Scalise believes that Pelosi’s leadership of the House Democratic caucus is, at this point, little more than an illusion.
“The AOC wing of the party changed and really started controlling her caucus,” he said. “And so, it’s no longer Nancy Pelosi calling the shots — and you think about anybody who follows in the things that she’s been forced into doing, it’s been mostly the far-Left socialist wing of the party and it’s not just Pelosi.
“You see AOC shaping the presidential debates on things like the Green New Deal and some of these other lunatic policies, where they’re pushing the presidential candidates so far to the socialist Left, that you can’t even recognize them,” he continued. “And so the fact that they’re all kowtowing to that most radical element of their base instead of being focused on the bread-and-butter issues, the things that got them the majority – most hardworking families are going, ‘What do these people really care about?’ They care about their own power and their hatred against the president — instead of the things that folks at home care about.”
Frankly, this theory of power makes a lot of sense, and it helps explain why Pelosi suddenly changed her mind about impeachment. The Ukraine “scandal” never made a lot of sense as a breaking point, as it is completely insubstantial and insignificant. At the end of the day, Pelosi had no choice. It was endorse impeachment or risk a full-scale mutiny. She is leading from behind, and the Squad is running the show.