Nancy Pelosi comes out swinging

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The last Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy, made history on October 9 by becoming the first to be ousted, after only 10 months on the job. Less than two months later, on December 6, the disgraced McCarthy, tail between his legs, announced his full retirement from Congress.

Contrast McCarthy with his predecessor, Nancy Pelosi, whose second term as Speaker ended because Republicans gained a slim majority in the House of Representatives from the midterms. The first woman to serve as Speaker, Pelosi handily won reelection as a California representative last year (84%-16%) and, unlike McCarthy, serves with pride and respect today.

With far more credibility than McCarthy, Pelosi is blasting Mike Johnson, the current Speaker, about his decision to pursue an impeachment of President Joe Biden with “no basis.” Pelosi argues that not only does Johnson lack respect for the Constitution but also for “his own members,” many of whom are in districts that Biden won and will have to face a “hard sell” to angry constituents when they return home.

In an interview with Alex Wagner on MSNBC Tuesday evening, Pelosi warned that the longer Johnson pours time and energy into this “careless path” and neglects aid for Ukraine, the risk will be dire. “More people will die, more women will be raped, more children will be kidnapped—and it will be all on them.” As Pelosi uttered those words, the MSNBC chyron at the bottom of the screen reminded the public: “118th Congress One of the Least Productive in History.”

As Pelosi pointed out, Donald Trump’s first impeachment was, ironically, about his withholding of aid to Ukraine that Congress already approved, trying to condition it on obtaining favors from President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Unlike Johnson’s baseless, nakedly political push for Biden’s impeachment, Pelosi was in no rush despite mounting evidence against Trump, telling the Washington Post in March 2019 that she would not pursue his impeachment “unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan.”

Whoever holds the title of Speaker of the House is not only in a powerful legislative position but stands just two heartbeats away from the presidency. In the past year, we have had three Speakers, and the contrast between Republicans Johnson and McCarthy with Pelosi could not be starker. America needs a return of Democratic control and leadership in Congress, and voters can make that happen in 2024.

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