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As Pelosi Mulls Retirement, Questions About Her Legacy Arise

AMAC Exclusive – By Andrew Abbott


In the final weeks of January, rumors began circulating that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi would soon be announcing her plans to retire from Congress. Then, to the surprise of even her own constituents, Pelosi announced late last month that she would indeed be seeking reelection. However, with the prospect of a looming electoral disaster for House Democrats this November (likely the worst at least since Pelosi led the party to a pummeling in the 2010 midterms), it’s not too early to start evaluating what Pelosi’s legacy might be, and how she might be remembered for overseeing the complete radicalization of the Democratic Party during her time as leader.

The 81-year-old Pelosi has spent almost 50 years in public office and is already the oldest person to ever serve as House Speaker. Although she has been the top House Democrat for 20 years, since 2002, Pelosi’s grip over her party has grown increasingly tenuous in recent years, and she barely retained the gavel following the disastrous 2020 House elections that saw Democrats’ majority reduced to a handful of seats.

Pelosi first became Speaker in 2007 following the 2006 midterm elections. That year, the Democratic Party was able to gain thirty seats in the House by riding the wave of public discontent with President George W. Bush’s handling of the Iraq War. On January 3rd, she formally defeated Republican John Boehner in a vote in the House, becoming the first woman in history to hold the position of Speaker.

What many consider Pelosi’s crowning victory – although, as history would show, ultimately a pyrrhic one – came in 2010 with the passage of the Affordable Care Act. When President Obama proposed the ACA, commonly referred to as Obamacare, Pelosi became the critical driving force in securing the votes for its passage in the House. However, to pass the initiative, she pursued a legislative strategy that many feel has hobbled liberal policy priorities to this day.

Early on in the development of the bill, Obama’s advisors pushed for creating a series of small health care bills that would be transparent to the public. In response, “Pelosi made it clear she would accept nothing short of a big-bang health care push.” She dismissively called the incremental approach to health care reform “kiddie care.” That principle of one massive, vague, and radical bill, often kept secret until the last minute, has at times been successful at getting her far-left priorities passed. Yet it also directly led to Democrats’ famous “shellacking” in the 2010 midterms and eight straight years of GOP control of the House.

But despite this historic defeat, Pelosi appears to have learned nothing from experience. In this Congress, she has pursued the same “one big bill” strategy on the For the People Act, Build Back Better Act, and Democrats’ various attempts at federalizing elections. This time, however, none of those bills passed the Senate – and Democrats are still staring down the barrel of a disastrous midterm election season. This apparently botched handling of Democrats’ domestic agenda has led to even more serious questions about Pelosi’s leadership abilities. And the radicalism of the legislation itself has led to questions about Pelosi’s grasp on the political pulse of the country.

Those questions, however, are nothing new. With Democrats poised to retake the House in 2018, many in the Washington establishment expected Pelosi to step aside or at least outline a succession plan. Much to their surprise, she refused to do either. This decision led to such aggressive opposition within her own party that she promised to resign by 2022 in exchange for being made Speaker in 2018. She stated at the time that “I am comfortable with the proposal, and it is my intention to abide by it whether it passes or not.” Her recent announcement to run for reelection breaks this promise, but thus far, no Democrat has openly challenged her.

The threat from Pelosi’s left also almost certainly contributed to her calculation in pursuing two highly partisan impeachments of President Trump, the second occurring one week before he left office, as well as the overreaches of the current January 6 Committee.

Of all the legislation that has passed Congress under her watch, Pelosi’s most consequential legacy will likely be the ideological revolution that has taken place inside the party under her watch. After two decades of Pelosi’s leadership, the Democratic Party of today bears little resemblance to the party of even 10 years ago—and it is unrecognizable from the party she inherited in 2002, when her Senate counterpart was a Democrat from South Dakota, Tom Daschle. With the ascension of progressives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the “Squad,” Pelosi has completely embraced a far-left agenda, even as mainstream outlets have declared “Democratic-Socialism” the future of the Democratic Party and the future of America.

Pelosi’s failure to control the radicalism in her party has, to many, created a strange disconnect between the leadership of the party and its extreme rank-and-file members. As Pelosi and President Biden claim that they disagree with progressive policies like Defunding the Police, some of their most visible members continue to demand it, with no pushback from Pelosi. Even on issues like health care, many Democrats are calling for the “replacement or revision” of the already progressive-minded Affordable Care Act to create even more government control of Americans’ medical decisions – hardly a winning strategy with voters.

Many conservatives will undoubtedly celebrate the day Pelosi leaves Congress. But even after Pelosi’s ultimate departure, her legacy of failed policies and radical progressivism will continue, with the next Democrat leader likely to be even more extreme than she is.

Andrew Abbott is the pen name of a writer and public affairs consultant with over a decade of experience in DC at the intersection of politics and culture.

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4 months ago

Pelousi’s legacy is corruption at the highest level…

4 months ago

This 81-year-old hag will have a legacy. That will be in part all the taxpayer money she’s wasted on worthless junkets and flying back and forth to California over the years. Her second legacy will be one of insider trading that enriched not only her husband but her son as well. Why is it that I would get arrested for insider training and she would not? And the last part of her legacy will be her participation and promulgation of January 6th. If the GOP regains control they better do a thorough investigation of her and everything that went on that day. This woman is a disgrace she has not served our country she has served herself. Arrest the damn b****.

4 months ago

This awful women has a legacy for all time; destroying a GREAT country and dividing its people all for her own power. People will kiss her butt till the day she dies. Pelosi intimates many weak government officials.

4 months ago

Do us all a favor Pelosi, get the hell outta here.

4 months ago

To me Nancy Pelosi is an evil and vile human being. She needs to go play with her great great grandkids.

4 months ago
Reply to  Kenny

They should keep their kids away from that kind of evil

4 months ago

She is a prime example of why we need term limits NOW!

4 months ago

LEGACY?!!!!!!!! HA, HA, HA, HA, HA……….

Judy K.
4 months ago

Money talks for people like Pelosi. As long as she gets to basque in her wealth she can live in her deluded world just fine. It’s ‘The Great White Throne Judgement’ that’s going to awaken her to her significant end. I don’t wish that on anyone, but God is the Judge of all, and we too had better mind our P’s and Q’s.

4 months ago

There’s nothing the wench won’t stoop to… she’s slobbering all over herself at the mere thought of being so close to occupying the Oval Office.

4 months ago

Her “Retirement” should be a prison cell!

Geraldine McGann
4 months ago

I have had ZERO respect for Pelosi ever since strong-arming Obamacare with “We have to pass it to see what’s in it”.
Downhill from then…

Ralph S
4 months ago

Instead of Marie Antoinette ‘s “Let them eat cake!” History will record Nancy’s version … “Let them eat ice cream.” as the American middle class is drowning in Socialist-Marxism.

4 months ago

Outback Restaurant’s motto is “No rules; just right”. Pee-lousi
‘s motto is ” No right, just left”. Ooops! did i give away what she’s been working on her entire career?

4 months ago

This is whistling past the graveyard. The aca is still in place and will never be removed. The harsh fact is that pelosi has been very successful. Does anyone doubt that in the next eight months the commies under her leadership will figure out a way to pass their takeover of voting? I see little point in differentiating between pelosi and the squad. Im supposed to believe that absent the squad pelosi would govern like an old school dem? Its been twenty years since a prominent dem dared to call attention to themselves by criticizing leftists. Zell Miller comes to mind. Manchin and Synema have declined to vote for the latest monstrosities but you dont hear them speaking against leftism. They know what rules today.

4 months ago
Reply to  Morbious

I can’t disagree with anything you’ve said. The Democrats architected the ACA to be unstoppable once enacted into law. Back when it was under consideration, I saw the detailed org chart of how the ACA would be inter-weaved into several government agencies and departments to make it unremovable once it was activated. While Republicans can nibble a little bit around the edges, the core components of the ACA are completely unremovable at this point.

As far as Pelosi is concerned, she fully understands where the real power within the Democrat Party lies and that is firmly with far left. Anyone thinking that the Party will shift back towards the center that existed 60 years ago is deluding themselves. The socialist / communist movement has been busy gradually taking over the Democrat Party since before President Wilson was elected. What we’re seeing now is just the culmination of a decades long process. Pelosi serves as Speaker only so long as she does EXACTLY what AOC, the rest of The Squad, and the rest of the far left running the Democrat Party want. Any deviation from that path would result in her losing the Speakership and also her seat in Congress. The same holds true with Schumer in the Senate. He knows if he steps out of line, AOC will run against him and take his Senate seat with ease.

I agree concerning both Manchin and Sinema. While most people here are falling over themselves praising how great both are not going along with BBB and gutting the filibuster, at least until the elections when they may reconsider their stands, everyone seems to forget that both vote better than 90 percent of the time in unison with the Democrat liberals. So rather than cheering both of these Democrats on, it would be better for Republicans and Conservatives to realize the better option would be to replace both of them in the Senate with actual constitutionally and fiscally conservative Republicans.

Owen Shrock
4 months ago

When I see her on TV the hair on the back of my neck stands straight up. The woman is pure EVIL and the only retirement she should receive is a life sentence to the Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary.

4 months ago

Nancy is entitled to an Orange jumpsuit!!

Kathleen Brown
4 months ago

She is a hairs breath from the oval office, what person in there right mind would see her quit now, not gonna happen!

Barbara W.
4 months ago

Hasn’t this woman caused enough damage to our country and reaped enough wealth to sustain her through several lifetimes??? Retire already, Nancy. We’re sick to death of your hatred of our nation and the people who love her and are patriotic. I remember when you were tight with JFK, but he was the LAST actual “Democrat” to serve this nation. Everyone in your party since then has been either SOCIALIST OR WORSE! Like YOU! Do us all a favor and go live in a nation that is already Communist/Socialist or Marxist and leave America ALONE! We have no need for the likes of you.

4 months ago

What legacy? It’s a case of who is more senile, Pelosi or Biden.

4 months ago

Since Pelosi has already come out and stated that she is running for re-election, yet again, this article makes little sense other than to recap some of the most destructive legislation she helped the left enact into law over the years. In the event that Pelosi, at some point, opts to retire (or simply like so make others dies from old age while in office), California will undoubtingly just elect an even more radical socialist to represent them. Someone to the left of Maxine Waters or AOC. Pelosi is NOT the cause of the Democrat Party’s lurch to the far left, but merely the most recognizable face most people associate with it, because of her position in Congress.

The American Socialist Party, otherwise known as the Democrat Party, represents those that want to tear down our republic, burn our existing Constitution and replace it with one that fully supports the tenets of socialism. All so they can subjugate the population to better serve the needs and wants of the ruling elite. We’ve seen, for those that have been paying attention, how this ultimately plays out in numerous countries over the last century. It doesn’t end well for the average person in those countries. The means to stop this becomes progressively (no pun intended) harder to reverse the longer we choose to ignore the problem and just hope the problem magically goes away with no effort on our part. We are very near or at the point where it can’t be reversed or stopped now. If America chooses to continue to willfully ignore the problem, which seems to be the choice the vast majority of Americans have selected to pursue, at least please have enough brains to study how the people in those other countries adapted to their new existence, so they could scrape by under socialism. Prepare now.

4 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

Another good comment.

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