Iowa Politics with Jeff Stein — Thu. Nov. 19, 2020

Iowa Politics with Jeff Stein — Thu. Nov. 19, 2020

Two More Years

It became popular some years ago for musical acts that got tired of the road to have heavily promoted “farewell concert tours”, often years’ worth of events, back when you could hold events. But it was lucrative, and some acts wound up with second and even third “farewell tours”. It got to the point when you’d talk about seeing an act in their farewell concert, you’d be asked “which one?”.

Reminds me of Democrats in the U.S. House. Back when Democrats got the majority in the chamber again after the 2018 elections, there was a lot of dissension about having Nancy Pelosi return as Speaker. She was apparently able to convince enough members of her caucus to go along by essentially pledging to only be a transitional Speaker, to guide the chamber back into the majority and then step aside. That was good enough for enough that they elected her Speaker again.

Now, at the time she said she would hand the gavel over…to really no surprise, she asserted power once again and again promised that this would be her last tour of duty as Speaker. The surprise was the lack of challenge.

The full House has to approve her when it convenes in January, of course, but if she can keep all the Democrats in line, it will happen.

But despite her claims, it’s hardly a mandate. As Speaker, she lost seats…perhaps as many as a dozen. It could be that she will preside over the smallest majority either party has had in the U.S. House since World War II.

Appearances mean a lot, though, and she’s acting like it’s a huge majority with a clear mandate. Won’t take long, though, for the existing cracks in that foundation to grow wider, and she might wind up wishing she’d stuck to her word.