In case you missed Election Day, Democrats retained the majority in the U.S. Senate but lost it in the House. As Democrats nationwide are recovering from their losses, attention has turned to the shape of the U.S. Congress in January, particularly that of congressional leadership. Basically everyone anticipated that John Boehner and Eric Cantor would take over as Speaker and Majority Leader in the House, respectively. The question that remained was whether Nancy Pelosi would retain her power over Democrats.
Last week, House Democrats voted her as Minority Leader by more than a 3:1 margin. Republicans and conservative Democrats were railing against her, as may seem logical, before and after the election. For progressives, though, this is a great boon.
We have to remember that Nancy Pelosi was the Democrat most responsible for getting them into the majority in 2006 and maintaining party discipline through 2008. Years down the road, when we look at the health care bill that extends coverage to nearly all Americans, the true hero will be Nancy Pelosi, whose ironclad steadfastness kept the fight alive and saw it to victory. She also led the way on financial and consumer protection reform laws, which have become trademarks of the Obama administration.
Besides being an incredibly effective legislator, Pelosi has been an amazing fundraiser and campaigner. The Democratic base loves her, and these are the folks who come out and vote in the largest bloc whenever we don’t have a fight for the Oval Office. More importantly, Pelosi is the best Democratic fundraiser. She knows how to get money from small and big Democratic donors alike. Hands down, she is the best at what she does. If we got rid of her, we would have discredited many of the gains we have made over the last couple years. Polls show Americans may hate her, but she is the dark knight that we all still need.
Guarav Dhiman is a junior majoring in political science and biology. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.