For years, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi has been a darling of the American left. Once reaching as high as Speaker of the House, Pelosi continues to be the visible face of the Democratic Party. However, liberals who’ve loved Pelosi for years might be starting to rethink their position.
Of all the surprising twists and turns 2017 has provided, maybe none are as stunning as Pelosi’s new discovery of common sense. While other liberals were twisting themselves into knots trying to defend the actions of Antifa terrorists, Pelosi condemned the radical group in a pointed statement. For once, the California Democrat wasn’t toeing the party line.
Apparently, Pelosi’s statement condemning Antifa was just the start.
While most of her party is in a rush to promise universal healthcare, Pelosi is asking them to hit the breaks on that idea.
From the Washington Post:
Nancy Pelosi would like to be House speaker again. A whole bunch of Democratic senators would like to be their Party’s 2020 presidential nominee. These two goals just collided head-on.
The Washington Post’s Kelsey Snell and David Weigel report that Pelosi is declining to endorse Bernie Sanders’s “Medicare for All” single-payer health-care legislation. She is also cautioning her party against making it a litmus-test issue. Five senators who are top 2020 contenders have signed on to Sanders’s bill in recent days, a sudden wave that has some suggesting that we were quickly headed in that direction.
Pelosi is clearly reluctant. “I don’t think it’s a litmus test,” she said. “I think to support the idea that it captures is that we want to have as many people as possible, everybody, covered, and I think that’s something that we all embrace.” She said she’s focused on protecting the Affordable Care Act.
However, Pelosi’s skepticism of single-payer may have more to do with politics than anything else:
A Pew Research Center poll in January showed that just 33 percent of Americans supported a single national government-funded health-care program, when given a slate of options. But support was 52 percent among Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters and 64 percent among liberals.
If Democrats are hoping to take back power in the 2018 mid-term elections, making single-payer the litmus test might not be a wise move. This is especially true when you consider that many of the states and districts Democrats will be hoping to retake voted for Trump in 2016.
Regardless of her reasons, Pelosi has suddenly shown an unusual willingness to go against the liberal grain. Whether pragmatic or not, the trend is sure to be an unwelcome one with liberals.
[Note: This post was written by Michael Lee. Follow him on Twitter @UAMichaelLee]