In numbers too big to ignore, a Democrat Majority was elected for Congress. This means that the United States will have its first female Speaker of the House in Nancy Pelosi. I firmly believe that the Dems did not win by merit of their own superiority but because Americans were fatigued of failing Republican policies. This leads to an interesting dilemma that I am sure Pelosi has already begun to examine.
Should she remain the Liberal San Francisco Progressive we know her to be? Or should she transform into the characterization of what the American people currently want, namely a Pragmatic Centrist?
In 1994, the Republican Party came roaring onto Capitol Hill after a long tenancy by big-government-loving Democrats. The Class of ’94 promised to be different—they promised to cut government, to be critical of the Clinton administration, and to create pragmatic solutions to the problems the nation faced.
Then they got re-elected. Again. And Again.
Soon they forgot why they were there in the first place. They had gone Washington and ceased to be the champions of their districts. To make up for it they threw lots of earmarked money back home and espoused what they claimed to be traditional Conservative values on the hill. Except the values they loved so much really looked like tax cuts mixed with lots of Big Government and bureaucratic waste.
Now the Dems get their turn at the helm again. If they learn from their own mistakes (and the GOP’s) then Pelosi could turn the whole ship around. She just needs to make the right decision and move a bit toward the center. This could be a great new day for America.
Americans have spoken. Contrary to what the media might tell you, they did not vote only according to party. They voted based on what they saw as good or bad. Big government, unbalanced budgets, overspending, and mismanagement were seen as bad. But the people did not favor overly liberal, “progressive” values either. The candidates elected were people on the Right wing of the Democratic Party or the Left wing of the Republican party. The Center is gaining momentum.
And here is where Pelosi comes in. If she fails to build a moderate House of Representatives, she will have failed America. Our nation has cried out for a centrist approach in Congress. The people generally agree that the Bush policies both foreign and domestic are not working and the Republican-led Congress had failed to find solutions. America needs her problems to be solved. If Pelosi fails to lead the House in a moderate and fair manner, she will have broken the orders given to her by the voters on Tuesday and our nation will be the worse for it. Worse, our nation will be angry.
If Pelosi begins her term as Speaker in a centrist and problem-solving way, she will be seen as the great American hero and all of us will be the better for it.
I hope for the latter solution.