On Tuesday evening, the latest hopes for a new Democratic rise to power was dashed in Georgia as Democratic insurgent candidate Jon Ossoff conceded defeat to Republican winner Karen Handel.
Despite spending millions, and capitalizing on strong, anti-Trump sentiment, Ossoff failed to win the race. Though, like in the 2016 election, there are a multitude of reasons for the loss, one issue continues to stick out like a sore thumb: Nancy Pelosi.
In campaign ads and election flyers, Republicans successfully tied the policies and beliefs of newcomer Ossoff to House minority leader Pelosi. For Republicans, Pelosi is the symbol of all that is wrong with the Democratic party, and tying Ossoff to her political name helped spell an end for his unique campaign.
In a particularly nefarious ad, a PAC supporting Handel claimed that Ossoff would produce more of the same as Pelosi, before implying that both supported the violence carried out at last week’s Congressional baseball practice.
It was a slanderous ad, but in the end, it won. Could Ossoff’s loss mean that Democrats may want to consider trimming some their more controversial figures if they hope to win the never-Trump crowd?
Though Pelosi has done some good work, Ossoff’s loss raises an interesting question – does the Democratic party need to rid itself of some of its most toxic symbols of establishment if we hope to regain anything in 2018 and beyond?
Progressives certainly aren’t cozy with Pelosi, and have called for her to no longer serve as a Democratic party figurehead.
From Progressive Army:
“Why is Representative Pelosi so utterly disliked by left-wing Democrats? There are plenty of reasons: her lack of support for Medicare for All, her support for a hawkish foreign policy, the fact that she doesn’t oppose money in politics, and many other issues where she has stood against the working-class.
Then there’s also the numerous times Pelosi has praised former neoconservative and Wall Street shill President George W. Bush – she even wished for him to be back in the White House.”
Ridding themselves of Pelosi may be simpler than it seems; Attorney and San Francisco activist Stephen Jaffe is set to oppose Pelosi in 2018.
Even suggesting that Pelosi be replaced is bound to be a major sore spot for establishment types who balk at any change in the status quo. Still, just as Uber CEO resigned on Tuesday to protect the legitimacy of his company from his scandal, Pelosi may need to take a step back and realize that her lukewarm leadership is only making things worse.