Deeper dive into the sexism aimed against Nancy Pelosi.
Why is Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi labeled “polarizing” when Republicans, with whom the majority of the public does not agree, are not? I asked her this in an exclusive interview and she told me “They’re afraid of me, they’re afraid of women.”
As of May of this year, more than 16,000 attack ads were aimed at Pelosi.
“We haven’t seen the Republican leaders singled out in this sort of way,” says Erika Franklin Fowler, a director of the Wesleyan Media Project, which tracks political ads, told Rolling Stone.
This isn’t about being in the minority, as the media and Republicans did this to Pelosi even when she was Speaker.
The ugly head of sexism is evidenced not just because of her unprecedented legislative success, but also the fact that Democrats have over-performed an average of 8 points across the special elections this cycle. So we have a very successful party leader being attacked by Republicans, the media, and even her own party at times. That sounds familiar.
The success is attributable in part to their “For the People” platform, which aims to lower health care and prescription drug costs, increase wages and clean up corruption in Washington.
It’s also clear that Pelosi isn’t being attacked on her merits or job performance because of her generous fundraising for Democrats. She has raised $87.4 million for Democrats this cycle and $680.3 million since 2002 according to internal documents provided to PoliticusUSA.
Here’s a person who obtained the highest political office of any woman, but takes the rather relentless attacks on her, and instead of spending on her own image, she donates the money to other Democratic candidates. It’s hard to find fault with this, but this is also a trait Hillary Clinton shared: workhorse, not Personality.
Pelosi is not a Personality; she’s a do-er.
Unlike many people in D.C., Pelosi has shown that she is not there for her own glory. She is not there to stroke her own ego first and foremost.
Pelosi’s policy goals (and this along with votes is where the truth is hidden) have always been, in spite of her own wealth, to better the lives of the average working family.
Right now, she’s pushing for reforms in Congress to make it more transparent, which would translate to more representative of the people. She’s pushing for better wages for people and affordable healthcare and prescription drugs. These are the kinds of reforms that the people criticizing her on the left should be for.
One has to wonder what about her generosity in donations, legislative success, exceptional leadership that has not been rivaled on the Republican side, and hard work is “over.”
Why do people act as if a woman who has been in DC for a while must go, but the legion of old white men are heroes.
Pelosi is right that some Democratic candidates around the country have to distance themselves from her to win: Of course representatives should be independent and vote for their districts. But there is also a vast difference between saying she has to go and saying you won’t vote with her all of the time.
There is no need to echo desperate Republican talking points against, as President Obama called her, one of the most effective Speakers of our time. Democrats have bigger fights and in fact, they and the Independents and Republicans lining up to vote Democratic need a fighter like Nancy Pelosi who can get things done.
The sexist attacks on Pelosi won’t stop coming from the Right, because they are afraid of her. But what about the Left. This is just another replay of the attempt to divide the Left in 2016. I hope people don’t fall for it this time.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.