Paul Waldman, an opinion writer for the Washington Post, published a column late last week in which he said Republicans who attack House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) are doing so because she is a woman.
Not because she leads the opposing party in the House of Representatives in a closely-fought midterm election; not because she attacks Republicans, and the president, constantly; not because of her left-wing policies — but because she is female.
Can we stop treating this lie seriously once and for all? We all know what’s really going on. The Republican attack on Pelosi is about conservative identity politics, full stop. It’s partly the same kind of ugly misogyny that has driven conservatives for years, and that comes out whenever the prospect of a woman wielding genuine power rears its head. Women who display ambition are judged harshly, particularly by conservatives; it’s no accident that Bernie Sanders, whose policy ideas are much more opposed to conservatism than Pelosi’s, inspires nothing like the venomous loathing on the right that Pelosi and Hillary Clinton do.
Presumably, the 73% of Americans who believe Democrats should elect a different leader — including 49% of Democrats themselves — hate women, too.
Waldman had an alternative explanation for their dislike of the San Francisco liberal who has ruled her caucus with an iron fist since 2002:
Oh, but aren’t her approval ratings terrible? Indeed they are, almost entirely because she is universally reviled by Republicans, who watch Fox News and listen to conservative talk radio, where they imbibe a constant stream of attacks against her…
To be clear, I’m not arguing that whether Pelosi will continue to lead House Democrats after this election isn’t a worthy topic of discussion. More than 50 Democratic candidates have said they’ll be supporting someone else (even if no viable challenger has yet emerged) to lead their caucus. But as The Post’s David Weigel (who has been on the ground covering more House races than probably any reporter in America) points out, when Democratic candidates have said they won’t be supporting Pelosi for speaker, it’s almost never about ideology. Instead, they say the time has come for a new generation of leadership (Pelosi and her top deputies are all in their 70s). It’s telling that many of the candidates who have taken that position, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, are to Pelosi’s left on issues.
Apparently, according to Waldman, discrimination on the basis of age is all right.
Pelosi would become Speaker of the House again — after a disastrous tenure from 2007-11 — if Democrats were to win the November midterm elections.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.