[For the record: I had this in draft *before* BettyC’s last post.]
In the New Yorker, Isaac Chotiner — who is usually smarter than this — get his lunch handed to him: “Barney Frank Defends Nancy Pelosi from Her Critics“:
… To discuss the state of the Democratic Party, and Pelosi’s leadership, I spoke by phone on Monday with Barney Frank, the former congressman, who represented his district in Massachusetts for more than three decades in the House before retiring, in 2013. He is best known for his outspokenness and his role in crafting the eponymous Dodd-Frank Act, which sought to regulate the financial industry after the crash last decade. During our conversation, which has been edited for length and clarity, we discussed why he thinks the criticism of Pelosi is unfair, whether there is a divide in the Democratic Party, and his belief that this dispute is not really a generational one.
What have you made of the internal split between Pelosi and some of her members?
I’m disappointed by it. I think the first thing to say is that it is not nearly as big a split as people think. They are a fraction, a splinter. The overwhelming majority of the Democrats agree with [Pelosi]. Frankly, I think there is a conspiracy among Ocasio-Cortez, the media, and the Republican Party to make her look much more influential than she is. Every time I debate a Republican, they want to talk about them. And I think, in fact, that there is not such a big splinter. There have always been, on the Democratic side—Howard Dean, etc.—people who are very passionate and are frustrated because reality isn’t as pliable as they wish. They are people who I think make the fundamental mistake—I often agree with them on substance—but they make the fundamental mistake of thinking the general public is much more in agreement with them than it is, and forget about or just reject the notion of trying to figure out how to get things done.
I agree with you that Ocasio-Cortez represents a minority of the Party, even though I think she is probably fairly similar on politics to [Bernie] Sanders and [Elizabeth] Warren, who I think combined make up a somewhat—
No, here’s the fundamental difference. I said I agree with a lot of them on substance. The issue is not substance. I have worked very closely with Elizabeth Warren. The fundamental difference is that these people—certainly Ocasio-Cortez—they appear to think that the majority is ready to adopt what they want, and it’s a strategic and tactical difference.
Elizabeth Warren would never have had a sit-in protesting Nancy Pelosi. It’s a matter of how you go about things. It is their view that the only reason that their platform isn’t being adopted is the political timidity, maybe the malign influence of money. The notion that there is significant political opposition among many people, including maybe a majority on some issues, they disregard that and denounce other Democrats, saying they don’t have the courage. It’s not the courage. We don’t have the votes sometimes. Sanders did that a little bit more. Elizabeth never does that…
I understand not wanting to do impeachment, even if you think the President deserves to be impeached. I understand—
By the way, two-thirds of the House Democrats agree with [Pelosi].