Thursday Morning Open Thread: You Come At the Queen…

It’s entirely possible that Nancy Pelosi will not be the Speaker, come January. But whoever wants to take that seat better be well prepared to do as good a job as she’s done — and that’s one hell of a task!

Pelosi once had plans to retire with the election of the first female president. Those plans were quashed when Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Now, if she can surmount internal Democratic politics, Pelosi has the potential to reshape the Democratic Party and play a central role in the explosive expansion of power by women in politics, which led to significant Democratic gains among female voters in Tuesday’s elections and an incoming House class that includes more than 100 women for the first time….

As it stands, the raw arithmetic of the incoming Democratic majority remains an obstacle. An expected Democratic majority of 11 seats or thereabouts could give a small group of Democrats leverage to demand a shake-up of a leadership team that is distanced from the younger and more activist Democrats who will soon join the House.

Four sitting Democrats voted against her in the last speaker election, and at least 12 of the incoming House Democrats made statements critical of Pelosi on the campaign trail, ranging from a general call for new leadership to a firm refusal to support her becoming speaker again. Seven more Democratic candidates in that category are running in races yet to be called…

Speaking to reporters, she put her pitch more succinctly: “It is not about what you have done; it’s about what you can do.”

But it did not escape many that the issue most responsible for the Democratic takeover — the party’s support for Obamacare and its protection of preexisting conditions — was only made possible because Pelosi forced the health-care legislation through during her first turn as speaker….

An argument in her favor, in the Atlantic, by Steve Israel:

In Nancy Pelosi’s office, steps away from the House floor, there’s a mahogany cabinet that encloses four separate television screens. They’re tuned to the cable-news networks and C-SPAN at all times.

Leaning against that cabinet is a stack of baseball bats. It’s the bats, not the screens, that tell the story of Pelosi’s approach to leadership, including maintaining her own in the Democratic caucus.

I frequently sat in Pelosi’s office when I was the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) in 2012 and again in 2014. I watched her negotiate legislation, manage disparate factions of her caucus, and contemplate her future. There was always an amply filled bowl of Ghirardelli chocolates on an end table. And off to the side, in my peripheral vision, were those bats. The message was clear: We can achieve our goals pleasantly or unpleasantly, but we will achieve our goals…
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Proud to Be A Democrat Open Thread: Stacey Abrams Has A Bright Political Future

Even if Kemp and his fellow Rethugs somehow manage to suppress or steal enough votes to contest her win on Tuesday, no question that Ms. Abrams will go far.

Bim Adewunmi reports for Buzzfeed:

With just over two weeks until Election Day, Stacey Abrams’ voice was raspier than normal as she delivered her well-honed speech to a crowd gathered at Theze Bonez, a ribs restaurant run by a military vet in Powder Springs, Georgia.

“I apologize for my voice,” she started off. “We have been traveling the state of Georgia and my voice is somewhere between Spalding County and Worth County.”

Over the course of an October weekend, Georgia’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate gave tweaked versions of a stump speech that she has polished to a gleam over the last few months. Among her stops were the city of Dalton in Whitfield County, aka “the carpet capital of the world,” which has a big Latino population, and Rome, Floyd County, in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Abrams, the former Georgia House minority leader noted for working across the aisle, has visited all 159 state counties, meeting a demographically mixed cross section of Georgia’s 10.5 million citizens. The day before she spoke in Powder Springs, she was on a whistle-stop tour in five different counties. In her speeches, she hits the same important beats she believes will get her into the governor’s mansion after the election — including the importance of early voting.

Abrams is a rare thing for her state, and for the US in general. If she wins, she will be the first black woman governor in the history of this country — but she’s adamant that’s not reason enough to vote for her. “I don’t want you to vote for me because I’m black, or because I’m a woman,” she repeated all weekend, at stops that included a church, a barbershop, a jazz club, and the meeting hall of the local chapter of the electrical workers union. “I want you to vote for me because I’m better.” Cheers and applause met her, and that line, every single time. But Abrams’ speeches don’t start or end there.
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Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Ensure You Will Have No Regrets

Open Thread: An ‘Angry (But Positive!) Mob’ — of Women Voters

From the Washington Post, “Anti-Trump fervor fuels a new movement aimed squarely at winning elections”:

JACKSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio — President Trump’s political nightmare, a mother of two in a custom campaign polo, bounded down the driveway like a sweepstakes winner. She had just chatted up a shirtless Republican out to mow his lawn, and he liked what she said.

“He’s with me on the cost of health care and preexisting conditions,” Lorraine Wilburn, a first-time Democratic candidate for the Ohio statehouse, told her 11-year-old son, Finn. “He said he would take a look at me.”

Finn was used to this sort of enthusiasm, ever since his mother started attending liberal activist meetings after the 2016 election. He had learned not to be surprised if Mom started sounding like a comic book heroine akin to Wonder Woman, whose image she keeps on her phone…

Thin margins of error have not discouraged the new foot soldiers of the Democratic resistance. They don’t cover their faces with bandannas, speak of socialist revolution or get lost in debates about the best model for Medicare expansion.

Instead, many of them juggle campaign events with school commutes and soccer practice. They leave the kids with their husbands to march, come out of retirement to register voters and form close bonds with neighbors who were strangers when Hillary Clinton was the presumptive president. An aspiring blue wave with a decidedly pink hue, they are women defined by a desire to atone for their relative inaction in 2016.

“People are making social connections that they really, really like,” said Abby Karp, an organizer for Swing Left in North Carolina, who works days as a dean at a private school in Greensboro. “I don’t even have a Facebook page anymore. I have a political page. I don’t know what my cousin is doing. I know what canvass is coming up.”…

ActBlue, a central conduit for Democratic campaign contributions, has recorded 4.5 million contributors so far in the 2018 cycle, with about 61 percent of the money coming from women. That compares with 1.5 million donations in the 2014 cycle, when about 52 percent of the money came from women.

“Coming together is the antidote. It’s the antithesis of the divisiveness,” said Lauren Friedman, an Ohio state Senate candidate and mother of three, who started organizing with Wilburn in Canton days after Trump’s election. “Even us just going and canvassing — that is making a change.”…

Michelle Goldberg, in the NYTimes, on “A Cure for Political Despair”:

There is, I find, only one thing that soothes my galloping anxiety, and that is talking to women who are actually doing the work of campaigning. The people who are knocking on doors and organizing rallies tend to be much more cheerful and confident than those who spend too much time on Twitter obsessing over each new poll.
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Nicely Played, Senator Warren

Message from my favorite Senator, just as I was about to go to bed…

… I’m not afraid of the facts, so today we’re launching a new Fact Squad website for anyone who wants see the facts for themselves:

This new website has more than you’d ever want to know about the smears, made-up quotes, and invented stories thrown at me . It has personnel files. It has interviews with the people who hired me – and it has my own family members’ opinions about the attacks.

At that point, I could have quit, but I took the extra step and did a DNA test. One of the world’s leading geneticists did a full work up and concluded that it contains Native American ancestry.

The first Native American in our family that can be proved is generations back, and the geneticist says there could be others. No matter. It’s my family, and – like it or not Donald Trump – my family’s stories are supported by this test…

Pessimists will point out that there are not enough Native Americans in the existing databases to make granular statements, but hey: Senator Warren’s parents told her not just their truth, but the truth about her family history.

Donald Trump owes some charity a million bucks, and I’m sure we’ll see him make good on that public promise just as soon as the biogeneticists introduce their exciting line of flying pigs.

Saturday Morning Open Thread: IMPOLITE ARROGANT WOMAN!

Yeah, used to be a woman was ‘sacred’ — as long as she didn’t speak up, make waves, stand up for what she believed in. But times have changed, Mr. Kelly!

I got an email from my favorite Senator:

You probably remember: Right after Donald Trump became President, one of his first orders of business was launching an illegal, bigoted Muslim ban.

We all felt powerless at the time – Republicans had just won the White House and both branches of Congress – but my staff and I wanted to do something about it. So we tried to get answers from the Department of Homeland Security about their policy of illegally detaining Massachusetts residents (and their family members) at Boston Logan Airport.

There was only one problem: Trump’s new Director of Homeland Security – John Kelly – wouldn’t return our calls and emails. My staff emailed back and forth with his staff, but we couldn’t get them to set up a call or answer our questions.

When I finally did get on the phone with John Kelly, I asked if he had an office number that I could use in the future to get in touch more quickly. He brushed me off, directing me to the main line listed on the Department of Homeland Security’s website (really). Even worse, he bizarrely insisted that I’d made the whole thing up and we’d never tried to reach him in the first place. I happened to be looking at all the emails between his staff and my staff when he said this, so I started reading them to him. He accused me again of making it all up.

So what happened next? You guessed it – I persisted. I asked again for his number. He hemmed and hawwed, and he again tried to give me the Department’s main line. Let’s just say that’s when the conversation really started getting awkward – and that I persisted longer than he did. Eventually, he didn’t just give me his office number – he gave me his cell number…

Was I tough on John Kelly in that phone call? You bet I was. And apparently he didn’t like it. According to an email he wrote about our conversation just afterwards, which was just released, he called me “an impolite arrogant woman”

What an impolite arrogant woman. She immediately began insulting our people accusing them of not following the court order, insulting and abusive behavior towards those covered by the pause, blah blah blah.

“Blah blah blah.” That’s all he had to say when he was called out for breaking the law and destroying lives. And I don’t know about John Kelly – but there are some men who can only hear “blah blah blah” whenever a woman’s talking. One of his aides wrote back, “Too bad Senate Majority Leader McConnell couldn’t order her to be quiet again!”

Clever. Well, Mitch McConnell can’t shut me up – and neither can John Kelly. (He can’t even get Donald Trump off Twitter, and as far as I can tell, that was his main job description when he took on the role of White House Chief of Staff)…

ALL THE SHADE, from the Senator Professor.

Is there merch available? Of course there is! As one twitter user wrote, “Etsy is not ready for what’s about to happen here.” You can order some directly from Warren’s website, or look around for other options (I kinda like “Impolite Arrogant Women Get Things Done.”)

Thursday Evening Open Thread: Still Good Stuff Happening!



And finaly…