Compromise possible between Pelosi, Moulton
Remember, the two pols were once political allies
WHEN IT COMES to answering political questions, I find perspective and creativity can go a long way. Take, for example, the cathartic dispute between Nancy Pelosi and Seth Moulton—they, and their supporters, disagree over who should become Speaker of the House of Representatives now that Democrats are in power.
Moulton favors a younger leader newer to Washington.
By telling a semi-stylized story tracing the pair’s early interactions that culminates in the present with Nancy delivering a persuasive speech, I will try to sow the empathy key to winning public support for a compromise leadership plan that could gain a majority — not only when the Democratic caucus votes after Thanksgiving, but also in January when the entire House convenes and 218 floor votes will be required to elect a new speaker.
The Story: Like many rivals, you would be hard pressed to remember that Nancy Pelosi and Seth Moulton once were allies.
But Hillary’s loss twisted their destiny.
Banished from regaining the speaker’s seat, Nancy fell into leading the resistance. And the resistance grew outraged against Trump’s darkness. It craved heroes and sheroes. But the popular narrative recast our characters into gendered roles and winding paths. And in this retelling, while Nancy plotted to retake the throne, Seth rose as a knight in shining armor. He rode the countryside gathering succor and reinforcements in hamlets far and wide. Soon Seth raised a militia — patriots fit for fighting the darkness. Like wildfire, calls for warmer federal leadership blood spread.
In the castle, Nancy pulled the levers and circulated coin outward where distant legislators repel attack and prosper. Next, she sat with the elders—Steny Hoyer and James Clyburn—and they moved rooks on the chessboard. After they left, arrived the sistren—Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Gloria Steinem, and Diane Feinstein—for dinner. They discussed women’s rights and immortality. They called Barbara Boxer, who had left a few years ago, for her counsel. How do we defeat the darkness?
The question had become the chant haunting her sleepless nights. Like the bubbling brook spoke to Seth.
Crossing pure cold streams, Seth saw sunlight spin his reflection from servant to soldier to prince to president. But he splashed his face in water to resist seduction. He reached the secret meeting spot and waited for this opportunity to reopen dialogue.
Nancy needed longer to arrive. She traversed towns teeming with flammable partisan discord. Nancy even glimpsed her figure burning in effigy. And she arrived shaken.
Awkwardly, they tried to revive the dead language of political comity. The tongue they mustered was conciliatory. After many hours passed, Nancy admitted, “This is the bout of my lifetime.” And he countered, “The future belongs to the young and the brave.”
Upon return to Washington D.C., Nancy noticed the pink sky portended thunder. Gathered in the White House den, she witnessed the darkness bellow and brag “I’d die before letting a woman boss me.”
Three tumultuous weeks sped by. After the resistance won the looming showdown, Nancy penned a speech in which she escaped her fairy-tale shackles and spoke in a real voice:
Lately my longevity is a popular topic for conversation…
But I’m a spry 78, a mother of five. I didn’t start my career until I sent my kids off to school. That was 47. So I got a late start. Thirty years in, I’m a grandmother from California and the current leader of the Democratic Party in the United States House of Representatives.
As you know, the complete leadership team is Steny Hoyer from Michigan—he holds the number two position. And James Clyburn from South Carolina—he holds the number three position. The problem is that all three of us are over age 75.
As much as it breaks my heart emotionally, the solution is to reshuffle the deck on the leadership team so I’m the speaker, but new faces compete for the number two and number three spots.
Another thing is that if I am elected speaker, this term will be my last before I retire and go back to California, which isn’t easy for me to say, but by then my work in Washington will be in safe hands.
Look, the Democratic Party, together with the American people, we define our own destiny. In the midterms, record numbers of outspoken women running for and being elected to office powered our victories. This means we shouldn’t worry anymore about pacifying Republican critics who vilify successful women leaders.
Frankly, we have bigger fish to fry. We have to pass important legislation to strengthen healthcare, infrastructure, and the economy. To improve urban and rural lives. Protect the environment for all generations.
Or Trump can win again.And we can’t let that happen.
Ed Burley is an attorney who advises political candidates in several states for Emancipated Media Group.