2021 could very well be a banner year, which would be exciting considering that for the past nine months, most of the country has been under a cloud of COVID-19. But it’s that same cloud that actually could be the undoing of the first female Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Nancy Pelosi is in a world of hurt as her chances of retaining her role of Speaker have shrunk.
Oh, it’s not the Whackjob Four (now five) that have pushed Pelosi to the edge. No, AOC, and Omar, and Tlaib, and Pressley aren’t the problem here. COVID is the problem.
See, with a rules change that was pushed through in May, it allowed members that had tested positive for COVID, or those that were at risk or had small children at home to be online and vote. That’s been done a lot. In fact, on December 18th, 90 Democrats voted electronically online. But that rule dies at the end of this Congress. And on January 3rd (more likely the 4th since the 3rd is a Sunday), ALL members must be present to vote on a new Speaker. Remember, there will only be a 9 seat majority for Democrats. That means that IF say, ten Democrats are out with COVID on January 4th, the likelihood is that Nancy Pelosi will lose Speaker of the House to Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca).
And it doesn’t even have to be COVID that does the deed. Conor Lamb (D-PA), Jared Golden (D-ME), and Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) have already announced the won’t be voting for Pelosi for Speaker. If AOC, Tlaib, Omar, Pressley, and the newest member, Cori Bush (D-MO), who just won election in November, all went against Pelosi, that’s a total of eight votes. They only have a nine seat majority. That means only two Democrats would have to be missing in action for McCarthy to become the next Speaker…WITHOUT having a majority! Democrats have had anywhere from 71 to 90 missing this year.
And that means that Nancy Pelosi could be ousted as the Speaker without another Democrat there to take her place. Her position is tenable at best. So, does she move to the left to placate the “whackjob five”? If so, does she alienate her more moderate Democrats? I know she calls herself a master politician when it comes to this, but with a razor thin nine seat margin, she needs all hands on deck. The question is, will the deck be underwater by the time the vote is taken?
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!