Despite all right-wing efforts to demonize Nancy Pelosi, it’s Mitch McConnell who America hates

Conservatives have spent more than a decade demonizing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, while Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has mostly gotten a pass. Part of that is our lack of a truly partisan liberal media network. Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and all their endless offspring can hammer Pelosi relentlessly, but on the left? Daily Kos, a few Facebook memes, and some MSNBC shows are all we have. 

Yet despite all that, would you believe that Nancy Pelosi is far more popular than Mitch McConnell? 

It’s true! Civiqs has public tracking polls for both leaders (Pelosi and McConnell). Here’s how their numbers compare: 

Pelosi (D) McConnell (R) ALL Male Female Democrat Republican Independent
40-53 27-58
33-61 32-54
46-46 22-62
80-11 2-91
3-95 61-16
30-60 22-61

Pelosi is a net 18 points more popular than McConnell. That disparity is driven in huge part by a massive gender gap—40 points among women

Pelosi is +69 among Democrats, and McConnell is only +45 among Republicans, showing that Democrats are far more united around their leader than the opposition is. Frankly, that is shocking, given how McConnell is singularly responsible for the conservative majority on the Supreme Court. Yet he consistently plays the role of villain for conservative wackos. Meanwhile, Pelosi has a 7-point advantage among independents, who mostly hate both of them. 

Pelosi (D) McConnell (R) 18-34 35-49 50-64 65+
38-49 17-66
40-52 23-61
40-55 31-54
43-54 35-52

McConnell has comically bad numbers among young voters, at -49 among 18-34 year olds. Pelosi looks wildly popular in comparison, at -9 net favorabilities. In fact, Pelosi is more popular in every age group, including seniors. 

And you know what’s crazy? McConnell is close to his all-time high favorabilities! 

His numbers go up during partisan movements as Republicans rally in support (during the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh and during impeachment, most notably). He’s now fading as voters sour on his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, claiming that there’s no urgency to do anything (a dynamic that’s particularly startling among independents). 

Meanwhile, Pelosi has benefitted most from two major successes—taking control of the House in 2018 (when Republicans put her in pretty much every ad they ran that cycle), and impeachment: 

Pelosi even got a little bump after she tore up impeached president Donald Trump’s speech at this year’s State of the Union address. 

Republican efforts to paint Pelosi as the nation’s worst villain have failed. See this 2018 ad by the National Republican Campaign Committee in a Houston-area congressional district: 

The ad ominously claimed, “[Democratic nominee Lizzie Fletcher] wants to fit in with Nancy Pelosi and her liberal agenda. That’s not Texas. Neither is Lizzie Fletcher.” 

Fletcher ousted 18-year incumbent John Culberson by five points. So either 1.) Nancy Pelosi’s liberal agenda is Texas, or 2.) no one gave much of a shit about Nancy Pelosi. And that story was repeated all over the country as Democrats gained 41 seats in their massive wave victory. 

As much as we despair over the state of our nation (Trump’s approval ratings should be 12% or lower), there are bright spots. The fact that the entire might of the conservative right-wing media machine has been unable to drag Pelosi down is one of them. The fact that McConnell is as unpopular as he is, despite a lack of liberal mass media, is another. 

Sometimes, people do pay attention, and make the right choices. And thinking McConnell is a piece of shit is, undoubtedly, the right choice. 

Pelosi, Trump start talking about the next phase of coronavirus stimulus, need to be talking bigger

The new Daily Kos/Civiqs poll is chock-full of important and astounding information about how the American public is handling the COVID-19 pandemic. In and amongst that data is the suffering, and the reason why Congress still has a lot of work to do to get us through this crisis. Through March 30, one in FIVE Americans who were working before the outbreak say that they have been laid off or furloughed from their position. Nearly 40%—fully 39%—of households have lost income. More than a quarter, 26%, has already been affected by a layoff, furlough, or cut hours and another 15% feel extremely concerned that it will happen to them. Another 28% are moderately or slightly concerned they'll lose income because of the disease and its economic impact.

That's a lot of economic uncertainty that a one-time check for $1,200 isn't likely to allay. The enhanced unemployment benefits that were included in the third coronavirus stimulus bill will help a lot of people, but it won't help everyone including all those people still working but with fewer hours. There's still so much work to be done to get the country through this, and with money practically free to borrow now, yes, Congress should be "tossing money out of helicopters" to answer it, since the Fed is unlikely to do it. Give everyone money, and while you're at it, all the things Speaker Nancy Pelosi is talking about, especially what was in the House bill that didn't make it into the Senate's bill.

In an interview in The New York Times Pelosi "emphasized the need to secure more equipment for health workers on the front lines, known as personal protective equipment, and ventilators for hospitals" and House Democrats would make another "push to bolster pensions and medical leave provisions, and would work to ensure that other aspects of treatment for the coronavirus, beyond the initial test, would be covered by the government." She also talked about more direct aid to families, including "a possible retroactive rollback of the limit on the state and local tax deduction, a change that hurt high earners in states like New York and California." Fine, if that's what it takes to get Republican support, but that's not a sword to die on.

The sword to die on is health care for everyone infected by this disease. It's food security for everyone. It's making sure that the nation's millions of incarcerated people aren't left to die locked up. It's making sure that the gig workers and minimum-wage workers and the undocumented workers who are securing our food supply have the protections they need on the job and in society. It means at least $2 billion to secure this year's elections AND saving the U.S. Postal Service to conduct the necessary vote-by-mail elections.

It means not just postponing student loan payments, but cancelling student loan debts. It needs to have Housing Security, including a moratorium on evictions, a national mortgage and rent holiday, and at least $200 billion to keep housing stable.

It could also have the infrastructure Donald Trump endorsed in a tweet Tuesday: "Two Trillion Dollars, and be focused solely on jobs and rebuilding the once great infrastructure of our Country! Phase 4." Whatever, if that gets Trump on board, as long as it's green, sustainable infrastructure. That, by the way, should include broadband infrastructure—the entire nation needs to have access to reliable, high-speed internet. That's one thing this crisis has demonstrated in spades; the technology gap can cripple communities. Earmarking those trillions now would be great for getting people to work on infrastructure right out of the gate when it's safe for people to be out in the world again.

So yes, Phase 4 or whatever Donald Trump wants to call it, provided he gets Republicans in Congress—who are so far rejecting the notion that more has to be done—on board. They're not going to have much choice, realistically. It's not going to take very long for the pressure to build on them to realize that they haven't done nearly enough to get us out of this thing standing.

Trump too personally wounded by Pelosi to negotiate with her on coronavirus stimulus deal

After accusing Democrats of falsely hyping the coronavirus to hurt him, Donald Trump is now in need of Democratic votes for an economic stimulus package for the country. Indeed, GOP Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday the Senate would simply step aside and let House Speaker Nancy Pelosi negotiate a deal directly with the White House.

Unfortunately, Trump, master deal maker and negotiator savant, won't be involved in those talks, instead Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin will take the lead. According to NBC reporter Eamon Javers, Trump feels too personally wounded by impeachment and other interactions with Pelosi to get in a room with her and pound out a plan to help the country weather the coronavirus. "It doesn't seem like that would end well," Javers said of the thinking of White House aides about trying to get Trump and Pelosi together.

"What the White House would say is, that's Pelosi's fault," Javers explained, "because she ripped up his speech, she's been tough on him, she impeached him and therefore the president has every right to not want to be in a room with her."

So to review: Trump blamed Democrats for stoking concerns over the coronavirus; the stock market crashed because the coronavirus is a real thing; now Trump needs Democrats to dig himself out of a hole after he promised the virus was a nothingburger; but Trump's a little too fragile and spiteful to sit across the table from Pelosi in order to make a deal to help steer the nation through this global public health crisis.

That doesn't sound like someone who should be running the country, that sounds like someone who should be having a pretty epic time out until such time as he can play nice again with the other children.

Here’s the clip

YouTube Video

 

#MattGaetzIsATool trends big-time after announcement of ‘ethics complaint’ filing against Pelosi

On Thursday morning, Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida announced that he had filed an ethics complaint against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for ripping up her copy of Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech. It’s predictable and arguably exactly what Pelosi was expecting, with Gaetz saving network pundits from hours of bad takes on the actual contents of the speech. Gaetz is acting out one of the many theatrical displays of fealty that Republican hacks will be performing for their fearful and corrupt leader. It’s very on-brand for the Republican Party: conducting a witch hunt against a woman, wasting American taxpayer money, and not doing their actual jobs as legislators. 

Gaetz is a special kind of craven, though, as he combines the condescension of Ted Cruz with the piss-poor intellect of Louie Gohmert. This is a man who has in the past tried to intimidate witnesses and has had his own run-ins with the law, all issues of ethics.

After the announcement of the ethics complaint, #MattGaetzIsATool went viral on Twitter.

Because there is video of every hypocritical moment in these many Republican tools’ lives, here’s a reminder of the kind of hypocritical, two-inch-deep politician Matt Gaetz is.

"Let me say right here, right now. Absolutely Donald Trump should release his tax returns." GOP Rep Matt Gaetz #MattGaetzIsATool pic.twitter.com/WcQKygIwIu

— Scott Dworkin (@funder) February 6, 2020

And a moment with someone who served his country and actually believes in the oath he took to protect our country’s values and institutions:

Watch GOP Rep Matt Gaetz get told to his face by a Veteran that he�s betraying his oath of office for defending Trump�s high crimes. #MattGaetzIsAToolpic.twitter.com/0jZSKkqiKb

— Scott Dworkin (@funder) February 6, 2020

Who doesn’t like a good Trump bill-signing meme?

She shredded those lies and filed them where they belonged, in the trash. It was HER copy of the lies. The President disrespected the House creating a reality show giving a medal to a racist. �� #MattGaetzIsATool pic.twitter.com/FEiLsFHmc1

— Kim Shelton (@KrazyNbama) February 6, 2020

Here’s a riddle.

Q: What do you get when you cross a failed sobriety test, a failed anti-bullying advocate, & a failed steak salesman? A: This photo.#MattGaetzIsATool pic.twitter.com/k33RojydAW

— Eric Wolfson (@EricWolfson) February 6, 2020

Gaetz knows all about House ethics complaints.

That time we filed a House Ethics Complaint against Matt Gaetz for intimidating a witness and obstructing justice #MattGaetzIsATool https://t.co/KggQexAt03

— Scott Dworkin (@funder) February 6, 2020

Here’s a visualization of the hashtag.

#MattGaetzIsATool Donald Trump's tool. pic.twitter.com/s6BXW76fZZ

— The Joy of Trolling (@twelthavenue) February 6, 2020

And another one, which makes me laugh. A lot.

#MattGaetzIsATool Imagine thinking Matt Gaetz is a good person to try and lecture you. pic.twitter.com/gyzelJOrMD

— The Joy of Trolling (@twelthavenue) February 6, 2020

And because the children are our future.

This girl is going places!#MattGaetzIsATool #Traitor #CorruptGOP pic.twitter.com/kHnpK0GrQP

— Mark Buckman for Bernie Sanders! (@bAdmArk) February 6, 2020

Impeachment may be over, but Pelosi clearly isn’t done shredding Trump

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi feels "liberated," as she put it at her Thursday press conference with reporters. "I feel very liberated," she said, repeating the sentiment twice. "I feel that I've extended every possible courtesy. I've shown every level of respect," she said of Trump. It sounded as if she might add "but now..." and then pivot to a glimpse of the new road ahead. She did not tip her hand. The path Pelosi is plotting is something that will unfold over time.

But for the moment, Pelosi ain't apologizing for nothing, despite taking some heat over performing a very public shredding of Donald Trump's State of the Union address Tuesday night. Asked if she had trampled on her consistent message of championing a certain dignity in our politics, Pelosi responded without missing a beat, "No, I did not. I tore up a manifesto of mistruths."

She reminded the press corps how hard it is to get them focused on reporting about the actual issues and policies House Democrats are working on, including an infrastructure bill and a bill they passed to lower drug prices (H.R. 3) that's currently dying a slow death on Mitch McConnell's desk. Meanwhile, Trump used his address as an opportunity to spew complete nonsense about Republicans supposedly protecting people's preexisting condition coverage when in fact they are working to dismantle it.

"He misrepresented all of that," she said. "It was very necessary to get the attention of the American people to say, this is not true and this is how it affects you," she said of her public display, adding, "And I don't need any lessons from anybody, especially the president of the United States, about dignity. Is it okay to start saying 'four more years' in the House of Representatives? It's just unheard of."

Pelosi later explained that her unexpected shredding was premeditated and had nothing to do with the fact that Trump hadn't shaken her hand at the beginning of the speech. "That meant nothing to me," she said. Instead, she had quickly scanned the speech and realized it was riddled with lies.

"When I saw the compilation of falsehoods," she explained, "I started to think there has to be something that clearly indicates to the American people that this is not the truth." In other words, far from a fit of pique, it was a little bit of theater by Pelosi, who was very much in control of the message she hoped to relay to the public. 

She also skewered the crux of Trump's speech, saying he hadn't told the nation anything about where he planned to lead the nation. "That was not a State of the Union, that was his 'state of his mind' address" she explained. "We want a state of the Union—where are we, where are we going, and the rest."

Pelosi emphatically declared that the nation must vote Trump out. "Next year we will have a new president of the United States. That is an absolute imperative for our country," she noted.

Taken together, Pelosi's remarks reveal how offended she was that Trump coopted The People's House to stage a campaign rally filled with lies, chants, and completely devoid of a vision for the country. "Do it in your own office," she quipped. "We don't come in your office and do congressional business."

Pelosi has always been a measured and calculated politician, but she appears to be entering a new gloves-off phase of her speakership. Her final words before leaving the podium were unequivocal: "He has shredded the truth in his speech. He's shredding the Constitution in his conduct. I shredded the state of his mind address."

Just guessing there’s more shredding to come from Pelosi. 

Republicans give Pelosi just what she wanted with outrage over ripped up State of the Union

Republicans really, really want Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s ripping up of Donald Trump’s State of the Union address to be A Very Big Thing. They desperately need to frame her act of incivility as equal to or worse than all of Trump’s trespasses against democracy and decency, especially in the wake of Sen. Mitt Romney denying them their narrative of a purely partisan impeachment. (And yeah, they want to retaliate against him, too.)

Rep. Matt Gaetz is leading the asshat charge by filing an ethics complaint against Pelosi with, get this, the claim that “Nobody is above the law.” Gaetz is calling for a criminal referral, claiming that Pelosi violated a statute dealing with “Concealment, removal, or mutilation of documents,” as if every single physical copy of a document is sacred. This temper tantrum about Pelosi tearing up a document is especially special given that—as Dana Houle pointed out on Twitter—Trump is known tear up papers after he finishes with them, in violation of the Presidential Records Act.

Gaetz isn’t the only Republican in high dudgeon about Pelosi, of course. Rep. Kay Granger is touting a privileged resolution expressing disapproval for Pelosi’s “breach of decorum.” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tried his hand at a viral video ripping up the impeachment articles and saying “acquitted for life.” 

But Mike Pence had the creepiest take, telling Fox News that “I just have a strong feeling that she's going to be the last Speaker of the House to sit in that chair for a long time.” Which could just mean he understands that Democrats are going to keep the House and Pelosi will remain speaker, but it sounds more like he’s joining Trump in having some extremely unconstitutional things in mind.

Pence aside, you wonder if these Republicans realize how much they’re playing into Pelosi’s hands. She surely did not rip up that paper live on national television without knowing exactly the response it would draw—which means she was inviting their ethics complaints and resolutions of disapproval, shifting attention from Trump to her reaction to Trump. So Gaetz and Granger and all their buddies should feel free to bring it. It couldn’t be clearer that Pelosi welcomes their outrage.

Trump will emerge at noon to see his shadow, forecast one more year of fascism

At noon on Thursday, Donald Trump will sally forth to gloat. Or whine. To gloatwhine about his less than perfect acquittal in the Senate. Robbed of his ability to declare total victory by Sen. Mitt Romney unexpectedly casting a safety line back to the world where Republicans existed as something more than Trump’s eager footstool, the vote in the Senate has not gotten the 10,000 or so tweets it surely deserves. Tweets about “exoneration” and Rep. Adam Schiff’s collar size.

Still, Trump will not be denied his opportunity to stand before the nation and complain about a bipartisan vote of “guilty.” So he comes forth at noon to check his shadow, complain that the do-nothings done something, and talk about the real national tragedy—how eight sheets of number two copy paper meet an untimely death at the hands of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

Going into the vote on Wednesday, Trump was confident that all the Republicans would grovel on cue. In fact, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was shaping his beak into an “is that lettuce?” grin over the idea that Democrats facing difficult elections in red states might also pile in. They fully expected to exit the day with both a bipartisan vote to acquit, and a nice claim that the vote to remove Trump was “completely partisan.”

But as the day wore on, those Senate Democrats in the tightest of tight spots, like Alabama’s Doug Jones and West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, made it known that they would be voting to impeach. Neither they, nor Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema, were even going to toss Trump a crumb by splitting their votes. All three joined every other Democrat to vote Trump guilty as charged, and unworthy to remain in office, on both articles of impeachment.

That was good, but Romney’s speech announcing that he would cast his vote against Trump was even better. It not only completely rewrote the narrative, it was a sharp rebuke of the fawning attitude adopted by every other Republican senator. It’s extraordinarily telling that for the whole course of the impeachment trial, only a handful of Republicans were ever even considered to be willing to vote for something as obvious as calling witnesses. “Serious” Republicans, including those who had been in the Senate for decades and cast votes against Bill Clinton while expressing their deep offense at his action, were never even considered as possible votes against Trump. Of course they would bow. All Republicans bow.

What Romney said in his speech—as surprising for its genuine uplifting and moving quality, as much as for the news of that single vote—flipped the script in Washington. It wrecked Trump’s plans for celebrations and caused infinitely more paper to be shredded on Capitol Hill than Pelosi did during Trump’s House chamber rally. It took a full day of pouting and screaming for Trump to settle down, and for Stephen Miller to pencil in “and Mitt Romney” to every insipid attack. 

Still, don’t expect Trump to be contrite, and certainly not restrained. As Wednesday night’s bizarre attack on New York residents demonstrated, there is no slight he will overlook, no act of vengeance too petty. Don’t be at all surprised if Trump devotes 90% of his speech to ideas that “Nancy Pelosi should be impeached.” After all, it’s certain that 100% will be about how he is perfect, Democrats are unworthy, and real Americans wear red hats.

Given that, Romney aside, the clear message of the Senate vote was that Republicans will support Trump in any action that he takes against political opponents, no matter how vile, dangerous, or illegal … it’s likely that he’ll take this opportunity to announce something even more vile, more blatant, and more divisive than before. 

Pelosi: ‘He shredded the truth, so I shredded his speech’

Could this be a turning point of sorts? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi surprised many observers Tuesday night when she punctuated Donald Trump's lie-laden State of the Union address with an unceremonious rebuke.

“He shredded the truth, so I shredded his speech,” Pelosi said Wednesday morning, according to Politico, explaining why she tore up a copy of Trump's speech at the conclusion of the address. As Pelosi relayed to her caucus the motivation behind her uncharacteristic break with decorum, her remarks suggested that she might be opening a new, more pointed chapter in her post-impeachment relationship with Trump. She told her Democratic caucus members she felt "liberated" by tearing up Trump's words in front of a national audience.

"She said that he disgraced the House of Representatives by using it as a backdrop for a reality show," Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth told Politico.

Echoing Pelosi's sentiments, Georgia Rep. Hank Johnson called Trump's theatrics during the speech—such as awarding rancid radio host Rush Limbaugh with the medal of honor—a "disgraceful display." 

“He dishonored the State of the Union as an institutional practice,” Rep. Johnson said. “It was kind of outright pandering to his base."

Democratic members described Pelosi as frustrated by Trump's speech, which leaves one wondering if she might really take off the gloves in the months leading up to November. Pelosi is a loyal student of public opinion and polls suggest the public continues to be on the side of Democrats in so far as impeachment goes and their bid to get witnesses included in the Senate trial.

But after Republican senators seal Trump's acquittal later on Wednesday, Pelosi will still have cards to play, including subpoenaing former national security adviser John Bolton or even indicted Giuliani associate Lev Parnas, who apparently has a trove of receipts.

Whatever Pelosi's mood, she clearly has options, likely including some the public isn't even aware of.

Pelosi serves well-deserved shade on McConnell, Chief Justice Roberts over sham impeachment

No one can twist a political knife quite like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Think of the now-legendary clapback at impeached president Donald Trump at last year's State of the Union address. She's the queen of shade, and you just knew that Mitch McConnell was going to be on the receiving end of some of that. It hit Saturday morning in a brutal tweet that cast a wide penumbra, taking in the potted plant who presided over last week's sham impeachment trial.

"It is a sad day for America to see Senator McConnell humiliate the Chief Justice of the United States into presiding over a vote which rejected our nation's judicial norms, precedents and institutions which uphold the Constitution and the rule of law," she wrote. Ouch. That's all she said. That's all she needed to say. Chief Justice John Roberts is going to come out of this thing looking like a tool, and it's because of McConnell's machinations. It's because there was no way McConnell was going to let this impeachment trial be anything but a travesty.

History is not going to look kindly on either of those men.

It's time to end McConnell's destructive stranglehold on the republic. Please give $1 to our nominee fund to help Democrats and end McConnell's career as Senate majority leader.

Pelosi slams Senate sham trial: ‘You can’t be acquitted’ if you don’t have witnesses

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hasn't played all her cards yet, and she's already declaring the Senate trial a sham. “I disagree with the idea that he could be acquitted," Pelosi told the South Florida Sun Sentinel Editorial Board on Friday. “You can’t be acquitted if you don’t have a trial, and you can’t have a trial if you don’t have witnesses and you don’t have documents."

Pelosi made the comments heading into a day of closing arguments in which Senate Republicans appeared poised for a vote to quash witness testimony entirely with an acquittal vote soon to follow. (That vote is now expected to be held next Wednesday, following the State of the Union.)

Pelosi also directed withering criticism at Trump's defense team. "To say in a proceeding in the Senate if a president thinks that his election is in the best interests of the country anything is justified," she said, referencing the argument made by Alan Dershowitz, "I don’t know how they have any integrity or respect left.” 

Pelosi said the argument was completely antithetical to the Constitution. “What you heard the president’s lawyer say so undermined what is a democracy, our republic, [by suggesting the Constitution’s] Article II says I can do whatever I want," she said. "No, it doesn’t. That’s not what the Constitution is about."

Pelosi also laid blame for the procedure squarely at Leader Mitch McConnell's feet. “The founders always had in their mind that there could be a rogue president, and that’s why they put guardrails in the Constitution. And impeachment," she noted. "But they probably didn’t figure we would have a rogue president and a rogue Mitch McConnell."

Pelosi said in the interview that House Democrats would continue their push in the courts for oversight and more subpoenas to be honored, “or else we have a monarchy.”

Pelosi clearly isn't finished yet. And given all the loose ends being left by Senate Republicans, she will almost surely spend the rest of 2020 pulling those threads. It's honestly a mystery that McConnell thinks he's going to get away without calling witnesses without Pelosi making life a living hell for Senate Republicans from here till November.