The Atlantic Crowns 'Vilified' Pelosi ‘Most Effective Congressional Leader’ vs. Sexist GOP

March 18th, 2018 4:44 PM

Peter Beinart, contributing editor at The Atlantic, devoted 1,700 words in the April issue to ludicrously crowning House minority leader and arch-liberal Nancy Pelosi an amazingly effective congressional leader -- and dishonestly calling Republicans sexist for daring to oppose her: “The Nancy Pelosi Problem -- The first female speaker of the House has become the most effective congressional leader of modern times -- and, not coincidentally, the most vilified.”

After a selective list of Pelosi’s triumphs, like saving Social Security and Obamacare from rapacious Republicans, Beinart gushed:

....Why so much discontent with a woman who has proved so good at her job? Maybe because many Democrats think Pelosi’s unpopularity undermines their chances of winning back the House. Why is she so unpopular? Because powerful women politicians usually are. Therein lies the tragedy. Nancy Pelosi does her job about as well as anyone could. But because she’s a woman, she may not be doing it well enough.

Beinart portrayed garden-variety politics as something sinister.

In the Trump era, as Republican vulnerability has mounted, the GOP has targeted Pelosi yet again. Last summer, when the Democrat Jon Ossoff showed surprising strength in a special election for a House seat in Georgia, Republicans responded with millions of dollars in ads tying him to Pelosi. “Say No to Pelosi’s Yes Man,” a GOP commercial instructed....


The more successful Pelosi is -- the more she outmaneuvers and dominates her male adversaries -- the more threatening she becomes. And the easier it becomes to tar the male Democratic candidates who would serve under her as emasculated yes-men. Which makes it harder for Democrats to retake the House.

Beinart bizarrely portrayed the pro-abortion Pelosi as appealing to “cultural conservatives” and portrayed the equally pro-abortion Hillary Clinton as deeply religious.

It would be comforting to think that Pelosi is alienating because she’s a rich liberal Democrat from San Francisco -- not because she’s a woman. Yet despite attributes that should make her endearing to cultural conservatives -- she is a Catholic Italian American grandmother of nine who entered politics only after staying home to raise her kids -- many Americans greeted her rise with, in the words of the Yale researchers, “contempt, anger, and/or disgust.” It was the same for Hillary Clinton: Her deep religiosity, career-long focus on child welfare, and insistence on keeping her family together in the face of near-unimaginable humiliation didn’t spare her in the 2016 presidential election.

Similarly, if Senator Elizabeth Warren seeks the presidency, she won’t be able to count on help from her working-class Oklahoma roots and anti–Wall Street passion. On the surface, Trump’s “Pocahontas” slur may appear as unrelated to gender as Clinton’s emails did. But the moral outrage that female ambition provokes takes many forms....

Beinart doesn’t explain how reminding Americans that Warren has constantly misrepresented her Native American roots for career gain is a “slur.”

Not even the New York Times went that far in protecting Pelosi from criticism:

But there is unease with Ms. Pelosi in solid-blue districts, too. In two Boston-area districts, neither the Democratic incumbents nor their more progressive rivals have committed to backing Ms. Pelosi. Brianna Wu, a liberal activist opposing Representative Stephen F. Lynch in a Democratic primary, said she was worried Democrats would suffer from Ms. Pelosi’s “inability to express a vision for the party.”