In an interview with C-SPAN, a top Democratic lawmaker has said she believes that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has outlived her usefulness at the head of the party’s congressional wing.
Rep. Linda Sanchez of California is, thus far, the senior-most Democrat to express a lack of confidence in Pelosi and her top lieutenants, and her comments show that the generational divide in the party is not going away without a major power struggle.
That Pelosi is historically unpopular throughout the party is not news; she came as close as she has ever come to being ousted last year when more than 60 House Democrats voted to have Rep. Tim Ryan take her place as minority leader. Pelosi managed to squash that rebellion before it could take her job, but Sanchez’s comments make it clear that she hasn’t solidified power.
“I do think it’s time to pass a torch to a new generation of leaders, and I want to be a part of that transition,” Sánchez said Thursday. “I want to see that happen. I think we have too many great members here that don’t always get the opportunities that they should. I would like to see that change.”
Sanchez said that Pelosi should step down and she should take House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer and House Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn with her.
“They are all of the same generation, and their contributions to the Congress and the caucus are substantial,” Sanchez said. “But I think there comes a time when you need to pass that torch. And I think it’s time.”
Pelosi has taken her share of the blame for the Democrats’ failure to win back the House of Representatives, and most analysts predict that failure will continue through the 2018 midterms. This has inspired younger House Democrats, many of whom tend towards to Bernie Sanders wing of the ideological spectrum, to push for a new direction – one that pulls back on identity politics, feminism, and metropolitan-centered outreach and goes back to small, blue collar communities where the Trump coalition has made mincemeat out of former liberal strongholds.