Politics & Policy

It Is Actually Not Sexist to Want Pelosi to Step Down

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) looks on during a news conference on a visit to various immigration detention facilities, in San Diego, California, June 18, 2018. (John Gastaldo/Reuters)
And she is flat-out wrong to suggest that McConnell has not faced the same kind of criticism.

Apparently taking a page out of Hillary Clinton’s handbook, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi has suggested that the calls for her to step down from her position are sexist.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Pelosi was asked if she had ever considered not running for speaker if the Democrats were to win control of the House.

First, she suggested that any male would-be challengers for the position would realize how sexist it would be to even try and run against her in the first place:

None of us is indispensable, but some of us have more experience and confidence in how to get the job done. And I can’t even think that they think it’s a good idea to say, “We have the first woman speaker,” and now we’re going to say, “We’re not going to do that.”

“I mean, no,” she concluded. “No.”

When Rolling Stone continued to press her further, asking her about the margin she would need to win, she then essentially blamed the entire line of questioning on sexism.

“I think some of it is a little bit on the sexist side – although I wouldn’t normally say that,” she said. “Except it’s like, really?”

“Has anyone asked whatshisname, the one who’s the head of Senate?” she asked.

After an aide, Jorge Aguilar, reminded her that his name was “McConnell,” she continued:

McConnell. I mean he’s got the lowest numbers of anybody in the world. Have you ever gone up to him and said, “How much longer do you think you’ll stay in this job?” Nobody ever went up to Harry Reid and said that. Nobody ever says that to anybody except a woman. But it’s a thing.

“The one thing I want women to know is that you don’t walk away from a fight,” she said. “You don’t let them make your decisions for you.”

“I don’t mean to sound arrogant,” she continued. “But I am confident. I am confident.”

Blaming every little thing on sexism is only going to make people less likely to listen to sexism charges when they are true.

First of all, Pelosi is flat-out wrong to suggest that McConnell has not faced the same kind of criticism. Perhaps Rolling Stone specifically has never asked him about stepping down, but those calls have definitely been there. Last year, when the Senate failed to pass an Obamacare-repeal bill, a whole host of top conservatives called on McConnell to resign. What’s more, a Harvard-Harris poll taken last year found that a majority of GOP voters (56 percent) wanted McConnell to step down. It would be one thing if his approval rating were low without people actually wanting to see him step down — as she had suggested was the case in her answer to Rolling Stone’s questions — but these actual facts prove that her assumption was not exactly correct.

The truth is, Nancy Pelosi just does not seem to be doing any sort of good for the Democratic party. She’s had her fair share of gaffes, and she’s been shown to have a bit of a problem relating to many voters — her recent “crumbs” remark being a good recent example of both. With the absolute disaster for the Democrats that was the 2016 election, it’s completely fair to be asking questions about whether or not the people in the top leadership positions are really the best people to be there. That isn’t sexism; that’s strategy.

There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that sexism is a serious, pervasive problem in our society. It is not a myth, and it definitely must be called out when it occurs. The thing, is, though, calling it out when it is not occurring only makes matters worse. After all, blaming every little thing on sexism is only going to make people less likely to listen to sexism charges when they are true.

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