What’s the anti-Pelosi endgame?

by , posted on Wednesday, November 28th, 2018 at 1:46 pm

So, there’s this question a lot of us are asking ourselves: Why is Bill Foster doing this? Why are any of them doing this? What’s the endgame? I finally began to think I could see the logic, if you want to call it that, when I read something at CNN.com.

Clearly, the strategy has never been to challenge Pelosi in the Democratic Caucus. It’s to hold the line against her getting 218 on the floor, in hopes of creating a stalemate that ultimately forces Pelosi to withdraw from consideration, creating the possibility of a compromise candidate being put forth to end the crisis. But who? Steny? Maybe. He gets them where they want to go ideologically, which is to the right. But this little detail caught my Illinois-centric eye:

“‘It doesn’t seem like there’s an alternative as part of their strategy,’ said Rep. Cheri Bustos, an Illinois Democrat, who acknowledged that some Pelosi critics reached out to her to urge her to consider running for speaker.”

Bustos is right where the anti-Pelosi faction is at ideologically, but strategically she’s always been a team player, working hard to climb the leadership ladder. What happens if the anti-Pelosi cabal holds the line on the floor and keeps her from getting to 218, and continues to weather the storm for as long as Pelosi blows her top? What if they actually do force her to withdraw from consideration in order to break the deadlock and end the crisis? Wouldn’t a Bustos be just the sort of person the anti-Pelosi faction would want to promote as an alternative they would accept? They get the generational turnover they are giving lip service to. They get to back a woman to take Pelosi’s gavel, which would be much better optics than promoting the ascension of one of the #fivewhiteguys. And they get a Speaker with whom they are ideologically sympatico, for once.

So, what if Pelosi can’t get to 218? What if they hold the line and it is made known that they’ll stand down if they get Bustos? Pelosi knows Bustos has been loyal, a team player. If Pelosi gets to the point where there is simply no path forward for her, might she not give Bustos her blessing?

Cross-posted from Facebook.


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