Chaos Replaces Order: Pelosi's House Legacy

Love her or hate her, most Republicans in America would agree, under the reign of Nany Pelosi the chaos of this last week never would have happened. She had a tight rein on her diverse caucus and ruled with authority and a tight grip. Many argued too tight. However given the recent chaos within of the House of Representatives members of the GOP are now faced with disappointment and an embarrassment in failed leadership. Leadership that allowed one obscure representative that should not been in a position of power to overthrow the leadership that the majority of the Republican caucus supported.

Even the most conservative members of the party suggest that the actions of the 8 Republicans that forced a vote on Speaker McCarthy to oust him never would have even been considered under the leadership of former Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Pelosi ruled with an iron fist and was tough. She certainly had discipline among her members. Under her leadership the house never would have evolved into the chaos of the present. It is a bad look on Republican leadership and a very poor look on good governance. It is a worse look for the Republican Party that is a party divided.

Nancy Pelosi has been, without a doubt, the greatest, most effective speaker in the history of the House of Representatives" was a statement presented in November of 2020 by Congressman James P. McGovern.

Almost 17 years ago, Nancy Pelosi wrote her name in the history books as the first female speaker of the House.

As CNN reported in 2021, "with the House vote to approve President Joe Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure package, Pelosi accomplished the largest spending bill on infrastructure ever to pass congress. 2022 she was named by almost every press agency around the world that she was the most effective and impactful speaker in the last seven decades, given her ability to keep her caucus in order and her ability to manuever a diverse collective of representatives with a variety of opinions into lockstep with her legislative agenda. That is not, in any way, a partisan statement. It is purely a reflection of Pelosi’s ability to shepherd major pieces of a Democratic presidents’ agenda through a closely divided House, with a knowledge of her caucus, and the buttons that need to be pushed at the exact right time – that no one who has come before her in the job has been able to match."

Pelosi understood management and how to use the tools of the power of the speaker to harness power. Speaker Pelosi on occasion had harnessed one faction of her unruly Democrats to win over others. Specific to the trillion dollar infrastructure bill and she understood how to maneuver a variety of factions. That is something speaker McCarthy could never master. McCarthy was hostage to warring factions. Pelosi used the power of the speaker to her advantage to rally a variety of factions. As an example with the infrastucture bill According to The New York Times, Pelosi adopted a proposal from the Congressional Black Caucus that would allow both a final vote on the infrastructure bill and a good-faith vote on the rules governing the coming debate over the social safety net plan. But, Pelosi didn’t put herself forward as the face of that proposal. Instead she had Joyce Beatty, the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, make the case to members. That the soft-spoken African American lawmaker might have had more influence at that point than Pelosi did, and yet Pelosi understood how to play her hand to ensure victory. Pelosi never allowed herself to fall into a position of failure unlike McCarthy. She was strong as she allowed others to use their strengths to garner her successes.

It’s a remarkable legacy that, whether you like or hate Pelosi and her politics, you have to marvel at her abilities and when looking at her effective leadership verses the leadership of the recent speaker one has to ask where was the real leadership. History has shown that in recent times there has simply never been someone better at the job of speaker than Nancy Pelosi.

The Republican speakers of the present era cannot seem to graple with the influence of Trump. McCarthy while speaker was always battling with the faction closest to Trump and that was out of step with a majority of his caucus. As Republicans attempt to once again elect a new speaker of the House, Donald Trump is again putting himself right in the middle of the process-- endorsing Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and suggesting he'd be open to taking the job himself on a temporary basis. He injected himself in the last speakers race which resulted in 15 rounds of voting and a speaker too weak to survive thus the overthrow of McCarthy was immenent from day one of his assencion to the role of Speaker.

According to ABC News; "The idea of Donald Trump serving as speaker was first proposed on the day he left the White House -- Jan. 20, 2021 -- by a pro-Trump activist named Rogan O'Handley, who went by the name "@DC_Draino" on social media. The idea was soon aggressively pushed by Steve Bannon, Trump's former chief strategist in the White House. At first Trump had no interest in the job, but that all changed as he watched McCarthy fail in vote after vote on the House floor in early January of this year.

According to USA Today, Representaive Ken Buck, Republican of Colorado, one of the House Republicans who voted last week to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., vowed that former President Donald Trump will not become the leader of the lower chamber.

Asked on ABC’s “This Week” about Republicans who have called for Trump to fill the role, Buck said “that’s not going to happen.”

“It shouldn’t happen, and we have a lot of talent inside the House,” he said. “We’ll settle this inside the House Republican conference, and we will elect someone who’ll have the unity and the backing of the full conference.”

The question came after Trump said last week that he would consider accepting the speakership temporarily if Republicans deadlock on selecting a new speaker.

The influence of former president Trump continues in the House of Representatives with Congressman Gaetz leading the charge to blow up the norms of governance. That is the Trump mentality to get your way or just blow up the playing field says many moderate Republicans with a history on the hill. What the public witnessed this last week is a pure Trumpian play led by a group of 8 Republicans with no clear plan for the future.

The old days of  a house in order are long gone and even moderate Republicans now long for the predictable norms of operations and the order that Nancy Pelosi once had on the house of Representatives.

Source:, ABC News, USA Today, Office of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Twitter (X), the New York Times.

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