Reelecting Nancy Pelosi proves Dems reject voters' call for change • The Hill

Nancy Pelosi’s re-election as Democrat minority leader suggests that the Democrat party learned little from their losses in November. This isn’t only bad news for Democrats who have signed up for at least two more years of tone-deaf outreach and counterproductive strategizing. It’s bad news for Americans who want fresh leadership dedicated to solving problems rather than re-fighting partisan battles.

Many Americans see the Democrats as the party of liberal elites: They hobnob with Hollywood celebrities and media and industry A-listers from New York and L.A., but don't care much for flyover country. Pelosi reinforces this image, not only by hailing from San Francisco, but because of her decades-long tenure in the party machine.

Democrats take for granted that they attract more Millennial voters than Republicans, but they shouldn’t.

Young Americans tend to be more socially liberal, but firmly reject Washington's status quo. Increasingly they recognize that government spending, which is sold as necessary for the disadvantaged, inevitably ends up enriching the politically-connected.

Pelosi is the queen of this kind of cronyism and will be a useful foil for Republicans as they fight to cut wasteful spending and return those resources to taxpayers.

Moreover, young Americans have been propagandized into believing that Trump and the Republican party threaten the civil rights of African Americans, Hispanics, women, and the gay community.

Now that their worst fears have come to pass and Republicans firmly hold both Congress and the White House, they will see that the boogeyman isn’t so bad after all. Just as in the past, Republicans won't actually be passing draconian laws against the interests of these communities and will expose liberals’ fear-mongering for what it is.

In fact, if Republicans make progress in terms of job creation, restoring economic growth and bringing much needed change to education and our health care system, young voters could witness tremendous improvements in their prospects and in the prospects of those who have suffered the most in this era of stagnant wages and anemic growth. They may start rethinking their party allegiances.

Yet while Republicans may gain some political advantage from having Pelosi remain at the helm, it would have been far better for both parties if there was new leadership that was really willing to look for areas of agreement and where progress can be made.

Democrats should have just as much interest as Republicans in rolling back counterproductive regulations and cutting unnecessary government programs, so that they can show that government can work and that people's tax dollars are well spent.

New Democrat leadership could show that they are most interested in advancing the people's interests and that decisions to oppose legislation are based on principle and sincere policy differences, not just out of the old political tug-of-war. Not so with Pelosi.

Pelosi famously told the American people that they would have to wait until the president's healthcare bill was passed to know what was in it. She seemed to expect the people to have blind faith in the wisdom of Democrat leaders — and that gargantuan bill was passed on a party-line, even though most of the members hadn't even read the bill.

ObamaCare was unpopular then and has become increasingly unpopular now as the American people have become more familiar with what the law contained and how it affects our health care system, with rising premiums and reduced access to doctors.

Republicans were elected in part to dismantle the ObamaCare mess and replace it with a better system.

It would be useful, however, to have the Democrats engaged in the process not just as a roadblock to reform. Yet it's hard to imagine how Pelosi, with her blind allegiance to the president’s law, could be part of such a process.

Americans voted for change in 2016 and House Democrats have just rejected that message, preferring instead to stick with the status quo. That's a shame for everyone who wants better politics in Washington, though Democrats themselves will end up paying the biggest price.

Carrie Lukas is vice president for policy at the Independent Women's Voice

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