To the Editor:
Re “Go Ahead. Fight Over Nancy Pelosi,” by Michelle Cottle (Editorial Observer, Nov. 19):
Calling on Nancy Pelosi to loosen her grip on the new House majority was a welcome but insufficient step toward preparing the Democrats for 2020. All senior Democrats over the age of 55 should immediately announce together, echoing the words of J.F.K., that now is the time to pass the torch of leadership to a new generation.
Ms. Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Al Gore et al. cannot speak for the two generations of voters the Democrats need to win in the next general election, nor are there any recent precedents for an older Democrat winning the White House. Since 1960, the average age of newly elected Democratic presidents (Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Clinton and Obama) has been 48. The five newly elected Republican presidents since 1960 (Nixon, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Trump) have averaged 62 years old.
Of course, youth alone has not guaranteed Democratic victories. But unless the Democratic leaders of my generation step aside now so younger leaders can build national followings, their party will lose the White House again in 2020.
The writer is a research associate and retired lecturer in the history department at Dartmouth College.
To the Editor:
There is no need to have a fight over who the next speaker of the House should be, even if, as Michelle Cottle says, “now is precisely the time for squabbling over the shape and direction of the caucus.” Democrats should just stick with what’s good since with Nancy Pelosi, Democrats have a seasoned, experienced and effective former speaker.
As speaker she helped bring about numerous historic pieces of legislation, including the Affordable Care Act and President Barack Obama’s financial stimulus package. As minority leader she was instrumental in preventing George W. Bush’s push to privatize Social Security. And, as much as Republicans and others like to demonize Ms. Pelosi, she is free of any scandals or personal misconduct.
Undoubtedly, she will continue where she left off, working on behalf of the American people as well as resisting Donald Trump’s push for autocracy.
To the Editor:
Re “Whispers Become Salvos as 16 Rebels Buck Pelosi” (news article, Nov. 20):
If, indeed, the new Democratic majority succeeds in replacing Nancy Pelosi as leader, then President Trump and the Republicans will have won. For the last six years, she has been painted in the most evil colors, in order to promote Republican votes in both the 2016 presidential election and the recent midterms.
Sadly, some Democratic candidates bought into the Republican campaign of vilification, under the guise of “regime change,” in an effort to influence independent and other voters in purple and red states. What a shame.
Having succeeded in establishing a Democratic majority in the House, some lawmakers are now bent on overthrowing the most successful woman in American politics in history, someone with so much savvy and experience who, until now, has been able to hold the minority caucus together to stand up against the Republican leadership and win some critically important battles.
The rejection of Nancy Pelosi by those new to the game who now think they can run the show in these perilous times is shortsighted. I suspect that Ms. Pelosi herself is looking toward promoting a younger leadership in the very near future — she’s too smart not to be.
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