A strongly worded letter was sent by McGovern, who chairs the House Rules Committee, to members of the Democratic caucus. Now, they may consider not voting for Pelosi in a gesture of protest.
“Make no mistake, any vote not for the Speaker on the House Floor will be counted against her and for [House Minority Leader] Kevin McCarthy and the QAnon wing of the Republican Party,” the letter said, as cited by several DC political correspondents.
Dem Rules Chair Jim McGovern told members in a letter that went out today that voting against Nancy Pelosi for speaker is a vote for the “QAnon wing of the Republican Party.” pic.twitter.com/aIEMh9WiCG
— Daniella Diaz (@DaniellaMicaela) December 4, 2020
QAnon is a conspiracy theory popular among some right-wing circles, which claims that there is a vast cabal of pedophiles secretly pulling the strings in the US circles of power. Believers have long held President Donald Trump in high regard, expecting him to crack down on the secret predators.
Last month, Pelosi was nominated to keep her position as House speaker by the Democratic caucus, running unopposed. But she will still need to be confirmed by a simple majority in January. If all representatives vote, the threshold would be 218 votes.
The previous time she faced re-election in 2019, a group of 15 democrats refused to back her candidacy. It didn’t affect the outcome on that occasion. But last month’s election thinned out the Democratic majority in the House to its smallest size in over a decade, instead of bringing a predicted blue wave. This means that each and every vote could be essential for the Pelosi speakership.
Bringing potential dissenters to heel may be particularly difficult since the progressive wing of the Democratic Party seems to be snubbed again and again by the incoming Biden administration. One of the most explicit examples was the nomination of Neera Tanden for budget director.
#NeeraTanden is the most unsurprising Biden cabinet pick so far. Neera = 2020 Democratic Party in human form. She’s pro on every donor class issue, against the working class, AIPAC-fangirl, defender of free trade, the most vocal online troll of the left & a legendary careerist. pic.twitter.com/2USMBJrUxT
— Area Man (@sungkim) November 30, 2020
A devoted Clintonite centrist checking all the right identitarian boxes, Tanden spent years relentlessly attacking progressive commentators on Twitter. Critics call her a troll and say her nomination is nothing short of showing the middle finger to the supporters of Bernie Sanders, who were told to vote Biden on a promise that they could pressure him to shift left after he gets the presidency.
Pelosi, a longtime fixture of the centrist Democratic establishment, has been criticized from the left by people who believe that her calcified leadership cost the party lost seats in November.
Among other things, she was accused of pretending to resist Trump with empty gestures like mock-clapping and tearing up his State of the Union address, while supporting many of his damaging policies during House votes. Shortly before the election, she rejected the president’s proposal for a Covid-19 bailout bill, which critics believe was simply meant to deny Trump a publicity coup.
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