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Washington Examiner: With Pelosi as leader, House Democrats will remain in minority

Oklahoman Published: November 19, 2012
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“I said yesterday we did not have the majority, but we have the gavel,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said at a press conference Wednesday. The ensuing laughter prompted the 72-year-old, who once served as the nation's first female speaker of the House, to reconsider her statement. “Excuse me,” she said. “We don't have the gavel ... We have something more important, we have unity. We do not have the majority, we do not have the gavel, but we have unity.”

Pelosi's second statement is correct: Democrats are the minority in the House, and they are now more unified than ever. Having shed the few moderates they had, they are more unified around a far-left ideology that has a proven track record of exploding the debt and sinking the economy.

Just look at Pelosi's record as speaker. When she first took the gavel on Jan. 3, 2007, the federal government was on track to spend just $2.7 trillion that year. The federal deficit was a mere $160 billion, and the cumulative national debt was $8.7 trillion. Only 7 million Americans were unemployed, and the nation's unemployment rate was just 4.6 percent.

Four short years later, when Pelosi handed the gavel back to the Republicans, the country looked a bit different. Spending had soared to $3.6 trillion. The federal deficit was $1.3 trillion, and the national debt was $14 trillion. Fourteen million Americans were unemployed, and the unemployment rate had almost doubled to 9.1 percent.

With this record in mind, it is not all that surprising that Democrats now have about 60 fewer seats in the House than they did after President Obama's 2008 victory. And the vast majority of those losses have come within the moderate wing of the Democratic Party.

When Pelosi became speaker in 2007, the fiscally moderate Blue Dog Caucus had 47 members. After the Nov. 6 election, Blue Dog membership is down to just 14. Moderate Democrats, who promised their swing-district constituents fiscally responsible votes in Congress, found themselves unable to defend Pelosi's record.

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