Nancy Pelosi is stuck between a rock and a hard place. She has been in Congress for more than three decades but the coming year, 2019, might be her most difficult challenge yet.
Pelosi (D-Calif.), the presumed next House speaker, is doing a tight-rope act — somehow trying to balance high on the wire while two factions hang off either side of her, attempting to pull her off. The radical, progressive Democratic base, represented by the likes of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), are clawing for power and representation, while the more moderate members of the caucus are starting to feel hot under the collar about the direction this new revolution is taking.
One wing is pushing for party and legislative radicalism, popular in the deepest-blue enclaves of the East and West coasts, while the other is watching in fear that they will go too far because, in 2020, the GOP might pick off those who’ve masqueraded as centrists and blue-dog Democrats.
The fact of the matter is, Pelosi’s position is untenable. She won’t be able to fend off attacks from both directions, satisfy her base and big-dollar donors, protect her moderate allies and still make substantive policy in the House.