May 23, 2019 | 66° F

SURIANO: Dems. allow House of Reps to become home of ill repute


Opinion Column: A RINO's View


Is Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) trying to get President Donald J. Trump reelected? Because the way she is managing her caucus in the house makes it certainly appear so. The Democrats in the House are mistaking Trump's unpopularity with support of far-Left socialism. This could be a disastrous strategy for them. Look, I would be very glad if they do blow their current advantage. It just seems odd that Pelosi, as wily a political operator as they come, would allow her caucus to run out of control like she is. 

So, what do I mean by letting the caucus run out of control? I mean that she is allowing the far Left to take charge, failing to reprimand members who have repeatedly shown anti-Semitic remarks and ignoring her moderate wing.

Firstly, let us examine why Democrats were swept into power in last fall’s midterm election. The election was not won by socialists, but instead by moderate Democrats in swing districts. For example, New Jersey's Seventh Congressional District was won by Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.), who beat moderate Republican Leonard Lance. Malinowski did not win by running as a socialist. He won as a moderate Democrat. 

This was the key to retaking the House: Running moderates in suburban districts who where formerly Republican but dislike Trump. There are, of course, these young Democratic freshman members of Congress who are trying to make socialism cool: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and others. But these representatives won their seats that would go Democratic if they ran a nice pair of shoes for Congress. 

It is a mistake for Pelosi to allow the more radical wing of her party be the face of the Democratic Congress. You cannot argue that she is not allowing this to happen, as she is appearing on the cover of Rolling Stone with them. The electorate is not ready for radicals, and it is shown by who swing voters elected. 

For her own party’s sake, Pelosi must reign in the policies of some of her members such as the so-called Green New Deal and the impeachment of Trump. The Green New Deal, as introduced by Ocasio-Cortez, is a radical piece of legislation that cannot possibly be implemented. But what is worse are terrible politics for Pelosi. 

It includes updating every building in the United States, providing pay for those unwilling to work and health care for all Americans. What those last two have to do with the environment and why she would add those things with extreme price tags to an already pricy idea, I do not know. In for a penny, in for a pound, I suppose.  

The price tag for this will be a trillion dollars a year: Yes, trillion. Pelosi must attempt to control her caucus and not allow things like this to get steam, because certainly Republicans will use it against Democrats come election time. 

Another issue Pelosi must prevent from taking over is impeachment. Unless slam-dunk evidence is found against Trump, and an overwhelming majority of Americans support it, Democrats should not move to impeach Trump. Republicans know this well from the former President Bill Clinton impeachment, in which even though he was guilty, the American people reacted badly, and the impeachment ended up helping Democrats. So, Pelosi must rein in her caucus.

Pelosi shamed herself and her party by not punishing Omar for her repeated anti-Semitic remarks. Omar made remarks questioning the loyalty of Zionist members of the House Representatives to the United States. This duel-loyalty smear is a classic anti-Semitic trope. This is not the first time Omar has made anti-Semetic comments. 

A few weeks ago, she was forced to apologize for similarly anti-Semitic comments. When will enough be enough for Pelosi? Omar must be removed from the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Bigotry should not be a partisan issue. When Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) made shameful remarks, House Minority Leader and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) removed him from all committees. Pelosi cannot even stop her members from being openly bigoted.

Pelosi should take more control of her caucus if she wants to maintain a Democratic majority. First off, she should publicly promote less radical members of her caucus: For example, Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D- N.J.), who was a Navy helicopter pilot and federal prosecutor before being elected to Congress by a traditionally Republican district. More moderate members like her can be a very powerful force as the face of a party. 

Pelosi must not let flights of fancy such as the Green New Deal or impeachment take center stage. Finally, she must stamp out bigotry in her caucus. Or do not. I would much rather a Republican Congress, and the country would be better off too.

Robert Suriano is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring  in history. His column, "A RINO's View," runs on alternate Mondays.

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Robert Suriano

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