The rise of Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez highlights Pelosi’s loss of control

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is the nation’s most powerful Democrat. However, Pelosi is facing a quiet defeat as her ideological hold on her party appears to have slipped.

That’s the conclusion of a recent Daily Caller article, which noted how Pelosi has long denied that the Democratic Party embraces socialism — a claim that the facts no longer support.

Socialist figures finding success

With his victory in the Nevada caucuses this weekend, self-described Democratic Socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has cemented his position as the Democrat’s presidential front-runner.

Sanders pushes a variety of far-left economic policies, including a ban on fracking and offshore drilling, a “Medicare for all” health plan, and national rent control. He most recently made waves by defending Cuban communist dictator Fidel Castro.

Meanwhile, freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) also identifies as a Democratic Socialist and has called capitalism “irredeemable.”

That figures like Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez could rise to prominence within the party would seem to disprove Pelosi’s 2017 statement that, “I have to say, we’re capitalists.”

In 2018, she tried to deny that Ocasio-Cortez’s election was any evidence that socialism was “ascendant” among Democrats, dismissing it as a “characterization of our party presented by the Republicans.”

Pelosi stuck to the same line in 2019, telling “60 Minutes,” “I do reject socialism as an economic system. If people have that view, that’s their view. That is not the view of the Democratic Party.”

Polls show Democrats buying in

Those assertions came despite a Gallup poll from 2018 that found that Democrats have warmer feelings towards socialism than they did capitalism. It reported 57 percent of Democrats holding a favorable view of socialism, compared with only 47 percent who regarded capitalism the same way. In contrast, 71 percent of Republicans were positively disposed towards capitalism.

That survey doesn’t appear to have been an outlier, with a subsequent poll in 2019 reporting that a full 70 percent of Democrats believed “some form of socialism” would represent “a good thing” for the United States.

However, the same poll found that socialism does not appear to be a winning proposition with the American electorate at large.

The overwhelming majority of Republicans rejected the idea that some form of socialism would benefit America, as did just under half of the independents. Overall, 51 percent of Americans disagreed with the proposition.

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