Despite her reputation for sharp political skill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led Democrats to humiliating losses this year. Just ask The New York Times.
The Gray Lady’s Trip Gabriel conceded in a Saturday report that the Democratic Party incurred “crushing” defeats down-ballot, deflating expectations of a “blue wave.”
NYT: No blue wave for Dems
The results were chastening after predictions of a “blue wave” fell flat, and Democrats and their allies have been arguing ever since about what went wrong.
Moderates have blamed Pelosi and other leaders for a lack of messaging discipline on issues like socialism and “defund the police,” which they say helped Republicans attack down-ballot Democrats as extremists, as ABC News reports.
The New York Times similarly analyzed the “crushing” outcome in a recent piece that attributed Biden’s apparent victory to suburban disgust with President Donald Trump that nevertheless fell short, especially after similar sentiments easily delivered Pelosi the speaker’s gavel in 2018. Dems also failed to flip Republican-controlled state legislatures, granting Republicans power over redistricting next year.
“From the top of the party down to the state level, Democratic officials are awakening to the reality that voters may have delivered a one-time verdict on Mr. Trump that does not equal ongoing support for center-left policies,” Gabriel reported for the Times on Saturday.
Trump: “I led this great charge”
Pelosi, for her part, spent much of the last two years taking political cheap shots at Trump, who she denigrated as a mentally unstable, racist oaf. Although she insists Democrats “won the war,” the results of this year’s elections have been sobering for the 80-year-old House speaker.
“We have to commit to not saying the words ‘defund the police’ ever again,” Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) said on a post-election conference call, according to ABC. “We have to not use the words ‘socialist’ or ‘socialism’ ever again.”
Meanwhile, Trump and his allies have said that the Democrats’ failures down the ballot point to something fishy. In a Sunday tweet, Trump cited Gabriel’s Times article to argue that voter fraud skewed what was actually a red wave on Nov. 3, the Daily Mail reported.
“Democrats suffered crushing down-ballot loss across America.” @nytimes. This is true. All statehouses won, and in Washington we did great. So I led this great charge, and I’m the only one that lost? No, it doesn’t work that way. This was a massive fraud, a RIGGED ELECTION!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 30, 2020