Editorial: Nancy Pelosi has been a trailblazer. The U.S. is better for her leadership than for her party.
As we close out the 2016 campaign season, the House will vote on the impeachment of President Trump. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has been leading the impeachment charge for months. Republicans have been in lock step against impeachment. But now that this is becoming the party’s last stand, Democrats who have been defending Trump — like Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif.; and Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla. — are ready to put the country above party.
This is about holding the president accountable, putting him on trial, and keeping his actions from undermining the democratic process that we are all so fond of.
It has taken Democrats a long time to do this — but over the past week, they have made a strong statement. The Senate is a difficult body, as every Republican has voted to acquit and every Democrat has voted to convict. This is a matter of great consequence, and the GOP has been doing its best to ignore the American people. Even after the Democrats had their moment in the spotlight, though, we see that voters’ wishes are as important as any party leader’s agenda.
This does not mean that Democrats are giving up on the president or on the idea that we need to vote him out of office. The party has been fighting for this in Washington and on the campaign trail. But the question now is whether the party itself is the party any longer.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote in an opinion column that the party was falling apart under the weight of extreme partisanship and the growing power of the far left. I worried that the leadership was becoming too beholden to an agenda that didn’t reflect the party’s core values. I quoted the Democratic National Committee’s chair, Tom Perez, saying that a lot of the party’s problems were due to its leaders’ ideological inflexibility, and that the party needed a new kind of leader.
In the Washington Post the following week, I warned that the party was no longer “the people’s party” but a “left-wing party.”
I didn’t think they would take a step backward.
A strong, principled, visionary leader had to lead the party back to the center and the values that the party was founded upon. She had to become