The Buzz

TheChat: Are Democrats growing disenchanted with Nancy Pelosi?


Good morning.

▪  “After the last election, they refused to even admit that we were just destroyed. They were patting themselves on the back for the losses we took: `Oh, it could’ve been so much worse.’ There’s a great deal of frustration.” — Ohio Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, a Democrat and former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, on impatience directed at House Democratic leaders and Nancy Pelosi in particular.

We here at The Buzz were amazed when Democrats re-elected Pelosi to another term as their leader. One can readily imagine the frustration in that caucus in the wake of recent election defeats.

▪ “These groups operate in much the same way as most extremist groups in that most people join and stay for similar reasons — they are looking for camaraderie in worldview and social interaction.” — Don Haider-Markel, chair of the KU Political Science Department, talking about how outlaw biker gangs operate much like political extremist groups.

Haider-Markel was talking about the deadly recent biker brawl in Waco, Texas. He pointed to one key difference: “Many political extremist groups do not survive through criminal activity, whereas many biker gangs would disappear if members weren’t engaged in criminal activity."

▪  “Well, actually, there’s not a flip out there.” — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a 2016 presidential candidate, insisting that he had not flip-flopped on immigration when, in fact, the record shows that he has.

Walker is getting hit on how his stances on immigration and abortion have evolved over the years. He faced the tough task of getting re-elected last year in a swing state like Wisconsin while now appealing to conservatives who vote in presidential primaries. That’s created some friction.

▪ “We must start to treat behavioral illnesses just like any other physical illness and this program is an important step forward as we work to reach that goal.” — Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican, last week announcing an effort to expand community mental health services with Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat.

Under a mental health act the two pushed, and President Barack Obama signed, the federal government is taking applications from states interested in becoming demonstration programs that will offer patients increased services, such as 24-hour crisis psychiatric care. Eight states will be picked.