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Pelosi's Leadership Is What the Democratic Party Needs

November 13, 2002

Democrats who think Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) is too liberal to be the House minority leader should look to the successful strategy of the Republican Party, which has integrated representatives from the far right to the moderate center in its leadership and grass-roots structures. Sens. John McCain, Lincoln Chaffee, Trent Lott and James Inhofe are all in the big Republican tent. Is Pelosi any further to the left than Majority Whip Tom DeLay is to the right?

Democrats who urge further moves to the fuzzy center will fail to inspire party loyalty and voters will be at best confused and at worst disinterested in what the Democrats stand for. A revitalized Democratic Party should include popular mainstream issues like tax cuts for the middle class and effective national defense and also promote good ideas from the left like universal health care, ending corporate welfare and an aggressive renewable energy policy.

By including the progressive wing's most appealing issues while continuing to embrace centrist democratic values, the Democrats can bring back millions of Green voters and broaden their base of labor, minorities, professionals and others who feel unrepresented. Pelosi is exactly what the Democrats need.

Leslie Anderson

Jacob Crabtree



Re Pelosi: I support the Democratic Party returning to the left. I am a Democrat who voted Green at the top of the ticket in the last election. So did 5% of state voters on Nov. 5. Mainstream candidates like Gov. Gray Davis do not excite the rank and file. Many Democrats either vote for third-party candidates or stay home. Those who do vote for these Democrats often do so out of fear of the alternative (i.e., the Ralph Nader debacle two years ago).

Democrats need to focus their liberal message on a positive future. We need to imagine a thriving economy again. We need to imagine restoring beauty to America. We need to show voters that life can be better, healthier and safer under a party that prides itself in knowing the issues, not in being ignorant of them.

David Hood

Granada Hills


I was glad to see Rep. Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) step down as minority leader. But why would Democrats jump out of the frying pan only to land with firebrand Pelosi? Haven't the Democrats learned anything from Bill Clinton's victories? Party success comes from three little words: moderation in everything. Sometimes I wonder if the D stands for dumb. At this rate, I might even find myself voting for President Bush.

Lennie Louis


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