Aside from accomplishing absolutely nothing, Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her eight-hour filibuster also managed to anger her fellow Democrats who think the House Minority Leader may have actually damaged their 2018 election chances with her dramatics.
Pelosi thought she would be able to filibuster the spending caps deal until Speaker Paul Ryan gave in to her demands for protections for Dreamers, but abandoned her quest without so much as a smirk from Ryan.
According to Politico, Democratic lawmakers speaking under the condition of anonymity thought Pelosi’s stunt was about as harebrained as it was a failure, and believe it will make it much harder to get elected during the midterms due to Dreamer protections not being such a hot item in their neck of the woods:
Some centrist-minded Democrats said Pelosi’s daylong protest could — by calling attention to the failure to provide relief for Dreamers — make it that much harder for vulnerable members to vote for the budget deal. …
“This stunt … had nothing to do with protecting vulnerable members who have to take a difficult vote,” said one moderate lawmaker who asked not to be named. “Working out this deal and then saying she’s not going to vote for it? Come on. She was at the table.” …
All House Democrats are supportive of Dreamers. But several members, particularly centrists, are wary of using the immigration issue as a campaign cudgel, worried it could derail Democrats’ chances of taking back the House.
Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) felt that with Pelosi just caving without concessions like she did, she made it increasingly hard for Democrats to have any leverage at the table when negotiating spending caps and protections.
“There’s all kinds of ways, I assure you, that leadership exercises its influence — the least of which is a floor speech,” said Gutierrez.
Bloomberg’s Sahil Kapur also posted a reaction from a House Democrat who claimed House Democrat members are “furious” over Pelosi’s stunt.
A message from a House Democratic lawmaker who is … less than thrilled with Pelosi’s marathon speech on Dreamers today. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/OoOudvgHJA
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) February 8, 2018
This anonymous member is likely right. It seems like Pelosi is making her own plays that would please her deeply blue voting base in California, but elevating the terrain for her colleagues who now have an uphill march ahead of them. As polls show, Americans fall in line with Trump and Republicans when it comes to immigration. Outside of deeply leftist states, Pelosi’s stunt likely won’t play well.
Especially since she’s actually thanking illegal immigrants for breaking the law, and saying America is in their debt.
“I say to their parents: Thank you for bringing these Dreamers to America. We’re in your debt for the courage it took, for you to take the risk, physically, politically, in every way, to do so,” Pelosi said.