Nancy Pelosi was really, really good at her job

“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who announced she’d step down from leading the House Democrats on Thursday, made history as the first woman to ever hold the position and was a political target — and thorn in the side — of Republicans for the better part of two decades. All that frequently obscured her mastery of her job and her singular skills as a legislator, according to Molly Ball, a Time political correspondent and author of the biography Pelosi.
Pelosi has been central to many of Democrats’ biggest policy wins in recent years. She kept a divided caucus unified to pass landmark bills, including the Affordable Care Act, Dodd-Frank banking reforms, and the American Rescue Plan. She won so many concessions from Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Covid-19 relief that he had to be pulled from the talks, according to Ball. And she’s corralled members time and again when the party seemed on the verge of fracturing over their differences.

“Here’s someone who had a 30-year career being the force behind all kinds of major legislation and liberal accomplishments in the House, chief among them the ACA. But when people talked about her, the only thing they seemed to talk about was just how disliked she was,” says Ball of the misconceptions people held of Pelosi when she first began reporting on the speaker.”

Jared Polis’ Success Shows That Democrats Can Win Without Embracing Big Government

“While Colorado was once considered a solid swing state, Polis’ continued success as governor, as well as the state’s other electoral outcomes, have entrenched the state’s Democratic leanings. However, Polis’ popularity shows that Democrats can receive solid victories without relying on the increasing technocratic impulses of the party as a whole. While other Democrats—and increasingly Republicans as well—turn to government to solve problems, Polis has found success by wanting to reduce government power.”

“While other Democratic governors were enacting strict COVID-19 regulations, Polis lifted mask mandates. While other Democrats scoffed at school choice, Polis, the founded of two charter schools, praised polices that increase educational choice. While other Democrats called for wealth taxes, Polis called on an end to Colorado’s income tax.
“I respect freedom,” Polis told Reason in July 2022. “It’s great because you’re free to be the way you want. That’s the way it should be.”

While the Democratic party—not to mention American politics as a whole—is trending towards embracing government control, Jared Polis offers a rare story of a politician that wants to reduce state power. His success offers evidence that an alternative approach, one where Democrats embrace rather than attack personal liberty, can be a wildly successful strategy.”

We’re in a new era of attacks on political leaders

“Ahead of the 2020 election, there was increasing concern about political violence perpetrated by the far right, fears that cascaded following the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol. Since then, members of Congress, judges, and other public officials have faced pointed threats of violence, often from those espousing extremist ideologies.
Pelosi’s attacker subscribed to such beliefs, blogging about antisemitism, anti-Democrat and pro-Trump musings, conspiracy theories about pedophilia, and anti-white racism, as the New York Times reported.

That line of thought, and the way it’s disseminated, are key parts of what’s changed about political violence in recent years. The proliferation of social media — and its use by former President Donald Trump, his acolytes, and those with extremist far-right views — has deepened existing polarization. In part, that’s because consistent contact with extremist messaging on those platforms can make individuals more likely to justify immoral actions, research from Nathan P. Kalmoe and Lilliana Mason has found.

All that has contributed to the uptick in violent threats against political leaders.”

“Threats of political violence have increased tenfold in the five years since Trump’s election, with 9,625 incidents documented in 2021”

“A key source of this vitriol is the demonization of one’s political opponents. That makes people already predisposed toward this kind of behavior more likely to act”

“stochastic terrorism, or violent events which are not individually predictable on their own, but reliably occur due to seeding by a trusted leader.”