House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has been taking increasing heat within her own caucus for House Democrats' dismal showing in the Nov. 3 election, in which they were widely expected to expand their majority and instead appear likely to lose 10 seats or more.
Dissatisfaction with election results may lead Pelosi to face the first serious intra-party challenge to her leadership in the House since she assumed the mantle of lead House Democrat in 2004.
In a news conference Friday, Pelosi appeared to tell reporters about Democratic desires to see another coronavirus stimulus package and omnibus package passed, and instead the assembled reporters appeared more interested in peppering Pelosi with questions about the future of her leadership in the House.
The Hill senior staff writer Scott Wong characterized the exchange, and Pelosi's testy responses, on Twitter.
Pelosi trotted out a list of excuses, including the assertion that many of the House seats Democrats won in 2018 were in "Trump districts." She also credited President Trump with turning out the vote in many of those districts.
Pelosi trying to explain how so many of her frontline Democrats were defeated: "Listen, we had a very deep victory… https://t.co/VJwXs52jhY— Scott Wong (@Scott Wong) 1605284409.0
She also attempted to assuage Democratic fears by pointing out that, if Biden assumes the presidency, the Democratic Party will have "more power."
Pelosi urging reporters to see the big picture. Democrats won the White House: "We have a president of the United… https://t.co/RNdHrRw6R1— Scott Wong (@Scott Wong) 1605284532.0
When asked point blank about her party's shrinking caucus, she claimed to be proud of her caucus because, even though it is smaller, it is "beautifully diverse," bringing to mind the old "Spinal Tap" saw about the things people say when they become less popular.
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She was then asked, point blank, if she took responsibility for Democrats losing seats in the House, and had an ... unusual response.
As she walks away, Pelosi is asked if she takes any responsibility for House Dems losing seats in the election. Pe… https://t.co/VM2xg5zPXn— Scott Wong (@Scott Wong) 1605285173.0
She did, however, note one entity that apparently deserved blame: Facebook. In response to a question about "election interference" that implied that posts questioning the validity of the count in hotly contested states like Pennsylvania and Michigan, Pelosi claimed that Facebook was "part of the problem," in spite of the platform's aggressive efforts to "fact check" those stories.
Pelosi: "I'm not a big fan of Facebook. I don't know what they had been doing but I know they've been part of the problem, all along."— Scott Wong (@Scott Wong) 1605284746.0
Although conservatives have long complained, with apparent justification, that Facebook targets conservative publications and figures for disproportionate disciplinary actions, Pelosi appears to have bought into the facially implausible line that Facebook actually favors conservatives. The contention appears to be based upon the claim, based on erroneous and dishonestly compiled data, that center-right publications get more traffic on Facebook.
Social media giant Twitter has also aggressively censored suggestions that anything improper happened with either mail-in voting or vote counting, slapping numerous warning labels on tweets from President Donald Trump and outright banning or suspending other users who they claim have violated their policies.