Today we have two parties that are as far apart ideologically, and as internally unified, as they’ve been in any of our lifetimes. For many years the Republicans were moving to the right far faster than the Democrats were moving to the left, but recently Democrats have begun to catch up; by 2020 every Democratic presidential candidate will probably support single-payer health care, a $15 minimum wage, and even marijuana legalization.
When you have those ideological divisions, each party’s leadership will inevitably reflect where the party is; you aren’t going to get a presidential nominee or a congressional leader who comes from the Democratic Party’s right flank or the Republican Party’s left flank.
…Charging your opponent with being too close to his or her party’s leaders is a good way to rile up your own base.
…Last year when she was asked about Republican attacks on her, Pelosi responded, “I think I’m worth the trouble, quite frankly.” There was a time when few Democrats would have questioned that assertion. People who understand how Congress works will tell you that Pelosi has been one of the most effective legislative leaders in American history, keeping her caucus together and shepherding legislation with a toughness and skill Paul Ryan can only dream about.