Never bet against Nancy Pelosi...And Happy Thanksgiving!
Just wanted to send a note to say Happy Thanksgiving, and that I’m grateful to have y’all as readers. With the increasing swirl of social media, sometimes it can be hard to get a hearing for a story that isn’t square on the nose of the news, and this email gives me a chance to do that.
As this new House of Representatives takes shape, we’re going to pay close attention to it at The Intercept. The tendency among most of the media will be to cover the fight over the Speakership, then cover the House’s investigations into Trump, but otherwise ignore its legislative agenda. They have good reason for that: Mitch McConnell won’t even take up whatever House Democrats pass, and even if he did, Trump would veto it.
But if Democrats win back control in 2020, the debates they’re having now won’t be meaningless, they’ll mean everything.
And the Congressional Progressive Caucus is already making moves to strengthen their position for the coming debate, by leveraging their votes for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker to get a commitment that 40 percent of all seats on major committees will be filled by progressives. That’s a huge change from the past, where those seats were reserved for moderate and conservative, pro-business Democrats. The problem is, they’re having trouble persuading progressives to leave their comfort zone of the Judiciary Committee, where they all like to huddle, and actually get into the trenches of, say, the Financial Services Committee.
Dave Dayen has an inside look at how this is unfolding, and it’s fascinating.
Progressives aren’t the only ones organizing. The health care industry is rallying behind the scenes to stem the momentum of Medicare for all, and we managed to get ahold of their internal strategy documents. Here’s the industry plan, obtained by Lee Fang and Nick Surgey.
It may be a bit off-brand, but I wrote a piece earlier this week defending Nancy Pelosi, sort of. It’s a look at how she formed her politics both in Baltimore and later under legendary lefty Congressman Phil Burton, a truly unique figure. This story, which drew on research I did for my book that isn’t finished yet, is worth reading for the fun history.
(And if you liked that story, sign up to get an early look at the book. I’m going to do something unusual and send around a draft soon to people interested in giving feedback. I’m still formulating exactly how I’ll distribute the draft to people who want it, but it’ll go to the people who register here.)
Richard Ojeda, one of the few Democrats who has already declared for president, came out swinging on abortion in a statement to me yesterday. It’s a pretty unusual, and unusually persuasive, way of framing the issue. Check that out here.
The Intercept also launched a very cool new true-crime podcast about (what I think is) a wrong conviction, but also about so much more. It’s called Murderville, and great if you need something to listen to while you travel.