Anyone who actually thought Nancy Pelosi wasn't going to be Speaker of the House after Election Day is a fool who shouldn't be trusted, because she's smarter than all of the pundits put together.
Rep. Brian Higgins of Buffalo got what he really wanted, and so did Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California.
Higgins got his two legislative priorities at the top of the Democratic agenda when the party takes control of the House next month. And Pelosi got Higgins' support for what increasingly looks like her inevitable return to the House speakership.
After saying for months that he would not back Pelosi's leadership bid in the next Congress, Higgins reversed course Wednesday, all because she agreed to prioritize Higgins' top two issues: a big infrastructure bill and a measure to open Medicare to people over age 50.
"I have an agreement in principle with the Democratic leader that those are going to be two priorities, and that I will be the lead person on the Medicare buy-in," Higgins said in an interview with The Buffalo News where he announced his turnabout.
Higgins elaborated on his thinking in a statement released later Wednesday.
“Some will ask why I have changed my position," he said. "The answer is simple: I took a principled stand on issues of vital importance not only to my constituents in Western New York but also to more than 300 million Americans whose lives can be improved by progress in these areas. A principled stand, however, often requires a pragmatic outlook in order to meet with success."
Higgins' move comes five months after he first announced that he would not back Pelosi, 78, for the top Democratic position in the next House. Calling her "aloof, frenetic and misguided," Higgins said at the time that his problems with Pelosi stemmed from the fact that she was not pushing infrastructure investment and his Medicare bill as aggressively as he would have liked.
But in a statement, Pelosi indicated she will be happy to do that in the next Congress.
“For years, Congressman Higgins has been an extraordinary leader on the issue of achieving quality, affordable health care for all Americans," she said. “His Medicare buy-in proposal is an central to this debate, as we work to build on the Affordable Care Act."
In other words, the "Stop Pelosi" ploy only worked as long as the anti-Pelosi crew maintained enough votes to block Pelosi from getting to 218. Whoever the first Democrat to come to Pelosi to break that blockade was going to get paid. Marcia Fudge of Ohio rolled up as the first contestant and got what she wanted, to be chair of a restored Elections subcommittee. Higgins is getting what he wanted and looks like a hero to upstate New York for getting it. He's the one who made Pelosi fold, you see.
Both of them got what they wanted.
The other anti-Pelosi Dems, well...they got nothing and they will continue to get nothing in the future.
It happens when you come for the queen and miss.