Ezra Klein, "Why does D.C. care so much more about Pelosi than about Reid?":
For all the hubbub over the decision House Democrats made to keep Nancy Pelosi, there's been almost nothing said on the decision Senate Democrats made to keep Harry Reid. But what's the difference? Pelosi might be a bit more unpopular, but they're both pretty unpopular. And Pelosi is a lot less vulnerable in her district than Reid is in his state.
I think Matthew Yglesias has it right when -- in response to Klein -- he tweets that the "establishment is out to get Pelosi because she's too liberal." Harry Reid was critical in getting Barack Obama's major agenda items though Congress, but as far as his own positions are concerned, he is a standard-issue Democrat. He isn't particularly liberal, and as a pro-life Democrat, has a nice contrarian stance against the party position on abortion. Indeed, Reid's actions as majority leader were mostly moderate, even as he shepherded a host of liberal policies through the Senate. Overall, Reid is not so far from the "center" that he doesn't receive a pass from the Beltway crowd.
By contrast, Nancy Pelosi is very liberal and has made a career of advancing progressive interests through effective congressional leadership. What's more, she isn't ashamed of being liberal, which is the prerequisite for being accepted as a Democrat by most of the Washington elite. Simply put, the Beltway has a clear distaste for liberalism, and as one of the most important liberals of the last decade, Pelosi was -- and is -- and obvious target for their disdain.
-- Jamelle Bouie
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