2019 is going to be a tough year for Nancy Pelosi

Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiNational emergency declaration — a legal fight Trump is likely to win Congress allows Violence Against Women Act to lapse High stakes as Trump, Dems open drug price talks MORE is stuck between a rock and a hard place. She has been in Congress for more than three decades but the coming year, 2019, might be her most difficult challenge yet. 

Pelosi (D-Calif.), the presumed next House speaker, is doing a tight-rope act — somehow trying to balance high on the wire while two factions hang off either side of her, attempting to pull her off. The radical, progressive Democratic base, represented by the likes of Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenDNC punts on measure to reduce role of corporate PAC money Bill Maher to Dems: ‘Let’s not eat our own’ in 2020 Newsom endorses Kamala Harris for president MORE (D-Mass.), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezGOP senator voices concern about Trump order, hasn't decided whether he'll back it Ocasio-Cortez in Bronx speech: New Yorkers deserve ‘dignified jobs’ Amazon exec invites Ocasio-Cortez to tour facilities after criticism MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSanders expected to announce exploratory committee next week Bernie Sanders records announcement video ahead of possible 2020 bid Bill Maher to Dems: ‘Let’s not eat our own’ in 2020 MORE (I-Vt.), are clawing for power and representation, while the more moderate members of the caucus are starting to feel hot under the collar about the direction this new revolution is taking. 

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One wing is pushing for party and legislative radicalism, popular in the deepest-blue enclaves of the East and West coasts, while the other is watching in fear that they will go too far because, in 2020, the GOP might pick off those who’ve masqueraded as centrists and blue-dog Democrats. 

The fact of the matter is, Pelosi’s position is untenable. She won’t be able to fend off attacks from both directions, satisfy her base and big-dollar donors, protect her moderate allies and still make substantive policy in the House. 

The Democrats’ case for control of the White House in 2020 leans, in large part, on their legislative decisions. Will Pelosi and company choose obstruction, investigation and impeachment? Or will they work with Republicans to push forward policy proposals that the American people actually want? 

If I was a betting man, I wouldn’t put money on the latter. Democrats will be all about investigating, not legislating, partly from a desire of House committee chairmen like Reps. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffHouse chairmen consult with counsel about ways to get notes from Trump-Putin meetings Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by America's 340B Hospitals — Dems blast rulemaking on family planning program | Facebook may remove anti-vaccine content | Medicare proposes coverage for new cancer treatment Hillicon Valley: Facebook weighs crackdown on anti-vaccine content | Lyft challenges Trump fuel standards rollback | Illinois tries to woo Amazon | New round of China trade talks next week MORE (D-Calif.), Jerry NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerHouse Judiciary Dems seek answers over Trump's national emergency declaration Omar apologizes after Dem leaders blast tweets as 'anti-Semitic' Former senior FBI official calls Whitaker hearing ‘disgraceful’ MORE (D-N.Y.), Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsHouse chairman: Trump lawyers may have given false info about Cohen payments Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by America's 340B Hospitals — Dems blast rulemaking on family planning program | Facebook may remove anti-vaccine content | Medicare proposes coverage for new cancer treatment Rule change sharpens Dem investigations into Trump MORE (D-Md.) and Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersOn The Money: Lawmakers closing in on border deal | Dems build case for Trump tax returns | Trump, Xi won't meet before trade deadline | Waters in talks with Mnuchin for testimony Waters in talks with Mnuchin for testimony on lifting of sanctions on Russian firms Fox's Kilmeade: Why doesn't Trump investigate personal finances of Schiff and Waters? MORE (D-Calif.), who have been salivating over the opportunity to take a pound of President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job MORE’s flesh — and, quite frankly, the base expects nothing less. We can be guaranteed that Democrats in the House will overplay their hands on almost every front. Yet, to be fair, investigating the Trump administration might be all they can really do. None of their ideas, such as “Medicare for All,” will get past the Republican Senate, much less the veto pen of Trump.

Adding to Pelosi’s troubles is the fact that the big-money donors who fund many political campaigns, along with liberal pressure groups, aren’t on the same page, either. California mega-donor Tom Steyer has basically chosen to burn through stacks of money, buying candidates and nonprofits to push his Trump-impeachment agenda. Steyer spent the last two years running in-your-face impeachment advertisements, lobbying Congress to take out the president before the 2020 campaigns even begin. But that’s not his only strategy; Steyer is exploring a self-centered run for president, following in the vein of such party luminaries as Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreFor 2020, Democrats are lookin’ for somebody to love Key Colorado House committee passes bill to decide presidential elections by popular vote, not Electoral college David Brock: Howard Schultz’s vanity project will reelect Donald Trump MORE, and thanks to Democrats watering down their primary process, he might have a better chance than most.

The hard-left owns the Democratic Party now and, pretty soon, they’ll be evicting anyone who doesn't swear fealty to their policies, which are well left of the American mainstream. Earlier this year the party changed its presidential nominating rules, stripping some power from superdelegates. For the moderate wing of the party, which was already dying off anyway, this will likely spell Dodo-bird extinction. The organizing energy (and money) on the left is fueling progressive activism, which means that in the not-too-distant future, we’ll still have the Democratic Party — it’s just that it will be a socialist one.

This year saw Democratic candidates unafraid of real socialism, government-run health care, and massive takeovers of the economy. This will be the norm in the future. Now Rep.-elect Ocasio-Cortez is pushing the “Green New Deal,” which doesn’t just double down on President Obama’s Solyndra-style energy proposals: it quadruples down, facts be damned that Solyndra costs taxpayers more than half a billion dollars. This kind of radical “burn the rich, tax the middle, and regulate the rest” progressivism isn’t going to work in America. In many ways, we’re seeing the results of that in Europe right now. 

You’d think, after Brexit, that folks “across the pond” would reevaluate their direction, but French President Emmanuel Macron marches on, straight into the teeth of a population that’s rejecting his high-tax orthodoxy based on the elites’ quasi-religious belief in manmade global warming. If Pelosi wants to end up in the same spot as Macron, all she has to do is follow Ocasio-Cortez’s lead. 

We already know that 2019 is going to be a rough year for Donald Trump. But it’s also going to be a very rough year for Nancy Pelosi, a year that will test her high-wire balancing act to its very limits. For some, it’s not a matter of if she falls off — simply just a matter of when. 

Ned Ryun is a former presidential writer for President George W. Bush and the founder and CEO of American Majority, which trains conservative political candidates and activists.