With House Democrats preparing to re-elect Nancy Pelosi as their leader--on the face of it, an act of electoral self-wounding that calls for psychiatric intervention--the question arises, what are they thinking? Jonathan Allen and John Harris set out five reasons in Politico: standing up to Obama (he'll tack to the middle, and the House will have to push back); loyalty; fear; "she's got game"; pride; and there's nobody else. (I know that's six reasons: take it up with them.)
These reasons all makes sense, but I think give too little weight to the fact that most House Democrats simply think Pelosi is right on the issues. You could argue this factor is folded into "standing up to [a more triangulating] Obama", and maybe into "pride" as well; but I'd say it deserves explicit recognition. When you're right, you're right. There's something admirable about voting for a leader who's ideas are (in your view) just correct.
The problem is, too many voters disagree that her ideas are correct--or at least, this would be the straightforward interpretation of the mid-terms. Many Democrats challenge that interpretation, of course. The psychiatrically interesting dimension of support in the House for Pelosi is not "she's right, so I'm supporting her" (which make sense) but "she's right, and most voters agree with her, which would have been obvious at the polls if only the White House hadn't kept caving in to the GOP" (which calls into question the sanity of the people saying it). I hear many Democrats arguing this, and I am curious to know how many of them actually believe it.