Former house speaker Nancy Pelosi was vilified by the right during the most recent elections, and definitely in a sexist way. They called her the Wicked Witch of the West ; Republican spokespeople talked about putting Pelosi " in her place ." Politico is reporting that Pelosi has just been elected as democratic majority leader , but under duress. The conservative blue dog faction of her party tried to oust her from leadership. During that election process, Rep. Lynn Woolsey said that the sexists would win if Pelosi were not elected, and that Obama, not Pelosi, will be the face of the party in 2012.
Had Pelosi lost-which she didn't-I don't think you could argue that it was because she is a woman. It's because the economy is in the toilet and the democrats who lost are looking for someone to blame, as Salon's Steve Kornacki argues . If a Ned Pelosi had been speaker of the house, I'm pretty sure he'd be getting the brunt of his party's ire, though he probably wouldn't be called a witch.