In January when the new Republican-controlled Congress convenes, California Democrat Nancy Pelosi will no longer be Speaker of the House, the second most powerful position in the US government and second-in-line to the presidency. She appears to have enough votes though from her Democrat colleagues to maintain her leadership position, but as Minority Leader. However some of the more moderate Democrats are unhappy with her maintaining leadership of the Democrats in the House. Since they don’t have enough votes to remove her from leadership, they are attacking Pelosi’s power to appoint lieutenants.
If you appoint someone to do a job, you choose that person. Pelosi, as leader of the Democrats in the House, has the power to appoint the lieutenants. These are Democrat members holding other lower ranking leadership positions in the party and are considered the leader’s ‘enforcers.’
Nancy Pelosi is scrambling to stop opposition from the more moderate Democrat members. This means that she is hurrying and working very hard in competition against these member to maintain her authority. She wants to thwart a Democrat rebellion in her party. In other words, she is trying to prevent or stop this rebellion.
This is seen as the first test of her might (or power) in the new Congress. The article states that she is trying to extinguish the rebellion. If you extinguish a fire or a cigarette, you stop the burning. The rebellion is viewed like a fire that has to be stopped.
To read the article, click on the above image.