Wednesday, March 14, 2018

When Should Pelosi Retire?


The DCCC's and Pelosi's Blue Dog in Chicago, Dan Lipinski, faces the voters in a week, on March 20th. The DCCC and Pelosi are supporting someone who is anti-Choice, anti-LGBTQ, anti-immigrant, anti-healthcare, someone who votes with Trump more frequently than almost any other Democrat. Does the Pelosi Party even mean anything any more. How many they throw core constituencies under the bus like this? Where would they draw the line? If Lipinksi was anti-Semitic? Anti-Catholic? Anti-Wall Street? IL-03 is a safe blue seat-- Hillary beat Trump 55.2% to 39.9% there and the PVI is D+6. This year the GOP line went to an actual Nazi and not even the Illinois Republican Party is supporting their own candidate! So why are the DCCC and Pelosi trying to block a progressive like Marie Newman from unseating Lipinski?

Lynn Sweet, Illinois' savviest political reporter, wrote this week in the Sun-Times that Chicago mega-donors are financing Lipinski through No Labels, a shady right-wing outfit that backed Trump in 2016. Pelosi is addicted to money. She can't help herself. It's horrifying to watch and she's sold the Democratic Party out to plutocrats. No Labels has created a network of black money SuperPACs and one, "United for Progress Inc.," wrote Sweet, "has spent $740,334 as of Sunday to bolster Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., in his March 20 Illinois Democratic primary battle with Marie Newman in the 3rd Congressional District... United for Progress, Inc., is playing political hardball, attacking Newman in the commercials and direct mail pieces it paid for... Lipinski is part of a No Labels offshoot, the congressional "Problem Solvers Caucus," which is a refuge for right-wing Democrats who vehemently oppose a progressive agenda.

Walter Shapiro didn't beat around the bush in his latest Guardian column, Why it's time for Democrats to ditch Nancy Pelosi. Yesterday's contest in PA-18, he points out was largely a chance to look at who is more toxic politically, Trump (+ Ryan) or Pelosi. The thoroughly mediocre Blue Dog the Dems chose as their standard bearer was squawking right up to the end, "My opponent wants you to believe that the biggest issue in this campaign is Nancy Pelosi. It’s all a big lie. I’ve already said… that I don’t support Nancy Pelosi." Saccone clung to Trump like a life raft.
As the House Democratic leader since 2005, Pelosi is unpopular (her approval rating was 29% in a national Quinnipiac University poll in February) and extremely well known (83% of voters in the Quinnipiac survey knew who she was). That twofer of familiarity and voter fatigue is why the demonization of Pelosi remains a staple of Republican attack ads.

Even when Democrats try to escape Pelosi, as Lamb has done in his campaign, partisan politics grants limited wriggle room. As the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette put it in a snippy editorial endorsing the Republican, Rick Saccone, in the congressional race: “Mr Lamb … attempted to distance himself from ultra-liberal Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and says he would not vote for her to lead his party. But who would he vote for? An abstention will not win him independence from the Democratic caucus.”

This Pelosi pushback will be repeated across the country in the fall as the Democrats’ road to a House majority follows Trump terrain. But why have Democrats decided that Pelosi’s quest to become the first person in American history to return as House speaker after an eight-year gap is more important than depriving Trump of a rubber-stamp Congress?

After more than 13 years as the House Democratic leader, Pelosi has written enough feminist history to fill the Capitol dome. Any doubts about her stamina as she nears her 78th birthday were dispelled last month as she held the House floor for more than eight hours in support the young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers. And she has been a prolific fundraiser for the party, although this year Democrats in tight races probably will spend more money on campaign commercials distancing themselves from Pelosi.

In normal times, the temptation would be to give Pelosi her last-hurrah campaign to win back the speaker’s gavel that she lost in the 2010 Democratic collapse. But for any Rip Van Winkles out there, we live in an era defined by a human temper tantrum in the Oval Office and a Republican Congress torn between paralytic fear of Trump and a partisan urge for sycophancy.

A strong case can be made that the congressional elections this year are the most important off-year contests since at least 1946-- the year when the Republicans took control of Congress for the first time since the Depression and brought a generation of virulent anti-communists like Joseph McCarthy to power.

For all the glib talk of a “blue wave,” there is a sizable risk that the Democrats could fall a few seats short of the 24 they need to win back the House. Even with, say, a three-seat majority, the Republicans would select all the committee chairmen and thwart any investigation into the misdeeds of the Trump administration.

That is why the moment is at hand for Pelosi to cap her congressional career by announcing-- for the good of the nation and her party-- that she will step down as Democratic leader.
Shapiro is WRONG-- dead wrong-- when he asserts that "It doesn’t matter if Pelosi is succeeded by the 78-year-old House minority whip Steny Hoyer (who has been waiting to take over almost as long as Prince Charles) or anyone else in the caucus. Replacing Pelosi with a little-known Democrat (regardless of gender or race) would deprive the Republicans of an easy target in campaign ads." Politics isn't just about winning elections. Politics is also about governing. Steny Hoyer is a creature of K Street, the world of lobbyists and corruption. A member of Congress once told me if Hoyer ever became Speaker, every bill would go to K Street and nothing remotely good could ever be achieved. And the more likely-- and even worse-- successor is Joe Crowley, a congressman wholly owned by Wall Street, who runs the New Dem caucus, the Republican wing of the Democratic Party and who defines DC corruption. Shapiro may think that doesn't matter; it does. Because what the Republicans lose in November they can take back in 2022... with a vengeance. Let's think about the long-term, not just a few quarters ahead which has always been a formula for businesses failing. I'm all for Pelosi stepping down-- although Paul Ryan is even less liked by the voters than she is (the DCCC is too lame to exploit that)-- but the House Democrats need to find a leader they can be proud of, as they once were-- and rightfully so-- of Pelosi. A Ted Lieu, a Barbara Lee, Ro Khanna, Pramila Jayapal, Mark Pocan... someone who represents the hopeful Democratic Party future, not its grubby past.

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At 6:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Does the Pelosi Party even mean anything any more."
You answered the question BEFORE you wrote it. Did you forget?
"The DCCC and Pelosi are supporting someone who is anti-Choice, anti-LGBTQ, anti-immigrant, anti-healthcare, someone who votes with Trump more frequently than almost any other Democrat."
You left off pro corporate and pro billionaire. But you hit the rest of the highlights. The Pelosi party is all about winning elections where Nazis vote and (therefore) losing elections where progressives vote.

At least you were correct about hoyer being worse.

You might enlighten us (and, btw, yourself) by walking down the list of succession in the democrap party (the top 50 would be plenty, though you could go further) and be realistic about how horrible they ALL are.
THEN you could put together your best delusion as to why and how this pile of shit is redeemable from the bottom.

At 10:11 PM, Blogger Daro said...

It's been 10 years since the DCCC fully commenced throwing progressives under the bus and NOW questions are being asked? Just watch Jimmy Dore if you need updates on what's happening.

At 12:46 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

At 1:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When? 2010 when the Dems lost control of the Congress, something they have since failed to regain. Still watching for them to lose their opportunity this year - and they will.

At 5:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Daro, the DLC started the purge in 1981. All who resisted the corruption were purged one way or another. Pelosi, hoyer et al were among the first and most enthusiastic to embrace the corruption.

Name all reliably progressive democraps. Anyone predate 2000? Think any of them will still be around by 2024?

But I'm SURE this party is but a hair from turning it all around!!

At 2:52 AM, Blogger Daro said...

Didn't know it was that bad. Oh, well... (pulls trigger).


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