Friday, June 08, 2018

Nancy Pelosi Doesn't Know Who Her November Opponent Is-- A Republican To Her Right Or A Democrat On Her Left


Did you know that not every congressional race in California has been called yet. First place in each of the 53 districts has been determined and announced. But who the top candidate will be facing in November hasn't been called in 11 districts, some inconsequential and some extremely consequential. These are the districts where the runner-up is still too close to call. So these candidates don't know who they're running against. Will Pelosi's opponent, for example, be challenging her from the right or from the left. In her case it doesn't really matter. But in Jeff Denham's case it does. Will he be fighting a crackpot Trumpist or a Democrat?

Mike Thompson (D)- 67,956- (79.1%)
Anthony Mills (I)- 7,998- (9.3%)
Nils Pallson (I)- 7,032 (8.2%)
Paul Cook (R)- 32,864 (41.5%)
Tim Donnelly (R)- 17,966 (22.7%)
Marjorie Doyle (D)- 16,967 (21.4%)
Jeff Denham (R)- 24,640 (37.7%)
Josh Harder (D)- 10,244 (15.7%)
Ted Howze (R)- 9,349 (14.4%)
Nancy Pelosi (D)- 93,238 (68.7%)
Lisa Remmer (R)- 13,525 (10%)
Shahid Buttar (D)- 10,420 (7.7%)
Kevin McCarthy (R)- 56,089 (69.8%)
Tatiana Matta (D)- 9,416 (11.7%)
Wendy Reed (D)- 7,937 (9.9%)
Steve Knight (R)- 41,310 (52.8%)
Katie Hill (D)- 15,833 (20.2%)
Bryan Caforio (D)- 14,305 (18.3%)
Nanette Barragan (D)- 26,356 (65.8%)
Aja Brown (D)- 6,700 (16.7%)
Jazmina Saavedra (R)- 4.058 (10.1%)
Dana Rohrabacher (R)- 34,074 (30.4%)
Hans Keirstead (D)- 19,335 (17.3%)
Harley Rouda (D)- 19,206 (17.1%)
Scott Baugh (R)- 18,009 (16.1%)
Diane Harkey (R)- 29,933 (25.5%)
Mike Levin (D)- 20,316 (17.3%)
Sara Jacobs (D)- 17,247 (15.4%) (called for Levin today)
Jim Vargas (D)- 30,773 (62.8%)
Juan Hidalgo (R)- 7,579 (15.5%)
John Renison (R)- 7,388 (15.1%)
Susan Davis (D)- 57,287 (62.5%)
Morgan Murtaugh (R)- 13,786 (15%)
Matt Mendoza (R)- 13,063 (14.2%)
But speaking of Pelosi, Danny Goldberg did a really interesting piece for The Nation yesterday, Nancy Pelosi Is Not the Enemy. He agrees that Pelosi has some shortcomings (like "the way the DCCC decides to support candidates in primaries" and the need to unify the party, often "disappointing the left." However, he wrote "Pelosi is far more progressive than her predecessors and those who have challenged her." He's right.
The New York Times’ Frank Bruni recently touted Dan McCready, a North Carolina Democratic House candidate who promises not to vote for Pelosi for speaker and smugly concluded that those of McCready’s ilk are “recognizing that a Democratic majority requires Democratic maturity.” Bruni’s delusional definition of “maturity” is based on the failed playbook of pandering to a shrinking number of “swing voters” at the expense of inspiring the far larger universe of women, people of color, and young progressives.

Admittedly, there are a few people in historically Republican districts that may prefer an anti-Pelosi Democrat, but the market for this message is very limited. Conor Lamb recently won a close election in a Pennsylvania district that went for Trump by double digits. In a Public Policy Polling survey of his voters, 43 percent said they voted for Lamb because “he will defend social security and Medicare,” 18 percent because “he refused corporate special interest money,” and only 7 percent because “he said he will not vote for Nancy Pelosi for House Speaker.”

The future composition of the House is not in the hands of those who voted for Trump last time but in those who opposed him. As Bernie Sanders has been saying, “When turn-out is high, Democrats win. When turn-out is low, Republicans win.” If Democrats win in all of the districts that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, they take control of the House. If they can also get the votes of those who voted for third-party candidates, there can be a truly powerful opposition to Trumpism. It’s hard to see how walking away from Pelosi, who has attained the highest electoral office of any woman in American history, will help turnout.

Demonizing Pelosi is a twofer for Republicans. It arouses the misogynistic part of their base while psyching out some Democrats into a fecklessness that depresses their base. Republican pollster Frank Luntz told Fox News with a manipulative gleam in his eye, “There are so many people out there-- swing voters-- who do not want Pelosi as speaker.” Trump’s Office of Management and Budget head Mick Mulvaney suggested that Republicans “force” Democratic House members to take a position on Pelosi before the midterms. The purpose of the talking point is to bully Democrats into walking away from their most effective progressive legislative leader.

This is not to deny the need for Democrats to cultivate and promote younger people. Pelosi, Democratic minority whip Steny Hoyer, and assistant minority leader James Clyburn are all in their late 70s, but if someone has to step down to make room, it ought not to be Pelosi, who is also the Democrats’ best fund-raiser.

A simplistic age test for leadership is neither moral nor pragmatic. Some people lose focus and energy as early as their 60s and others are sharp and dynamic well into their 80s. The standard should be ideology and effectiveness. Bernie Sanders’s success with young voters suggests that what motivates them is moral clarity and a progressive approach to the issues This is even more true in the post-Parkland environment. Jerry Brown at 80 is one of American’s greatest governors. In the early days of Trump’s administration, Pelosi corralled all Democrats to stand in opposition to efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Maxine Waters has been one of the most effective anti-Trump media voices. Who exactly would replace them? As John Lennon said, “You say you got a real solution, well you know, we’d all love to see the plan.”

That said, sometime in the next several years, Pelosi will step down. If progressives want to address House leadership they should find an alternative to corporate Democrat Joe Crowley, who is angling to be her successor. The most plausible progressive who could succeed Pelosi is 49-year-old California Representative Ted Lieu.

In the meantime, Democrats should refrain from succumbing to right-wing propaganda. The Mercers and Kochs will spend millions to create “negatives” for any effective opponent of oligarchy. Whoever eventually replaces Pelosi will quickly be demonized. The remedy is not to cower in fear, but to fight back.

Labels: , , , ,


At 6:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Pelosi is far more progressive than her predecessors and those who have challenged her."

total horse shit. "By their fruits shall ye know them". Pelosi, once a liberal and able rep for SF, has been a corrupt fascist tyrant of the house caucus for over a decade and a prodigious whore of corporate bribes for many more decades. It was HER dictat that "impeachment is off the table" in 2005 and 2018. She has promoted (with money) her personal democrap Reichstag such that if she steps aside, the caucus will be well and tyrannically ruled for the money afterwards. She has moved the democrap caucus further right by recruiting/buying worse and worse candidates for seats. She has guaranteed that the house in general has moved further right by intentionally laying down in many races such that the democraps will lose to baggers and Nazis.

These are her fruits.

It matters not a bit what she SAYS. And I point out that what she SAYS has become ever more incoherent in the past 3 or 4 years.

At 9:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you sure the republican could possibly be to her right?


Post a Comment

<< Home