- Minority Leader To Be?
With the decision of Nancy Pelosi to maintain her role as leader of House Democrats, the 2010 midterms elections continue to produce good news for Republicans.
The move is quite frankly a foolishly detrimental one for her Party, a political entity which the American electorate adamantly rejected and which resulted in a record number of Republican victories from the local and state level, to the federal level in the House and Senate. Many of these victories were won in campaigns that made Nancy Pelosi the main issue. Nearly every Republican running for the House, publicly and loudly pointed out to their audiences that the very first vote that their liberal opponent had cast during the last Congress, was for Nancy Pelosi to become their leader. In many debate’s Republican challengers asked “will you or will you not vote for Nancy Pelosi as your leader”? To this, in order to save their reelection chances, quite a few had to answer “no”. Unfortunately for them though, the fact that they once did vote for her, didn’t save many of these candidates. But with approval ratings in the 20’s, it is no surprise that Nancy Pelosi was of no help to any Democrat.
That is why her desire to continue being the face of House Democrats is a bit surprising.
Obviously, the soon to be former Speaker is thinking more about herself than her Party. If she was sincere about wanting what is best for Democrats and what will best help promote the liberal agenda, she would have stepped aside and allowed a new face to be placed on the Democrat Party, a face that was not as disliked and as much of a drag on her Party and its policies.
Of course it has yet to be seen if Nancy will be successful in her bid to be elected Minority Leader. Some Democrats that did squeak by in the 2010 elections, have promised their constituents that they would not vote for Pelosi. In order for that to happen, there must be an alternative candidate to support over her. So who may be so bold as to come forward and offer themselves as that alternative? Well Alabama’s Bobby Bright could be one. He was the first to officially come out in October and declare that he would not support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker. But in August of 2010, after Bright publicly joked that Democrat’s chances in the midterm elections might be better if Pelosi would “get sick and die“, Democrats may not feel too confident in Bright’s ability to say the right things as their leader.
A more realistic challenger may be Heath Shuler, one of the most conservative Democrats in the House. On Thursday, Shuler stated that if Pelosi does actually move to run for Minority Leader, he will challenge her. This should not be news. All through ought Shuler’s very tough reelection effort, he campaigned among his constituents by promising that if Democrats held the House, he would challenge Pelosi for the job of Speaker.
While Shuler is to date, the House Democrat to be most dramatic in his opposition to Pelosi, many others such as Kentucky’s John Yarmuth and Oklahoma’s David Boren are just some of the remaining moderate and conservative Democrats, who still exist in Congress and are also registering their opposition to Pelosi.
But Nancy Pelosi would not have announced the decision to seek her place as Minority Leader unless she had gotten a sense of approval, done a head count of her caucus and concluded that a majority of her colleagues would support her for the job.
This would indicate that the new Democrat minority in the House, is most definitely out of synch with the American people. While most Americans vehemently disapprove of her, the liberal dominated Democrat caucus approves of her. This only demonstrates that the new House minority is going to be an even more radically liberal body than it was this past session. After losing many Blue Dogs and moderates, it is only natural for the liberal establishment to become even more dominant than it was. But this is not good. It is not what the people wanted when they registered their objections to the current ways of the Democrat Party by electing a record number of more conservative Republicans to office.
This is a point which Rep. Shuler consistently brings up when he sates “I can go recruit moderate members to run in swing districts,” and then points out; “In that situation, I could do it better than she could, and that’s what it’s going to take. It’s going to take moderate candidates to win back those seats.“
But if Pelosi does prevail, which is more than likely, the problem with her staying as one of the faces of the Party is the fact that Democrats will continue to be represented by another prominent member of their Party which is not too popular out of his home state.
The failure by Republicans to defeat Harry Reid in Nevada means that he will continue to be the face and voice of Democrats in the Senate.
This means that after a midterm elections which rejected the Obama, Reid, Pelosi agenda, Democrats are still going to be led by the architects of that agenda. This will not exactly help create the perception that Democrats have gotten the message that voters sent them on November 2nd.
This situation provides Republicans with an invaluable advantage, an advantage that Democrats could deny them if Nancy Pelosi realized that for the sake of the issues that she believes in, she should pass the baton to a new Democrat leader, one who does not carry the baggage that she does and one that doesn’t symbolize the failed status quo policies that voters just rejected. But when it comes to Democrats, I guess the lesson to be learned here is that you really can’t teach old dogs new tricks. Thankfully though, the American people apparently won’t let themselves be tricked again.