Open post Nov. 13, 2018 Dan Crawford | November 13, 2018 8:29 am Tags: open thread Comments (1) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
I guess these five did not see the 2016 election.
“The battle for the leadership of the incoming Democratic majority in the House of Representatives is already a mess. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Creative chaos, well-controlled, is good for a political party. It’s where the new energy behind new ideas originates. This remains true as long as that creative chaos doesn’t overwhelm the institution and, therefore, the majority’s ability to get anything done.
Shoot enough sodium pentothal into Speaker Paul Ryan, the zombie-eyed granny starver from the state of Wisconsin, and he likely would tell you that he’d have been infinitely better off if every member of the Freedom Caucus had been dropped down a well. This analogy is being applied to the new, young, leftish members of the incoming majority. But they’re not the real threat, as we shall see. The real threat was encapsulated on the electric Twitter machine with the hashtag, #FiveWhiteGuys….
Now, it seems, they’ve gotten the band back together again. The #FiveWhiteGuys are Moulton, Ryan, Ed Perlmutter of Colorado, Kurt Schrader of Oregon, and Bill Foster of Illinois. The driving forces remain Moulton and Ryan, with the latter the putative leader. After an election in which the Democratic Party continues to elect a demographically and politically diverse collection of new House members, Ryan is still insisting that the party needs to “reach out” to angry white men in places like Ohio when, in fact, if the midterms proved anything, it is that the Democratic Party’s future is in places like Arizona and Nevada, and even Georgia and Florida, while, except for Sherrod Brown, god bless him, Ohio is a lost cause. It was an outlier even in its own geographic area. There were Democratic—and progressive—victories in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois. Ohio and, yes, Iowa, were loss leaders. …
For those members, old and new, who oppose Pelosi from the left, the #FiveWhiteGuys are offering a sucker’s bet. The #FiveWhiteGuys are of the school that believes that the Democratic Party’s needs are best served winning back all those disgruntled folks at diners in the Mahoning Valley, a theory fairly well demolished last Tuesday. It is very unlikely that a Green New Deal or Medicare For All is high on their list of priorities. The only argument that the #FiveWhiteGuys have that might resonate with their new progressive colleagues is that Pelosi is old and has been in Congress for a long time. Period. That’s not enough to dispense with the party’s most effective legislative leader since Lyndon Johnson.
So what the #FiveWhiteGuys are flirting with is not a brawl within the party, but a three-way brawl in which the progressive side and the #FiveWhiteGuys side both work to bring Pelosi down, which would set the stage for an absolute bloodbath between those two forces for the right to pick her successor. (And, strictly from a provincial standpoint here in the Commonwealth—God save it!—we are preparing to have Richard Neal as chairman of House Ways and Means and James McGovern as chairman of House Rules. If this attempted coup screws that up, Moulton’s going to have some serious ‘splainin’ to do back home.)
There is no need for any of this. Pelosi stays as speaker. Steny Hoyer goes, replaced by, say, Hakeem Jeffries of New York. Jim Clyburn does what he wants, and the new generation moves into position as deputy whips under him. Then the Democratic Party can get back to the primary business at hand: beating the Republicans sufficiently hard and sufficiently often until the Republican Party regains a semblance of sanity. It’s a long, hard job.”