Calls for the ouster of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are growing louder heading into the weekend as the blame for the Democrats’ 0-5 showing in a series of special house elections held this week has fallen squarely on her shoulders. While Pelosi has faced down previous threats, the present controversy looks like it’s snowballing into the biggest threat to her dominance during her 10-year reign as the party’s leader in the House.
Indeed, Pelosi's ouster is looking increasingly probable as more of the rank-and-file turn against her. And as the latest report from the Associated Press confirms, a group of a dozen house Democrats met in the office of New York Rep Kathleen Rice on Thursday to try and figure out a way to remove Pelosi from her leadership position. While it looks as if Pelosi's opponents are growing more emboldened, they're still struggling with one important problem…they still need to find a way to execute their coup and force Pelosi from her position. The AP's story relies heavily on quotes from New York Rep Kathleen Rice and Ohio’s Tim Ryan, who are already jockeying for positions in the next iteration of the Democratic Party's leadership.
"A dozen or so House Democrats want Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to go after a dispiriting loss in a House election in Georgia. They just don't know how to make it happen.
"We can't keep losing races and keep the same leadership in place. You have a baseball team that keeps losing year after year. At some point, the coach has got to go, right?" said Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., on Friday.
The frustrated Democrats met in Rice's office a day earlier to discuss their options as they face long odds of knocking out the woman who has led the Democratic caucus for nearly 15 years from minority to majority and back, raised tens of millions of dollars and has had multiple legislative successes. Their action plan: Keep talking. Keep raising the concern that something needs to change within the ranks of the party's leadership.
It's about all they can do."
Ryan, for his part, has been burnishing his credentials as a leader of the Democrats’ progressive faction since mounting a challenge to Pelosi’s leadership following President Donald Trump’s upset victory over Hillary Clinton. Though he lost that battle, he’s received a lot of attention lately for his criticism of the Democratic Party leadership, repeatedly saying that Congress should be focused on crafting a populist economic message that will appeal to American workers, and spend less time talking about the investigations into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
"The issue I think strategically is that Trump energizes their base and Leader Pelosi energizes their base," said Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, who was unsuccessful last year in trying to unseat Pelosi. "We should stop talking about Trump all the time, and Russia. People in Ohio don't grab me about Russia at all when I'm home," Ryan said.
President Trump is enjoying the mounting coup against one of his chief political opponents. He trolled Pelosi on twitter Thursday following the Democrats’ electoral loss, and reiterated his hope that she stays on in her leadership role during an interview on Fox News.
I certainly hope the Democrats do not force Nancy P out. That would be very bad for the Republican Party - and please let Cryin' Chuck stay!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2017
"I'd like to keep her right where she is, because our record is extraordinary against her," Trump said in a Fox News interview.
Seth Moulton, another one of the Democrats who attended the meeting in Rice’s office, also favors ousting Pelosi, but says he’d be open to meeting with her first.
Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., who also attended the meeting, said, "in every corner of our caucus, we're concerned. And we have one goal: winning in 2018."
Moulton is one of the House Democrats who has been most vocal in calling for a new generation of leadership. The Iraq war veteran endorsed eight veterans running for the House this week, and started a new national security task force with other young veterans within the Democratic caucus.
To her credit, Pelosi has so far refused to crack, saying that she’d happily agree to a meeting with the would-be mutineers.
"Of course I'm open to a meeting" with Pelosi," Moulton said. "We're a family. We're going to have those discussions."
Pelosi said that would be fine with her.
"I love the arena. I thrive on competition, and I welcome the discussion," she said.
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Calls for Pelosi’s ouster began circulating on Wednesday as the extent of the Democratic Party’s electoral loss was first becoming clear.
“I think you’d have to be an idiot to think we could win the House with Pelosi at the top,” Rep. Filemon Vela, a Texas Democrat, told Politico.
“Nancy Pelosi is not the only reason that Ossoff lost, but she certainly is one of the reasons.”
The question of whether Pelosi could survive in power was splayed across the front page of liberal heartland Silicon Valley's paper, The Mercury News of San Jose...
"Some of the toughest ads against the 30-year-old [Georgia Dem candidate Jon] Ossoff were those tying him to Pelosi, whose approval ratings are underwater outside California."
Furthermore, as NYTimes reports, in a possible omen, the first Democratic candidate to announce his campaign after the Georgia defeat immediately vowed not to support Ms. Pelosi for leader.
Joe Cunningham, a South Carolina lawyer challenging Representative Mark Sanford, said Democrats needed “new leadership now.”
Even Democrats who are not openly antagonistic toward Ms. Pelosi acknowledged that a decade of Republican attacks had taken a toll: “It’s pretty difficult to undo the demonization of anyone,” said Representative Bill Pascrell Jr. of New Jersey.
So with all that said, we are left with one question, as The Economic Collapse blog's Michael Snyder asks, are the 'toxic' Democrats destined to become a permanent minority party?
Whatever happens with Pelosi, it has become exceedingly clear that the Democratic Party is in deep trouble. Close to 55 million dollars was spent on the race in Georgia’s sixth congressional district, and that shattered all kinds of records. Democrat Jon Ossoff was able to raise and spend more than six times as much money as Karen Handel and yet he still lost. This was supposed to be the race that would show the American people that the Democrats could take back control of Congress in 2018, and so for the Democrats this was a bitter failure. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee actually injected almost 5 million dollars into the race themselves, and Planned Parenthood threw in another $700,000. But after all of the time, effort and energy that was expended, Handel still won fairly comfortably.