It’s really amazing what the outcome of an election can do to party unity. Two weeks ago the news carried reports that the Republican party was on life support, while the Democratic party was a virtual love fest. Then the election happened, the Republicans won the White House, kept control of the Senate and the House, and everything changed. An internal struggle currently rages between the progressive wing of the ultra-progressive wing of the Democratic party. One possible casualty of this war is Nancy Pelosi , who after 12 years heading up the Dem caucus in the house — first as speaker, then as minority leader — may soon go to be plain old Rep. Pelosi (D-Calif).
Earlier this week the Dems unexpectedly delayed a scheduled leadership vote until after Thanksgiving. The renegade section of the party fought for the delay because they needed time to generate a challenge to Pelosi’s leadership.
Leading the battle cry Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan , who announced it is time for new leadership. By expanding the party’s strength to the rust belt, instead of just the East and West coasts, he argues, it can begin to win bag the true working- class Americans who felt ignored by the donks.
“A lot of our caucus is bicoastal,” Ryan told reporters this week. “States like Ohio don’t have the kind of representation … that we need to take the majority back.”
The members most open to having a “discussion” about the direction of leadership is propelled by states where Democrats have lost voters at the state and Congressional level but also lost at the presidential level in 2016.
Other Democrats are joining the movement to defeat Pelosi, including members of her own leadership group. Initially, some in the House were pushing New York Rep. Joe Crowley , who was the vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus to run, but he announced that he’s not going to oppose Pelosi. There were also rumors that Rep. Xavier Becerra , but despite his Hispanic bona fides, he too is from the Golden State.
While Pelosi claims to have support of two thirds of house Democrats, Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), who pushed through the delay in the leadership elections, is calling shenanigans. Speaking with reporters on Wednesday, he said:
I haven’t seen her list [of supporters], but she said that the overwhelming view of the caucus was to hold elections on Thursday and obviously that was not the overwhelming view.
Moulton said he’s not sure how many members are willing to buck Pelosi’s bid for a new term as Democratic leader, but he said, “An awful lot of people are coming to me and saying, ‘I want other options.’” He added:
We did worse than the lowest estimates for how many seats we would take back. The American people sent a very clear message that the status quo is unacceptable.
Cross-posted at The Lid