Democrats pressing Pelosi to step aside

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Quigley_Sharps, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Nancy Pelosi AP – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., walks through Statuary Hall, on Capitol Hill in Washington Wednesday, …
    By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS and DAVID ESPO, Associated Press Julie Hirschfeld Davis And David Espo, Associated Press – 49 mins ago

    WASHINGTON – In a fresh sign of turmoil among defeated Democrats, a growing number of the rank and file say they won't support House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a politically symbolic roll call when the new Congress meets in January.

    "The reality is that she is politically toxic," said Illinois Rep. Mike Quigley, one of several Democrats who are trying to pressure Pelosi to step aside as her party's leader in the wake of historic election losses to Republicans last week.

    Pelosi startled many Democrats with a quick postelection announcement that she would run for minority leader. She has yet to draw an opponent for the post. Party elections are scheduled for next week, although a postponement is possible.

    In the interim, Pelosi's critics have become more vocal in their efforts to retire her from the party leadership.

    There's "starting to be a sense that this may not be as much of a done deal as people might have thought," Rep. Jason Altmire said of Pelosi's quest to remain the top Democrat.

    "If enough people come out and voice a little discomfort with the idea of her continuing on, maybe she would reconsider," said the Pennsylvanian, one of a handful of Democrats who said he won't cast a ceremonial vote for her.

    The election of a party leader occurs behind closed doors. A separate election for speaker to be held on Jan. 5, a few hours after the House convenes for the first time, is a very visible one. One member of each party is typically nominated, and each lawmaker is then called by name to stand and declare a choice. The event is customarily televised live.

    Defections from party discipline are rare in such circumstances, but several Democrats said they would not support Pelosi. They did not specify how they would vote instead.

    Pelosi's office declined to comment Wednesday on calls for her to step aside, but she was mounting a robust defense of her record. In an op-ed in USA Today, Pelosi blamed the election results on "the genuine frustration of the American people, who are justifiably angered by the continued high unemployment rate."

    Most of the Democrats who say they would not support Pelosi are moderates from conservative districts who have toiled to distinguish themselves from their liberal leader, and who watched dozens of like-minded Democrats go down in defeat after Republicans savaged them in TV advertisements as lapdogs of the San Francisco congresswoman.

    Quigley stopped short of saying he would oppose Pelosi on a public vote, but others did not.

    "You would find an unusual number of people not voting for the nominee of their party" if Pelosi were the choice, said Rep. Jim Matheson of Utah.

    "There's a growing number of people in the caucus saying, 'Why's she running for minority leader in the first place?' We just got thumped in this election in a major way, and to act like we can just go back and do the same thing over again. It just seems like a very obvious situation when change is called for," Matheson said.

    Rep. Dan Boren, D-Okla., another conservative, said through a spokesman that he, too, plans to vote against Pelosi in public and private.

    Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark., strongly suggested as much in a statement in which he said he wouldn't back Pelosi "for House Democratic leader or any other leadership position in the Congress."

    Democrats lost at least 60 seats in last week's elections, with a handful of races yet to be settled. Many of the defeats came in conservative or swing districts, and many of her critics are lawmakers who survived narrowly.

    Altmire won re-election by little more than 2 percentage points, but Quigley ran up more than 70 percent of the vote in his Chicago-area district. Pelosi has "probably been made the scapegoat in all this," he said in an interview, but he added that keeping her as the top Democrat "would make recruitment very difficult and winning back the House in two years nearly impossible."

    The prospect of substantial Democratic defections from Pelosi on the first day of the new Congress comes amid a heated debate between liberals and conservatives about the party's future. Many liberals assert Democrats must reinvigorate core supporters by refusing to compromise with Republicans on key principles, while centrists argue they must tack to the middle to win over independent voters.

    The divide is complicated by the fact that the party's losses disproportionately hit moderates, purging the ranks of conservatives who call themselves "Blue Dogs," a coalition that lost more than half of its members. Liberals who are Pelosi's natural constituency now make up a greater percentage of House Democrats.

    Her decision to seek a new term as party leader has also set off a messy struggle between Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, currently the No. 2 Democrat, and Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, the current No. 3.

    Hoyer is widely viewed as the voice of moderate Democrats in leadership, although his list of public supporters includes powerful liberals. Clyburn is the most powerful African-American in Congress. The two are competing for the second-in-command position in the minority in a contest that has taken on racial overtones in recent days with the decision of the Congressional Black Caucus to endorse Clyburn.

    Democratic officials say Pelosi has urged Clyburn to bow out of the race and run for a lesser leadership job, with an additional promise of a newly created face-saving position on a key committee. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to discuss private discussions.

    Kristie Greco, a spokeswoman for Clyburn, declined to confirm Pelosi's move, but said her boss remains a candidate and "The CBC wants to see this come to a vote."

    Other Democrats, eager for a smooth transition, note that if Pelosi were to withdraw, it would avoid a face-off between Hoyer and Clyburn.

    "It's still in play," Matheson said. But, he added, "without an alternative stepping up and saying, 'Vote for me instead,' it makes it a little more difficult."

    Even the timetable for the selection of leaders has become embroiled in the controversy.

    Two prominent liberals have called for a delay in the closed-door vote until next month.

    "Following the loss of our majority, we should fully understand the causes of our historic losses before we begin the process of rebuilding," Reps. Peter DeFazio of Oregon and Marcy Kaptur of Ohio wrote fellow Democrats.

  2. SLugomist

    SLugomist Monkey++

  3. Grand58742

    Grand58742 Monkey+++

    I have this funny feeling she is not going to go away quietly. But for me? I'm split 50/50. I would like to see her remain and destroy any chances of them retaking the house in 2012 and probably sacrifice more seats in the process.

    On the other hand, I would love to see that evil, egotistical harpy just go away.

    And I hope I didn't offend any harpies with that last comment.
  4. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    "The reality is that she is politically toxic," said Illinois Rep. Mike Quigley

    Hehehe..... San Fran Nan has always been 'toxic' - the old wrinkled ex-hippy wicked witch deserves to be sent to the nackers for what she's been pulling in DC. It galls me to think even if We The People are at last free of her vitriolic dripping evil, she still gets that nifty Goobermint retirement check and health bennies. Personally, I'd pay good money to fund a concrete statue of pelosi in the DC Mall - with her withered and diseased hide sealed inside.......
  5. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    what can i say for once i agree with the Democrats...[winkthumb]
  6. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    I say down with Pelosi for House Minority, up with Sheila Jackson Lee! She would effectively castrate the Democrat party, make them look like the fools they really are and really fire the conservatives up.

    Here are some nice excerpts of the "Congress WOMAN's" (SJL's) antics:

    YouTube - Sheila Jackson Lee's North and South Vietnam? WTF? Are All Democrats Geographically Challenged?

    YouTube - Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee funny clip about Michael Jackson memorial service trip

    And she is Micael Berry's (A local - Houston - conservative talk radio personality) favorite target for fun (THIS is hilarious stuff) - Congress WOMAAAAAN!:

    YouTube - Michael Berry - Sheila Jackson Lee "Turn Texas Blue"
  7. BAT1

    BAT1 Cowboys know no fear

    Let the dead bury the dead. The was the Democratic Socialist Party leader before she became Speaker.
  8. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

  9. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    Yep, the lowest form of life on Earth. :mad:

    They should be changed every year or two, like air conditioner filters - they collect too much crap over time if left too long.
  10. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results...sounds a lot like insanity to me, not politics.

    If the banks and corporations own everything and everyone, then why do people keep a firm hold on the illusion that they have any choice at all? Frankly, I am surprised that more people have not opted to openly revolt..oh wait, television. The television has not told them to do anything productive about their precarious situation yet.

    American dream. Dah-dah-dah-dah-dah, they're lovin' it!
  11. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    If ENOUGH folks would rise up and throw out the banksters and other trash, your idea might work. THAT is the problem - people are not hurting enough to chance losing their freedom, the livelihoods and their lives over an ideal. Too few, and it will simply be fodder for the Boobtube. "Another spurious Rightwing Terrorist Revolt was squashed today by The People's Police - Film at Eleven!" [own2]
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