It may be endlessly entertaining– and even instructive– to read about the discord in the Trump transition team, and Maddow certainly seems to have made it her beat, but the GOP knife fights, certainly part of Trump's managerial style, shouldn't take us away from the realistic goal we have to concentrate on: winning, winning, winning in 2018– House seats and state legislative seats. Everything else– delusions about getting the electoral college to overturn the announced results, delusions about getting “liberal Democrat” Trump on our side, delusions about impeachment…– are just that: delusions. Winning back the House isn't. Winning more state legislatures before 2012 redistricting begins, isn't.
But Democrats need, desperately need, new leaders, not the failed, comprimised establishment Pelosis, Hoyers and Schumers. Yesterday we mentioned that Schumer “possesses the same impressive political acumen as Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, sagely explaining 'For every blue-collar Democrat we lose in western Pennsylvania, we will pick up two moderate Republicans in the suburbs in Philadelphia, and you can repeat that in Ohio and Illinois and Wisconsin.' [And that] Schumer’s done more than anyone except Bill and Hillary Clinton to intertwine Wall Street and the Democratic Party. He raises millions and millions of dollars from the finance industry, both for himself and for other Democrats. In return, he voted to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999 and voted to bail out Wall Street in 2008. In between, he slashed fees paid by banks to the Securities and Exchange Commission to pay for regulatory enforcement, and eviscerated congressional efforts to crack down on rating agencies.”
When I got a press release from Elizabeth Warren's office today– and a follow-up from her political wing, the PCCC– extolling him as the Senate Dems next leader, I sent back a 3-character reply (to Warren): “LOL.” Schumer addressed the Democracy Alliance conference in DC a couple of nights ago. He boasted that he would work with Trump in several areas, including tax reform. As we reiterated yesterday, “Schumer has long been the Democrats’ point man in efforts to craft a bipartisan deal to slash taxes on multinational corporations.” I'm sure he sees Trump is a boon for his cause on this and several other issues and will be willing to legitimize him at a point when, as Olbermann said in the video up top, it is crucial that we do NOT.
Seth Moulton (D-MA) seems ok to me. He's not a conservative but he's not a progressive. He's just kind of a middle-of-the-road, policey-wise a garden variety Democrat. The Boston Globe seems to be giving him credit– not necessarily deserved in the whole scheme of things– for the “mini-revolt” Tuesday against rushing into leadership elections in the House Democratic conference. Moulton was far from the only Democrat pissed off about that. The complaints I heard were all coming from progressives. But whoever made it happen, the leadership votes are postponed until Nov. 30, although no viable alternatives to Pelosi, Hoyer, Clyburn and Crowley have been presented yet.
Molten, reports the Globe convened “a dinner at Acqua Al 2, an Italian restaurant on Capitol Hill, with 20 other mostly younger House Democrats to strategize about the caucus. The uprising hints at the unrest and even anger boiling among rank-and-file Democrats in the wake of Trump’s upset, but it remains uncertain whether Pelosi’s tenure is actually threatened. The day after last week’s election, House Democratic leaders said they were moving the leadership election up nearly two weeks. That accelerated schedule did not sit well with many of their members.” Suddenly even moderates like Moulton see the phrase “status quo” in a negative light.
There are rumblings among some caucus members that it’s time for the old guard– many of them in their 70s– to move aside for fresher faces. Still, no one has publicly thrown their hat in the ring to challenge Pelosi, a fund-raising powerhouse who enjoys strong support in the caucus. Rumors are mounting that Ohio Representative Tim Ryan might take a shot, but seasoned political analysts doubt he can muster enough support to topple Pelosi. Another possibility is Pelosi remains in the top spot but embraces new blood further down the leadership ranks.
If nothing else, some insiders say, Tuesday’s revolt will serve as a wake-up call for Pelosi and her team.
…The caucus meeting Tuesday morning was described as extremely tense by several people in the room. At the start, caucus leadership sought to allow lawmakers to speak for two minutes. Representative Michael Capuano of Somerville piped up that people needed more time to speak, prompting applause, according to two people in the room.
Moulton said he had come to the meeting with a motion prepared to formally ask for a vote on delaying the leadership election. After numerous colleagues spoke out in support of delay, he handed the text he had drafted to Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri, who then made the motion, Moulton said. Whether the motion would be ruled in order or not was hotly debated until Pelosi and her team relented and agreed to reschedule the election.
The unrest points to a deep frustration among members of the House Democratic caucus over how little they have to show for years of legislative knife-fights and endless fund-raising… “When does the economic message begin to take center stage in the party that I signed up for?” [Richard Neal] asked, describing his support for the delay.
I would recommend that before the vote, they all read and discuss among themselves Bob Scheer's scathing November 9 post at TruthDig:
The people Hillary Clinton derided as a “basket of deplorables” have spoken. They have voted out of the pain of their economic misfortune, which Clinton’s branch of the Democratic Party helped engender.
What you have is a defeat of elitism. Clinton’s arrogance was on full display with the revelation of her speeches cozying up to Goldman Sachs– the bank that caused this misery more than any other– and the irony of this is not lost on the people who are hurting and can’t pay their bills. This is a victory for a neofascist populism– scapegoating immigrants and Muslims– and if Bernie Sanders had been the Democrats’ candidate, I feel confident he would have won. We were denied the opportunity of a confrontation between a progressive populist, represented by Sanders, and a neofascist populist.
It’s a repudiation of the arrogant elitism of the Democratic Party machine as represented by the Clintons, whose radical deregulation of Wall Street created this mess. And instead of recognizing the error of their ways and standing up to the banks, Clinton’s campaign cozied up to them, and that did not give people who are hurting confidence that she would respond to their needs or that she gave a damn about their suffering. She’s terminally tone-deaf.
So too were the mainstream media, which treated the wreckage of the Great Recession as a minor inconvenience, ignoring the deep suffering of the many millions who lost their homes, savings and jobs. The candidate of Goldman Sachs was defeated, unfortunately by a billionaire exemplar of everything that’s evil in late-stage capitalism, who will now worsen instead of fix the system. Thanks to the arrogance of the Democratic Party leadership that stifled the Sanders revolution, we are entering a very dangerous period with a Trump presidency, and this will be a time to see whether our system of checks and balances functions as our Founding Fathers intended.
Make no mistake about it: This is a crisis of confidence for America’s ruling elite that far surpasses Nixon’s Watergate scandal. They were the enablers of radical deregulation that betrayed Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s contract with the American people in the wake of the Great Depression. The people are hurting, and regrettably, Trump was the only vehicle presented to them by either major party in the general election to register their deepest discontent. The Trump voters are the messenger; don’t demonize them in an effort to salvage the prestige of the superrich elite that has temporarily lost its grip on the main levers of power in this nation.
Thankfully, the Clinton era is over, and the sick notion that the Democratic Party of FDR needed to find a new home in the temples of Wall Street greed has been rudely shattered by the deep anger of the very folks that the Democrats had presumed to represent. That includes working-class women, who failed to respond to the siren song of Clinton, whom the Democratic hacks offered instead of a true progressive like Sanders or Elizabeth Warren. Yes, we need a female president, but not in the mold of Margaret Thatcher.
“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.” — Sinclair Lewis