Madame Speaker-for-now had to face the music today, arguing before her shrinking caucus why she should be elected Minority Leader. The meeting was, shall we say, discordant:
Disgruntled Democrats finally had a chance to confront Speaker Nancy Pelosi face to face for the first time during a raucous closed-door caucus meeting Tuesday, as defeated Rep. Allen Boyd called her “the face of our defeat.”
“We need new leadership,” Boyd, a Florida Democrat, told his colleagues, according to sources in the room.
His comments were made shortly after Pelosi told Democrats she was targeted in races around the country because she is an effective leader for them. The Democratic gathering was the first gathering of the caucus since the party lost control of the House.
Pelosi has asked her colleagues to elect her minority leader despite the loss of at least 60 seats.
“I know some of you suffered because of ads targeted to me,” Pelosi said to lawmakers at a closed-door Democratic Caucus meeting Tuesday. “They had to take down the person who brings the resources.”
Left unsaid is the fat lot of good all that money-raising did for the caucus: 61 seats lost so far, including about half of the (supposedly) moderate Blue Dog faction. The article describes Pelosi as nervous going into the meeting, and she has reason to be: in addition to the losses suffered in the election, the Congressional Black Caucus is not happy about the bone thrown to race-baiter longstanding member Jim Clyburn (D-SC) to compensate for his demotion from Whip. And there’s a move afoot to strip the Leader (whoever that turns out to be) of its power to appoint subordinate members of the hierarchy, making them subject to caucus election, instead. This would strip a lot of Her Highness’ power even if she were elected, since there would be no guarantee her allies would get the posts.
Is this anyway to treat our modern-day Norma Desmond?
Meanwhile, the winner of both the clueless and outrageous statement of the day awards has got to be Jim Clyburn, who tried to comfort losing Democrats by telling them their sacrifices were comparable to those of the Civil Rights movement. No, really:
Majority Whip Jim Clyburn connected the Democratic agenda and subsequent losses to the civil rights movement
“Sometimes doing the right thing will cause you to pay dearly,” he said, according to a source in the room. “Sometimes what’s good for the American people is not good for the high and mighty.”
So, shoving unwanted, unread, and unconstitutional “reforms” down the throats of Americans while doing nothing to fix a sick economy is comparable to fighting for the civil rights of millions of Americans against the apartheid Jim Crow laws? It’s like standing against the denial of the right to vote or the horror of lynching? Really, Jim?
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)