Election 2014

House Democrats Ready to Blame Pelosi, Maybe, for Losses—Just Don't Blame the Message

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Nancy Pelosi at San Fran World Series parade
Pelosi's office

Politico got enough House Democrats to state the obvious about Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's leadership vis a vis the midterm elections, where Democrats lost 12 seats in the House. Faced with two consecutive midterm losses in the lower chamber of Congress, Democrats are still uneasy blaming the message of the Democratic Party over the last six years and its messenger-in-chief, Barack Obama. Via Politico:

"The president is the president; we can't control him. Good, bad or indifferent. I think the Democratic Caucus, we can be loyal to the president, we can be part of the team, which we should to the best of our ability. But we need to focus more on middle-class issues," said Rep. Michael Capuano of Massachusetts. "We now have lost three elections in a row based on those themes [health care, immigration, minimum wage, pay equity for women] — all of which I agree with, all of which I can run on in my district, they're fine — but middle-class Americans are not hearing that message. When was the last time the Democratic Caucus as a caucus — not individually — really talked about jobs? For me, we don't do that enough."

Democrats don't talk enough about jobs? It seems that's all anyone in the establishment, Democrat or Republican, talk about. Who doesn't have some kind of "Jobs Act"? They're not going to create jobs in any meaningful way because economic growth and government intervention are almost entirely mutually exclusive. Nevertheless, Politico reports House Democrats are still most likely to blame President Obama, not Nancy Pelosi, and the "six year itch." This despite losses in 2010 and winning only 8 seats in 2012, a year Democrats insist they saw a mandate for President Obama and the 51.1 percent of voters he won in the election.

Pelosi is running unopposed for re-election as caucus leader. In 2010 she became the first Speaker to hold on to a leadership despite her party losing the House since Sam Rayburn stayed on in 1954. Rayburn had served two non-consecutive tenures as Speaker and would return to the position two years later, dying in office in 1961. Politico reports on some token opposition to Pelosi this time around and grumbling over her decision to remain in leadership:

A few Democrats — including some new members-elect such as Gwen Graham of Florida — are expected to vote against Pelosi on Tuesday, although the number of defections is still expected to be small. Pelosi has bristled at suggestions that it may be time for her to move on after a dozen years running the Democratic Caucus, dismissing questions about her age and ability.

Pelosi even told POLITICO that she might have thought about retiring if Democrats had won the House, but she needs to stay all the more because the party lost seats. That comment caused some eyes to roll in Democratic circles.

"If we had lost 30 or 40 seats, rather than the dozen we lost, then [Pelosi] would have said she's never leaving," joked one Democrat, speaking on condition of anonymity. "If we keep losing seats, she'll be here until she's 90."

Pelosi dismissed suggestions she should step down after House Democrats' losses in the midterm election by claiming the question was about age, and therefore sexist. She insisted nobody asked Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that question. McConnell will be taking over as Majority Leader for the first time after Republicans won control of the Senate in the midterms.

NEXT: Hack Watch: With Keystone, the Left Suddenly Notices Most Infrastructure Jobs Are Temporary

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  1. They talk about jobs, but I think the public has grown incredibly cynical about the measures they propose to “do something” about jobs.

    I’m not trying to project libertarian sensibilities on to the public at large, but I think people have been hearing the same old crap about job training and other “Jobs Act” type nonsense for so long that they just kind of sneer or shrug at it now.

    1. Some people just don’t have the brains or ambition to further themselves, career-wise. They can honk about all the “jobs programs” they want, but I’m pretty sure the folks I see daily on Maury and Judge Judy will stay exactly where they are.

      1. Some people just don’t have the brains or ambition to further themselves, career-wise.

        Those people tend to go into politics.

        1. Nah. Politics is all about ambition outrunning intelligence.

        2. No, they tend to sit around watching Maury and Judge Judy.

    2. They talk about jobs alright. The public is rightly cynical. Better late than never.

      Second lesson of economics. The government doesn’t create anything. It is a net drain on the economy.

      Government can’t create jobs. All it can do is get the fuck out of the way and let businesses and corporations create jobs.

      Yeah, I am looking at you Hillary, you fucking idiot.

    3. It’s not projecting libertarian sensibilities; it’s expecting most people to figure out that when someone says they’re going to make something happen, and it never does, after a while normal humans tune out and stop believing them.

      I believe this phenomenon is summarized well in The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

    4. We are now ending our fifth consecutive year of a horrible job market. This despite one porkulus and QE after another.

      I think the Obama people thought the economy was going to magically come back because that is what it always does. They always knew that stimulus and such wasn’t actually going to help anything. The point of it was always to pay off Democratic supporters. Most of the stimulus went to state and local governments so public employees didn’t get laid off. The stimulus did three things, give a ton of money to states and localities to save public sector jobs, raised federal baseline discretionary spending by 50%, which ensure that federal employees were taken care of, and paid off a bunch of Obama cronies in green energy. That is really it. They didn’t expect it to raise employment or accomplish anything but enriching Obama’s supporters. What they didn’t count on was the economy staying so bad for so long. They figured the economy would come back on its own and allow them to take credit for it happening while stealing as much as possible.

      1. I’d agree with that John. They probably just figured “all recessions end, and then we’ll get the credit for it!” Or they figured some kind of boom would happen, like an all new internet boom but with some new magical technology that just appeared and saved them.

        I mean, their MO is to do exactly what you said: come in and steal as much as possible while they can and also funnel as much off to cronies as possible. And they’ve done that. In spades.

        1. Obama is from Chicago. That is what they do in Chicago. For Obama the entire point of government is to use its power to reward his supporters and fuck his political enemies. Every thing he has ever done as President fits that MO

        2. They probably just figured “all recessions end, and then we’ll get the credit for it!”

          The funny part of it all is, it would have. And they would have gotten credit. All they needed to do is nothing. If they’d sat around eating bon-bons and watching the Maury show, the economy would probably have recovered. But, they couldn’t bring themselves to do that. They had to push impose their vision and their will on the economy. As a result, the United States right now isn’t a place to invest or hire in, at least not right now, and the recovery has been anemic.

          1. Yeah, but they don’t see it that way. They saw it as them having to put forth some set of plans and actions, that way they could definitively take credit for the recovery. If they just sat back and did nothing, then it would be harder for them to say “see how we fixed it?”

            Remember, they didn’t want a recovery for recovery’s sake. They would want a recovery for their sake. If they can’t take credit for it, what good is it to them?

            They’re sociopaths.

            1. If they just sat back and did nothing, then it would be harder for them to say “see how we fixed it?”

              I don’t agree. They could have put forth a number of pointless and harmless initiatives (a restructuring of the Department of Commerce’s procurement system, coupled with a trade initiative with East Bumblefuck) that would have had no effect whatsoever and they still would have gotten credit. The public would have voted them back in happily.

              1. But they’re too stupid and megalomaniacal for that. Since they are profoundly ignorant of economics and are also malignant narcissists, they probably thought they could actually end the recession with their TOP MEN policies.

                You have to remember the tremendous effect of ego here. These people don’t get to these positions without massive amounts of ego, and that distorts everything they do, often quite severely.

                1. You have to remember the tremendous effect of ego here. These people don’t get to these positions without massive amounts of ego…

                  This. Exactly. These guys couldn’t fathom that the entire U.S. economy wasn’t just waiting for their valiant and heroic efforts and that everything before them wasn’t just a prologue to epic story of their reordering the world in their own image.

          2. Yes. The biggest problem with the economy is the horrible labor market. And the biggest reason it has been so bad was the giant uncertainty in labor costs caused by Obamacare. Get rid of Obamacare and the labor market would have come back just fine.

            Life really is hard if you are stupid.

          3. Exactly. Obama, and his party, has injected so much FUD into the economy that few businesses are willing to take the risk. Just look at the amount of cash they are sitting on (http://bloom.bg/PavYIT). And his last two years will be maximum FUD if he can get away with it.

          4. The funny part of it all is, it would have. And they would have gotten credit. All they needed to do is nothing.

            Instead, they did everything in their power to inhibit job growth.

            Creating jobs is easy. You make it easy to do business. They, OTOH, did exactly the opposite. They made it harder to do business via regulation. Death by 1000 cuts.

        3. Or they figured some kind of boom would happen, like an all new internet boom but with some new magical technology that just appeared and saved them.

          Like so much about these villains, that is straight out of Atlas Shrugged.

      2. So much this.

      3. A healthy organism can only tolerate so much in the way of parasites. In the case of the U.S. economy, that organism is a golden goose that the left and much of the right does not understand at all. It’s just a mysterious black box of a goose that produces golden eggs for no discernible reason. So why not throttle it some more?

      4. John, there is much truth in what you say, but I don’t agree that “They always knew that stimulus and such wasn’t actually going to help anything.” Remember, they are statists, so they think they are helping every time they spend money on some bureaucratic plan. Yes, they are also cynical power-freaks, but don’t dismiss their almost religious belief in the power of government and their own wisdom.

      5. John, that is so cynical that I can’t believe it’s not true.

        I think you hit that nail on the head so hard that the head is now counter-sunk into the wood and can be hidden with a bit of wood putty.

  2. How does Nancy Pelosi balance the pressures of being a terrible fucking spokesman for her brand and an all around awful person with the demands of motherhood?

    1. By sharing the burden with her daughter?

      1. What a shitty website.

      2. She’s a fugly little thing. sorry for being all lookist.

        1. I think you’re too harsh. She’s no beauty, but she’s more on the border of homely/average than ugly.

      3. alexandra pelosi

    2. I was absolutely stunned when she was named Speaker. I mean, right, it was “her turn,” but I knew that was a bad sign of things to come.

  3. Pelosi has bristled at suggestions that it may be time for her to move on after a dozen years running the Democratic Caucus, dismissing questions about her age and ability.

    Well, she’s half right. Her age has nothing to do with it…

  4. If UCal Berkley wants to reduce the use of the phrase, “I’d hit that”, why don’t they have all female students wear a Nancy Pelosi mask?

    Just a thought….

    1. Cal Davis – sorry. All UCals are the same to me…

    2. I’d hit that.

      Literally.

      I would make a fist and punch Pelosi.

      OK, not literally, because jail time, but man would it feel good.

    3. Reduce?!?

      1. Reuse? Recycle?

  5. I’m OK with Democrats employing this strategy of anti-meritocracy to their own ranks.

    1. It’s what they’ve been doing for decades, with Obama-over-Hillary the lone exception, and now they’re blaming that for their current problems. It’s why there are no rising stars in the Dem party. Look who they’re gearing up to run for President: Hillary, Biden, Warren. No one with any kind of talent or intellect, just time served.

      1. There’s no rising stars because right now, dems can’t get elected to state or local office(which is where they get new pols from) outside of extremely progressive cities and states. This leaves them looking bat shit insane to most of the country.

        1. I actually marvel at how bad the candidates are, because it should be a zero sum game at the state level, with rising stars who don’t want to wait in line defecting to the other party.

        2. Yes, this has been noted as a huge problem for them in the coming years, which the mid-terms just made much worse.

          1. Somewhere, Sandra Fluke just smiled.

  6. Denial and cognitive dissonance and sticking with what clearly is not working is no way to regain the majority.

    GO TEAM BLUE, you gloriously clueless bastards.

  7. You know what’s cool? State Department kind of has email today!!!

  8. Yeah, I learned my lesson about term limits and Bloomberg. We should keep her as Democratic Caucus leader 4EVER!

  9. Pelosi [said] she needs to stay all the more because the party lost seats.

    I’ll just leave this here.

    1. Gawd, she such a fucking lying liar who lies lies all day.

    2. Mrs. Pelosi, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

    3. I was fascinated by that short chick on the left, nodding furiously in agreement. One day, she’ll be a guest star on The Lena Dunham Show.

  10. These are the wages of putting actual sociopaths in charge of your party. It was great having sociopaths in charge during the good times. Back in 2006 through 2010, the fact that Reid, Pelosi and Obama were utterly devoid of any morality or commitment to the institutions of the government was a real bonus for Democrats. It meant their leadership was utterly ruthless and stomping the Republicans and getting things done.

    Now that times have turned against them, it is turning out to be their doom. The problem with a sociopath like Pelosi or Reid of Obama is that they have no commitment to anything but themselves. That is fine as long as their self interest and yours coincide. Eventually, however, those interests diverge. Pelosi and company could not care less how much their continued presence and actions damage the Democratic party. They are sociopaths. They care only about themselves. A non sociopath would be committed to the good of the party and walk away if that is what is necessary to help the Party. These people won’t. They don’t care. It is all about them. And there isn’t a damn thing the Democrats can do about it short of dragging them out of their offices kicking an screaming.

    1. Maybe replace party with nation:

      A non sociopath would be committed to the good of the Nation and walk away if that is what is necessary to help the Nation.

      But that would be just asking for too much.

      1. Yes, it works just as well. The only good part for the nation is that these people never became dictators. Had they achieved that, they would be doing to the country what they are doing to the Democratic Party right now. They would make the country into Venezuela or Cuba.

        This is why you have to have a limited government and some kind of rule of law. Without those all it takes is one sociopath taking charge and you are doomed.

  11. Democrats to Media = We Celebrate Incompetence

  12. Obama and most Democrats believe that welfare, unemployment and other government handouts are a life style. Most reasonable Americans know that these programs are safety nets and should be a bridge from a tough, short term situation to a better life and prosperity. What a shame!

    This has now attracted many more illegals, who are ready for the free education, free health care and free government handouts.

    Everything Obama touches becomes unaffordable. My health insurance is $450/month, my taxes are closing in on 50% (in NYC), and even my subway pass is now over $100/month (in NYC). Stuff that is still private enterprise is super cheap. Car insurance ($25/month from Insurance Panda), cell phone ($22/month from T Mobile), and gym ($15/month from Planet Fitness).

    The Democratic Party = lying, cover-up scheming, socialists. It does not matter who you vote for as long as it is not a Democrat. All Democrats need to lose their jobs and positions. They are ruining America.

    1. Go away, Panda spammer.

  13. If we keep losing seats, she’ll be here until she’s 90.

    The funny part about this is that it is true. Just not in the way the person who said it intended. If there’s a challenge to Pelosi, it’s going to have to come from party centrists. No one is going to claim with a straight face that she hasn’t been enough of a hardline progressive. The thing is, with every election the Democrats lose, the number of seats held by moderates falls. Democratic progressives are safely ensconced in suitably left-leaning districts. The seats won by moderates tend to be, unsurprisingly, those in more moderate districts that are more vulnerable to a Republican challenge. So, yeah, the more elections the Democrats lose, the safer she is in her spot.

    1. The Democrats are in much worse shape right now than the Republicans ever were after Bush. Even in the dark days of 2009, the Republicans still controlled a lot of state governments and not just ones in deep red states and they there still were a good number of moderate Republicans from purple and blue states in Congress. This meant the Republicans were still a national party, not just a regional extremist one, and had a bench of people to run who were not associated with the Bush era.

      Right now the Democrats are dead at the state level in all but the solid blue states like California and they don’t have complete control of some of those, for example Illinois and Maryland. Worse, after this year’s election there are hardly any moderate Red state Democrats left in Congress. There are none of note in the House and only a couple in the Senate and one of those, Joe Menchen, might defect and become a Republican.

      Right now the Democrats are stuck in a death spiral where the more far left the party gets, the smaller it becomes and the smaller it becomes the more far left it gets. Who is left in the Congress to make a serious challenge at Reid or Pelosi? No one really.

      1. Right now the Democrats are stuck in a death spiral where the more far left the party gets, the smaller it becomes…

        You beat me to this.

    2. And since they have lost so badly at the state level, they have no rising stars to invigorate the national party. There won’t be any Scott Walkers or Rand Pauls or Ted Cruises walking through the door for Democrats. Gerry Brown is actually considering running for President. And he would be a real player for the nomination. The guy is nearly 80 years old and from the most far left state in the union and he has a shot at the nomination because they just don’t have anyone else.

      1. Just look at the map:

        http://legalinsurrection.com/2…..ir-future/

      2. Well, I’m inclined to avoid triumphalism for either Team. I easily enough remember when the Republicans were being written off as a regional party with no hope for the future. It wasn’t really that long ago. And, to be fair, they really did get their asses pulled out of the fire by the Tea Parties.

        That said, yeah, the Democrats really do have a major challenge ahead of them. The country isn’t made up of social justice warriors and welfare cases. And, as the Republicans struggle to make themselves more palatable on foreign policy and civil liberties, they push the Democrats into having to rely on these voter bases.

        1. Nothing lasts forever. And the Democrats will be back. They will not be back, however, until they figure out a way to appeal to white working class voters and appear more moderate to the rest of the country.

          It might take them a while to do that. Worse still, the Liberal bias in the media puts them at a disadvantage in doing that. One of the upsides for Republicans of the media being so hostile is that Republicans rarely delude themselves into believing they don’t need to change or moderate and when they do, the media ensures they don’t do it very long. The Democrats in contrast live in a liberal media cocoon that makes it easy for them to avoid addressing failure.

      3. So the hated Tea Party is actually a life-saving infusion?

        1. Without a doubt. The Republicans would still probably be in the crapper if the Tea Parties hadn’t come along. Just look at the shitshow the GOP offers up when its the establishment pushing the candidates.

          1. The Democratic Operative Media didn’t go insane attacking the Tea Party and trying to convince Republicans they were electoral poison because they felt some kind of loyalty to save the Republicans.

      4. I expect Gwen Graham to be the model for red state Democrats. But her opponent had no personality and did nothing for anyone but the military base crowd in the Panhandle. Not sure where they’re going to recruit a bunch of retail politicians. It probably doesn’t hurt that her father is a centrist Democrat Governor and Senator whose reputation in Florida is one of being in touch with the blue collar guy. Not sure how many other centrist Democrat daughters they can scare up.

        1. This is what you’d hope would push the Democrats into sanity range. But, like you said, how many of the elected Dems fit that mold? If Graham, or even a version of her with a lot longer tenure in the House, were to mount a challenge to Pelosi, who do you think would come out on top? My guess is that Graham would get told pretty quickly to STFD and STFU.

        2. Yes, the answer is that the Democrats need to find moderates that appeal to voters outside of the base. The problem is that the Progs have gone bat shit insane and at least right now are not ready to shut up and let people like Graham have any kind of voice in the party or be anything but a phony who pretends to be moderate at election time only to vote exactly as the Progs tell them once in office.

          They have to actually moderate. Fake moderation and lying won’t work anymore.

          1. The problem is that the Progs have gone bat shit insane and at least right now are not ready to shut up and let people like Graham have any kind of voice in the party or be anything but a phony who pretends to be moderate at election time only to vote exactly as the Progs tell them once in office.

            And in a certain sense, why should they? I mean if Graham and a dozen progressives show up for the policy setting meeting, who is it you think should be setting the agenda?

            1. They should because if they don’t, the Democratic Party is going to end up being a regional party with no national influence or any influence at all outside of California and a few other really liberal places.

    3. This is common in religious fundamentalist organizations. Once the hard-liners get power they cull the moderates, and the moderates cull themselves by leaving, until only fundamentalists are left. The process continues until the organization implodes.

      Go democratic fundamentalists!

      1. That, plus the factor leaders always want to be in front of change, and so competition among them tends to force a political organization or movement to become more extreme.

  14. my roomate’s step-aunt makes $64 hourly on the internet . She has been fired for nine months but last month her income was $19433 just working on the internet for a few hours. check this ….

    ?????? http://www.payinsider.com

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