Failed Blue Dog leadership calls on Pelosi to step down: Shuler, Matheson make asses of themselves

by: Paul Rosenberg

Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 18:00


The two remaining leaders of the clueless Blue Dogs (two others were defeated) are trying to exercise their non-existent political muscles, Politico reports:

Top Blue Dog calls for Pelosi to quit
By JONATHAN ALLEN & JOHN BRESNAHAN | 11/4/10 2:43 PM EDT

An elder statesman of the moderate Blue Dog Coalition is calling on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to step down from party leadership after a historic election in which she presided over the loss of 60 seats and control of the House.

Utah Rep. Jim Matheson, a co-chairman of the Blue Dogs, told POLITICO on Thursday that Pelosi should not be a candidate for minority leader -a sign that other Blue Dogs are ready to pounce if Pelosi doesn't voluntarily cede her power.

"No," Matheson said flatly when asked if Pelosi should seek the job. "We just got whupped."

....

His comments come on the same day that fellow Blue Dog leader Heath Shuler of North Carolina told CQ-Roll Call that he would run against Pelosi if she runs for minority leader - echoing an earlier suggestion that he would have challenged her for speaker had Democrats held the House.

Shuler told the paper that he didn't think she would run for the job of leader.

....

Matheson made clear he believes it is some of Pelosi's "accomplishments" - and a lack of focus on jobs and the economy - that led to the electoral devastation of the Democratic Party on Tuesday night.

"When you're in the worst economic downturn since the Depression, the Top Three issues should have been jobs and the economy, jobs and the economy and jobs and the economy," Matheson said. "The agenda got off on other things like cap and trade in the House."

Perhaps if Matheson consulted someone who knows something about politics, he would learn that it was the Senate that failed to do anything significant about jobs on numerous different occassions these pst two years.  And Barack Obama who was totally MIA in the national leadership on the issue.

The "cap and trade" energy legislation was Pelosi's baby, and it has been blamed for the loss of Democratic seats in moderate and coal-producing districts.

However, as lowkell notes via Quick Hits, that's just pure bullshit:

Paul Rosenberg :: Failed Blue Dog leadership calls on Pelosi to step down: Shuler, Matheson make asses of themselves

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Heath Shuler is an oaf of the highest degree (0.00 / 0)
someone should write a book about that jackasses' ass-backwards tumble into power

from his Yakkity Sax-worthy NFL career to his lengthy track record of ridiculous statements like this one, Baby Heath might be my favorite example of why the DNC will get a donation from me sometime between pigs driving and pigs taking up manned flight

p.s. also a good example of why maybe we shouldn't let southerners vote


The Full Stupid From Shuler, Who Wants To Replace Pelosi: (4.00 / 5)
Via TPM:

Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC), who dodged the shellacking on Tuesday, says if Pelosi makes a play to be Minority Leader, he'll run against her.

"If there's not a viable alternative -- like I said all along -- I can go recruit moderate Members to run in swing districts," Shuler said. "In that situation, I could do it better than she could, and that's what it's going to take. It's going to take moderate candidates to win back those seats."

Because "moderates" were so damn skillful in holding onto them in the first place!

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3


[ Parent ]
it's like he's really responding from the year 2005 (0.00 / 0)
which places him at least a decade ahead of his constituents

[ Parent ]
oh the stupidity (0.00 / 0)
I can't put this in either 'chatty cathy' or 'idiot wind' categories

perhaps a new one? idiot dog?


[ Parent ]
It's another example of progressive weakness (0.00 / 0)
If that point doesn't get stressed publicly by an actual elected Democrat in Congress.

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both

[ Parent ]
No, this is an example of conservative idiocy. (0.00 / 0)
There's a difference.

Given that the Blue Dogs just suffered 56% casualties, who's gonna vote for this asshat?

"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly." -Woody Allen, My Speech to the Graduates


[ Parent ]
It's a problem (4.00 / 1)
If no elected progressive Democrat doesn't call Shuler and Matheson out for their idiocy.  It's not the job of the media or bloggers or activists to punch back against Shuler, it's the job of liberal Democrats.  You have to fight even the little things.  Even if Shuler has no chance of winning, someone still needs to say he's wrong.

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both

[ Parent ]
I'm sure a bunch of House Members will. (0.00 / 0)
Seriously, what's his base of support in January, when most of his pals are missing?

Heath is just doing crass self-promotion in the hope of avoiding becoming a non-entity in the next Dem Caucus. Guess what? He's a distinct minority now, regardless of what he says to The Hill or CQ or anyone else.

"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly." -Woody Allen, My Speech to the Graduates


[ Parent ]
I'm not sure that a bunch of House members will (0.00 / 0)
Shuler threw down a gauntlet.  The media will perceive a lack of an immediate pushback as a silent majority of House Democrats agreeing with what Shuler has to say.

And we really need ambitious progressives to look for the opportunity for promotion of themselves and their cause by looking to engage Shuler in the public eye.

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both


[ Parent ]
The media is immaterial in this. (0.00 / 0)
House Dems have to vote for leadership positions, not the media.

Leadership elections are at the beginning of the new congress. Do you really think anyone gives a shit what the media says about this NOW?

The only thing Schuler is doing is proving to everyone what a pompous gasbag he is.

-- 30 --

"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly." -Woody Allen, My Speech to the Graduates


[ Parent ]
I think people should care (4.00 / 1)
The media is part of the calculus that politicians use to make decisions.  The left should seek to affect the media.

Tear down Shuler now so that we don't have two years of that knucklehead on every Sunday talk show.

I am mystified by your inability to think long-term here.

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both


[ Parent ]
I am thinking long-term. (4.00 / 1)
You're the one reading an emergency into everything Shuler does. You're the one assuming he has clout that he clearly doesn't. He's going to be a pretty lonely person in January.

As for affecting the media, I'd like to know how you intend to affect the editorial decisions of some of the biggest corporations in the world.

"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly." -Woody Allen, My Speech to the Graduates


[ Parent ]
I don't think he has clout (4.00 / 1)
I just believe in kicking a man when he's down.

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both

[ Parent ]
I wouldn't underestimate any Blue Dog (4.00 / 1)
Just because a bunch of them got wiped out doesn't mean Shuler can't win.  Especially if the "we gotta be scared and timid" argument works, as it so often does.

[ Parent ]
Actually 56% of them got the boot. (0.00 / 0)
And about a  third or more of New Dems. That's a major loss, not a petty one.

I don't think I'm underestimating Shuler or any other BD. But he lacks seniority and unless he manages to make a lot of new friends well outside his own ideological group, he's a long-shot at best. Most, I'm sure, will vote for Pelosi before Shuler. Or even Hoyer before Shuler, not that that would make any real difference of course.

I worry about your point about "we gotta be scared and timid" notion though. Still, it's a bit too soon to see that indicated in anyone's statements that aren't coming from BD's and New Dems.

The Liberal/Progressive wing of the caucus is actually stronger now than it's been in ages. It would be worthwhile to remember that as well. The TeaBirchers actually did the caucus a big favor, in this regard.

"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly." -Woody Allen, My Speech to the Graduates


[ Parent ]
I know Shuler's natural base was decimated (0.00 / 0)
What I meant - and I think you agree with me on this - is that, if Shuler runs, he'll be running on the "we gotta be scared and timid" argument, i.e. vote for a more moderate Leader because that'll help us look more electable going forward.  It's bullshit, but I think it's an argument that could potentially resonate across the entire caucus - not just the Blue Dogs/New Dems, but also with the Progressives.  I mean, let's face it; for the most part the Progressives haven't exactly shown themselves to be bold fearless leaders.

I do think Pelosi's strength in the caucus is enough to override the Shuler argument.  But if it were a similarly liberal/divisive prospective Leader who didn't have the strength of Pelosi's ties, I think Shuler's argument could be a potential threat.


[ Parent ]
Weird (0.00 / 0)
To make that statement in CQ, Shuler either already has the votes or doesn't know what he's doing.

The fact that his coalition was obliterated (4.00 / 3)
argues for the latter.

[ Parent ]
I agree. (4.00 / 1)
(Who's mentoring this guy?)

[ Parent ]
Right (4.00 / 3)
He has the votes.  They're just not in the House anymore.

D'oh!

No, wait a second.  Say what you will about Homer, he was invariably with it enough to realize he'd just made a stupid.

Shuler?  Not so much.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3


[ Parent ]
That statement (0.00 / 0)
was first made during the campaign - I think it was regarded as a nifty way of dodging the "will you vote for Pelosi for speaker" question. It's the kind of crap he always pulls, so most of us paid no mind.

I'm not sure what happened. But apparently Shuler now thinks it's an actual possibility.

He won his most liberal county - Buncombe - by 18,000 votes. He won his district by about 21,000 votes against the state's weakest Republican congressional candidate. If he gets any more conservative, he'll start bleeding votes in Buncombe, and I don't know that he can make them up elsewhere in the district. When I was canvassing, even likely voters were telling me that they'd show up at the polls, but they couldn't vote for Shuler.

Jesus, if he wants to move up in the ranks, he should talk Bev Perdue out of running for reelection and run for governor. He'd probably beat her in a primary, even.


[ Parent ]
Or he could've ran against Richard Burr for Senate this year (0.00 / 0)
I mean, if we have to have an annoying knucklehead centrist on our team why can't he at least make himself useful?

Is Shuler the most liberal Representative we can get out of NC-11?


[ Parent ]
Pelosi may well step down... (4.00 / 12)
Ex-Speakers don't generally seem to become Minority Leaders after their parties lose the majority.  However, if she does, we need to push for Raúl Grijalva as Minority Leader.  He co-chairs the largest of the Democrats' ideological caucuses, and the one that lost the fewest seats, and he hung onto his own seat in an unusually tough race in Arizona.  Besides, having a Latino as the new face of the Democratic Party in the House probably helps us with the fastest-growing segment of the electorate in 2012.

"A fantasy is not even a wish, much less an act.  There is no such thing as a culpable or shameful fantasy."  -----Lady Sally McGee

yes yes yes yes (0.00 / 0)
someone get Jane on the phone about this

[ Parent ]
Is anyone really pushing this? (4.00 / 1)
It would be great.

Because, here, I'll agree with TravisDisaster.  I'm for it.  It'd be a bold move and we need one.  On the other hand, if the only alternative is Steny Hoyer, I think Nancy should stay.

sTiVo's rule: Just because YOU "wouldn't put it past 'em" doesn't prove that THEY did it.


[ Parent ]
Steny Hoyer, long walk, short pier, etc (4.00 / 5)
I loathe that guy

[ Parent ]
If she's going to step down (4.00 / 1)
Then perhaps the message from the left should be to clean house in the House and dump the entire leadership, including Hoyer.

The same goes for the Senate, where I would like to see a majority leader who can function as a progressive bully.

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both


[ Parent ]
Realistically, after this debacle, most of House Dem Leadership should resign those positions. (4.00 / 1)
Pelosi would traditionally resign after this. Hoyer should be pushed, if he doesn't do so voluntarily. Van Hollen's a no-brainer, since it was his friggin' job to get Dems elected. Clyburn? Can't say about that.

So perhaps the Progs should really push for a new slate of leaders.

"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly." -Woody Allen, My Speech to the Graduates


[ Parent ]
I like (0.00 / 0)
this suggestion a lot, mantis.  

"We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid."
Benjamin Franklin


[ Parent ]
Thanks (4.00 / 1)
I'm a little surprised I was the first here to say it.  But I think we need to get Paul, and Chris Bowers and Kos and Jane Hamsher etc., thinking now about how to push for it, if and when Pelosi announces she won't stand for Minority Leader (if she does, we probably want to support her, especially if one of the remnant Blue Dorks decides to challenge her).

"A fantasy is not even a wish, much less an act.  There is no such thing as a culpable or shameful fantasy."  -----Lady Sally McGee

[ Parent ]
Before you hop on the Grijalva train (0.00 / 0)
Evaluate his leadership and ability to hold the progressive caucus together during the health care reform debate.

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both

[ Parent ]
Got a better candidate in mind? (0.00 / 0)
It doesn't have to be him.  But someone from the Progressive Caucus needs to make this run.

sTiVo's rule: Just because YOU "wouldn't put it past 'em" doesn't prove that THEY did it.

[ Parent ]
I'm not sure of anyone (0.00 / 0)
But I do think that some people might just be assuming that he's next in line because of the position he holds.

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both

[ Parent ]
Keith Ellison, perhaps? (0.00 / 0)
The main argument against him is that he is relatively new to the House. For the moment, he is in a "safe" district - but with the GOPpers in power during redistricting, that particular gerrymander might be undone.


"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."


[ Parent ]
Well he's been in the House the same amount of time as Heath Shuler (4.00 / 1)
for comparison.  In any case they're probably both too new for leadership positions, though they do hold leadership positions in their respective caucuses.

[ Parent ]
on second thought (0.00 / 0)
do we want a ml that just won a 49-45 election? pelosi won 75-25 elections and wasn't afraid to advocate for good things. also see reid, harry.

[ Parent ]
Well AZ-7 is supposed to be reasonably safe (0.00 / 0)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A...

Election results from presidential races
Year Office        Results
2008 President Obama 57 - 42%
2004 President Kerry 57 - 43%
2000 President Gore 56 - 39%

(I'm not sure where they got the 2000 percentages from, considering this district wasn't created until 2002.)

I do generally prefer leaders from reasonably safe districts/states, and those from safe districts/states usually tend to be more liberal.  Anyway, there's gonna be redistricting (and AZ supposedly uses the "fair commission" method) so we'll see where things stand after that.


[ Parent ]
It's normally safe for him.... (4.00 / 1)
The Rethugs only came close this year because Grijalva supported a national boycott of Arizona in response to SB 1070.

"A fantasy is not even a wish, much less an act.  There is no such thing as a culpable or shameful fantasy."  -----Lady Sally McGee

[ Parent ]
Definitely (0.00 / 0)
Yes, I think Raúl Grijalva or another Latino progressive (particularly from the West) makes a ton of sense. Linda Sánchez also comes to mind. I'm not sure how they'd fare in comparison to Pelosi's leadership abilities, but I do like the strategic thinking of wedding progressivism with (Latino and Chicano) minority identity politics at a national level. Rubio is going to be the Republican Party's "great right hope" when they inevitably try to reassemble the early Bush/Rove "compassionate conservative" coalition.

Finally, is it completely unrealistic to get one of the progressive Midwestern/Rust Belt senators in the leadership position?



[ Parent ]
Do we have any? (0.00 / 0)
Who are you thinking of?  Sherrod Brown?  Bob Casey?  Amy Klobuchar (bleh!)?

[ Parent ]
The Senator who most fits that description (0.00 / 0)
Is Dick Durbin.  He's already the Democratic whip and the likely successor as party leader in the Senate if Reid steps down.  It has certainly been speculated that he might challenge Reid.

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both

[ Parent ]
I think Durbin's already declined to challenge Reid (0.00 / 0)
and I don't think anyone else will: http://news.firedoglake.com/20...

[ Parent ]
Klobuchar? (4.00 / 1)
I'd take Franken over her in a heartbeat.

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."


[ Parent ]
Franken's too new for any leadership roles (0.00 / 0)
The one role he could be eligible for - chair of the DSCC - he turned down (as did just about everyone else who was asked).  

[ Parent ]
I really think we should primary her in 2012 (0.00 / 0)
and replace her with someone more liberal/progressive.  Klobuchar is too moderate for a Minnesota Democrat and it's like she's trying to become the Dianne Feinstein of her state.  Like Feinstein, she's inexplicably popular.

[ Parent ]
I agree (0.00 / 0)
Who do you suggest run against her?

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."


[ Parent ]
I don't know (0.00 / 0)
It'd have to be a kickass campaigner.  Last time I checked Klobuchar had very high approval ratings.  And unlike Feinstein, the strikes against her are much more subtle and less obvious.  This one might be too hard to take on.

[ Parent ]
Very hard to imagine anyone successfully primarying her (0.00 / 0)
Very well liked and solid backing from the State DFL.


"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."


[ Parent ]
If Pelosi does run (4.00 / 2)
let's push Grijalva (or other progressive) for Minority Whip.  Keep Steny Hoyer out of leadership.  Flex those new CPC muscles!

And then, primary Steny Hoyer in 2012, to keep him out of the House altogether.

Keep in mind Pelosi herself used to be in the CPC.  It'd be awesome to have CPC members in both of the top two positions. (I'd imagine Clyburn would stay as number three.)


[ Parent ]
Not sure a progressive could win Steny's District.... (0.00 / 0)
I went to college in Southern Maryland.  Once you get a few miles south of the DC beltway, it begins to look a lot like Alabama, economically and culturally -- tobacco farms, confederate flags, openly racist gun-nuts and all.

"A fantasy is not even a wish, much less an act.  There is no such thing as a culpable or shameful fantasy."  -----Lady Sally McGee

[ Parent ]
You have (0.00 / 0)
a point.  My son went to college in Southern Maryland, and we live in Western Maryland (which I often call the "West Virginia of Maryland," although your area could also take that honor- maybe you can be the Alabama of Maryland, and we could be the West Virginia of Maryland).  We have Roscoe Bartlett, and you have Steny Hoyer who, because of his leadership position in the Democratic Party, may be more dangerous than Roscoe, the Republican who no other Republican takes seriously, except as a safe vote for their positions.

"We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid."
Benjamin Franklin


[ Parent ]
But aren't most of the people in the D.C. beltway? (0.00 / 0)
The nice thing about rural conservative nuts is that there's not too many of them.

[ Parent ]
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