Pelosi Grapples With Slim Majority And Socialist Factions As House Dems Seek Path Forward
As Senate Democrats regroup after failing to regain control, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is now faced with the challenge of uniting the House amid heated internal debates over the role of socialism and left-wing priorities amid a slimmer majority after losing as many as 10 House seats in the election.
According to Bloomberg, internal turmoil is now boiling into the public sphere, spilling out in interviews, tweets, and leaked details from caucus conference calls.
Pelosi’s cat-herding comes as she mounts a bid to be reelected Speaker, which is all but expected.
Pelosi’s first test comes later this week. House Democrats will hold leadership elections that appear to offer a reprise of the existing team at the top, led by Pelosi, 80, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, 81, and majority whip James Clyburn, 80. The elections are to be held virtually, with nominating speeches and candidate presentations conducted by video call. Members will use a special phone app to vote, encrypted to keep their choices secret. -Bloomberg
That said, Bloomberg notes that Democratic infighting may intensify due to Pelosi’s commitment to step aside as Speaker after the 2022 midterms, “as various factions begin to make side agreements and collect chits to grab footholds for future leadership rungs.”
“At least two House Democratic centrists have privately solicited feedback from colleagues on backing a challenger to Pelosi as top Democrat and speaker nominee, according to Democratic aides. But so far that has gained little traction and no serious challenger has emerged. One lawmaker often cited as a potential successor to Pelosi, New York Representative Hakeem Jeffries, 50, has said he is running again for caucus chairman. -Bloomberg
Meanwhile, the New York Times illustrated the fierce battle raging behind the scenes between two factions; one blaming the “socialist” label for costing Democrats the Hispanic and immigrant vote, and another which claims that embracing far-left policies such as the Green New Deal is good for business, and drove higher voter turnout for “moderate” Joe Biden. Via Breitbart:
While Mr. Biden rebuilt the Democrats’ Blue Wall — reclaiming the swing states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — he carried them by a fraction of the margins former President Barack Obama achieved in both the 2008 and 2012 elections. As long as Republicans manage to amass enormous leads with working-class white voters, those states may not be safely Democratic anytime soon.
Just as troubling to the party, Democrats sagged with voters of color, particularly in Hispanic and Asian-American communities where Republicans’ attacks on Democrats as a left-wing party appear to have resonated, denying Mr. Biden a victory in Florida and costing the Democrats congressional seats in that state as well as Texas and California. Indeed, the only House seats Republicans picked up that were not in districts Mr. Trump also carried were in heavily Hispanic or Asian regions.
“Defund police, open borders, socialism — it’s killing us,” said Representative Vicente Gonzalez, a Democrat from South Texas who won just over 50 percent of the vote, two years after he nearly captured 60 percent. “I had to fight to explain all that.”
The “average white person,” Mr. Gonzalez added, may associate socialism with Nordic countries, but to Asian and Hispanic migrants it recalls despotic “left-wing regimes.” –NYT
In many large cities, President Trump did far better than expected, while Biden did worse than expected, notes Politico. Biden’s margins appear to have come primarily from suburban areas (and fraud, according to Trump and his supporters).
Interesting, as MSNBC notes, “One of the most surprising trends in the exit polls was that Trump seems to have gained traction with every single demographic of voters, with the exception of white men.”