House Speaker Nancy Pelosi handily won re-election in her San Francisco congressional district this week, but she could find it much more of a challenge to hang on to her role as the top Democrat in the House of Representatives. There’s growing discontent from some House Democrats who believe Pelosi’s leadership (or lack thereof) is partly responsible for what is shaping up to be a disastrous election for the Democratic party in the House. As The Hill reports:
Stung by their party’s dispiriting showing at the polls Tuesday, two moderate House Democrats say they and other centrists are privately discussing a plan that was unthinkable just 24 hours earlier: throwing their support behind a challenger to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
The two Democrats told The Hill on Wednesday that they were reaching out to their colleagues about backing one of Pelosi’s top lieutenants, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.), for Speaker in the next Congress.
“He’s the only one prepared and positioned” to be Speaker, said one of the Democratic lawmakers. “He bridges moderates and progressives better than anyone. And most importantly, he’s not Nancy Pelosi.”
The idea was immediately shot down by Jeffries, who says he’s focused on keeping his current spot. Yet the grumbling reflects a remarkable shift in internal Democratic thinking in the immediate wake of Tuesday’s elections.
Heading into the polls, Pelosi enjoyed the overwhelming support of her caucus — facing no threat of a Speakership challenge — and Democratic leaders were eyeing big gains to their majority, with some estimates in the double digits.
But the early returns revealed a different reality: Not only did Democrats lose a number of their most vulnerable members, they had not picked off a single Republican incumbent heading into Wednesday evening.
So far Republicans have picked up six House seats, and they’re leading in many of the 40 or so races that have yet to be called. It’s highly unlikely that Republicans will regain control of the House, but they could easily end up taking a dozen or more seats from Democrats during what the Left believed was going to be a “blue wave” election.
“Pelosi needed to hammer Trump but instead she chose to let him slide,” said one former senior Democratic aide. “Last night should have been a bloodbath for Republicans.”
With frustrations bubbling up, Pelosi has become an early target for moderates representing suburban districts worried that their leadership’s strategy hurt such members heading into the polls.
“It’s time for Democrats to elevate a new generation of leadership in both the House and the Senate,” one of the Democrats told The Hill. “Americans are clearly afraid of ‘socialism,’ want safe streets and neighborhoods and to vote for people who they believe will help put more money in their pockets.
“While Democratic policies can adequately address those issues,” the lawmaker added, “our messaging mechanism clearly cannot.”
“Centrist” Democrats are angry at Pelosi for not being moderate enough in her message, while the far-Left wing of the party are angry because they believe the messaging was too moderate, and that Democrats would have had a better night if more candidates had embraced their inner AOC.
I suspect that ultimately Pelosi is re-elected by her colleagues as House Speaker, but even if she’s replaced it’s not like Democrats are going to replace her with a pro-gun Democrat. No matter who’s in charge, the House is going to be pushing all kinds of anti-gun bills in the next session of Congress. For gun owners, it doesn’t matter if Pelosi’s the Speaker or not, but we can at least enjoy the infighting over the choice.