House Democrats on Wednesday voted to retain the status quo, electing the same leaders on whose watch, according to the Washington Post, has cost the party “almost 1 in every 5 House seats it held after the 2008 election.”
The WaPo headline summed it up: “Nancy Pelosi is totally unbeatable. That’s a bad thing for Democrats.”
The 76-year-old Pelosi – who urged passage of Obamacare by explaining that it would allow people to see what’s in it – will be supported by “her top lieutenants,” 77-year-old Steny Hoyer of Maryland and 76-year-old Jim Clyburn of South Carolina. This will not be lost on House GOP members when someone accuses Republicans of being a “good old boys club.” If you want “old,” look no farther than the Democratic House Minority leadership.
As the Washington Post put it:
“What Democrats did Wednesday is change absolutely nothing in the face of a(nother) disappointing election result.”
Pelosi was challenged by Rep. Tim Ryan, a much younger Ohio Democrat who garnered 63 votes against Pelosi’s 134 votes, as reported by The Hill:
“Ryan and his supporters had argued that the Democrats’ grim performance in this year’s elections — the latest in a string of cycles planting Republicans firmly in the majority — was a clear signal that Pelosi’s leadership strategy has failed to attract the broad coalition of voters required to return the Speaker’s gavel to the Democrats’ hands.
“The critics pointed, in particular, to the party’s alienation of the middle-class Rust Belt workers, who flocked to Trump and secured victories for a long list of vulnerable Republicans down the ballot. Ryan, who represents an Ohio manufacturing district that’s struggled to keep pace with globalization and rebound from the Great Recession, said he was the right fit to make inroads with those voters.”
Voters may have turned away from Democrats for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the skyrocketing cost of health care under President Obama’s “Affordable” Health Care Act that Democrats passed while Republicans opposed. Those voters may have figured that if they returned Democrats to the majority, health insurance premiums would continue to rise, and service would decline.
The party has tilted farther to the left. That much was affirmed by Oregon Rep. Kurt Schrader, co-chair of the Blue Dog Coalition. He told the WaPo, “Nothing’s going to change anytime soon. We’re going to be in the minority for the next 15 years.” The newspaper said he then added that the party needs to develop “a farm team that’s not just the socialist side of our party.”