Let me just quote a bit here. New from CNN:
More money was spent and more commercials were run against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in this midterm election cycle than against any other congressional leader since Newt Gingrich.
More than $65 million was spent on 161,203 ads that targeted Pelosi from January 1 through last week’s election, according to a new analysis of TV ads for CNN by Campaign Media Analysis Group…
The game plan by the GOP, individual campaigns, and independent groups that backed Republican candidates and causes, was simple: Tie as many Democratic incumbents and candidates to Pelosi, one of the most unpopular political figures in America right now. According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll conducted the weekend before the midterms, only 26 percent of Americans had a favorable opinion of the House Speaker, with 53 percent saying they had an unfavorable view of Pelosi.
One hundred sixty thousand ads — and not all of them from Republicans, either. And yet, somehow, the search goes on for the culprit in the exciting Scooby Doo mystery, “The Case of the Destroyed House Majority.” Can James, Steny, and the rest of the gang solve the caper before it’s too late?
A few House Dems seem to have picked up a promising lead:
FOX has obtained a letter being penned by defeated House Democrats that implores House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to step aside…
The letter goes on to say “Madam Speaker, fairly or unfairly, Republicans made you the face of the resentment and disagreement in our races. While we commend your years of service to our party and your leadership through many tough times, we respectfully ask that you step aside as the top Democrat in the House.”
The letter says that the defeated members “fear that Republicans will further demonize you, and in so doing, they will scare potential candidates out. The prospect of having to run against their own party leadership, in addition to their Republican opponent is simply too daunting.”
The lawmakers also say that “one mark of a strong leader is the ability to discern when it is time to pass the baton” and calls this a “dark hour.”
The argument for keeping Pelosi as minority leader seems to boil down to (a) she’s a great fundraiser and (b) her arm-twisting vote-wrangling kung fu is unequaled on the Democratic side. The first point is fair enough, I guess, but of course it’s mitigated by the fact that the GOP will raise buckets of cash off of her two years from now. Which message is more likely to get Republicans to ante up: “Stop the Democrats from taking back the House” or “Pelosi II: This Time, It’s Personal”? QED. As for the second point, explain to me how that’ll work. Let’s say the Democrats do somehow take back a bunch of purple districts in 2012 — which they won’t, and not just because of redistricting, but just for argument’s sake. What’s kung fu champion Nancy Pelosi going to say to freshmen Blue Dogs circa 2014 when the time comes for another suicidal vote on, say, amnesty or cap-and-trade? Centrist Dems were willing to gamble on ObamaCare this year because it has, after all, been at the very tippy top of the Democratic wish list for decades and because no one could be sure just how bad the backlash in November would be. Remember, as unpopular as the bill was when they passed it, it wasn’t irrational to think opinion would soften over the next eight months as the public got used to the idea of a new entitlement. But it didn’t and now they’ve been wiped out, to the point where even Zeus himself acknowledges that he never thought it’d be quite this bad. Point being, now that they do know the cost of passing big-ticket liberal legislation and that 1994 wasn’t a once-in-a-lifetime fluke, how will Pelosi or anyone else convince centrist Dems to fall in line next time they have a majority? Do liberals expect her to pull the Jedi mind trick with reluctant Blue Dogs? “You will commit political suicide and vote for this.” “I will commit political suicide and vote for this.”