New York Times Begs Pelosi Not to Run for Minority Leader
The "fairly or unfairly" line is a nice comic touch. Making Pelosi the "face" of the party was easy to do when so-called Blue Dogs like Chet Edwards voted with her about 97% of the time. And by electing her speaker of the House, Democrats themselves made Pelosi the face of their party. Republicans didn't do that. They had no power to do that. If they could have chosen a more moderate speaker from among the Dem ranks in 2006, they almost surely would have just to make their lives easier, but they didn't have the numbers. It was Pelosi who chose to do that Walk of Triumph with the giant gavel when she took the reins in 2007. It was Pelosi who yelled "Let's hear it for the power" when she took over. So once again, the Democrats are claiming "victim" status where it doesn't belong at all. They are victims of their own actions, if they are victims at all. Or they're victims of Republicans saying things about them that were true.
The letter, by the way, is from "Defeated Members." That's why it's unlikely to persuade Pelosi on the merits. They're not around; she still is. She can claim or believe that they lost for the stated "communications" reason, not because they voted with her and it cost them their seats while earning their party crushing defeats down the ballot.
Meanwhile, practically the only viable Democrat left in the South, Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, doesn't seem to be buying the "poor communications" line. Bredesen is arguing that the top Democrats are still just out of touch:
“There doesn’t seem to be anybody in the White House who’s got any idea what it’s like to lie awake at night worried about money and worried about things slipping away,” said retiring Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat. “They’re all intellectually smart. They’ve got their numbers. But they don’t feel any of it, and I think people sense that.”
He has a point here: Obama and most of his cronies hail from either academic or activist backgrounds, neither of which has much in common with anyone who has ever had to meet a bottom line or a payroll. Success in activism is based largely on creating the appearance of success in order to attract more liberal foundation funding, while success in business tends to be backed up by real numbers and actual profits against expenses and losses. It's telling that Democratic stronghold California rejected two women who have had huge success in business in favor of Democrats who have liberal activism in their DNA. They'll get the results they voted for, unfortunately.
Meanwhile back in Washington, the Democratic caucus in the House got smaller last week, and because several moderates and Blue Dogs were defeated, it got skewed even more to the left. This ironically may make Pelosi stronger among House Democrats than she was before, at just the time the Bredesens of the world think the party needs to signal that it got Tuesday's message. If the letter from the Defeated Members is any indication, even they don't get it yet:
This is a difficult letter to write, because we admire your commitment, your drive, and your conviction. You have been an historic figure in our great nation, and for that we are all proud, as should you be. Nonetheless, we each experienced how Republican demonization of you and your leadership contributed to our defeat.