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Some Dems Want Pelosi Out as House Minority Leader

25 June 2017

(This has troubling implications for Republicans as well as Democrats.) Among Democrats, this polarization has led the party base to abandon big-tent politics in favor of binary judgments that ascribe moral failings to those with even moderate disagreements about cultural issues.

"Nancy Pelosi was a great speaker", Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., said on MSNBC. "This is not a glass that's almost empty but almost full and we're ready to win the Congress in the next election but in the mean time we don't want those in power to do harm to anyone in our country and certainly not the LGBT community". DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Lujan attempted to do just that with his recent memo that spun Jon Ossoff's disappointing loss as a demonstration of how much ground Democrats are gaining in traditionally conservative districts.

There's also an even more basic reality: Showing that the party will dump its leader if Republicans are persistently negative enough about that leader only gives the GOP more incentive to use aggressive tactics - and puts the next Democratic leader on tepid ground from the outset.

At his big rallies last fall President Trump kept telling his supporters that, "We're just going to win and win so much you're going to get exhausted of winning".

"Right now, what I'm pushing for is a conversation within the caucus", Rice said.

In the Georgia election, Republicans used a tactic they've been using for years, setting up the liberal Pelosi as a villain who needs to be stopped. But in the runoff, motivated by a clear choice between just two candidates and buoyed by millions of dollars in party get-out-the-vote money, GOP voters showed up: turnout in rock-ribbed Republican Cobb County was 79 percent of the proportion in November 2016, on par with turnout in DeKalb County, the bluest part of the district. Are the attacks accurate? No. They say voters in Republican-leaning districts are motivated by more than a desire to stop Pelosi and Democrats need to work on developing a message that can win them over. The idea that a significant portion of the GOP is watching CNN's hour-by-hour coverage of the so-called Russian Federation scandal and eagerly awaiting the opportunity to send a message to Trump about how Michael Flynn should've been more careful about disclosing his lobbying work is otherworldly.

That reality was the subtext for Pelosi's taunting remarks Thursday in which she cast her Democratic critics as hungry for attention rather than serious about ousting her.

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"I'm very interested in figuring out how to make things better, and I'm not sure exactly how that happens or what to do", said Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio).

In an interview with Fox News Channel's "Fox & Friends" that aired Friday morning, Trump said of Pelosi: "I hope she doesn't step down".

"We as Democrats have to come to terms with the fact that we lost again", said Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass. Among those: Adding No. 2 roles to be filled by newer members on every House standing committee and adding six regional vice chairs to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

One special election 18 months before the national midterms is just a data point, of course; extrapolating national trends from such a unique race as Georgia's is unsound. The Iraq war veteran endorsed eight veterans running for the House this week, and started a new national security task force with other young veterans within the Democratic caucus. Ryan, who challenged Pelosi last fall, said he has no interest in doing so again.

"She will have to pick some issues she disagrees with the president on, going forward", the GOP aide said. "And usually they go after the most effective leaders, because they want to take us, diminish the opportunity that we have".

"I love the arena; I thrive on competition; and I welcome the discussion".