Can We Give Them The Attention They Now Deserve

A week and a half of foaming at the mouth, and this is all the fight the blue dogs can put up:

About an hour ago, Nancy Pelosi was elected House Democratic Leader by the overwhelming margin of 150-43. This is a crushing, more than 3-1 defeat for her Blue Dog challengers. It’s even a bigger margin than Dick Gephardt’s post-1994 victory of 150-58. No matter how much press attention Blue Dogs got with their whining, it didn’t get them many votes.

There was a closer and more contentious vote for best Halloween costume in the 5 year old division in my hometown a few weeks ago. Can we now please ignore these political incompetents? And could they now start acting like Democrats?






74 replies
  1. 1
    AliceBlue says:

    TPM called this “a bad sign for Pelosi”. Maybe they were being snarky?

  2. 2
    Kryptik says:

    Can we now please ignore these political incompetents? And could they now start acting like Democrats?

    Of course not. All this will prove is ‘Democrats are deaf to the will of the people’ and ‘We didn’t leave the Democrat(ic) party. The Party left us’.

  3. 3
    Zifnab says:

    Can we now please ignore these political incompetents? And could they now start acting like Democrats?

    NO.

    Somebody call David Gregory, so we can book this guy on Meet the Press.

  4. 4
    dmsilev says:

    Can we now please ignore these political incompetents? And could they now start acting like Democrats?

    No, and no. This has been another edition of Obvious Answers To Rhetorical Questions.

    dms

  5. 5
    Earl Butz says:

    Fox/Politico/AP/etc Headline: Liberal Nancy Pelosi Narrowly Avoids End Of Political Career In Close Vote.

  6. 6

    In other news, farewell to The Washington Independent.

    How is it possible that Fox News keeps expanding its empire while little lefty startups like this go belly up after 3 years?

  7. 7
    Gravenstone says:

    Apparently there are 54 members in the Blue Dog caucus, barring those soon to be replaced in January. That means Shuler couldn’t even garner the sum total of his own clique. Outstanding!

  8. 8
    BGinCHI says:

    Luke Russert, the Special Nepotism Correspondent for MSNBC, was quick to point out that the glass was half empty:

    Shuler got nearly a third of the caucus votes which is a serious challenge to Pelosi.

    I’m paraphrasing, but the concern trolling couldn’t have been clearer.

    Media want conflict. Mongo want conflict.

  9. 9
    Joseph Nobles says:

    Representive Patrick McHenry tweeted that the congressional GOP gave this news a standing ovation. I love the smell of false bravado in the morning. Pelosi built a majority once before, and she can do it again.

  10. 10
    El Cid says:

    America is a center-right nation and the last elections show that the American people to a one oppose the radical leftist Nancy Pelosi and her $200 million a day jet plane.

  11. 11
    BGinCHI says:

    @Southern Beale: That’s fucking sad.

    Shit.

  12. 12
    the fake fake al says:

    I see purity cleansing works for both parties. Political death to all RINOs and DINOs. Elections have consequences.

  13. 13
    WyldPirate says:

    @Southern Beale:

    How is it possible that Fox News keeps expanding its empire while little lefty startups like this go belly up after 3 years?

    Because we’re a center-right nation sliding rapidly towards goose-stepping fascism?

    (Damn. Smells like Weimar Republic cooking.)

  14. 14
    Mnemosyne says:

    I admit, I did a little dance, but I was pretty sure this was how it was going to go down. The Blue Dogs lost by running against the president and Pelosi, so the remaining members of the caucus weren’t going to listen to them.

  15. 15
    WyldPirate says:

    It’s kind of fitting that in that picture it looks like Schuler was sent to take a piss on the flowers.

    Or maybe to whack off. That’s more fitting for a Blue Dog.

  16. 16
    shortstop says:

    @AliceBlue:

    TPM called this “a bad sign for Pelosi”. Maybe they were being snarky?

    I honestly couldn’t tell, but it did sound like Marshall was being serious.

  17. 17
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Earl Butz:

    Fox/Politico/AP/etc Headline: Liberal Nancy Pelosi Narrowly Avoids End Of Political Career In Close Vote.

    You think you’re joking, but honest to god this is what they said in the WSJ:

    The vote still amounts to a rebuke of Ms. Pelosi because she was running against Rep. Heath Shuler of North Carolina, who never campaigned for votes among his colleagues.

    Jesus, could they be any more desperate to spin it?

    ETA: I especially love the “he never campaigned for the job.” Whaaa? Then why has he been in front of every reporter saying he was challenging Pelosi for the position?

  18. 18
    mak says:

    Heard some idiot on NPR, of all places, bleat that because Shuler got 40+ votes, it shows the importance of the Blue Dogs.

  19. 19
    Hunter Gathers says:

    Shuler is now just as big a loser in Congress as he was in the NFL. I’ll bet Pelosi would never throw 5 picks in a single game if given the chance.

    Shuler/Grossman 2012! They’re just a pick six away!

  20. 20
    Short Bus Bully says:

    NANCY FUCKING SMASH!!

    Love that woman.

  21. 21
    Triassic Sands says:

    Ousting Pelosi because so many Blue Dogs lost didn’t seem like a very good idea. Love her or hate her (overall, I’m pretty neutral, but I think she did a good job as Speaker), she was one of the few Democrats who consistently put up a fight. Such a rare quality (among Democrats) should not be lightly tossed aside.

    Arguing that Minority Leader is a poor fit for her (as the NYTimes did), seemed ridiculous. Now, should the Democrats regain control of the House in 2012 (wishful thinking), she will be the obvious choice to be Speaker again. Would that have been true if she’d been ousted now?

    Unfortunately, the same habit of routinely re-electing the same leaders over and over again means Stenny Hoyer will still be the no. 2 Democrat. It would have been nice if he’d been challenged and beaten.

    Carl Hulse writes this today in the Times:

    Many of the House Democrats who went down to defeat this month were moderates with ties to the speaker.

    Is that supposed to imply that the Blue Dogs lost because of their ties to Pelosi? Jeebus, Carl, welcome to Wonderland.

    So, which is it, is Pelosi the far-left ideologue, or the centrist with the support of moderates? I just heard Shuler say that the vote was about giving moderates a voice.

  22. 22
    Zandar says:

    “No matter how much press attention Blue Dogs got with their whining, it didn’t get them many votes.”

    What gets you even fewer votes is being kicked out of Congress for being Republican-lite and then not being around to vote on the leadership.

  23. 23

    @Joseph Nobles: McHenry better worry more about the skeletons in his closet.

  24. 24
    Comrade Jake says:

    I’m pretty sure that regardless of the actual vote, this is all good news for John McCain.

  25. 25
    tbogg says:

    I have been saving that photo with the intention of doing a post on Shuler for about two weeks now.

    Now it’s just ruined. Ruined I tell you…

    So sad.

  26. 26
    Mike says:

    FWIW: Shuler is roomies with Bart Stupak, John Ensign and the rest of the natural-born winners at The Family’s C Street bunker.

  27. 27
    cyntax says:

    @mak:

    That’s exactly what JMM said over at TPM:

    Two term Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC), as anything other than a protest candidate against Nancy Pelosi, was a preposterous candidate to lead the smaller, more liberal House Democratic caucus. And it’s not my understanding that he did anything to canvass for votes. So it’s a bad sign for Nancy Pelosi that 43 members of the caucus voted for the guy. That’s almost a quarter of the caucus. If a serious challenger had opposed her, it would have been a tough race.

    –Josh Marshall

    As they’re pointing out over at the GOS, Nancy’s win was by a better margin than Dick Gephardt’s 1994 win, so YMMV.

  28. 28
    New Yorker says:

    BTW, that photo should be submitted to this site:

    http://straightcashhomey.net/

    Who the hell wears a Heath Shuler jersey with a straight face?

  29. 29
    John List says:

    This reminds me of when LBJ was challenged by the liberals for Senate majority leader. The whole story is told in Robert Caro’s “Master of the Senate.”

  30. 30
    NonyNony says:

    @cyntax:

    Marshall’s analysis is seriously flawed by the fact that either Heath Shuler actually was a serious challenger or there was no one who actually could be a serious challenger who thought that Pelosi needed to go.

    I’m not even sure what Marshall is getting at here. 150-43 means that Pelosi got over 3/4 of the vote available to her. Shuler got about 22% of the vote. That’s a stomping, even if that 22% is making a “protest vote” and wasn’t really “serious” about it.

  31. 31
    JasonF says:

    Having Heath Shuler quarterback things in Washington turned out so poorly the last time it was tried that I am genuinely shocked that the Democrats didn’t decide to give him the leadership position.

  32. 32
    Suck It Up! says:

    @Earl Butz:

    Fox/Politico/AP/etc Headline: Liberal Nancy Pelosi Narrowly Avoids End Of Political Career In Close Vote.

    omfg!!

    Check this from Josh Marshall:

    Bad Sign for Pelosi

    Two term Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC), as anything other than a protest candidate against Nancy Pelosi, was a preposterous candidate to lead the smaller, more liberal House Democratic caucus. And it’s not my understanding that he did anything to canvass for votes. So it’s a bad sign for Nancy Pelosi that 43 members of the caucus voted for the guy. That’s almost a quarter of the caucus. If a serious challenger had opposed her, it would have been a tough race.

    I sooo hope this is snark from Josh Marshall. He’s smarter than this.

  33. 33
    Koz says:

    After all the seats the GOP won last Election Day, it’s good to know they left a few on the table. Nancy Pelosi is the gift that keeps giving for the GOP.

  34. 34
    Suck It Up! says:

    @cyntax:

    didn’t see yours before I posted mine and the system won’t allow me to edit.

  35. 35

    Acting like democrats? Surely you jest.

    Careful John, between this and your rant on the white house earlier, people will start mistaking you for the professional left, maybe even a firebagger. Well except for your affinity for Tunch – he’s clearly one of the well-fed oligarchy.

  36. 36
    cyntax says:

    @Suck It Up!:

    Well it’s weird enough to see Josh saying that that it’s worth emphasizing.

  37. 37
    Nick says:

    @Southern Beale:

    How is it possible that Fox News keeps expanding its empire while little lefty startups like this go belly up after 3 years?

    is this a rhetorical questions?

  38. 38
    Corner Stone says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Luke Russert, the Special Nepotism Correspondent for MSNBC, was quick to point out that the glass was half empty:

    I don’t know if his boss gave him instructions, or he’s just a natural shit starter but Lil Luke has been front and center on the, “This all portends DOOM for Pelosi and the Democrats” line of BS.

  39. 39
    Ash Can says:

    Hey Shuler, stop whizzing on the geraniums.

  40. 40
    Nick says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    Pelosi built a majority once before, and she can do it again.

    Rahm Emanuel and Howard Dean built the majority with a load of help from George W. Bush

  41. 41
    BGinCHI says:

    @tbogg: Love your blog, dude.

    Maybe a pic of Cole pissing by the road?

  42. 42
    Tom Q says:

    @Suck It Up!: Josh still half-dreams of being part of The Village — a better VIllage, maybe, but one with all the insider-y elements we so despise. To maintain this hope, he buys into a certain percentage of the standard DC take.

  43. 43
    cyntax says:

    @NonyNony:

    Yeah, and what about the fact that Shuler didn’t even get all the votes of the Blue Dog caucus?

  44. 44
    Nick says:

    @Triassic Sands:

    Ousting Pelosi because so many Blue Dogs lost didn’t seem like a very good idea.

    There are a lot of mainstream Democrats who pin the loss on her and want someone new. Not a Blue Dog, but someone else.

  45. 45
    Cermet says:

    @Koz: Your lack of knowledge leads me to believe you are a tea bagger and beck follower.

  46. 46
    BGinCHI says:

    @Corner Stone: He’s like a dumb gossip columnist who seems terrified to find himself on a news program.

  47. 47
    MattR says:

    @Tom Q: You beat me to the punch. I was more surprised by the surprise from the people here than by what Josh wrote.

  48. 48
    Koz says:

    What’s going to be more interesting is the actual vote for Speaker of the House on the floor, which happens soon after the new Members are sworn in IIRC. And for those Demo’s who don’t vote for Pelosi, I’m not sure who they’re allowed to vote for. It’ll be worth a good laugh if nothing else if some of them vote for Boehner.

  49. 49
    Tom Q says:

    @cyntax: I’m pretty certain this vote was taken among those who will be in the House next year, not the current group — which means Shuler got all the Blue Dogs plus others.

  50. 50
    Sarcastro says:

    Annals of the gutless Vol indeed. Y’know, if Heath Shuler had stayed for his senior year at Tennessee he would have been drafted by the expansion Carolina Panthers.

    The man was never very smart.

  51. 51
    cyntax says:

    @Tom Q:

    Oops. You’re right; can’t do simple math.

  52. 52
    Nick says:

    @Koz:

    And for those Demo’s who don’t vote for Pelosi, I’m not sure who they’re allowed to vote for.

    They won’t vote for Boehner, they’ll vote for Shuler. Until 2006, Gene Taylor would always vote for John Murtha over Pelosi. It was sort of a surprise that he voted for Pelosi after 2006 and 2008.

  53. 53
    batgirl says:

    @BGinCHI: All that education and Luke Russert sucks at math. The vote was 150-43. That is (generously rounding up) 1/4 of the caucus votes. It is actually 22%. I’d call that 1/5 of the caucus votes.

  54. 54
    Koz says:

    “They won’t vote for Boehner, they’ll vote for Shuler. “

    Well, that’ll save them a little embarrassment then.

  55. 55
    Jay in Oregon says:

    About an hour ago, Nancy Pelosi was elected House Democratic Leader by the overwhelming margin of 150-43.

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

    *gasp*

    AHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHA!!!

    NANCY FUCKING SMASH indeed! Congratulations!

  56. 56
    gene108 says:

    The problem isn’t the Blue Dogs. It’s the fact the conservatives so dominate the public discussion via Fox News, radio, print media, think tanks, talking head shows on other cable networks, etc. that the already conservative nature of people in Blue Dog districts has shifted that much more to the right and their constituents distrust of their Congress critters is high, so it makes an “anti-government agenda” that much easier to convince people about.

    If people in Blue Dog districts started wondering why the government isn’t doing more to invest in schools, for example, rather than thinking we spend too much on schools and teacher salaries because teachers, like other government workers, are just lazy bums, we’d then start seeing a shift in both Blue Dog voting patterns and Democratic fortunes.

  57. 57
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Southern Beale: Because Fox News doesn’t make any money, all of the other Fox owned stations do, and that money is used to pay for Fox.

  58. 58
    gene108 says:

    @Southern Beale: Right-wing billionaires don’t care if their media projects make money.

    The New York Post and New York Daily news are money losers for Murdoch, as well as the fact the Washington Times has never made money for Rev. Moon, nor has the American Spectator ever made a profit for Mellon-Scaife.

    As long as they have a way to influence the political discussion in this country and can get their tax cuts, losing a few million in publishing doesn’t matter; it’s probably a tax write-off for them anyway.

    Unfortunately there are no left-wing billionaires. Any left-wing media start-up has to survive on its own, which is very hard and usually doesn’t last long enough to have an impact.

  59. 59
    numbskull says:

    @AliceBlue:Not to go all grunge on this, but Josh is just in it for the dollars at this point. His analyses suck, his instincts suck, but most of all, his staff writers suck.

    You might say that TPM pretty much sucks.

  60. 60
    jazzgurl says:

    Go Nancy Pelosi. Give ’em hell. I for one, am soooo glad that good sense prevailed..and No, it matters not one arse what the republicans, msm, or blue dogs write,think or express.
    I admire your courage Nancy. Why? Because not one of them could do or achieve what you have achieved. All these guys do is talk, whinge, complain. and go on talk shows for their 5 minutes of fame. Sorry to say but most of them are a waste of space.

  61. 61

    @BGinCHI:

    Luke Russert, the Special Nepotism Correspondent for MSNBC, was quick to point out that the glass was half empty:

    Shuler got nearly a third of the caucus votes which is a serious challenge to Pelosi.

    A third? What were those numbers? 150 to 43?

  62. 62

    By the way, I think we are feminizing the office of House Democratic Leader.

  63. 63
    xian says:

    > “If a serious challenger had opposed her, it would have been a tough race.”

    if a serious challenger had made a serious challenge to her, the challenge would have been serious.

    re li’l Russ’s math: 43 is “nearly 50” and 50 is 1/3 of 150. QED.

  64. 64
    AnotherBruce says:

    Honestly Josh Marshall can go fuck himself, he’s still posting those worthless Rassmussen polls 2 weeks after the election. Really any liberal who thinks that Pelosi was the problem with this election should just give it up and fellate Republicans for the rest of their worthless lives. The idea that this was a “bad sign” for Pelosi is plain stupid.

    TPM became a far worse site during the run of this election, it’s like Drudge for chickenshit progressives.

  65. 65

    Isn’t Josh Marshall a part of the juice box mafia? the little new media village they have set up?

  66. 66
    jazzgurl says:

    Who the hell are all these people anyway? Who gives a royal flush what Josh thinks.What Josh thinks makes no difference to the world at large, anyway.Think about it, Josh is always,always responding to what Has taken place, but never really gives a productive solution to any forward progression. Right about now simply pooped out with the ‘voices’.Thank God their names won’t make the history books with their vacuous daily offerings.

  67. 67
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @shortstop:

    I honestly couldn’t tell, but it did sound like Marshall was being serious.

    @AnotherBruce:

    Honestly Josh Marshall can go fuck himself, he’s still posting those worthless Rassmussen polls 2 weeks after the election. Really any liberal who thinks that Pelosi was the problem with this election should just give it up and fellate Republicans for the rest of their worthless lives. The idea that this was a “bad sign” for Pelosi is plain stupid.

    Marshall has become rather horrid over the past few years, and today’s example is just the latest in the parade of psuedo-Village inanity. Let’s take a trip down Memory Lane to earlier this summer when the McChrystal brouhaha was in full swing. Remember when Marshall penned this piece of obtuse nonsense:

    And yet, as I said a few moments ago, I’m not sure I thought he had it in him. But he did. I’ve learned something.

    and then followed it up with this even greater turd of logic:

    A number of you have written in to ask what the hell I was saying or what I meant. So I thought I’d expand briefly on what I said.
    __
    First, and maybe this goes without saying, but I’m not sure I meant anything. Many people read with the idea that everything someone writes is not just — hopefully — accurate and honest but also aimed at some end — to signal something or to have some particular effect. But that’s not always the case and probably less so with the way I write than many others. It sounds a little airy and soft to me to say I’m writing what I ‘feel’. It’s probably better to say that I’m trying to capture my immediate and honest perception of the situation without giving any particular attention to what it means or what conclusions to draw from it.
    __
    So with all that throat-clearing, what did I mean?
    __
    I guess I’d say this. It’s not that I don’t think Obama’s tough or a strong leader or decisive or whatever adjective you want to use. Having watched Obama as president for going on two years, I’ve found remarkable his ability to ignore the chatter, the pundits and the polls and stick to whatever his plan is. But I’ve also gotten used to seeing that when crises come or key gut-check moments arise his tendency is to try to conciliate the situation. Not duck it; that’s not what I mean. I mean find some new vantage point to come at the situation from which you look at it again and see that it’s not really just a plain yes or no, that there’s some more complexity and give in the situation. And you can find some creative way to address all the relevant concerns. I just haven’t seen President Obama throw down a lot of gauntlets or, to put it harshly, cut the baby in half.
    __
    So when I woke up this morning I still couldn’t quite see how President Obama could not fire McChrystal. But I also couldn’t quite imagine him doing it.
    __
    But he did. Showed me a different side of him. And what I really couldn’t have imagined was that he found a way not just to acquit himself honorably and protect the office but actually enhance his prestige and standing.

    And then, of course, there was this classic from the failed car bomb in Times Square that happened back in May:

    When news first broke yesterday evening I was at the White House Correspondents Dinner, and in eyeshot of several top administration officials. So when my iPhone pinged me about the situation I was started monitoring it closely, not simply as a news story, but far more because my kids were at home only about 20 blocks from where it was all happening.
    __
    I watched the administration folks to get a sense of how seriously I should be taking it.

    Josh Marshall. So Village Right Now.

  68. 68
    chopper says:

    @Triassic Sands:

    Arguing that Minority Leader is a poor fit for her (as the NYTimes did), seemed ridiculous.

    especially given that she was minority leader before she was majority leader, and she was good at that too.

  69. 69
    Gregory says:

    No matter how much press attention Blue Dogs got with their whining, it didn’t get them many votes.

    Quoted for truth.

  70. 70
    Triassic Sands says:

    @Nick:

    I understand the desire to have someone new. I think many politicians stay around far too long and voluntary retirement should be held up as a virtue.

    I could support someone new, even if it meant replacing Pelosi, if a strong case could be made that her replacement would be an improvement (something Shuler would not be). But the reasons given for wanting her gone, weren’t good enough, in my mind, to justify replacing her.

    At least Pelosi has a spine that would show up on X-rays. Meanwhile over in the Senate that stellar leader, the most hated man in Nevada (fortunately the Republicans nominated a woman), Crusher Reid, will continue his weanie parade.

    I’m still shaking my head over Nevada. Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory! And it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving person than Sharron Angle, who may not be as hated as Harry Reid, but is so dumb and so wacko that she made Reid’s re-election possible.

    After Sue Lowden offered her chicken-for-surgery plan, I thought she would have made a poor candidate. But in retrospect, I think she would have recovered enough to beat Reid, whereas Angle, what the hell can you say about Angle?

    And Angle’s defeat may not be the most delicious of all, what with Joe Miller up there in Alaska. No one deserved to lose more than Miller. (Too bad it had to be to Murkowski.) Foremost on Miller’s mind today? What’s he going to do with those drapes he ordered (after the primary) for his Senate office. Oh, boooo hooo.

    @chopper:

    Your comment completes my thought. Exactly.

  71. 71
    El Cid says:

    The fact that McCain got 173 electoral votes meant that Obama’s so-called ‘victory’ was actually a sign of failure, and this after an entire two years of campaigning.

    If he wants his party to be able to move on and work more effectively together, Obama should resign in humble acknowledgement that after 8 years of George W. Bush, he could muster no more than a 52.9 to 45.7 popular vote victory over McCain.

  72. 72
    lol says:

    @Triassic Sands:

    How many praises for Pelosi would you be singing if she had to rally every single member of her caucus to pass every single bill?

    Both had roughly the same percentage of the chamber (58-60%), the difference was that Pelosi could tell most of the Blue Dogs to go fuck themselves and still pass bills while Reid needed everyone from Sanders to Nelson to sign off on a bill plus the odd Republican or two before he could get anything done.

    Reid did pretty damn good considering how broken the Senate is.

    Right-wingers may only be interested in power, but they understand how to work the bureaucracy to get it.

    Left-wingers want good governance but seem utterly uninterested in or incapable of understanding the difficulties it entails. (and yes, some of that commitment to good government makes the task harder…)

  73. 73
    Triassic Sands says:

    @lol:

    I’m sorry, lol, you’re just not going to get me to like, admire, or support Harry Reid. If you do, that’s fine, but I don’t and I’m not going to. If he were gone, do I think the Democrats would choose a better leader? Probably not. They have a real affinity for wishy-washy leaders in the Senate (see Tom Daschle), which hasn’t always been the case (see LBJ).

    And my dislike of Reid is hardly unusual; he seems to be genuinely disliked in his own state by most people of all political stripes. Sharron Angle was probably the only person he could beat. I’d rather mourn the loss of a worthwhile Senator — Russ Feingold.

    But tastes do vary.

  74. 74
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @AliceBlue:

    TPM called this “a bad sign for Pelosi”. Maybe they were being snarky?

    No, Josh was being deadly serious. Although he started out doing serious journalism and deserves praise for what he did to push back against social security privatization (and for trying to get Democrats to seize a winning argument on taxes before the 2010 elections), he’s becoming more and more like a Villager every day.

Comments are closed.