Open Thread: Seth Moulton Will Go Far, Possibly One Step Ahead of An Angry Mob

Seth Moulton is a tragic character, if there was an Edith Wharton for this second Gilded Age. He’s the last Sensible, Moderate New England Republican — a breed for which the region, not to mention the country, has no more use. Smart (Haavahd), feisty (honorable service in the Marine Corps), of impeccable English-colonial/lace-curtain Irish ancestry, from a corner of our commonwealth where being a White Dude is still a political necessity… his only problem is that he was born some fifty years too late.

Seth Moulton intends to be President, and not in the distant future, either. He’s got the disadvantage of coming up in a state that has famously underperformed in the presidential sweeps since 1963, and the further handicap of being enrolled as a Democrat (because here in the Bay State we only elect Repubs to the mostly-ceremonial office of governor). His impetuousness and pugnacity have been previously rewarded, so apparently he presumed the Blue Wave could also be turned in his favor…

Then came the Unfortunate Comparison…


OOOH, LOOK, HERE COMES LEADER PELOSI… The Washington Post reports:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, in an unmistakable show of political strength Tuesday, cut a deal to sideline a potential challenger, won fresh confidence from her party’s resurgent left and earned high praise from Democrats’ most influential figure, former president Barack Obama.

Together, the developments buoyed Pelosi as she fights to repel a small group of dissidents inside the Democratic caucus who want to force a leadership shake-up after 16 years with the Californian at the helm.

One was Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (D-Ohio), who left Washington last week planning to take the Thanksgiving holiday to ponder a run against Pelosi for speaker. But her dalliance ended Tuesday. Fudge said she would support Pelosi after the minority leader agreed to make Fudge chairman of a resurrected subcommittee on elections and pledged that “the most loyal voting bloc in the Democratic Party, black women, will have a seat at the decision-making table.”…

Rep. Fudge, of course, was the conservative African-American “female” (to use Tim Ryan’s word) that Moulton & his fellow #FiveWhiteGuys had chosen as a stalking horse for their ambitious coup. Watch and learn, FiveWhiteGuys!

Yeah, Moulton wanted to be a kingmaker, not a legislator. No hard feelings, eh?

110 replies
  1. 1
    Adam L Silverman says:

    That boy just ain’t right…

  2. 2
    Mnemosyne says:

    Repeating myself from the thread below for folks who would like to partake in a little schadefreude:

    For the lawyers among us, a federal judge in Mississippi just struck down their abortion ban and legal groupies in the know say that his written opinion destroying that law is 🔥🔥🔥:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/blippoblappo/status/1064996356153057282

    He is, not surprisingly, an African-American judge appointed by Obama.

  3. 3
    A Ghost To Most says:

    L’Affaire de Fudge should put an end to this foolishness.

    Nancy SMASH!

  4. 4

    Can we now move on to the part where we pwn the fucking two-bit ratfuck criminal Republicans who have driven the country into the ditch? Kthxbai

  5. 5
    Aleta says:

    Seth and family need to step aside to let a much younger person with fresh new ideas balance their tires and cook their turkey, make the gravy and the pies this year.

  6. 6
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, too, whilst discussing the House Democrats with my fellow jackals today, I discovered two things about Ted Lieu:

    (1) He’s much newer to Congress than I realized — he was first elected in 2014.

    (2) He is already part of the House leadership since he was selected to be an Assistant Whip last year, so that means he’s being groomed for bigger and better things than a mere committee chair.

    Also, the Democrats select a Congressional Freshperson from the ranks of the newly elected members at the start of each session (or whatever it’s called) who is considered to be their rising star. Lieu was the selection in 2014, and he succeeded Joaquin Castro, who was selected in 2012. I’m guessing that AOC will be that person for the upcoming session, but I’ll be curious to see if that’s the case.

  7. 7
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    @Mnemosyne: That is one fucking awesome opinion right there. And he’s 100% correct, of course.

  8. 8
    divF says:

    Has Seth Moulton reached a point where we can start taking up a collection to fund (in this case) a primary opponent in 2020, a la Susan Collins ?

  9. 9
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ella in New Mexico:

    I love how the judge leaves zero wiggle room. It’s You shall not pass with citations and straightforward calling out of their bullshit.

  10. 10
    different-church-lady says:

    If you come at the Queen, you best not miss.

  11. 11
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @divF: He reached that point *last* time he tried to fuck with Pelosi. He’s got form, that imbecile.

  12. 12
    Aleta says:

    @Aleta: A teen driver taking charge of the family car on snowy roads to help the Moultons visit their relatives would generate more enthusiasm from his peers than Seth can.

  13. 13
    Emma says:

    @Mnemosyne: Blessed be the righteously angry. That will end up in a “best writing by judges” compilation somewhere.

  14. 14
    divF says:

    @Chetan Murthy: “Imbecile” – good word for him. I had only got as far as “idiot”, but a Harvard degree in physics should be worth something extra.

    ETA: also, props to AL for her opening description of him – quite a deft summary skewering.

  15. 15
    feebog says:

    Somewhere in a living room in Massachusetts a bright young black woman is looking at this townhall an going mmmmm.

  16. 16
    Darkrose says:

    @Mnemosyne: That is amazing.

  17. 17
    Mnemosyne says:

    Moulton probably should have taken a page from Adam Schiff’s book. Schiff started off in the House in 2000 as a member of the Blue Dog Caucus, but he saw which way the party’s winds were blowing and quietly dropped his membership during the Bush years. He still belongs to a “business-friendly” caucus (can’t remember what it’s called) among several others, but he’s building his reputation on the Intelligence committee, not shooting himself or the Democratic House caucus in the foot.

    Interesting tidbit on Wikipedia — Schiff is a member of the Asian-American/Pacific Islander caucus because a good chunk of his constituents are Asian-American. In addition to the sizeable Korean-American population around Glendale, I was down in Thai Town (which overlaps with Little Armenia, BTW) and there were prominent signs showing where Schiff’s neighborhood office is.

  18. 18
    Barbara says:

    The “I was born to rule” vibe is strong, beginning with telling everyone in the audience what they really wanted.

  19. 19
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @divF: I very much like the term “moral imbecile” (someone who is so beyond moral reasoning, that they cannot help committing more morally abhorrent acts) for Shitler. Also “feculent hordes” for his followers.

    Moulton is either an imbecile, or indistinguishable trfrom one by behaviour. B/c that’s what it takes, to think that “Dem landslide” equals “turf out current Dem leaders”.

  20. 20
    Amir Khalid says:

    “Own-goaling”. And Josh Marshall earns a living by writing words in English. Groan.
    If even their handpicked candidates aren’t all that keen on replacing Pelosi, maybe Moulton and Ryan should listen to their constituents and give up this foolish quest. But my own guess is that, if no one will run for him against Pelosi, Moulton will run himself and really get pwned.

  21. 21
    SFAW says:

    @divF:

    but a Harvard degree in physics should be worth something extra.

    How much does paper go for these days? [“Paper” as in “worth the paper it’s printed on.”]

    e to the u, du/dx, baby!

  22. 22
    SFAW says:

    @different-church-lady:

    If you come at the Queen, you best not miss.

    Nancy comin’

  23. 23
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    Why was I refused permission to edit my comment?

  24. 24
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Positioning for 2020, huh? Not on this planet. Why would Democrats support someone who gins up unnecessary, internal strife? The focus should be on stopping Trump’s agenda

  25. 25
    SFAW says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I was down in Thai Town (which overlaps with Little Armenia, BTW)

    If Flying Toaster is out there: I sense a “fusion” opportunity for you to pass along to Eastern Lamejun Bakers.

  26. 26
    tobie says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m all for seeing Ted Lieu rise higher and higher in the House leadership. He’s great–a fighter but also someone with heart. And for rising star, I’d love to see Antonio Delgado (a college philosophy major! a Rhodes scholar) or Sharice Davids (a community college student who went to law school and then back to her community selected.). I wonder if Abigail Spanberger would drop her anti-Pelosi stance if she were singled out among the new members. She’s super bright and in her debates showed incredible command of policy.

  27. 27
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Patricia Kayden: He’s doin’ a bang-up job in the 2020 shadow primary, you betcha!

  28. 28
    divF says:

    @Amir Khalid: OTOH, I am occasionally offered the opportunity to edit other peoples’ comments.

  29. 29
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Emma:
    @Darkrose:

    That judge is my new personal hero for pointing out it’s total bullshit that men — including himself — get to make decisions on behalf of women about a physical process that they will never experience first-hand.

  30. 30
    Mary G says:

    Neither Moulton nor Ryan is the sharpest crayon in the box. Rolling Stone has been checking in with them for two years and they don’t come off well:

    What’s most striking looking back on this pre-election conversation with Moulton, however, is that the congressman was fundamentally wrong about the election. Moulton mocked Pelosi for leaning on the playbook from 2006, when Democrats last took the House: “I mean we barely had iPhones in 2006,” he said. He believed Democrats were no more than 55 percent likely to take the House, and that the election would turn on a handful of races, leaving Democrats with a bare-bones majority — a victory reflective of moribund leadership that had left the Democrats, as he put it, “in the worst place that the party has been since 1920s.”

    Instead, under Pelosi’s leadership, Democrats won a resounding victory in the House, gaining as many as 40 seats — stomping Republicans in traditional strongholds like Orange County, California, while picking up seats in formerly red corners of South Carolina, Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma. More broadly, Democrats picked up at least seven governorships, fought the Senate contest to a near draw and picked up hundreds of state legislative seats.

    In Rolling Stone’s last conversation with Moulton, he did offer Pelosi a back-handed compliment: “I have great respect for everything Pelosi has accomplished in her long and storied career. She’ll go down in history as the first woman to be Speaker of the House. What an unbelievable achievement,” he said. “But for her to suggest that she’s the only person who can do this? I think that’s pretty arrogant.”

    Uh, Seth, like Republicans, every accusation out of your mouth is projection. You’re the arrogant one.

  31. 31
    sdhays says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    But my own guess is that, if no one will run for him against Pelosi, Moulton will run himself and really get pwned.

    No way that happens. If old Moulton thought he could personally take on Pelosi, he would. But he’s lazy. He hasn’t put in the work to build up his own power network in the Caucus, master the rules, seek leadership positions, etc. He will never put himself out there to be personally rejected. And that would be ok if he would just stay in the back benches where he belongs.

  32. 32
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @tobie: I just went and looked at Issues page. Taking her at her word, she’s pretty clearly a solid Dem. My guess is, she was anti-Pelosi b/c she thought she needed it to win her district. I’d expect her to change that position when/if her district evolves, or she becomes convinced she can win while supporting Pelosi.

    Honestly (again looking at her issues), this anti-Pelosi position is, like, the only strike against her. She really does look like a decent Dem. Sure she might turn out to be a Blue Dog, but right now, it doesn’t appear so. And even if she were, it’s a tough seat to win/keep.

  33. 33
    SFAW says:

    @feebog:

    Somewhere in a living room in Massachusetts a bright young black woman is looking at this townhall an going mmmmm.

    I was considering — well, only for a nanosecond, but still … — relocating to Moulton’s district, just so I could primary him. [Not that I’d ever stand a chance, of course, but his bullshit has pissed me right-the-fuck off.] But I like your idea a LOT more.

  34. 34
    sukabi says:

    @Mnemosyne: that’s a man that’s determined to drag Mississippi out of the 1950’s.

  35. 35
    Yutsano says:

    @Amir Khalid: Because FYWP needs no reason.

  36. 36
    magurakurin says:

    @Patricia Kayden: A lot of folks are going to give it a go in 2020, but honestly, for my part, I’m not voting for anyone who isn’t a woman in the primary. And I’m thinking I might not be alone…at all, so the boys can take their best shot…but then they can all have a seat and let the woman who wins take the wheel.

  37. 37
    SFAW says:

    @divF:

    OTOH, I am occasionally offered the opportunity to edit other peoples’ comments.

    Ummm, saying to yourself “I wish I had written that” is not the same as being “offered the opportunity” to edit someone else’s comments.

    You can always tell a Harvard man, but you can’t tell him much.

  38. 38
    divF says:

    @Mary G:

    I mean we barely had iPhones in 2006

    This class of comments really torques me. First, it is totally irrelevant on every count imaginable. The second is the specific presumption of youth-based competence in using tech as a tool – I’ve been on the Internet since before young Seth was out of diapers.

  39. 39
    Mary G says:

    @Mnemosyne: My favorite line was about how the Court finds that the Mississippi Legislatures “concern for women’s health” is pure gaslighting.

  40. 40
    Mnemosyne says:

    @SFAW:

    I drove past the most Los Angeles half-block ever in that same neighborhood: a Black barbershop (The Fade Inn) next to an Italian grocery next to a Latinx bookstore/cafe (Sabor y Cultura).

    I didn’t stop, because I was on my way to Daiso. I fucking love that place.

    If lamh36 is around, it’s the same neighborhood you stayed in when you came to LA — the little mall with the Daiso is across the street from the Red Line station.

  41. 41
    FlipYrWhig says:

    We’re on, what, Year 3 of an attempt to rally Democrats to make a class-based coalition that pulls together disaffected white podcast bros from Brooklyn and disaffected white ironworkers from Wisconsin, right? So why are the people involved in this effort — if that’s even what it is; it never made much sense and no one can explain it — still such spectacular fuckups?

  42. 42
    Mary G says:

    @divF: He is very much like my 15-year-old housemate, who knows everything about everything, and old people, and old includes his 22-year-old brother, know nothing. You need to have grown out of that by the time you graduate college, Seth.

  43. 43
    tobie says:

    @Chetan Murthy: That’s my impression, too, and her debate performance was terrific–she was focused, sharp, articulate and fast on her feet. I bet she’ll be a tough questioner in hearings.

  44. 44
    SFAW says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I drove past the most Los Angeles half-block ever in that same neighborhood: a Black barbershop (The Fade Inn) next to an Italian grocery next to a Latinx bookstore/cafe (Sabor y Cultura).

    That’s pretty wild. But nothing Asian? That would kind of round it out.

  45. 45
    divF says:

    @SFAW: Nope, it actually displays a comment by someone else with a “click to edit” button. I’ve never even been tempted to click it, though. Also, just for the record, FYWP.

  46. 46
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Chetan Murthy: Seems like you could just say “I made that statement before I had a chance to meet with Leader Pelosi and share my concerns. When we spoke, she committed to [thing I care about that is important in my district], which I will hold her to, and I look forward to a constructive dialogue for as long as we’re both in office.”

  47. 47
    sukabi says:

    @Mary G: I’m inclined to think Moulton is only masquerading as a Democrat.

  48. 48
    Aleta says:

    Watch President Obama hilariously explain how politics is the same at every level — from local to global ‘it’s the same people’

  49. 49
    SFAW says:

    @divF:
    Oh, I just thought you were joking/snarking. My bad.

    Re: that “click to edit” thing: I also get that on my screen from time to time. But I would NEVER violate the sanctity of another’s comments.

    Unless that “other” was a real asshole, of course. Of course, compared to me, that’s a high bar to clear.

    And, I agree re: FYWP.

  50. 50
    Mnemosyne says:

    @tobie:

    We definitely have no dearth of new representatives this year who are rising stars. I think AOC is probably the front-runner since she’s already well-known nationwide and it’s a bit of a PR position, but it would be hard to argue with just about any selection from the incoming freshperson Dems. Lucy McBath would be a great choice if we want to highlight gun control.

    @sukabi:

    And to prevent the rest of us from being dragged back there, hopefully.

  51. 51
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @tobie: And JMM in that tweet above is 100% ON THE MONEY. If by some chance Spanberger or ANY of the swing-district/battleground Dems have to take the hit and vote FOR Pelosi [that is, if the vote is close, and any of those Dems who said “no to Pelosi” have to vote “yes”] then for SURE Moulton and Ryan need to be fucking primaried HARD.

    I donated all my money to general-election candidates — b/c I didn’t give a damn who the candidate was, as long as they were a Dem. But next time around? No, both these jokers are in solid Dem districts. They need to fucking pay.

  52. 52
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Seems like you could just say …

    If Spanberger says that, she’s also saying “I don’t need to be anti-Pelosi to win my district in 2020”. I’m -assuming- she can’t do that. So I’m 100% OK with her voting “present”. Or, heck, if there’s a sufficient margin, even voting for a different Dem. To me there are two paramount issues:
    (1) the choice of the Dem caucus should be elected on the first ballot.
    (2) “golden tickets” to vote “present” or for some other Dem, should go to the most embattled Dems, in descending priority order.

    Moulton doesn’t get one. Spanberger probably does. I’m 100% good with that, as with her being given a pass to vote against many Dem bills. She’s taking over Brat’s district, FFS.

  53. 53
    NotMax says:

    (because here in the Bay State we only elect Repubs to the mostly-ceremonial office of governor)

    Hey now, who was it that inflicted Scott Brown on us?

  54. 54
    Mnemosyne says:

    @SFAW:

    There’s a Thai restaurant right across the street on one side and another one a few doors down in the other direction, so there’s representation. The Box Brothers store that’s still showing on the Google Maps street view moved to a new location, so there’s an open space for something Asian to move in between the Italian deli and the Latinx bookstore.

  55. 55
    Another Scott says:

    @Mnemosyne: Thanks for the pointer.

    The full opinion is worth a read. (17 page .pdf)

    It’s nice to see a judge clearly and forcefully explain the law and the constitutional rights of women. And smack down the troglodytes that want to ignore the Constitution.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  56. 56
    gwangung says:

    @Mnemosyne: @Mnemosyne: Hm. Looks like the Asian American Caucus has some unexpected muscle in Congress.

  57. 57
    Peter H Desmond says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    thanks for reposting! i bookmarked the text of the decision for later savoring.

  58. 58
    Mnemosyne says:

    @gwangung:

    One of the reasons Schiff is so popular with his district is that he’s always willing to take up the cudgels on behalf of his constituents, no matter who they are. He’s gotten in trouble with Turkey a few times for pushing to have the Armenian genocide officially recognized by the US government.

  59. 59
    gwangung says:

    Another candidate for Democratic Freshman Class President:

    “Ben McAdams (Ms Love’s Democratic opponent) became well known for negotiating a deal among Republicans, religious leaders and the gay community on a nondiscrimination ordinance, and worked with Republicans in the State Legislature to alleviate homelessness in the region. As part of that effort, Mr. McAdams secretly posed as a homeless man for three days.”

  60. 60
    gwangung says:

    @Mnemosyne: Constituent service to a T!

  61. 61
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @gwangung: Another good example of someone who should get a golden ticket to not vote for Pelosi for Speaker, unless it’s absolutely necessary [which it shouldn’t be].

  62. 62
    jl says:

    A more cynical take is that these guys (they’re almost all center-right white guys) have turned into corporate hacks. I don’t know enough about campaign finance to follow it closely, but commenters here who apparently do have said in previous threads that these guys love them some corporate donor money, and they piss their pants over the idea of leaving that world. So, if that is true, I think sadly, this BS is that they have become corporate hacks. Note that if this is true, another reason for this is that they will be the most notable and devoted channel, and House toe-hold for corporate contributions, so future investment from corporate donors will go to them.

    So, yeah, let’s be cynical.

    I have a couple of big complaints about Pelosi, but I think she is without doubt the best Speaker right now. She will go down in history for several pieces of legislation that she managed to passage. One big complaint I’ve had is that Pelosi has been tone deaf about her role as a fundraiser, in the old corporate and big donor system. But I think Pelosi is the kind of person who will take doing some big and good things over clinging to old political models. She will be able to say to big donors ‘Well, things are changing, this is how we operate now.” From what I’ve read, these centrist mooks won’t be able to say that.

    And they talk like hacks. So, Moulton says too many oldster in leadership. Well, heck, the progressives made a deal with Pelosi to accelerate promotion of a younger leadership. Where the hell were Moulton, Tim Ryan and their crew when that happened. They got no candidate, were they even bothering to talk with Fudge? Pelosi was. They just come off as dumb clueless hacks, with fits with the commenters saying they have become addicted to big donor and corporate interest group money. And from a cynical view, that is the one explanation that makes sense out of their complete apparent incompetence and hilarious fecklessness

    Thanks to AL for info that Moulton was a war hero. His devolution into this current mess is sad.
    I hope this ends up like their previous attempt into a big nothing that is forgetten the next day after Speaker Pelosi takes the gavel. If a real alternative appears in the next couple of years, I doubt we’ll hear about her or him from the Moulton/Tim Ryan crowd.

  63. 63
    Peter H Desmond says:

    @Aleta:
    that was a good one — thank you!

  64. 64
    gwangung says:

    @jl: And if these palookas were looking for new leadership, why didn’t they focus on actual leaders like Schiff and Lieu, who’ve been very visible in advancing the Democratic platform the past two years?

    Naw, they wanted to be kingmakers and powers behind the throne, with all the perks and none of the responsibilities. Or doing ANY of the hard work…

  65. 65
    jl says:

    @gwangung: They are making such a obvious and abject public display of being clueless fools, who don’t even make sense when they talk, and show zero sign of knowing what is happening around them, that I am forced into the most cynical view.

    Pelosi just made a deal with several progressive groups of newcomers who have made serious pledges not to take corporate, of big donor, or PAC money, or some such combination. They all want to move to grass roots small donor money or public financing. Must be some talk about that in Mitt’s quiet back rooms. I think Pelosi will prefer to make some big history over next six years, rather than stick with an aging system that isn’t working well for the country anymore.

    So, as a signalling exercise to say ‘Hey big money, we will make damned fools of ourselves in front of the country to show you that you are still our daddy.” Big money demands that kind of devotion, and shows what they will be willing to do to themselves in the future, if it is demanded of them.

    So, I have become very cynical about it. Like I said, I hope they fail just as bigtime now as they did the last time they tried this stunt.

  66. 66
    James E Powell says:

    @NotMax:

    Hey now, who was it that inflicted Scott Brown on us?

    Martha Coakley.

  67. 67
    Mnemosyne says:

    @jl:

    One big complaint I’ve had is that Pelosi has been tone deaf about her role as a fundraiser, in the old corporate and big donor system. But I think Pelosi is the kind of person who will take doing some big and good things over clinging to old political models. She will be able to say to big donors ‘Well, things are changing, this is how we operate now.”

    One thing that a lot of the lefty Pelosi whiners don’t get is that her motto truly is, “Just win, baby.” She’s not attached to anything about the current financing system, and if it looks like this new method of getting grassroots donations is going to work long-term, she will drop the old big-donor system in a heartbeat.

    She has no ego invested in doing things “her” way. She gets her ego boost by doing what works and watching it succeed even if it wasn’t her plan. That’s why she’s the right leader for the caucus at this moment — she’s more flexible than a lot of members who are half her age.

  68. 68
    SFAW says:

    @James E Powell:

    Martha Coakley.

    Yeah, Webster’s dictionary has a picture of her next to “inept campaigning” for that race. Although, to be fair, she (mostly) learned from her mistakes, and came pretty close to beating/upsetting Charlie Baker during his first campaign. [Considering her baggage from the contest against Scotty Brown, and the love that the various establishment media and other groups had for Baker, yeah, I think it would have been an upset for her to win. ]

  69. 69
    jl says:

    @Mnemosyne: I tried to phrase it as I imagine Pelosi would, if they have to face off over a table in a quiet back room.
    I would like to keep up with how big money is reacting to the developments in the Democratic caucus. In some ways, civil rights and social policy, the big Dem donors are better. But OTOH, I remember when some of the Dem billionaires got jealous that the GOP big donors were publicly telling their GOP flunikies exactly what to do, so the Dem billionaires were going on TV having tantrums.

    And corporate money is completely amoral and souless. It just wants what it wants. It’s a kind of infernal machine. Corporate money will be much more delicate and careful about its reaction but will be implacable.

    I trust Pelosi to cast a cold eye on political life and death, and do what will get us the most progress.
    And even though I have some criticisms of Pelosi, I don’t believe this business that the current leadership has prevented an alternative. That is complete BS, really.
    If there were someone competitive who thought it would be a good idea to challenge Pelosi now, and had real leadership ability, there is nothing preventing them from stepping forward. No one has stepped forward, and that is their problem as mush as on anyone else. Real leaders don’t wait for permission if they think they need to take the lead.

    Well, Fudge stepped forward, but then decided to deal, which might have been the plan from the beginning.

  70. 70
    Mandalay says:

    @divF:

    a Harvard degree in physics should be worth something extra

    And tea partier Dave Brat used to brag that he was the only person in Congress with a Ph.D. in economics.

    That didn’t save him two weeks ago when he got beaten by Abigail Spanberger, who coincidentally is also not supporting Pelosi:

    “Nothing is wrong with Nancy Pelosi,” Spanberger told Tapper. “Nancy Pelosi’s done tremendous things for this country as speaker, as minority leader, and I have tremendous respect for her. Among the reasons that there are so many women entering Congress now is because she’s paved the way for us. But one of the things that I talked about frequently on the campaign trail was the need to have new voices in Congress, the need to turn a new page in the way we engage across the aisle, and really to be able to work on the priorities that were most important to the people in my district.”

  71. 71
    Platonailedit says:

    @Mandalay:

    Unlike the idiots like Moulton, she seems to know how to thread that particular needle.

  72. 72
    gwangung says:

    @Mnemosyne: Exactly. Pelosi is pragmatic and just goes ahead and executes. She adapts to the environment…and sad to say, the current environment tends to select for people who can raise lots of money. I raise money professionally, and almost all campaigns fall under the 90/10 rule: 90% of the money come from 10% of the people. Way too many people whine about the environment, about how money is the root of political evil, but they’re not taking the steps to change that environment….

    @jl: Yup. A real leader puts together a plan and executes; saying Pelosi isn’t right and just sitting there without building a coalition FOR MONTHS just showed how much of a clown show these jokers were. All they could do was TALK TALK TALK about new leadership, but they couldn’t muster a coalition. Pelosi and Obama didn’t flap their gums…they built a machine and challenged the establishment.

  73. 73
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Mandalay:

    really to be able to work on the priorities that were most important to the people in my district.”

    There’s the tell. And I don’t even blame her.

  74. 74
    jl says:

    @Mandalay: From the link

    “I’ve been very clear about my position and that remains the same,” she said. “I will be voting but I will not be voting for her.”

    But this is a very odd thing to say. Who is she going to vote for? McCarthy? There is no alternative Dem candidate to Pelosi, and there better be one soon, or Spanberger’s stated plan will be nonsense. But she made a silly pledge during her campaign, and maybe feels she needs some acrobatics to get out of it.

    Until a credible alternative candidate appears, I have to interpret statements that make no sense cynically (as in ulterior motive they are not being honest about), as mating dances for deals, or newcomers floundering around because they made hard promises that they shouldn’t have made during the campaign.

    We’ll see. Wake me up when there is someone these people can credibly vote for instead of Pelosi. We all know how elections work, right?

  75. 75
    rikyrah says:

    He believes his own hype against Pelosi as some San Francisco liberal. The truth is…she is Nancy from Baltimore…
    Seth, if you don’t know what that means…you better ask somebody.

  76. 76
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @jl:

    “I’ve been very clear about my position and that remains the same,” she said. “I will be voting but I will not be voting for her.”

    But this is a very odd thing to say.

    She can vote “present”. Notice that the anti-Pelosi letter signatories didn’t say this. They said they would be, and I quote “voting for new leadership”. Yes,this is … *parsing* carefully. But that’s what these [eta: ladies and] guys are paid to do, right? “I didn’t vote for Nancy Pelosi; my opponent is lying”.

  77. 77
    Martin says:

    Honest to god, the we have one tenuous thread on which to rescue this shitshow of a government and that there are any Democrats saying ‘hey, I know, let’s put a rookie up against the most corrupt and obstructionist coalition of the last century’ is bewildering. If there was ever a time to have someone who can use that gavel like a fucking Hattori Hanzō, it’d be now.

  78. 78
    Mandalay says:

    @jl:

    But she made a silly pledge during her campaign, and maybe feels she needs some acrobatics to get out of it.

    I think that may well be the case. She is certainly walking the tightrope very cautiously at the moment (she didn’t sign the letter, but she won’t support Pelosi), and has put herself in a position where she can piss off a lot of future colleagues if she isn’t careful with her words.

  79. 79
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Martin: Hattori Hanzō

    Tales of Hattori’s exploits often attributed various supernatural abilities, such as teleportation, psychokinesis, and precognition,[5] and these attributions contribute to his continued prominence in popular culture. He died at the age of 55.

  80. 80
    jl says:

    @Chetan Murthy: Yeah, I been waiting for a new Straight Talk Express ever since the late McCain passed away. Looks like we found one. I hope Spanberger finds her incumbent political legs soon and does better. Better she just break her pledge and vote for Pelosi than go that route, I think. But,that is IMHO, I never won an election… so maybe she knows what she’d dong.

    Not having the Dems make a good start as majority the House with a strong Speaker would be a disaster for the country. And for the Dems. If not Pelosi, who?
    Tim Ryan’s noble offer is such a joke, everyone is being very polite in pretending he never said it. And even so, whoever would be as good as Pelosi right now, it sure as hell ain’t Ryan.

  81. 81
    jl says:

    doing, not dong.

  82. 82
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mandalay:

    ”But one of the things that I talked about frequently on the campaign trail was the need to have new voices in Congress, the need to turn a new page in the way we engage across the aisle, and really to be able to work on the priorities that were most important to the people in my district.”

    To me, this leaves a little room open for some horsetrading, especially since Spanberger has been smart enough not to put her pledge in writing.

    Not having another viable candidate on the Democratic side also gives freshman reps like Spanberger a talking point if they do need to vote for Pelosi rather than being able to vote “present”: The only two candidates for Speaker were Pelosi and McCarthy, and I sure wasn’t going to put the Republicans back in charge of the House. That’s not what I was elected to do.

    Combine that with a sweet committee seat that affects her district and Spanberger may be wiling to give Pelosi that “yes” vote after all. Just win, baby.

  83. 83
    Mary G says:

    @Mnemosyne: I think Nancy has everything arranged however she and the new members need to play it. A lot of the people who signed that letter will be saying just that after seeing the Moulton town hall meeting and hearing from the small donors who got them elected.

  84. 84
    SectionH says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I literally almost spit my cider out the first time I read your comment much earlier tonight. And some hours laters (because ftfipad I take to beer bars, when I fired up my real machine, it made me laugh even harder.

  85. 85
    piratedan says:

    apparently Moulton and Ryan have their own issues with women in power to work thru… and Pelosi herself has stated the following:

    1) she believes that she has the votes to be speaker
    2) she doesn’t care what candidates stated in order to get elected.

    After watching her marshal a much more endangered caucus in order to get both the Infrastructure and ACA bills passed into law back in 2008, I’m not going to be the one to gainsay that Nancy doesn’t know what she’s doing. Also, for Moulton to sit there and state that her biggest accomplishment was to be Speaker to begin with shows just how incredibly myopic a tool he really is and if he was serious, he would have been working with the newcomers, building a base and an organization and instead, he’s been acting like a fantasy football owner, slouching in his armchair thinking that he has the league sown up because he drafted the top kicker.

  86. 86
  87. 87
    SectionH says:

    @piratedan: “what a myopic tool he is” – love that.

    Mr S worked his first GOTV election in B’more, for Parren Mitchell in 1970? – wvs, first black person from MD to be elected to the House – anyway he’d worked hard enough to get invited to a Thank You party for the workers, courtesy of Tommy D’Alessandro. And Tommy’s daughter was there, being very nice to all of the volunteers. Mr S was in awe. Not just how beautiful she was, but how cleverly and kindly she dealt with all the youngsters that night.

    The story makes me smile, every time he tells it.

  88. 88
    Mnemosyne says:

    I just had a hilarious late-night thought that made me LOL:

    In 2022, I want Hillary Clinton to run for governor of New York and beat Andrew Cuomo. We’ve had good luck here in California with old fart Jerry Brown coming out for one last rodeo to clean up everyone else’s shit, so why not Hillary to clean up NYS?

    Good night, jackals!

  89. 89
    Mohagan says:

    I read recently that one of the great things about Nancy Pelosi is that she doesn’t care if a congressperson had to attack her to get elected. Once they are elected, they are one of her people, and she will do what she can to protect them on votes, raise money etc. in order to get them re-elected. Unless of course, they turn out to be stupid and won’t learn, like Seth here, in which case I imagine he will end up on the committees which are the House version of meaningless Siberia. And another great thing about Nancy is she uses her power for good – to pass progressive legislation and stop the Rethugs from destroying our democracy any further.

  90. 90
    rikyrah says:

    @gwangung:
    Palookas?😂😂😂

  91. 91
    different-church-lady says:

    @Amir Khalid: Verbing weirds language.

  92. 92
    Amir Khalid says:

    @different-church-lady:
    I’ve heard “thickness” and “radius” being used as verbs, but only by woodworkers in a woodworking context. I have never heard a football player or coach or journalist use “own-goal” as a verb.

  93. 93
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @jl:

    Who is she going to vote for?

    The 3rd option is “Present”.

  94. 94
    Bruce K says:

    My argument for Pelosi is that right now, American politics is essentially a war being fought by other methods, and Pelosi has proven she knows how to fight that war. She also strikes me as smart enough to know she’s not going to live forever, and to build a bench of leaders to take up the fight after the time comes for her to step aside. Yeah, she’s elderly, and not all her positions may sit well with firebrand progressives, but dammit, Lincoln knew he needed Grant, Ike knew he needed Patton, and we sure as hell need Nancy Smash right now.

  95. 95
    Anne Laurie says:

    @James E Powell:

    Martha Coakley.

    One reason Seth Moulton feels entitled to play the Big Swinging Dick is that, alas, the only prejudice stronger among Masshole voters than racism is sexism.

    Coakley was not a great candidate. But she came up in a tight-knit political system that rewarded women politicians for acting like doormats — and those same Old Boy Networkers gleefully undercut what support she could muster, once she managed to out-primary The Boyos.

    Technically, Massachusetts is a ‘liberal’ state. However, it’s not merely their respective political talents that ensured America would elect a Black president (twice), but allow a female president with more of the popular vote to have the Oval Office stolen by a *male* Russian puppet…

  96. 96
    Haroldo says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    One reason Seth Moulton feels entitled to play the Big Swinging Dick is that, alas, the only prejudice stronger among Masshole voters than racism is sexism.

    This is so true and has been what I’ve been less eloquently posting these past couple of days.

  97. 97
    debbie says:

    Moulton is McConnells’ puppet. Nothing more.

  98. 98
    SFAW says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    the only prejudice stronger among Masshole voters than racism is sexism.

    The main — perhaps only — reason I hate Joan Vennochi is that she loses no opportunity to get her hate on regarding strong, accomplished, usually powerful, women. Shannon O’Brien, Martha Coakley, Elizabeth Warren, Nancy Pelosi. When her latest regurgitation* is titled something like “Thanks, Seth Moulton, for shaking things up,” it seems nothing has changed. [Disclaimer: I refuse to give the Glob clicks, since they’ve become “Herald-lite,” so maybe I’m completely worng about her latest.]

    *I considered writing “regurgitationing,” just to troll Amir (in a good-natured way, Amir mein Freund), but decided against it

  99. 99
    tom darga says:

    Pelosi will win.

    Then we will see if all those genuflecting towards her were right or not.

  100. 100
    David says:

    The same B’S arguments regarding authority vs New still set my teeth on edge as they did when I started working 40 years ago.Either a thing is true or not notwithstanding the vintage. Pull the new ideas or authority card as justification and I recognize the person using it is usually FOS Hence we have Mr Moulton

  101. 101
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @rikyrah: Former Congressman & Mayor of Baltimore Tommy D’Alesandro would have squashed Moulton like a cockroach. Tommy’s little girl Nancy D’Alesandro Pelosi will just peel off all his camouflage & leave him shivering in a nor’easter about to succumb to (ahem) exposure.

    @SectionH: Funny you should mention it – that election was my first foray into politics! The Mitchell campaign sent this white Hopkins student down to a polling place in lilywhite South Baltimore to hand out the Official Democratic Ballot – where I discovered there were not one but two other “Official Democratic Ballots” circulating, both of which featured Parren’s GOP challenger, one of which also dropped incumbent Democratic US Senator Joe Tydings in favor of Nixon’s darling J. Glenn Beall Jr. Don’t recall an invite to that party…maybe I had an exam the next day…but it would’ve been neat to have met Nancy SMASH! all those years ago. (More so than her brother, Tommy III, who had been Mayor of Baltimore during the post-MLK-assassination riots &, brokenhearted, left politics soon thereafter. Hoocoodanode it was his sister who inherited Dad’s political chops?)

    @jl: “I trust Pelosi to cast a cold eye on political life and death”– Saw what you did there.Nicely played!

    Cast a cold eye
    On life, on death –
    Horseman, pass by.

    A political epitaph for Rep. Moulton? Maybe, if you change the last line to

    Horse manure, hit the road.

    (Just FTR I have crouched, sideways, crablike, at the stone of Yeats’ grave under Ben Bulben – & somewhere I have the photo to prove it.)

  102. 102

    As a physics major and a Masshole, I am embarrassed at Moulton’s stupid antics. Sit down, idiot.

  103. 103
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    What this jarhead moran is doing is reinforcing every negative stereotype of Marines who write with crayons.

  104. 104
    Matt McIrvin says:

    He’s the last Sensible, Moderate New England Republican — a breed for which the region, not to mention the country, has no more use.

    Wrong. They can still become governor. (As Republicans.)

  105. 105
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Anne Laurie: Also part of the reason Elizabeth Warren tends to underperform for her very Democratic territory, despite being a nationally known figure. She had a tough time running against Scott Brown, despite his being Scott Brown.

  106. 106
    EthylEster says:

    @Amir Khalid wrote: “Own-goaling”.

    And Josh Marshall earns a living by writing words in English. Groan.

    Actually he earns a living by figuring out lots of ways to piggy back on other news orgs and then charge money to access some of his content. My new year’s resolution is to avoid clicking on links at his site because often there is nothing beyond the headline in the “article”. Fifteen years ago TPM broke stories. Now they pretend something unique and valuable is behind their paywall. Oh, well.

  107. 107
    apocalipstick says:

    @different-church-lady: “Nancy comin’! Nancy comin’!”

  108. 108
    Burnspbesq says:

    @Ella in New Mexico:

    That is one fucking awesome opinion right there.

    Even the footnotes are great—22 and 40 in particular.

  109. 109

    @Amir Khalid: His writing usually gives me a two aspirin headache.

  110. 110
    FlyingToaster says:

    @SFAW: Heh. If I see them Friday/Saturday, I’ll let them know. Or send HerrDoktor (he’s more credible, given his mad language skilz).

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