US Rep. Nancy Pelosi and US Sen. Charles Schumer should sacrifice their own ambition to help their nation and party.
The success of attorney and former Marine Conor Lamb in this week’s congressional election in southwest Pennsylvania is further evidence of the potential for widespread victory by Democrats in the mid-term election in November. Whether Lamb wins the seat or is edged out by the Republican after straggling votes are counted, the strong showing by a Democrat who “fit the district” (to use a popular phrase of the season) confirms that the Democrats have a fighting chance to take over the US House of Representatives in the fall. President Trump’s 20 percent margin of victory in 2016 in that district was wiped out this past Tuesday.
The Republicans across the country already are demonizing US Rep. and Democratic Minority Leader Pelosi in much the same way that they used Sec. of State Hillary R. Clinton in the past. It’s a reality, whether Democrats and Independents believe it is fair or not. The Democrats nationally and in the states should insist that Rep. Pelosi take herself out as a possibility for Speaker of the House of Representatives in January 2019. The D’s need to take this off the table as a “scaring point” by R’s for the next seven months. Be smart, Democrats.
Likewise, Sen. Schumer on the Senate side. I believe US Sen. Charles Schumer should step down as Minority Leader in the Senate as well — by June — to make way for a new party leader going in to the fall election and looking towards the new Congress in January. Shake it up. Give the public a new political television season in the fall.
Whether they think it is fair or right, the D’s must recognize that this kind of GOP fear-tactic works. There is too much at stake to dig in heels over Pelosi as prospective Speaker and Schumer as Senate Majority Leader. Find other promising Democratic women or men who can take the Minority leadership positions as early as June. There is no guarantee either would win anyway in a contest for the next Speaker of Majority Leader, especially if a Blue Wave brings dozens of new Democrats to Washington.
The Democrats must show the voters that they “get it” — and will present fresh ideas, fresh faces, and a fresh approach in January 2019. Nancy Pelosi had her turn. Schumer is from the old guard, too. Neither has been effective in countering Republican stonewalling on Russia-gate. Why no televised hearings on the investigations after the blockbuster appearance of then-FBI Director James Comey? Neither has come up with effective political messaging to compete with Trump consuming most of the political oxygen day after day, working the traditional and new media like a marketing whiz.
With Rep. Pelosi as their leader, the House Democrats have lost ground in the past few elections. She had her moment as Speaker and made progress with her colleagues on economic recovery, affordable health care, and financial industry regulation under President Obama. It’s time for a change. Time for a new generation of leaders to step up among Democrats in Washington, DC. The Democrats have to present to their fellow Americans an appealing alternative to Trump’s GOP this year, not the same thing in Congressional choices.
After the calamity in November 2016, the Democrats have yet to do a real make-over in recognition of the facts. They can only blame themselves, and we will only blame them, if they blow another chance to help govern the nation. What’s more, we the people will continue to pay a big price for their incompetence. Trump is doing damage every day. If the D’s fail to understand and act accordingly, then a new third party may be the only alternative for tens of millions of voters.