FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Whither or Wither The House Democrats?
A Changing of The Guard On Democracy's Left Bank
A subtle change has occurred in The House of Representatives. Some Democrats and some Republicans have decided to back away from the pork barrel one last final time. This happens every two years and usually doesn’t inspire much in the way of notice. Yet to see which Democrats have decided or may be deciding to call it a career is to finally have some hope of legitimate change coming to DC.
The Democrats enrolling in the Shady Valley Home For Lawmakers Who’ve Worn Out Their Welcome include a veritable aristocracy of their most powerful and connected members. Jim Moran will no longer infest The Capital, we’ve experienced our last not-so-good vibration from Congressman George Miller and also, fellow Front-Pager Caleb Howe reminds me how I’ll miss the radiant countenance of Congressman Henry Waxman. These three are just the big guns of the American Left that have decided to make it official.
Moe Lane tells us that Congressman “Impacted” Collin Peterson is in a hard fight to hang on. “Life is tough.” John Wayne commented. It’s tougher if you’re broke. Collin Peterson isn’t fund-raising his burn rate and faces hostile fire in what used to be a pacified fiefdom of a Congressional District…
This brings us now to speculation that even The Queen Bee, Former Speaker, Nancy Pelosi may well step down. Josh Kraushaar of The National Journal offers informed tea-leaf reading below.
With Rep. Henry Waxman’s retirement announcement, many of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s top lieutenants are abandoning ship. Waxman joins his California colleague, Rep. George Miller, and Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia as close Pelosi allies to retire after this Congress. And after last year’s 2012 elections, Pelosi’s leading in-house strategist Jen Crider left her office, later announcing she was working for Microsoft. Their decisions are as strong a signal as any that veteran House Democrats hold little hope of taking the House in 2014, and they probably are pessimistic about their long-term prospects for a congressional majority. Miller and Waxman would be in line to chair influential committees if their party took control of the chamber. A third Democrat, Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, wouldn’t commit to running again in an interview this week. He would be in line to head up the Agriculture Committee in a Democratic majority.
If all of the dominoes listed above fall, The House Democrats will be a ship without rudder amid the tremulous 2014 seas. This would be a blessed relief from the constant ideological pressure of the Far Left. It would also leave Congressman Paul Ryan without experienced allies in his efforts to enact much of Barack Obama’s SOTU agenda.
Most of all, this would represent both a generational and perhaps even an ideological inflection point amongst House Progressives. They would take a caesura as they sorted out who would lead them exactly where. All of which is duly necessary as they had stayed to long, grown too comfy and had forgotten any ideal of public service which perhaps had originally helped propel them into the legislature in the first place. With these towering figures of the Progressive Left gone from Congress things will be different. Spare a prayer that they will be better as well.