House Democrats Turn on One Another

House Democrats Turn on One Another

( – The big blue wave Democrats and the media were hoping for didn’t develop in the US House of Representatives. Not one Republican incumbent lost a seat, and the party flipped six Democratic seats with more expected to come. Many of the losses may have come from voters who had buyer’s regret as most of the seats Republicans won were seats lost to Democrats in the 2018 election.

Democrats are now poised to hold the smallest majority in 18 years. As such, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) lost any leverage she had, and it will be increasingly difficult to unite the House in passing left-wing legislation.

Moderate Democrats believe the party should have won big across the country. Now, they are sounding the alarm. In a caucus call on Thursday, November 5, moderates placed the blame directly on the party’s far left-wing and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

Left-Wing Issues on the Ballot

Two years ago, Democrats fought hard to win moderate seats to secure the House majority. It worked. Now, they’ve lost many of those seats. Moderate Democrats blasted the party’s far left-wing for pushing issues that have pushed Democrats out at the ballot box.

The call was contentious. Moderates angrily expressed their frustrations, and Pelosi explained the results away as a major victory for the Democratic party. The main issues centrist Democrats said cost them dearly were the Republican Party’s ability to label all Democrats as socialists and far-left radicals who supported measures like the Green New Deal and defunding the police.

Moderates Call for the Party to Abandon the Far Left

Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) said, “We need to not ever use the word ‘socialist’ or ‘socialism’ ever again. . . . We lost good members because of that. If we are classifying Tuesday as a success . .  We lost members who shouldn’t have lost. (If we don’t change) we will get f—ing torn apart in 2022.”

Reps. Marc Veasey (D-TX) and Vicente Gonzales (D-TX) joined in blaming the struggles on calls by their far-left colleagues to defund the police, as well as embracing socialism.

Perhaps the biggest voice in opposition to the progressive movement was Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC). Clyburn stated that if Democrats continue to pursue socialized medicine and defund the police, “we’re not going to win.”

Far Left Democrats Refute Moderate Claims

Two members of the far-left “squad” refuted the claims of centrist Democrats despite their heavy losses. Co-Chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) said moderates shouldn’t be singling out those who energize the party’s base.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) angrily went on the attack using the same rhetoric that got Democrats beat at the polls. She said moderate Democrats were only interested in appealing to white people in suburban America. However, if Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden wins, it may well be because of white suburban America.

Perhaps it was Pelosi’s comments that were the most shocking. She was in denial about the losses and suggested it wasn’t as bad as it seemed. She said, “We did not win every battle but we did win the war. Every one of you knows that incumbent protection is my number one priority.”

Is the Developing Rift Problematic Long-Term for Democrats?

The rift could have long-term consequences for the Democratic Party. For the second time as Speaker of the House, Pelosi’s majorities shrunk. After passing Obamacare in 2010, Democrats experienced historic losses to Republicans in 2012. They struggled to compete for the House again until 2018.

Now, Democrats could face the same possibility in 2022 if the party doesn’t self-destruct. Already, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is attacking moderates who suggest the party needs to move away from the far left. On Twitter, she countered the problems weren’t the issues but the candidates. She has also said she may not support Pelosi for Speaker in January.

In the coming days, months, and years ahead, Democrats may struggle to unite as the moderates and left-wing of the party debate on how to move forward. For conservatives, that’s good news.

Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst

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