These days, when Democrats and Republicans can’t seem to agree on anything, candidates from both parties have rallied around a single issue: opposition to Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
Another Democratic Congressional candidate has turned their back on the House minority leader this week. If elected to New Jersey’s 11th district, Mikie Sherrill promised constituents that she won’t back Nancy Pelosi.
Seeking to win over disaffected liberal Democrats to win a tight primary with four other contenders, Sherrill has staked her future on shrugging off institutional party support. According to the New Jersey Globe, the former Naval aviator and federal prosecutor said:
I’m glad to see that Paul Ryan decided not to run for reelection, but in the Democratic party, we have to look at ourselves as well. So, I won’t be supporting Nancy Pelosi for leadership either, because we know that the next 50 years aren’t going to look like the last 50 years, and we need a new generation of leaders who are going to bring forward fresh ideas as to how we move this country forward.
Sherill could be jockeying to win support that would otherwise go to her biggest primary contender from the far left, social worker Tamara Harris. If Sherrill is still standing after June 5, however, her resistance to party leadership could play well in the reliably Republican district soon to be vacated by Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen.
Losing her grip
Pelosi has maintained a firm grip on the speaker’s gavel for 16 years, but after Hillary Clinton’s stunning defeat in 2016, and huge Democratic losses in the House in 2010 and 2014, many progressives are ready for a change.
Nowadays, associating with the 78-year-old California millionaire is a surefire way of aligning with the Democratic Party establishment — an aging band of tone-deaf, privileged elitists who continue to traffic in the same shopworn campaign slogans and continue to lose elections despite enjoying undying allegiance from Hollywood, the mainstream media and academia.
After Pennsylvania’s Conor Lamb won a tough (and irrelevant) race by proclaiming “we need new leadership,” several Democrats have followed his example.
In May alone, Danny O’Conner in Ohio, Dan McReady in North Carolina and Chrissy Houlahan and Scott Wallace in Pennsylvania won Democratic primaries after refusing to toe the establishment line by backing Pelosi for party leader.
“Just win, baby,” Pelosi said when asked if she would surrender party leadership following the 2018 midterms. But even if Pelosi is able to lead Democrats out of nearly a decade of political insignificance this fall, some Democrats are unlikely to reward her with yet another term at the party helm.
Meanwhile, Republicans continue to cast Pelosi as a radioactive leader who oversaw eight years of anemic economic growth and has lost her grip on reality. The House minority leader certainly hasn’t done herself any favors during repeated speeches attacking the GOP platform which have been full of slurred words, garbled phrases and stuttered half-steps.
A vote for Democrats is a vote for Nancy Pelosi, Republicans contend. Except, as she loses the support of her own party, this may no longer be the case.
Pelosi may have survived for so many years as her party’s House torchbearer simply because there isn’t a reliable Democratic leader to take her place. Sherrill may have inadvertently exposed this deficit when the Globe asked her who she would pick to replace Pelosi.
“I don’t have an alternative in mind,” she admitted. Neither does America, apparently.