Exit Stage (Far) Left, Cont’d

by Daniel Foster

By now you’ve seen that soon-to-be-ex-Speaker Pelosi has announced, via Twitter, that she will stand for election as House minority leader.

“Driven by the urgency of creating jobs & protecting [health-care reform], [Wall Street reform], Social Security & Medicare, I am running for Dem Leader”" Pelosi tweeted.

Less than two hours ago, I was wondering whether the noises out of the Blue Dog caucus indicated that Pelosi wouldn’t be able to hang on if she ran for leader. The presumptive challenger would have been current majority leader Steny Hoyer, who enjoys more support from moderate Democrats. But WaPo reports Hoyer won’t be running:

Many Democrats had hoped Pelosi – a central figure in the Republican campaigns that led to the ouster of more than 60 Democrats and returned the House to GOP control – would step aside and let Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) become minority leader.

Hoyer, who has support from the party’s diminished moderate-to-conservative ranks, has announced that he would not challenge Pelosi. Some Democrats suspect he may leave leadership altogether, setting up an even more liberal leadership team than House Democrats had the previous four years.

Since Tuesday’s election, Pelosi’s closest friends, liberal Reps. George Miller (D-Calif.) and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), have been directly seeking support for her while she publicly had been unclear of her intentions.

Chuck Todd makes a good point when he tweets that “Pelosi’s a good vote-counter, she would NOT have announced if she didn’t think she had the votes.” One supposes that Pelosi’s logic is that the Democratic caucus has since the Tuesday purge of a number of Democrats in swing districts, become more — and not less — friendly to her brand of left-progressivism. I haven’t seen hard data on the net ideological balance (by votes etc.) of the incoming Democratic caucus, but that doesn’t sound implausible.

Then there’s Ken Spain’s response, already excerpted in part by Ramesh. I also liked this bit:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result. Of course, if House Democrats are willing to sacrifice more of their members in 2012 for the glory of Nancy Pelosi, we are happy to oblige them.”

Considering the political moment, this seems exactly right. I didn’t share Stephen’s glass-half-full view of the Harry Reid win in Nevada, but I do see the logic from a tactical standpoint of thinking that two more years of (a significantly weakened) Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi can only be good for conservatives heading into 2012.

It will be interesting to watch Pelosi’s run, in a train-wreck sort of way.