It’s probably a bad sign that right after being proclaimed the new House Democratic leaders, Hakeem Jeffries, Kathleen Clark and coke freak Pete Aguilar all voted to trample on the right of union members to strike. In fact, they— as well as Biden, Pelosi, Hoyer and Clyburn— led their whole caucus down that path… other than 8 members, from Rashida Tlaib and Mark DeSaulnier on the left to Jared Golden and Donald Norcross on the right. The other 4 sticking up for workers were Judy Chu (CA), Mary Peltola (AK), Mark Pocan (WI) and Norma Torres (CA). For people wondering where was the rest of the Squad and the rest of the Congressional Progressive Caucus— although Norcross is the CPC labor VP— the answer is that they put their faith in a parallel performative bill that adds 7 paid sick leave days to the contract that is very likely to die in the Senate. But at least the House members can say they did all they could… even if they didn’t.
That all said, Jeffries may actually be doing one good thing for the caucus. Claiming the right to nominate the DCCC chair— much less messy than allowing some kind of corrupted democracy by corrupt House Democrats— Jeffries appears to be saving the Democrats from the nightmare of either having a criminal DCCC chair for the 2024 cycle. The two in contention yesterday were credibly accused child rapist Tony Cárdenas and campaign finance crook Ami Bera, who let his old, sick father take the fall for him and go to prison. Now Jeffries seems to be on the verge on picking someone who won’t be a member, Tim Ryan. This is a good idea— and it won’t be the first time that has happened either. (The first chairman was James Rood Doolittle— 1868— who was a Republican and a Democrat and a Wisconsin judge and senator, but never a member of the House.)
Ryan ran a Republican-lite campaign for senator in a red state. He didn’t do terribly but he was beaten by craven, opportunistic Trumpist J.D. Vance. He won 8 counties, the same number as Hillary won in 2016. Sherrod Brown is an actual populist and ran a far more authentic campaign than Ryan did— and won 53.4% to 46.6%. He won 16 counties.
Ryan would be a better choice than Bera or Cárdenas but… why not look around for someone who knows how to win elections? Speaking of which... by the end of the day we finally saw a progressive elected— and, unlike the coronations, this was actually a contested election with 3 rounds of real voting-- to top House leadership (caucus vice chair). Ted Lieu led every round and in the end beat Dingell 141-74, making him the highest ranking Asian-American in congressional history. Let's hope, for the sake of the country, he's part of every leadership decision for the next two years.