NBC reported yesterday that “Democrats have coalesced around a trio of young leaders to replace House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her team, setting up what looks to be smooth leadership elections on Nov. 30… avoiding messy leadership fights.” With the possible exception of Katherine Clark none of there leaders and the least competent and least fit on the 3, Pete Aguilar, is the only one remotely “young.” He’s 43, Clark is 59 and Hakeem Jeffries is 52. I’m not blaming them for their age, just the absurd narrative that they’re young leaders. I might also interject at this moment that whether a candidate for office is young or not, doesn’t indicate whether they are especially suited for that office. The youngest member of the 117th Congress is also wretchedly unfit for public office, Madison Cawthorn (25). The youngest member of the 118th Congress will be Maxwell Foster (FL), who was elected by making a deal with conservative crypto-billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, who largely funded his campaign— so, young and corrupt, right from day one. Other members among the youngest member include unqualified morons like Kat Cammack (FL, age 32), Ritchie Torres (NY, age 32) and Lauren Boebert (CO, age 34). And being younger than Pelosi’s octogenarian triumvirate doesn’t make anyone young.
If Jeffries and Aguilar are going to lead the Democrats anywhere, it’s to absolute doom. Both are as corrupt as a politician can be without going to prison. So bribery galore… but no stacks of hundred dollar bills in the refrigerator (than anyone knows about yet).
And no one I’ve spoken to on Capitol Hill seems even remotely enthused by the new triumvirate, just dazed and vaguely accepting of the inevitable… and unwilling to make any waves. No one wants to go against “the first Black” party leader, especially not one who is tight with Wall Street and even tighter with AIPAC. One prominent member of Congress who read the same NBC report told me yesterday “no surprises here, my only issue is that there is a tremendous amount of corporate influence via some of the new leadership members, possibly more than before. That is not helpful.” Another senior member of Congress who is very worried about Pelosi and Hoyer leaving the leadership in these hands told me that “No one seems to be giving much thought to what it would take to perform these responsibilities well, and contribute to collective success.”
Clyburn’s decision to remain in leadership represented a setback for those calling for “new blood” and hoping for a clean break from the triumvirate of Pelosi, Hoyer and Clyburn that had ruled the Democrats for the past two decades.
Clyburn announced he would run for his old post in the minority, known as “assistant leader,” which deprived younger members from occupying that role. It had been considered the No. 3 job.
Aguilar originally had his eyes set on the assistant leader position, but Clyburn’s move forced him to run for caucus chair. Under a new arrangement, assistant leader will shift to No. 4 and Democratic Caucus chair will move up to No. 3.
That left Rep. Joe Neguse, 38, who had been campaigning behind the scenes for months for caucus chair, as the odd man out.
Some Neguse allies urged him to stay in the race and take on Aguilar, frustrated by the domino effect created by Clyburn’s decision. But Pelosi quickly endorsed the slate of young leaders— Jeffries, Clark and Aguilar— and others followed suit, heading off any possibility of a rebellion from the rank and file and a messy leadership fight between Aguilar and Neguse.
“There are a lot of upset folks. The feeling is that Speaker Pelosi and Leader Hoyer had the grace to step aside, and people cannot believe that Clyburn is unwilling to do it. There is really resentment there about the down-ballot impact,” one younger House Democrat told NBC News.
“There’s incredulity at the idea that this is simply about holding onto power — not that there’s a particular goal in sight. It’s hard to feel like we are turning the page.”
A Clyburn spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment. Clyburn has called Jeffries, Clark and Aguilar “our new generation of Democratic Leaders” but has not weighed in on the Neguse situation.
Last week, a potential escape hatch emerged. Neguse informed colleagues on Nov. 21 he was officially dropping his bid for caucus chair and would run to be chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC), the House Democrats’ messaging arm, if the DPCC operation could be restructured.
Soon after, Jeffries, Clark and Aguilar informed their members in a joint letter that a rule change would be offered this week to do precisely that: overhaul the DPCC to have one elected chairman, likely Neguse, and three elected co-chairs underneath.
…In addition to [Debbie] Dingell and [Ted] Lieu, Reps. Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania and Congressional Black Caucus Chair Joyce Beatty of Ohio are running for vice chair of the caucus. It's the No. 5 slot, seen as a stepping stone to other top leadership roles.
The race to lead the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the House Democrats' campaign arm, for the 2024 cycle will feature a matchup between two Californians, Reps. Tony Cárdenas and Ami Bera.
This is the wound that the House Democrats are inflicting on themselves. Maybe they feel they need to find someone as awful Kevin McCarthy. They have. Over the weekend, two typically brainless far right ideologues, Jon Levin and Melissa Klein, working for the NY Post, wrote that Jeffries “tried to distance himself from the ‘hard left,’ telling The Atlantic last year that ‘There will never be a moment where I bend the knee to hard-left democratic socialism.’… State Sen. Jabari Brisport, a socialist representing Brooklyn, trash-talked the five-term rep last week, tweeting that ‘Hakeem Jeffries started the Team Blue PAC to defend incumbents facing primary challenges.’ He went on to say that Jeffries used the PAC this year ‘to tip the scales’ against progressive state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi’s primary challenge to Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. Maloney went on to lose his seat to Republican Mike Lawler in a major defeat for the party. Brisport added that Jeffries ‘decided to endorse against a sitting progressive State Senator (Robert Jackson)’ and that ‘Democrats who lie about their intentions in order to attack the left wing of the party should not be confirmed to lead it.’”