Tuesday, July 31, 2018


Graybeard journalist Jeff Greenfield tweets:

It's amusing to me that Greenfield has been in D.C. for more than half a century and he garbles Steny Hoyer's name ("Stoyer"). If even he can't get the name right, do you think ordinary Americans have a firm grasp on who Hoyer is? Do you think they care whether Hoyer stays or goes?

Obviously, the key person here is Pelosi. Should she offer to step aside? While it would deprive Republicans of a favorite target, we know they'll just find a new one, or several. In fact, it's no longer clear that Pelosi is the #1 congressional target of Republican demonizers. This year that honor seems to have fallen to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who hasn't even won a general election yet. I guarantee that within 48 hours of Pelosi's announcement, right-wing disinformation channels will be announcing that Ocasio-Cortez plans to run for Speaker if Democrats win. (It's preposterous that a first-term member of the House would do that, but your right-wing uncle will believe the rumor.) If the Ocasio-Cortez rumor is discounted as implausible, we'll be told that Sandersite socialists intend to fully take over the leadership if Democrats regain the majority. There'll probably be a number of progressives actually proposing that, though other Democrats will have different ideas. The right-wing noise machine will ignore the latter group and declare that the progressives will triumph, then instantly turn America into Venezuela.

Meanwhile, the right will still have plenty of older Democratic women who can be portrayed as scary old witches: Maxine Waters and Frederica Wilson in the House, not to mention Senator Elizabeth Warren (up for reelection this year) and, of course, Hillary Clinton, who gets dragged by the right (and the mainstream media) pretty much every time she leaves the house.

So sure, a move like this would suggest that Democrats are making a fresh start -- but the amount of invective from the right won't change. Also, the mainstream media will respond with a thousand stories about the Democrats' lack of a "deep bench" from which to replace the old leadership. So would it be of any benefit electorally?

Finally, as I've said many times, "drain the swamp" doesn't mean "root out corruption" or "get rid of entrenched power." It's Trump-speak for "eliminate anyone we disagree with." To Trumpers, young Democrats are "swamp creatures" just like old Democrats, because they're Democrats.

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