Editorial | Dual message in Democrats' victory

Editorial | Dual message in Democrats' victory

It was not just Republicans who were shaken by a surprise Democratic win in a Pennsylvania congressional race.

Republican members of Congress, particularly the U.S. House of Representatives, reportedly are apoplectic over their political futures after the Democrats' big victory in a House race in Pennsylvania.

Democrat Conor Lamb, a former federal prosecutor and an officer in the U.S. military reserves, won a close race in a district long held by Republicans. President Donald Trump had easily carried the district in the 2016 presidential race.

Fearing that Lamb's win is laying the groundwork for a sweeping Democratic victory in November, Republicans are nervously trying to figure out what they can do to forestall disaster.

"This is a wake-up call. Wake up," Ohio U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers recently warned his GOP colleagues, urging they step up fundraising and start running hard.

Republicans, who have slight majorities in both the U.S. House and Senate, are rightly concerned.

For starters, the trend is against them. The party in control of the White House traditionally loses seats in off-year elections.

Both presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama endured staggering losses in congressional races after they won the presidency.

Further aggravating the problem is what can only be described as understandable Democratic rage over losing the 2016 presidential race to Trump that has energized their voters. They can be expected to come out in droves and direct their anger at any Republican they can find.

But if Republicans are concerned — they are and should be — not all Democrats are completely happy with the turn of events.

Consider Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. One of the reasons that Lamb won is because he repudiated Pelosi's leadership position and said Democrats need new, younger leadership in the House.

Noting the success Lamb had in distancing himself from Pelosi, other Democratic candidates will run the same play.

Pelosi, a San Fransisco Democrat, beat back an intraparty challenge to her leadership after the 2016 election. But opposition continues to grow as more House Democrats come to the conclusion that it's time for a change in their ranks.

Republicans, of course, want Pelosi to stay right where she is. They love wrapping her ultraliberal image around the necks of Democratic congressional candidates.

Indeed, they spent millions of dollars doing just that in their campaign against Lamb.

They warned voters that Lamb will be a member of Pelosi's "flock," that he'll be a puppet and she'll be pulling his strings.

Lamb responded that the charge was just a "big lie."

"I've already said on the front page of the newspaper that I don't support Nancy Pelosi," he replied.

Enough voters took Lamb at his word that he eked out a narrow win in a district in which Democrats didn't even field a candidate in 2016.

One need not be a political savant to read these tea leaves. Pelosi is toxic in many congressional districts that Democrats must win to take back the U.S. House.

There's no question that Pelosi is an effective political counterpuncher. But as she approaches her 78th birthday, Pelosi looks more and more like she's standing on thin ice — a burden that fewer and fewer ambitious Democrats no longer wish to bear.

Sections (2):Editorials, Opinion

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Mr Dreamy wrote on March 20, 2018 at 8:03 am

Opinions are a dime a dozen, even by the vaunted Jim Dey.

Try this opinion. Republicans are going to get hammered because of Trump and the lack of Congressional leadership in both the House and Senate.


The voters might get fooled once, but don’t like lying, cheating, thieving mob-like figures running government. Those calling themselves Republican while supporting Trump are either ignorant of what it means to be a Republican, or are lying fools.

And I know what it means to be a Republican. I’ve been one since I voted for Nixon, and remain one. Because of that, I do not support Trump.

And before you RWNJ snowflakes call me out, I don’t like Hillary, Pelosi, or most of the whiney Democrats either.