Diary

Why several House Democrats are entering kamikaze Senate primaries

Seane Trende, the superb election analyst at Real Clear Politics, yesterday released a new column, The GOP Is the Strongest It’s Been in Decades. Though parts are highly technical, it’s well worth reading, and should encourage conservatives.

But if you don’t want to risk an attack of MEGO (My Eyes Glaze Over) it’s easy to see positive proof of Trende’s, well, trend..in the actions of three House Democrats: [mc_name name=’Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’G000556′ ], [mc_name name=’Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’S000030′ ], and [mc_name name=’Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’E000290′ ].

All three are far left, and ultra liberal . Two are also probably crazy. But what they all have in common is that they are giving up three very, very  safe House seats to run an uphill battle for the Democrat senate nomination in their state.

Each has a slim chance of winning, and of course losing means that they are then out of Congress. To go ever further, it’s possible that one, if not all of them, by contesting the Democrat nominations, could cost Democrats  any chance of winning the Senate race, and thus retaking the Senate in 2016.

So why then are all three running lemming-like off the political cliff? Why such haste and eagerness to commit political hari-kiri?

The answer’s surprisingly obvious. Each is young, ambitious, and all three realize that the House is, for Democrats, a dead-end.

The Democrats have almost no chance of retaking the House until 2022 at the earliest, after the next redistricting, and given GOP dominance at the state level ( as Trende points out in his analysis) Democrats have no prayer of redistricting themselves back into power.

Indeed, we could be looking at decades of GOP control of the House.

John McMullan, at one time a part owner of the NY Yankees, once said that, “There is nothing in life quite so limited as being a limited partner of George Steinbrenner.”

The same applies to being in the minority in the House. The minority party really can’t do much of anything. Furthermore, the Democrats, because they must bend over backwards to appease the Congressional Black Caucus ( the single largest constituency in the Democrat delegation) will not eliminate seniority as the only criteria for choosing the ranking member on committees and sub-committees.

Thus, there’s no place to move up.  The House Democrat caucus  is ossified. Members, other than the leadership ( and Pelosi rules with an iron hand) have no power, and can’t get anything done.

So why stay?

Indeed, consider these two more even striking examples of a paucity of hope among House Democrats:

[mc_name name=’Rep. Janice Hahn (D-CA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’H001063′ ], after serving a decade as a Los Angeles City councilman, ran for, and won, a very safe House seat. Yet after only two terms, she’s packing it in, and running for…..drum roll please….LA County Supervisor.

And let’s give the lady some credit. LA has big, BIG problems…illegals, gangs, NO WATER, ( to list a few) so she’s stepping into the firing line…she’ll have her hands full…as opposed to a near-invisible, and totally impotent, House seat.

Then there’s the curious case of  [mc_name name=’Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’V000128′ ]. Long identified as a potential successor to Pelosi ( indeed, there are reports that  a while back van Hollen, along with Pelosi aides, attempted a mini-putsch to jump over [mc_name name=’Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’H000874′ ] if Pelosi retired), Hollen instead opted to run for the Senate in Maryland when Mikulski retired.

Indeed, it’s quite odd that she quit so unexpectedly. I suspect that she doubts the Democrats can win back the Senate, and while it’s not as bad as the House, it’s still no fun being in the minority, especially for one so used to wielding power.

So Hollen, the up-and-comer, ups and quits the House, and now finds himself in a bitter intra-Democrat fight, against the ab0ve-mentioned [mc_name name=’Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’E000290′ ], who just happens to be female, and black, and a single mother to boot.

It’s what you might call a cataclysmic confrontation of core constituencies for the Democrats. Hollen could well lose the primary, and whichever one wins, given the recent upheaval in deep blue Maryland (the surprising election of a GOP governor) and the racial unrest in Baltimore, the GOP could win the seat.

So while statistics, analyses and theory are fine, (and Trende’s one of the best) it’s nice to see empirical proof that the Democrats are indeed in a whole lot of trouble, a world of hurt.

I posed the question, in an earlier dairy that  After Hillary loses in 2016, what’s the future of the Democrat Party?

Trende’s given us a glimpse of the future.

I like the vision he’s projecting.