The AOC Impeachment or the redefinition of a “Safe Seat”

 A Congressman’s first duty is to get re-elected

Sam Rayburn

It is a very rare thing that I disagree with Don Surber. His experience in this fields exceeds mine by decades and when it comes to the Trump years I submit and suggest he has been THE must read on the net.

Nevertheless I have to disagree with his opinion on impeachment:

The big news on Friday evening is that Democrat leaders are not pushing House members to vote for impeachment.

Now it could be Nancy has the 218 votes she needs and is allowing some congressmen in tough races next fall to punt.

But I don’t see it. I do not see Democrats being suicidal over President Donald John Trump. Plus Clyburn’s words undercut the Democrats’ self-righteous call to impeach.

Now Don’s argument here is not a bad one and in almost any other political era would be correct. As a general rule the primary goal of pols in “safe” districts (meaning a district that the opposing party has no chance of taking) is to retain control of whatever house they are in because of the perks and power that come from a chairmanship.

However the fate of Joe Crowley changed all that.

Joe Crowley was a Democrat NY state representative for 10 years who was elected to congress in 1998 succeeding congressman Thomas Manton a Democrat 1st elected in 1984 who succeeded Geraldine Ferraro a Democrat who was 1st elected in 1978 who succeeded James J. Delaney a Democrat 1st who was 1st elected in 1944 and after being defeated in the great republican wave of 1946 by Republican Robert Nodar was re-elected in 1948. Delaney was preceded by Andrew Sommers a Democrat 1st elected in 1924.

In short other than the two years of the great republican wave of 1946. This seat has been a lock for the Democrat party for just under a century and one a member of the party got it, they held it until they didn’t want it anymore.

As a rule such seats are fiefdoms in fact that Mr. Crowley 1st came to power, ironically being bequeathed a congressional seat without any forewarning that he was getting it.

When Rep. Thomas Manton of Queens retired in 1998, he announced it quietly after circulating petitions for re-election. On the last legal day to find a replacement, Mr. Manton convened a small meeting and telephoned Joseph Crowley, then an Assemblyman, to tell him he would be on the ballot in November as a congressional candidate.

And having been given that seat his power grew until he became the Chair of the House Democrat Caucus one of the top positions in the house Democrat hirearchy.

And then came Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of the Democrat Socialists of America who came from nowhere to oust him and became a rock star of the left.

Not only did she oust him, but she along with Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) became known as The Squad becoming a power among the most rabid and active members of the progressive left.

Furthermore rather than slowing accumulating power over time this squad has made it clear that they are willing to back candidates challenging democrats who are not sufficiently woke:

Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Saturday threw her weight behind a new national campaign to mount primaries against incumbent Democrats deemed to be ideologically and demographically out of step with their districts.

The incoming star congresswoman from New York again put the Democratic establishment on notice that she and activist groups on the left aren’t content with a Democratic-controlled House: They are determined to move the party to the left.

and they are rather proactive about it:

As for which Democrats they will target, the grass-roots organization welcomed its members to submit nominations of candidates and potential districts to target in 2020. 

And the activist left loves it:

Alexandra Rojas, executive director of Justice Democrats (a group that played a major role in Ocasio-Cortez’s election victory), emphasizes that “safe” Democratic districts shouldn’t stay safe for just any Democrat. The goal is to “hold representatives who throw diverse working-class voters under the bus accountable.”

Justice Democrats communications director Waleed Shahid wrote in a Jan. 6 mass email that “real on-the-ground organizing work” can bring “a new generation of progressive leaders like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez into the Democratic Party.” He added: “We believe there are leaders just like Alexandria in every district ― who just need a little bit of encouragement and support.”

While largely ideological, the battle lines are also attitudinal and behavioral. Democrats need to replace passive liberals with real progressive boat-rockers. That’s how Northern California Rep. Ro Khanna has distinguished himself from the longtime incumbent he defeated in 2016, Mike Honda. And attitude was a big reason why, in Boston last year, Ayanna Pressley was able to win a primary victory over senior Rep. Mike Capuano.

Both Honda and Capuano hardly legislated as centrists ― both leaned left and earned antiwar credentials ― but they lost to challengers who insisted that just checking progressive boxes wasn’t enough.

And that brings us back to impeachment.

Nancy Pelsoi knows that impeachment is a bad deal for the Democrats, she understands that is will likely not only help Trump to Re-election and cost her the house. Don Surber is absolutely right about this.

But he is forgetting what Pelosi and the other high ranking Democrats who in what were once called safe seats know, that while a vote for impeachment will put at risk dozens of seats now held by Democrats in swing districts but that to even seem to push forward impeachment sufficiently is enough to cause panic among Democrats who until the rise of the Squad were assured of seats in congress for as long as they wanted them.

Jesus said to his disciples No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13).  The veterans of the Democrat caucus are going to allow their newly elected colleagues to demonstrate this love by risking their seats in a general election by a vote for impeachment in order to protect the seats of those self same Democrat veterans of the house from the wrath of the squad and the specter of the next Presley or Ocasio-Cortez.


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