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Cong. Heath Shuler, Sandy’s favorite Democratic officeholder, was recently defeated for minority leader by former Speaker and architect of the shellacking, Cong. Nancy Pelosi.  Shuler did, however garner 43 votes to Pelosi’s 150.  This is a major development; The Hill reported that there were major fissures within the Democratic Party:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her top lieutenants won reelection as House Democratic leaders on Wednesday, beating back an uprising that exposed deep divisions within the party rank-and-file.

Of course the usual comments were made:

At that point, both [Rep. John] Larson and Rep. Xavier Becerra (Calif.), the reelected vice chairman of the caucus, stepped in to defend her and her support among Democratic lawmakers. “They know her heart, and that was felt today, the heartfelt feeling of this caucus behind this great Speaker,” Larson said.

Apparently not enough of the Democratic representatives were victims of the shellacking!  Rep. Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania nominated Pelosi and cited her raising money for her colleagues.  “She wouldn’t spend it on herself because she was spending it on us,” Doyle was quoted.  Virginia’s Rep. Jim Moran commented that Shuler was out of touch:

“The accomplishments of the last two years have been achieved without Heath’s vote,” Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) told reporters. “And now he wants to be leader?”

Great accomplishments:  Impoverish the American people to the idol of global warming (cap and trade), spent worse than drunken sailors (remember what Reagan once said about that:  It was the sailors’ own money they spent!) in the stimulus package, force people to buy health insurance, and the Dems neither ended wars nor created jobs.  They have not even ensured the Bush tax cuts or ended the estate tax.  These are great accomplishments.  The good voters in the Eighth Congressional District could have had Murray instead!

Maybe Shuler is a leader.  Three brave Dems supported him:  Mike Ross of Arkansas, fellow Tarheel LarryKissell, and Jim Matheson of Utah.  Finally, a Pelosi supporter, Rep. Barney Frank, suggested that the fact the independent voters abhor the former Speaker did not matter because she was not “running for President”.

But Shuler did win statute as a moderate leader (he’s actually very conservative).  He was elected Blue Dog co-leader for Administration – in effect the leaders of the “moderate” Democrats.  But “progressives” still despise him for being pro-life, and a social conservative.  Why should he take such grief from his own?  Shuler would be a great Republican.  But he is determined to reform his party and make it more conservative.  I think he has to do but one thing:  Run for President in the 2012 primaries.  The ultimate Hail Mary play.

That is the solution for Shuler if he must remain in the party.  His platform is simple:  The party has lost its way.  Shuler could argue that the Dems need a centrist voice that can attract independents. The Iowa caucuses have some potential for indies to affect it; same for New Hampshire and in SC, there are conservative Democrats.

I am not a Democrat so I could be fairly accused of stirring up trouble in the opposing camp.  But no one else will say it.  So I will:  Heath Shuler for President – 2012.  No President has come from my native state (Andrew Johnson was born in NC but ran from Tennessee and the same for Andrew Jackson, assuming he was not born in SC) so this is Shuler’s big opportunity.  Then after that shellacking – take the other option:  Switch parties.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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