18 November 2022
Cogito Ergo Non Serviam
The mid-term elections have placed the Democrats in the minority in the House of Representatives, and so, the leadership of the House Democrats will be changing. The Old Guard of Nancy Pelois and Steney Hoyer will pass the torch to the next generation of leaders on January 3, 2023. While both will remain members of the House serving their districts, their future within the party will be as senior advisors while the new kids find their feet. Chief Whip James Clyburn will stay on but will likely take the number 4 position as assistant leader to provide a bit of stability. His time, however, is almost up as well. The new team is likely to be New York\'s Hakeem Jeffries as Speaker, Katherine Clark of Massachusetts will be Majority Leader and Peter Aguilar of California will occupy the seat of the Conference Chair.
The departure of the old team has been overdue for a few years. That is not to say that they were inept but rather that the passage of time put the leadership at risk of a health problem that would have forced change. It is always better to choose the time of one\'s departure than to have it fall from the sky when one is unprepared. The delay was largely due to the presidency of Donald Trump and the early Biden years dedicated to cleaning up the mess the Republicans made.
In her speech to the world yesterday, she said, "For me, the hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic Caucus that I so deeply respect." Mr. Hoyer echoed this sentiment saying, "now is the time for a new generation of leaders."
Mr. Hoyer explained that when the party moves into opposition as a minority, is is the time to pick new leaders to give them time to learn the job. In almost the same breath, he endorsed Mr. Jeffries for party leadership.
The change is a generational one. While Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Hoyer (and Mr. Clyburn) are all in their 80s. Mr. Jeffries is 52, Ms. Clark is 50 and Mr. Aguilar is 43. This means their reference points in politics and history are simply different. The first president people in their 80s probably remember was FDR. Those in their 50s probably would name Ronald Reagan in that role. Those in their 40s are more likely to recall either Mr. Bush the Elder or Mr. Clinton as their first president. The Cold War looms large for those in their 80s. Younger people recall much less of it, and it occupies a different place in their world view.
While the personnel change, the jobs remain constant. The ability to hold a diverse party together is vital. That means, the ability to count votes accurately is at a premium. That requires the leaders to know the members exceedingly well. Learning everything they need to know will take a bit longer than the 2 years until the next election.
The most fun one can have in politics is to be in the minority. One can make outrageous promises and not have to deliver on them. One can attack anything the majority does for whatever reason (real or imagined) one likes. One bears no responsibility for what happens, while collecting a paycheck and getting face time on TV.
However, if the Democrats want to be in the majority again in 2 years, they will have to build up their war-chest as well as recruit capable and charismatic candidates. That means avoiding the nonsense the GOP will undertake in Congress. That circus will eat up all the air time anyway. Looking competent and grown-up will matter greatly against a right-wing that is unhinged and wants to prove it in the media. The Old Guard will make sure the New Kids pull that off.
© Copyright 2022 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.