The U.S. House: Entertainment Central

Member Group : Jerry Shenk

For the record, contesting suspicious election results does not “undermine American Democracy,” cheating does, so, while waiting for court challenges, audits and recounts to weed out fraudulent ballots and decide the presidential contest, Americans can distract and amuse themselves with other entertaining Washington developments.

On Election Day, 2020, the Democrats’ highly-anticipated Blue Wave crashed ashore – emphasis on “crashed.”

For months, congressional Democrats were giddy over the Election Day prospect of voters rebuking an “illegitimate” president by adding twenty-five or more seats to their House majority and giving them control of the Senate.

The rebuke never materialized, because, suspiciously, Joe Biden’s “coat” had no “tails.”

Democrats did add one vulnerable Senate seat, missing a majority, but the party has lost ten House seats (net) – so far. One or two, possibly three as-yet-undeclared incumbent Democrats’ races remain even or lean Republican, so the GOP’s net gain could be eleven to thirteen additional House seats.

“Experts” listed twenty-seven GOP incumbents’ races as toss-ups or “lean Democrat.” Republicans held them all, so Democrats’ 2021 House majority will be among history’s smallest.

Months of economic shutdowns, urban violence, mob rule, anger-fed identity politics, character assassination, intimidation and “democratic” socialism, among dozens of other publicly-unpopular malignancies, effectively squandered Democrats’ best pick-up opportunity in years.

If Biden prevails, Democrat leadership will have set a new worst-ever performance record for a year in which the House majority’s party elected a new president.

Attentive outsiders have a far clearer understanding of the Democrats’ disarray than do its party operatives, because Democrats are far too fragmented to perform objective autopsies on their own electoral cadavers.

To date, party “postmortems” have been limited to angry finger-pointing between and among self-identified “Democratic Socialists,” more-covert, but hard-left “progressives,” and a relative handful of more-or-less conventional semi-moderates, all of whom studiously avoid serious introspection and uncomfortable truths.

One truth is that, after Democrats won a House majority in 2018, members did themselves and the nation a disservice by electing California Rep. Nancy Pelosi Speaker – again.

“San Fran Nan” immediately launched a series of theatrical, punitive, ultimately meaningless witch hunts and political stunts that backfired magnificently, chief among them a baseless presidential impeachment.

It was never clear how Democrats could benefit from a high-risk impeachment gamble, nonetheless, Pelosi indulged arguably-psychotic members who had been talking about one even before Donald Trump’s nomination when she authorized hearings run by some of Washington’s most odious, mendacious characters.

Weeks of testimony featuring unelected bureaucrats’ hurt feelings, assumptions and hearsay produced a scenario in which retreat would have been humiliating, so, finally, after melodramatic delays and her usual theatrics, Pelosi referred weak articles of impeachment to the Senate. There, unsurprisingly, the president was acquitted – and House Democrats were publicly humiliated.

Impeachment was such a fiasco that campaigning Democrats never mentioned it. But America didn’t forget.

Following a disastrous election cycle that shriveled their majority, Democrats will still control the House – barely – but there were reports of House leadership purges.

When the last Congress opened in 2019, the Washington Post calculated the average age of House Democrats to be 58-years old. The youngest, 29-year old “Democratic Socialist” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), joined by a “Squad” of other equally-radical relative youngsters, was among most visible, vocal, immediately-influential newcomers.

So, who do House Democrats, including the young newbies, think should guide their already-narrow majority in the next Congress?

Last Wednesday, in a brilliant burst of originality, House Democrats unanimously re-nominated Rep. Nancy Pelosi (age 80) Speaker, Rep. Steny Hoyer (age 81) Majority Leader and Rep. James Clyburn (age 80) Majority Whip. Ironically, three octogenarians are shoo-ins for caucus positions each has held for fourteen years.

Many Democrats’ intra-caucus relationships are already fragile based on age disparities alone. The “Justice Democrats” faction of which AOC and her radical “Squad” are part, have supported candidates who challenged moderate Democrats in primaries, so, in addition to the broad differences in House Democrats’ ages, ideological leanings and political interests, personal animosities render intramural relationships toxic, too.

It appears that House Democrats – and perhaps the larger party – may fracture before or at least by the 2022 midterm election. Then, Republicans will retake the House, and, rather than languish in the minority – again – octogenarian House Democrats will depart, leaving their caucus to the radicals.

So, pop some popcorn, kick back, and enjoy the show.

It’s gonna be awesome!