It's disturbing to see Democrats attacking Nancy Pelosi like Donald Trump is. "Do you think people went to the polls and said, 'Oh my God, we've got to stop Nancy Pelosi?' I don't think so", said Rep. John Larson, D-Conn.
And Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 House Democrat, remarked that "we had no business winning those districts" due to their GOP allegiance. No other potential up-and-coming Democratic challenger to her leadership comes close.
These aren't the first rumblings against Pelosi.
"Obviously people are very concerned about where we are and they want to have a conversation about where we need to be", Rep. Tim Ryan of OH told reporters about why the group got together.
Pelosi said she respected critical opinions, but, "my decision to stay is not up to them". "If we don't, then I think it's incumbent upon her and all of us to reassess who our leadership should be".
But Pelosi's critics have a point.
The key for Handel was the time she had between April's first round of voting (which Ossoff led in an open primary with 48.1 percent, just short of the majority he needed to settle matters then) and the second (in which Ossoff's vote nearly precisely matched his earlier share). Second-in-command Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., is 78, and number three Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., is 76.
About 4,700 state House and Assembly seats were up for election previous year.
That's the kind of thing that needs to happen under our gerrymandered political map for Democrats to flip the 24 seats they need to take control of the House. Whereas candidates like James Thompson of Kansas' 4th District and Montana's Rob Quist-both of whom received little financial assistance from the party apparatus, but stood up for policies like single-payer-significantly outperformed Hillary Clinton in their districts, the millennial Georgian did not. The win was a district that was strongly Republican, that Karen Handel barely won and it was a fight. Since Pelosi is so disliked among rank-and-file Republicans, that linkage succeeded in rallying GOP voters and helping Handel prevail.More news: After Georgia, Republicans celebrating, Dems searching
"I'm a master legislator, I am a strategic, politically astute leader, my leadership is recognized by many around the country, and that is why I'm able to attract the support that I do, which is essential to our election, sad to say", Pelosi said at the press conference. "They don't have Clinton or Obama so this is what they do".
These 14 seats - plus the four more that Trump carried by less than 5 percent - are obvious Democratic targets, and the result in Georgia suggests that Democrats could be competitive in many of them.
Democrats slam the Republicans' health care proposal, which they've been drafting in secret. Vela said that Nancy isn't the only reason that Jon lost, but she is one of the reasons. "Nancy Pelosi is not the only reason that Ossoff lost".
All of this has created a rather odd political dynamic within the Democratic Party: Republicans demonize a politician.
The apparent effectiveness of such attacks alarmed some fellow Democrats, and they show no signs of letting up.
Pelosi, speaking to reporters on Thursday, said she's confident she has the support in her caucus. The Democratic Party leadership saw the moment as an opportunity to pick up the alienated center. "I want to get back in the majority".
But it's also worth asking if maybe, in this case, discretion is not the better part of valor. They may not like much of what the Republicans and Trump are offering, either, but when forced to choose, they will, however reluctantly, back the Trump-GOP synthesis over the united Democratic alternative. It's what they do.
"If we think we're going to win these elections because President Trump's at 35 percent, I think in districts like mine and certainly Georgia and SC, it takes more than that", said Rep. Tim Walz of Minnesota. Initially he fired up the Democratic base, and appealed to young voters, by vowing to "Make Trump Furious".
"What good are they even?" That is now seen as the moral equivalent of a shooter trying to assassinate Republicans.