Two very good things happened to the Democratic Party this week. They are two things that may carve out a viable future and a possible return to political dominance.
And it didn’t have a thing to do with Robert Mueller, Russia, or even tax reform.
It is all about bringing down the party’s old guard in favor of a new team that can actually stand for new principles and win elections.
On the surface, all that happened is Rep. John Conyers finally gave in to pressure and resigned and then a growing number of Democratic senators called on fellow Democrat Al Franken to resign.At first take the downfall of the longest-serving Democrat in Congress and a well-known Democrat senator is bad news for the party. But it should be good news for the party because the Conyers resignation and the pressure on Franken mostly comes by force from a new guard.
The old guard, led by House Minority Leader and former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, dithered in the face of the pressure to either support or cut Conyers loose. At first, Pelosi stuck by Conyers and defended him, saying he should get “due process.” Finally, four days later, she wilted under pressure and called on him to resign. Once that happened, his actual resignation became a foregone conclusion.
But Pelosi is still in trouble. She was at best indecisive just as the entire country is swept up in a focus on sexual assault and harassment. Making matters worse, other Democrats in the House are facing sexual misconduct charges, and some of them insist Pelosi knew about the charges against them well into the past. This trend undermines her ability to lead in this environment.
Leading the challenge against her most loudly is Rep. Kathleen Rice from suburban Long Island, N.Y. She stormed out of a Democratic caucus meeting to address the harassment scandals that Pelosi arranged on Nov. 29. While leaving the meeting, Rice told the news media she “doesn’t have time for meetings that aren’t real.”
She also immediately called on House Speaker Paul Ryan to lift the gag order on Conyers’…