Angry Dems turn against leaders after House election losses

Jackie Newman
June 28, 2017

Jon Ossoff's defeat in Georgia's special House election - an election Democrats hoped would have been a referendum on President Donald Trump - has renewed some soul searching among its members. The president continues to be seen as standing apart from the Republican Party - Handel, well-known to Georgians as a former secretary of state, was seen as part of a tradition of conservative Republicanism dating back to when Newt Gingrich represented the district.

While Republicans have mocked Pelosi's leadership in the past - the Republican National Committee sarcastically endorsed Pelosi for minority leader a year ago - the party's successful strategy of linking Democratic congressional hopefuls to the unpopular minority leader has caused some Democrats to call for new leadership. It didn't matter. Handel was always going to win, and Democrats paid a price for promoting Ossoff as a favorite - or at least, for allowing the narrative to paint him as such. In Kansas in April, in Montana last month and in Georgia and SC on Tuesday, Democratic candidates outperformed their party's past showings, but still fell short where it counts: Republicans won. Karen Handel defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff in Georgia's 6th district.

Other Democrats were more blunt.

"We need a genuinely new message, a serious jobs plan that reaches all Americans, and a bigger tent not a smaller one", he added.

Yet Handel often embraced the national tenor of the race, joining a GOP chorus that lambasted Ossoff as a "dangerous liberal" who was "hand-picked" by House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California.

Democratic Party divisions are on stark display after a disappointing special election loss in a hard-fought Georgia congressional race. Democrats need to pick up 24 House seats to retake the majority. It's time for new leadership.

The win in Georgia also could strengthen the political will of Republicans in Congress evaluating their next steps on a tax package and what opinion polls show is a deeply unpopular replacement of President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law. Someone compared what he spent in 2017 to the what the last Democrat spent just previous year.

"I worry sometimes that we get so obsessed and angered by Donald Trump, which is OK, but you can't hold on to it because it takes your eye off the ball", Ryan said. "They don't get it".

Asked if that meant Pelosi should go, Moulton - who backed Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan's challenge to Pelosi's leadership post previous year - said: "I think that's a question for the caucus to decide". After four special elections nationwide, Democrats still haven't won any seats.

Texas Democrats say they feel confident they'll be able to turn red districts blue in the 2018 midterms.

The Ohio lawmaker argued that the Democratic Party had lost touch with the working class.

Democrats have a target-rich environment next year, starting with 23 Republican-held districts where Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won a majority of the vote.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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