Friday, April 21, 2017

Democrats Said to Be Up and Cummings (sic)

MSNBC's Donnie Deutsch asked Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD 7th) who were the rising stars of the Democrat Party.  The Baltimore Democrat gave an eyebrow raising list:

It was curious that two of the up and Cummings (sic) stars of the Democrat Party in the District of Calamity had haunted the halls of Congress for years.  It seems strange to consider Rep. Barbara Lee (D-13th) as a rising star, considering her 22 years in Congress.  She was infamous for voting against going to war after the terror attacks of 2001. But maybe just missing being voted Vice Chair of the DNC gave her that stature in Cumming's mind.

There is some merit in citing Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA 28th) as a rising star.  His stature as the Ranking Member on the House Intelligence Committee gives him a place of prominence when making television hits, particularly regarding Benghazi and accusations of Russia electoral interference.  But this is Schiff's 8th term, so he's hardly a rising star.

Then there is Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA).  Had Hillary Clinton won the 2016 election, Kaine would have been Vice President, and spoken of in reverential tones like the predecessor former Vice President Joe Biden.  But that fate was not to be. Kaine distinguished himself as being a disagreeable debater during his match up against his counterpart, then Governor (now Vice President) Mike Pence (R-IN). This compensated for Kaine's charisma deficit during most of the 2016 General Election campaign.  After the electoral defeat, Kaine declined to take a position of prominence amongst DC Democrats, yet Cummings cites him as a up and coming Democrat star.

All three of these Up and Cummings stars seemed to have thrown their lot in with the progressive wing of the Democrat party.  In the past, Kaine had been known for some moderate as well as liberal positions, but the inclination for being a squish seems to have past. Of course, Blue Dog Democrats are dead in the eyes of most Democrat loyalists. If Democrats were keen on a fresher face in DC, they could turn to Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH 13), a blue collar Democrat from Youngstown/Akron who made a quixotic bid to unseat Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA 12th) from being House Minority Leader.  Between Ryan's willingness to consider working with the GOP on some bills where there is mutual agreement and payback for challenging the leader (and losing), it is no surprise that Ryan of Ohio was not mentioned.

It is telling that DC Democrats only looked among themselves for rising stars, instead of looking of not looking between the beltways.  But considering how many seats Democrats have lost since President Barack Obama, there may not be many success stories to which to point.

DC Republicans may be in trouble with voters unless they can achieve some successes with health care, taxes, and immigration issues.  But if the Up and Cummings pols  are really the bench for DC Democrats, I weep for their future.

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