With more than two dozen Democrats leaving the House ahead of November’s midterm elections, it’s pretty clear they can see the writing on the wall.
A party led by a president who’s produced a year of failure, dominated by a left wing that despises everything sane Americans cherish, and openly determined to radically alter the government to ensure its own hold on power is almost certainly headed for a well-deserved rout in the fall.
So the current Democratic majority is reduced to begging.
That was the takeaway from a report published Tuesday by The Washington Times, which noted that veteran Democratic Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri has been speaking to retiring Democrats such as Rep. Ron Kind of Wisconsin to try to change their minds.
The loss of Kind, who announced his plans to retire in August, is going to be particularly hard on Democrats. As CNN reported when Kind made his plans public, the congressman won re-election in 2020 by fewer than three points in a district then-President Donald Trump actually carried.
“I talked to him a couple of weeks ago, and I said, ‘Please reconsider,’” Cleaver said, according to the Times. “Nobody had joy when Ron Kind announced he was not going to run.”
In a midterm election year with voters seething at the manifest debacles of Joe Biden’s presidency — inflation, illegal immigration, foreign policy humiliation in Afghanistan and what looks increasingly like acquiescence to Russian military belligerence in Europe — Kind must have realized that his narrow 2020 win was unlikely to be repeated.
In a statement to the Times, he made it clear that he wasn’t going to be changing his mind.
“Everyone knows at the end of the day, it’s such a personal decision for the member whether they want to run again or even run for the first time,” Kind said. “I think leadership and the DCCC know it’s an inherently personal decision between the member, their family, and whether they want to do it for the rest of their lives.”
Becoming a member of the minority party in a polarized Washington is pretty clearly not what Kind wants to do.
And he’s not alone.
According to the Times, California Democratic Rep. Lou Correa has also spoken to some outgoing members about reconsidering, but so far, it’s no soap.
“Most of them think it’s just too much battle up here,” Correa said. “I mean, I asked myself the same thing three weeks ago. ‘Do I run for re-election?’”
Correa, in office since 2017, strolled to a win in his 2020 re-election bid with almost 70 percent of the vote. If he’s thinking another run is a question, it’s obvious other Democrats in less secure seats are going to be wondering the same thing.
Meanwhile, according to the Times, about a dozen Republicans — fewer than half the number of Democrats — are stepping down this year.
Some are going to be missed badly, stalwarts like former Rep. Devin Nunes of California, who left Congress early this month to work with the new Trump Media and Technology Group, and Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, who is seeking the Lone Star State’s attorney general’s office.
Some aren’t going to be missed at all, at least not by Republicans – like Rep. Adam Kinzinger (one of two Republicans on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s kangaroo court committee “investigating” the Capitol incursion) and Reps. John Katko of New York and Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio. All three voted with Democrats in January 2021 to impeach Trump.
Meanwhile, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the other Republican given a post on Pelosi’s committee — and another who voted for Trump’s impeachment — should be thinking about retiring. Her own party wants nothing to do with her in a state that went for Trump by just over 70 percent in 2020.
Not surprisingly, congressional Republicans aren’t sorry to see Democrats leaving.
“The House Democrats calling it quits are making the smart choice,” said National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Mike Berg, according to the Times. “Vulnerable Democrats can do that or lose next fall.”
Considering Democrats’ tissue-thin majority in the House and the possibility that Pelosi herself won’t be around to see the party demoted to the minority come 2023, Democrats getting out now might be getting out while they’re ahead.
The country will be a long time recovering from the damage Biden and his Democrats have done — but it’s easier to clean up a crime scene if at least some of the criminals aren’t still on the premises.
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