Nearly 20 Democrats abandoned their party’s pick for speaker of the House, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), a sign of their concerns about supporting the unpopular former speaker and of the difficulty she will have in marshaling her forces in legislative battles to come in the next two years.
Pelosi brushed off the 18 votes for other lawmakers on Wednesday afternoon — 11 of them for North Carolina’s Heath Shuler — in a brief exchange with POLITICO.
“We’re excited about the votes I got,” said the California Democrat, who handed over the speaker’s gavel to John Boehner of Ohio at a ceremony following the roll call vote.
Still, the anti-Pelosi tally dwarfed the number of protest votes cast against leaders of both parties in the recent past, which never break into double digits.
Pelosi’s allies also sought to downplay the importance of the anti-Pelosi votes.
“I think some people had to some venting,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), who narrowly won re-election but called out Pelosi’s name when he was asked for his vote. “
In addition to Shuler’s 11 votes, two Democrats — Reps. Gabrielle Giffords (Ariz.) and John Barrow (Ga.) — voted for Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.); Reps. Dennis Cardoza and Jim Costa voted for each other; Rep. Ron Kind (Wis.) voted for Rep. Jim Cooper (Tenn.); Rep. Dan Lipinski (Ill.) voted for Marcy Kaptur (Ohio) and Kurt Schrader (Ore.) voted for Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland.
The first anti-Pelosi vote during the alphabetical roll call came from Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.). He rose to answer the call of his name and declared loudly and clearly “Heath Shuler!”
For those of you keeping track, 11 votes is one more than the ten touchdowns Shuler threw in his best year at the Redskins. I point that out only to taunt Oliver Willis.
I also love the Politico attempt to gin up some sort of controversy: “Still, the anti-Pelosi tally dwarfed the number of protest votes cast against leaders of both parties in the recent past, which never break into double digits.”
Yeah, they didn’t even crack 20. But, still!
So much fail.
Hell, Shuler got only 11 more votes than I did.
Odie Hugh Manatee
There’s something ugly about watching invertebrates pretending that they have functioning spines.
Brian S (formerly Incertus)
Well, at least you didn’t point out that he played for the Saints too. Damnit.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
Unpopular at Politico maybe. Not to me.
Hell, at least they voted for other Democrats! I wasn’t so sure.
Before the election that 19 no votes against Pelosi would have been more like 40. So that glass is half full. And if the preliminary reports for larger job growth are confirmed on Friday, and continued, then the blue dogs will come back, and roll over in submission again to the Alpha Dog Nancy .
Oooo! with 18 non-Pelosi votes over 193 Democratic reps, that means Pelosi only got 90.6% of the vote.
19? Pardon, 90.1%.
Oh, wait. He wasn’t on the ballot? All that talk about him got me confused.
I love how “clowns” at the top here could refer to the Blue Dogs or politico. Take your pick.
Heath Shuler makes Steve Largent look like Jack Kemp.
Johnny Gentle (famous crooner)
Just to play Fantasy Congress a bit, don’t you think either John Lewis or Marcy Kaptur would make good speakers?
They voted for each other? Just pull those nasty things out and jerk each other off and get it over with.
Just Some Fuckhead
You should do a mashup of your old posts taunting San Francisco liberal Pelosi with your new posts hunkered down in the tank with her. That’s a journey.
Politico is really reaching. Saying that twenty votes “dwarf” anything is just ludicrous. For some reason, it puts me in mind of Spinal Tap:
Heath Shuler is not leadership material.
His political views are wrong.
@Belafon (formerly anonevent):
You have to remember, the guys (and they are all guys) at Politico live in an imaginary world where Reagan is more popular than Bill Clinton and the Reagan tax rates were lower than the Obama tax rates.
altmire is a cockbag. his ads totally had my aunt joining the anti-pelosi circus. she is essentially a fairly liberal, all-the-way pro labor dem, but she is old and listens to the radio, and saw a democrat saying it, and she went along.
until i tried to explain why it is that some folks actually resent pelosi, ie she is effective, then, and i knew i had her on this one, she went into some of the “i just can’t stand her face” kind of stuff you pick up from those sorts of sources…when i told my aunt i thought nancy pelosi was one of the hottest 70 year old women on the planet, her jaw dropped. i think she gets it, until next time.
Now we know for certain whose eleven or eighteen asses need to be primaried into oblivion in 2012. Thanks, guys!
What a bunch of putzes. A functioning press organ would have said something like “Pelosi sweeps in with 90% of the vote.”
Sportswriters couldn’t get away with this kind of crap. Maybe we should hire them to cover politics. Olbermann does all right.
J. Michael Neal
This raises his career record to 8-15. The guy clearly needs to Learn How to Win.
20 votes is still a little more than 10% of the caucus, and about the number of votes Democrats normally lose on any given issue. Hell, 10% of Democrats like the tea party.
Argh! It infuriates me that that asshole Altmire is my congresscritter. I always refer to him as Jason Altmire D-UPMC Health Plan. Nancy, OTOH, is the very epitome if awesome.
Politico….they are just one of the ‘organizations’ out there that were I able, I would round them up and lock them in an old barn and then set the barn on fire. Fox News. The Washington Post…..the list goes on and on and on…
J. Michael Neal
Yes, they can. If anything, the mainstream sports media is even worse than the mainstream political media. Once you’re past Joe Posnanski, it’s a vast wasteland.
Bill Conlin? Skip Bayless? Rick Reilly? These guys are morons.
The number of votes that Pelosi got is closer to Shuler’s interception total. (nyuk nyuk nyuk)
Woodrow "asim" Jarvis Hill
Politico: If the Internet had a bird cage, it’d be worthy of lining it.
I thought this blog had a moral policy that it imposed upon itself not to link to Politico anymore.
Buried on the second page of the article (so they can get more link bait):
150-18. Yea, something to be worried about.
Can you imagine being Pelosi, winning the vote 150-18, and then having a microphone shoved in your face and some hack asking you “What do you have to say about the 18 who voted against you”?
(not even going to address the “Backed by liberals” part. What a crock)
Villago Delenda Est
Politico is filled to the brim with the sort of “journalists” who used to work at Pravda and TASS back in the day in the old Soviet Union.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
They were gonna have a sleep-over and make root-beer floats and crank calls and stay up all night and watch horror movies, but Jimmy’s mom said no sleep-overs till he’s caught up in his math workbook and Denny’s gotta go over and help his dad take his grandma’s Christmas lights down on Sunday. So they did this, confirming their previously held belief that they are the awesomest dudes in Mrs Slaghoople’s Grade 7 Homeroom.
I like the idea of a symbolic vote for John Lewis, if that’s what it was. Dan Lipinski, ugh. I hope he gets another primary challenge.
@Comrade Luke: There are 193 Democrats in congress, pretty sure she got 173 votes.
Um, don’t decidedly more progressive candidates get more than 10%?
That said, I don’t think you’re a sizable segment of the coalition and you don’t wield any power at all unless you can command at least 25% and more like 33% of the part….
And the nuptials will be announced shortly?
Seriously? You vote for me, and I’ll vote for you? Did they pinky swear to share the prize if either of their tickets won last night’s Mega Millions?
(Edited to add: Dammit, Jim, Foolish Literalist got there first.)
at least Connolly, who is my rep, didn’t fuck up this time.
Can’t imagine wtf he meant about “venting” though. Venting over WHAT?
So…wtf, they can’t even count?
I have to admire the chutzpah of a faction that lost 2/3rds of its membership in the last election insisting that they’re still somehow relevant, even though the Progressive Caucus now outnumbers them by 2 to 1.
Here’s a thought, Blue Dogs — maybe if you hadn’t spent the past 2 years running away from the Democratic agenda and the Democratic president, you would have done better in the last election because at least the voters would have been able to tell the difference between you and your Republican opponent.
the media underreporting the number of votes a Democrat really got, color me surprised.
Maybe they thought she would cry?
No, it’s Boehner who always cries when he gets what he wants. That’s usually a sign of emotional immaturity but IOIYAR.
I don’t like the Blue Dogs as much as the next guy, but you and I both know that isn’t why they lost.
he really did push the “i voted against hcr” line out there. i would love to see that worm turn on him next cycle, or the one after that at the latest.
The Other Chuck
Oh be fair to Heath — he threw plenty more touchdowns than that. Of course the receiver was on the other team.
I disagree. I do think that if the Blue Dogs had not spent the past two years running away from their own agenda and had bothered to defend it, we wouldn’t have lost the House. When the Republicans are whipping old people into a frenzy over losing their Medicare and the Blue Dogs are saying, “Yes, the Republicans are right,” that’s a recipe for getting your ass handed to you.
Over having a tough reelection race and looking for someone to blame? I doubt that’s what Connolly intended it to mean, but I still think it’s pretty much true.
Feh! Pelosi was assured as minority leader in House. I found it far more interesting to listen to C-Span2 discussions on filibuster reform. Not surprisingly, Alexander and Wicker voiced their opposition and left without bothering to be available to respond to questions about their remarks from Dems.
Contact Senate Rules committee office and your Senators to express support for rules changes when Senate reconvenes on 1/25/11. Apparently, no vote today only debate. Whitehouse just asked to be added as co-sponsor of the reform bill.
Merkley explaining public perception versus actual current practice of the filibuster was brilliant. As he told the floor, all it takes is a phone call and off to dinner.
In a system with strong(ish) party discipline like the House of Commons these kind of tricks would ensure that the committee assignments offered to you are one on the Cleaning the Toilets of the House Committee and one on the Improving Realtions with Elbonia Committee, although of course you are free to decline them.
Love Nancy SMASH! and the fact that she makes these guys just snivel and whine about how she was so meeeean to them. Suck it up, Heath! Jackass.
@Mnemosyne: And perhaps more important, in the name of conservative ideology they opposed economic policies that would have made a difference.
Even if one doesn’t believe that they would have done better being more openly Democratic, there is little dispute that the economy was a major factor in the election, and any candidate who thought that putting on a concerned face about government spending was going to help more than getting the economy going (or who didn’t believe that government action could get the economy going) is, frankly, an idiot.
@Shadow’s Mom: Media Matters did a nice rundown of all the patently false crap in Alexander’s filibuster article (which I presume was much the same material as his speech, since I can’t imagine him putting any extra effort into it.)
None of this wouldn’t have happened if Pelosi hadn’t violated the Logan Act and WENT TO SYRIA to smuggle weapons and drugs to Dictator Assad.
That Republican was different because he wasn’t telling Assad it was okay to kill Americans, unlike NANCY PELOSI.
Of course, Pelosi’s visit wasn’t the only one. Real American Freedom Lovers also visited.
You know why? Because fuck you.
@J. Michael Neal: Yeah, but I mean in the sense they can’t go “Packers almost win 5-17!”
These people truly deeply believe they are the only true Americans, and everything they do is blessed under that self appointed banner, that does not include the word hypocrisy, that is replaced by the word entitled. It is why they are so very dangerous.
@Mnemosyne: Yeah. Big time.
@General Stuck: They’re just evil, evil shitbags, the same scumfucks who gleefully cavorted with Central American death squads and genocidalists and played dress-up while they helped South Africa wage war against Angola and Mozambique and hired civilian-slaughtering rebels to do the same. For Freedom, of course.
I am happy to see Shuler hasn’t lost his talent for leading 11 Washington-area professionals on a pointless, pathetic and ultimately losing drive for glory. He’s still got it!
you might be right, though I’m skeptical, but I think many of them still would have lost even if Democrats held the House.
Just Some Fuckhead
Ah, Rep. Jim Cooper, my very own Congresscritter! He’s a Blue Dog, I expected this.
Pelosi didn’t seem so sanguine about this. She had a very bright smile when they started calling the roll and by the time they got to the 12th vote against her she looked very worried. IIRC Hoyer looked stunned when he was voted for. Also, too.
“I am happy to see Shuler hasn’t lost his talent for leading 11 Washington-area professionals on a pointless, pathetic and ultimately losing drive for glory. He’s still got it!”
That’s dangerous thinking there. That could lead to Republicans trying to get Dan Snyder appointed as head of the EPA.
Heath wants moderate Democrats to be a “bridge” between Democrats and Republicans. I think that’s just swell.
Of course, what would be even nicer would be if Heath ever remembered that he IS a fucking Democrat. Or at least he says he is. I think his legislative career is a giant exercise in proving that there actually is another job at which he’s a bigger sack of shit than he was as a quarterback.
I got my ass out of bed early on a workday in November to vote for Connolly, not because I like him–he’s a Republican Lite in Democratic clothing–but because I thought it was important to vote and try to stem the tide of teatard madness. He’s not great, but he’s far better than the Republican dillweed who ran against him.
So, yeah, Gerry, I’m watching. You better vote for Pelosi, and you better vote with Pelosi, if you get my drift. Nice little district you got there. Awful if anything happened to it. Capiche?
So we watch as they support the Republican congress and while they do that Progressives will have plenty of time to find primary challengers for every last stinking one of them.
If Obama has taught me one thing, it is just because you put a “D” after your name, does not mean automatic support from me anymore!
What you said.
Remember when I came in on election day and said that I honestly thought I might not want to hold my nose and vote for Altmire?
This is exactly the kind of bullshit I was talking about. Won’t get fooled again, though.
John, you are a bastard. That is all.