By Matthew Vadum
Terrified Democratic lawmakers are retiring in droves because they know it won’t be easy to survive the anti-establishment electoral tsunami expected to swamp Capitol Hill in November.
Democrats have every reason to feel depressed about the approaching midterm elections, according to famed psephologist and prognosticator Larry Sabato.
This will probably be “a good election year for the GOP,” Sabato says. Rattling off the main factors that appear to be driving this election cycle, Sabato opined,
The president is a Democrat and his approval is weak. The economy may be improving, based on GDP growth (4.1 percent in the third quarter), but voters still don’t believe their personal economy, at least, has picked up much. Instead, the major national issue of the moment is Obamacare, which at this point is a loser for Democrats. The structure of the election in the House and Senate also bends in the GOP direction.
Even those representing traditionally safe Democratic congressional districts know the political landscape is on-track for dramatic changes after this year’s midterm elections. Republicans are optimistic about picking up plenty of U.S. Senate seats this year. At least five Democrats are not seeking reelection. They are Max Baucus (Mont.), Tom Harkin (Iowa), Tim Johnson (S.D.), Carl Levin, (Mich.), and Jay Rockefeller (W.Va.).
On Wednesday, 12-term Rep. Jim Moran (Va.) said he won’t seek reelection. The day before, Rep. Bill Owens (N.Y.) said he won’t run again. On Monday, Rep. George Miller (Calif.), a 40-year congressional veteran and ally of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), said he’s retiring.
Reps. Jim Matheson (Utah) and Mike McIntyre (N.C.), are also heading for the exits, opening up seats that will almost certainly go Republican. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (N.Y.), an anti-gun rights fanatic, is also not seeking reelection.
Deluded as usual, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) believes Democrats will recapture the House, an electoral result that is a virtual impossibility according to serious political handicappers. “Our Democratic retirements do not relate in any way to our prospects for winning,” said the former House Speaker.
“Democrats are optimistic about our prospects,” she added, “And we’ve met all of our critical imperatives for where we need to be on a path to victory.”
Republicans called out the latte leftist for her unfounded optimism.
“We know Nancy Pelosi doesn’t think we have a spending problem, but now she’s really in denial,” National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) spokesman Daniel Scarpinato said yesterday.
Referring to the retirements of Matheson in Utah and McIntyre in North Carolina, Scarpinato added, “Losing two Democrat incumbents in two of the most Republican districts in the nation is the worst case scenario for Pelosi’s dreams of becoming Speaker of the House again.”
Probably the most colorful of the House Democrats taking a deliberate dive this year is Rep. Jim Moran, a Virginia Democrat representing a congressional district that is so far-left and safe for Democrats that some local conservatives call it “the People’s Republic of Alexandria.”
The violent, hard-drinking, rage-filled, emotionally volatile Moran has a long corruption rap sheet. Amazingly enough, he managed to stay out of jail after taking what appeared to be a bribe from a lobbyist. Moran accepted an unsecured $25,000 “loan,” based on a secret promissory note issued by a registered lobbyist, Terry Lierman, who received legislative assistance from the congressman.
Lierman represented Schering-Plough Corp., which hired him to push Congress to defend its monopoly on the popular allergy drug Claritin. On June 30, 1999, Moran co-sponsored legislation to help Schering-Plough. The next month Moran sent a letter to other Democratic lawmakers, seeking support for the measure. That summer Moran accepted $25,000 from Lierman. The promissory note had no maturity date and did not indicate when the principal had to be repaid except to stipulate that Lierman could call in the loan at any time. This means it was less a promissory note than a “get out of jail free” card ready to be made public in case of emergency.
Moran suggested a cabal of wealthy Jews dragged the U.S. into the war against Iraq. He criticized the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), saying it didn’t “represent the mainstream of American Jewish thinking at all.” AIPAC thrives because it is “so well organized” and its “members are extraordinarily powerful—most of them are quite wealthy—they have been able to exert power,” he said in 2007.
The thuggish Moran, a former boxer, allegedly “sucker-punched” a Republican lawmaker in 1995 during a House floor debate about sending troops to Bosnia.
And the apple doesn’t far fall from the tree. Moran’s son, Patrick, who had been his father’s campaign’s field director, was caught on video in 2012 discussing how to fake documents in order to vote on behalf of 100 people.
Both father and son have been prosecuting the Democratic Party’s war on women for years. Moran has gotten into hot water repeatedly for allegedly using violence against females. A boozer like his father, Patrick pleaded guilty to assaulting his girlfriend. Police say he grabbed the woman by the back of her head and slammed it into a trash can in front of a Washington, D.C. nightclub. (Nobody said community organizing was pretty.)
With a straight face, this week Nancy Pelosi praised Israel-hating Moran as “a pillar of our Caucus and one of the finest legislators in the House.” Surely she was lying when she said the endlessly obnoxious bloody shirt-waving congressman’s “eloquence and ability commands the respect of members on both sides of the aisle.”
Expect Pelosi’s lying to intensify over the coming 10 months.