Rat's Nest: Hakeem Jeffries and Adam Schiff gnaw and scratch it out over who gets to lead the losing Democrats

The battle to be King 'Rat among the rapidly sinking Democrats is now going full steam.

According to Politico:

The race to succeed Speaker Nancy Pelosi as the leader of House Democrats may have been clinched at a meeting in the Capitol on Sept. 1.

That’s when House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York slipped back to Washington to connect in Clyburn’s office during the summer congressional recess at Jeffries’ request.

Jeffries, the fifth-ranking House Democrat who aspires to be the first-ranking House Democrat in the next Congress, was picking up heightened chatter from colleagues about California Rep. Adam Schiff’s outreach expressing his own interest in the top caucus job.

Hakeem, it seems, was pretty sure he had it in the bag until Adam Schiff came along, sneaking around under cover of darkness to get the leadership job locked up. According to my research from last January, Hakeem's planned it out like this for years. He went running to Clyburn, the man who made Joe Biden president, to try to get Godfather's blessing again.

Clyburn, who is said to possibly want the job himself, was suitably clerical in his vaguely positive anointing of Jeffries as House Democrat leader:

“There’s nothing I would ever do to impede the progress of our up-and-coming young Democrats and I see him as an up-and-coming young Democrat,” Clyburn said in an interview about Jeffries. “He knows that, I didn’t have to tell him that — but I did.”

Asked if he would be willing to serve in an emeritus role in the leadership, Clyburn said he is “willing to do anything the caucus thinks is to their benefit,” noting that Jeffries has “referred to me as a mentor.”

So he wants it, too, but he reassured Jeffries that he has his papal blessing.

Meanwhile, Schiff, who has been plotting to lead the Democrats for about as long as Jeffries, has been scurrying around to be the top 'rat on the sinking ship, too.

Here's the Washington Post, in a piece dated July 28, 2022:

Schiff’s overtures, which began in earnest earlier this year, have focused on consolidating support among his home base, the expansive California delegation, according to members of that group. And though he has not made an explicit ask for endorsements, he is gauging members’ interest and planting the seed that leading the caucus is his goal.

Schiff has also reached out to members in a variety of key blocs in the vast Democratic caucus, including the minority tri-caucuses made up of the powerful Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. He has also reached out to the ideological factions within the Democratic caucus: both the large Progressive Caucus and the centrist New Democrat Coalition, of which he is a member, according to several people with knowledge of the outreach.

Both Jeffries and Schiff position themselves as Democrat "moderates," which is utterly laughable, given their voting records.

Schiff argues that the party owes him for all he's done for them -- the impeachment, the Russian collusion hoax, the January 6 kangaroo hearings. He's close to Nancy Pelosi. He's a big fundraiser, and for Democrats, money talks

Jeffries argues that he is younger, which is a point in his favor, given the jurassic leadership of the Democrats, and of course, he holds the prospect of being another "first" for the Democrats, this time as the first black leader of the historic Party of the Klan. From the Democrats' point of view, that might make sense because Democrats are bleeding black voters, with approximately 20% said to have moved on to the Republicans. Democrats had thought they had that constituency in the bag, so what better than to put a black face in front of them as a sort of call to black people to rally, as if Republicans had no black leaders themselves? Democrats understand little about why black voters are leaving the Democrats.

What a wretched way to choose the leadership of the loser party, though. Instead of openly debating on ideas and letting the best man win, they're sneaking around in private and trying to get big guys to stick up for them. Schiff, if he wins, would have won because of his capacity to raise money, meaning, his friendships with billionaire Democrat donors. Jeffries, if he wins, will have gotten his place based on affirmative action considerations, and we all know how well that worked out for Joe Biden, who elevated incompetent Kamala Harris to the vice presidency on those grounds. James Clyburn can take a bow for that one, too.

Now it looks like the fix may be in, though it may be just a leaky weather balloon to pump up Jeffries. Jeffries has a record that's just as extreme as that of Pelosi and the other mainstream Democrats, his only argument on that front is that he's not one of the crazies. He had been all in for defunding the police when it was popular, then denied he was for defunding the police when the polls came in about the idea. He let the cat out of the bag on the Chavista goals of the Democrats, too, making an odd Freudian slip about it last January.

Now he's angling for a leadership role in the sinking Democrat ship, seeking to become its nautical figurehead. Any questions as to why this party is going down?

Image: Official photo, U.S. Congress / public domain

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