Monday, July 2, 2018

Gaping Void for the Democrats

I'm still just jazzed with the developments in New York's 14th congressional district, and of course nationally.

At WaPo, "Crowley’s loss leaves gaping void for next generation of Democratic leaders":

Rep. Joseph Crowley did not hide his ambition to be House speaker some day. Now, after his stunning primary loss Tuesday, the next generation of Democratic leaders is a blank slate.

The congressman from Queens set out on a mission over the past year to put himself in place to one day, whenever Democrats won back the majority, grab the gavel and run the House.

“I find myself possibly in the position of — where what I’ve attained so far in terms of leadership — that may happen in the future. It may not,” Crowley told The Washington Post last fall while campaigning for several Democrats around Las Vegas.

On Tuesday, that dream came crashing down, with Crowley becoming the latest in an entire generation of Democratic emerging leaders to fail in their quest to seize the mantle from the 70-something trio of liberals atop the House caucus for more than a decade.

Crowley’s crushing defeat came at the hands of an underfunded challenger on his ideological flank in a party primary. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 28, is a former Bernie Sanders campaign organizer who called for the abolition of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency amid the public outcry over President Trump’s migrant separation policy.

Crowley’s loss drew immediate comparisons to the stunning upset of Eric Cantor (R-Va.) four years ago when he was the sitting House majority leader and lost to now-Rep. Dave Brat (Va.) in the GOP primary.

But, in that instance, House Republicans had several other young lawmakers who had the standing and support to rise into top posts, including House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), who was waiting in the wings for another year to take charge.

Crowley, 56, despite being in his 20th year in office, was considered a relative newcomer to Democratic leadership circles because the other three have been at the top since early last decade, longer than most House Democrats have even served in Congress.