Saturday, August 3, 2019

House Republicans Head for the Exits (VIDEO)

At the New York Times, "Deprived of Power, House Republicans Head for the Exits":

WASHINGTON — Imagine being swept out of power in Congress and relegated to the role of spectator and naysayer as your political opponents dictate the terms of legislative debate. Add in the specter of a painful slog to re-election, sharing the ticket with President Trump and being asked to answer daily for his every tweet and incendiary statement.

Now picture doing all of that only to risk landing in the minority again, possibly under the other party’s president.

Such is the plight of House Republicans contemplating whether to seek re-election in 2020, and the bleak outlook is taking its toll. A half-dozen Republican members of Congress have announced over the past two weeks that they will retire rather than face voters again next year, and more are expected to follow in the coming weeks, dealing an early setback to the party’s uphill battle to win back the House.

The rush for the exits is also providing evidence about how difficult the House Republican Conference is becoming for the few women and people of color who remain in it.

Among the retirements announced in the past week are Representatives Will Hurd of Texas, the only African-American Republican in the House, and Martha Roby of Alabama, one of only 13 Republican congresswomen. Representative Susan Brooks of Indiana, the head of recruitment for the party’s campaign committee, had been tasked with replenishing the ravaged ranks of Republican women; she announced in June that she would retire, an indication of the long odds of that effort.

“It’s a reflection of the pessimism Republicans feel about regaining the majority in 2020,” said David Wasserman, the House editor of the Cook Political Report, which tracks congressional races...