A Hoyer speakership would be a catastrophe for the left.
It's impossible to understand the Democratic rebellion against Nancy Pelosi without understanding the way power works in the House of Representatives. To understand the self-serving men behind this rebellion, heed the words of the late screenwriter William Goldman: Follow the money.
There is discontent with Pelosi's ideology on the left, and that's understandable. But ideology is not driving this campaign, and this is no populist rebellion. In fact, its leaders have no discernible ideology at all.
That's how corporate money rolls in the Democratic Party. It lays low, hides its true colors, and pretends it only wants to "get things done."
The anti-Pelosi insurgency is not a movement. It's a cabal, orchestrated by the appropriately hashtagged #FiveWhiteGuys, a group of self-self-interested players with big money behind them. These white males resemble nothing so much as the next-generation terminator played by Robert Patrick in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day." They're cunning, aggressive, shape-shifting, and so reflective that anyone who looks at them sees only a distorted image of themselves.
If you're looking to change politics, they don't reflect you.
Rebel Without a Cause
This ersatz rebellion's most visible leader is Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton, a custom-crafted biography in a suit who appears to hold no core beliefs. That's undoubtedly a plus for the political operatives who recruited and promoted him. An early profile has Moulton variously calling himself "a progressive Democrat," a "pragmatic Democrat," and a "frustrated Democrat" -- and that was just during his first primary.
Moulton was reportedly recruited to run for Congress by "New Politics," a group that seeks to elect both Democratic and Republican veterans. It describes itself as "bipartisan," a word will come up again in the story of the anti-Pelosi rebellion. New Politics' other success story is Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, who notably blamed Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, rather than the ill-advised Iraq war, for the rise of ISIS.
Moulton, who reportedly backed that tragic misadventure, enjoyed the early support of two generals who helped lead it, David Petraeus and Stanley McChrystal. (Unfortunately, both are now disgraced: McChrystal for disrespecting the civilian chain of command, and Petraeus for revealing secrets to an extramarital lover as he cheated on his wife, a crime that would have likely led to criminal indictment for a less well-connected official.)
As the Washington Post reports, Moulton "has aligned with Republicans on some policy bills, ranging from a ban on the gun accessories used in last year's mass shooting in Las Vegas to a recent legislation allowing veterans to use medical marijuana."
Moulton had praise for Pelosi when he was asked about her last year, saying she had achieved an "awful lot." He told Politico's Michael Kruse that he thought much of the Republican criticism of her was "unfair," but added, "the reality is that we're losing."
Well, Pelosi's winning now. What's his rationale for opposing Pelosi today? "If that many seats change hands," Moulton said after the election, "that's just all the more reason the American people are calling out for change."
Heads, he wins. Tails, Pelosi loses.