Heath Shuler, the former NFL quarterback turned Democratic congressman, is set to launch a bid to unseat Nancy Pelosi as the House Minority Leader. The conservative-leaning Shuler admits it is almost impossible for him to win, but said it was "unacceptable" for Pelosi to continue leading the party after its electoral defeat. Given the improbability of victory, is the little-known North Carolina lawmaker making a wise political move?
Someone must challenge Pelosi: Shuler "stands little chance" of winning, says Armstrong Williams at The Hill, but this "isn't some empty challenge." The congressman recognizes Democrats are "about to be led over a cliff again by the same liberal shepherd." Luckily, his challenge may represent "the beginning of the end for Pelosi," exposing a rift within the party that will only get larger until she does the decent thing and stands down.
"Shuler v. Pelosi — a necessary challenge"
He will only divide the Democrats: "Just when everyone thought things couldn't get any worse for the Democrats," along comes Shuler, says the Independent Florida Alligator. His attempt to give the party more conservative leadership ahead of 2012 is well-intentioned, but it will only further segment his already-injured party. Does he really think "in-party quarreling" is the right way to react to a "shellacking" at the polls?
"Party Foul: Rep. Shuler segmenting Democrats"
He may be saving his own seat: Shuler's "quixotic bid" allows him to distance himself from his party, says David Freddoso at the San Francisco Examiner. Don't forget, "Republicans will be redistricting North Carolina next year," and Shuler could lose his seat if he doesn't appeal to conservatives. It's not "completely unreasonable" to wonder if this is the first move toward switching parties.
"Shuler's quixotic bid"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The 11 worst fast food restaurants in America
- 7 language habits that reveal your age
- I hate Ayn Rand — but here's why my fellow conservatives love her
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- The biggest lesson Obama failed to learn from Bush
- Why Peter Capaldi has a bigger challenge than any Doctor Who in history
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- A scientific fact-check of 2001: A Space Odyssey
- The weird obsession that's ruining the GOP
Subscribe to the Week