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
- How the South's ugly racial history is haunting ObamaCare
- 10 things you need to know today: October 31, 2014
- If Democrats abandon immigration reform after Tuesday's likely loss, they will turn 2016 into a debacle
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Beware of Splenda: The backlash against artificial sugars
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Sorry, we will not all be having sex with robots in the future
- Stop making fun of philosophy and read some philosophy
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How ISIS sells women and children
Subscribe to the Week