November 06, 2002
Gephardt to step down

The first head rolls: Dick Gephardt will not run for minority leader of the House again. (Via Atrios.)

Gephardt, 61, has long signaled his interest in running for president in 2004, but it was not clear whether he would address that race when he announces his plans Thursday.

The Missouri Democrat was majority leader when the 1994 landslide swept the GOP into power in the House. He was elected minority leader in the weeks that followed and spent the next eight years attempting unsuccessfully to return his party to power.

In that time, he served as his party's chief legislative strategist in the House, often struggling to hold a diverse caucus together on issues ranging from tax policy to international trade legislation.

I've never been much of a Gephardt fan, so I join my fellow lefty bloggers in shedding no tears over this decision. And may I add in my two cents' worth in favor of Nancy Pelosi to replace him.

Wasn't sure that I wanted to start talking about this so soon, but I like Rob's prescription for the most part. I definitely disagree with #9 - until proven otherwise, Gore is still the best candidate the Dems have, and I see no reason to silence the Big Dog, even if there were a way to do so - I'm not sure about #10, and I'm undecided about Tom Daschle. But it's a good start.

And I really like TCMits' comment:

A Pledge

If, two years from now:
Unemployment is down
The Markets are up
Poverty and homelessness are down
The number of people without health insurance is down
The environment has improved
The energy crisis has abated
We are at peace
Corporate Crime is down
Street Crime is down
There is little or no inflation
Interest rates are down
Personal income rates and buying power for the middle and lower classes are up
MY taxes are down and the budget is balanced

I will foreswear my Liberal ways and vote a straight Republican ticket in 2004.

Are there any Conservatives out there who will make the opposite pledge?

I'm not going to hold my breath on any opposite numbers taking up his challenge, but I'll second his pledge. Anyone else?

Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 06, 2002 to Election 2002 | TrackBack

No, because there are issues other than the purely economic ones. But, for those bloggers who don't share the conservative view on social issues...

Posted by: Atrios on November 6, 2002 9:37 PM

I'm not going to make any such pledge because it's stupid. It assumes that the federal government itself controls the economy and can dictate results. Moreover, it assumes that legislation alone can work miracles in two short years. In short, it assumes a faith in government that spawns from liberalism, and is absolutely revolting to conservatives.

Understand this - we are conservatives because we DON'T trust in the government to solve problems, and certainly not to reduce itself. That would require major structural changes requiring an entire political realignment, which few believe just occurred. Unified government alone does not, nor ever has guaranteed that legislation gets slammed through at breakneck pace (read the book "Divided we Govern" for a lesson on this). Accordingly, this entire pledge flows from several insipid and false premises made all at once.

Posted by: Owen Courrèges on November 7, 2002 11:19 AM

What Owen said...

Damn, that's good stuff. If I didn't have a just-imposed moratorium on poli-sci posts, I would put it all on my own site. Hopefully, he'll do it on his.

Posted by: Scott Chaffin on November 9, 2002 9:14 AM

You guys are missing the point. Bush went around the country campaigning for Republican control of the houses so he could really advance his agenda. He got it. If things aren't better in two years, he deserves to pay the price for it.

That's what I'm saying. Are you saying otherwise?

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on November 9, 2002 12:42 PM