Fox is running a blaring story about a letter from House Dems, possibly sponsored by a number who were defeated last Tuesday, asking Speaker Nancy Pelosi not to run for Minority Leader in the next Congress. I don’t have any doubt that there are a lot of Dems who’d prefer that Pelosi stand down, even though I suspect she’ll be elected to the role almost unanimously. And I suspect that that’s sentiment runs particularly strong among lost who just lost their seats, both because they tend to be more conservative and also because they just lost their jobs.
I got suspicious though when I didn’t hear any details about how many Reps had signed it or even any particular members who’d signed it. So I looked at the actual article. And there’s a reason. Apparently no one has signed it. If you dig really deep you find out that it’s only being ‘circulated’ — apparently no one has signed it yet.
Now, like I said, I don’t think for a minute that there aren’t members who don’t want Pelosi as their leader, a handful have actually said so. But when you read the text of the letter obtained by Fox is sounds more like an elaborate exercise in ‘concern-trolling’. It seems premature to see it as a major development before anyone comes forward to sign it.
I suspect some will. But until they do …
Read the ‘letter’ after the jump.
Letter from Defeated Members:
Many of us want the chance to run again and reclaim the seats that we lost on Tuesday. With you as the leader of House Democrats, the hangover of 2010 stands no chance of subsiding. Many of us have run our last race but remain committed to our party; we want to help recruit successful candidates to run in our stead. Unfortunately, we fear that Republicans will further demonize you, and in so doing they will scare potential candidates out. The prospect of having to run against their own party leadership in addition to their Republican opponent is simply too daunting.
This is a difficult letter to write, because we admire your commitment, your drive, and your conviction. You have been an historic figure in our great nation, and for that we are all proud, as should you be. Nonetheless, we each experienced how Republican demonization of you and your leadership contributed to our defeat.
It is impossible not to judge the results of November 2nd as anything but a profound loss. We want to recover. Recovery of our majority in the House necessitates new leadership at the top of our party. We believe that you can and will play an extraordinary role in our party, and it is extremely unfortunate that Republicans have taken away your ability to lead as effectively as you are able. Nonetheless, one mark of a strong leader is the ability to discern when it is time to pass the baton. As defeated members, whose party needs to rebuild, we are counting on you to show the strength of your leadership in this dark hour. We ask that you step aside as leader of our party in the House.
With utmost respect, we are..
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.