From TPM Reader VM:
I’m surprised that you didn’t link your thoughts about the Incumbent Party with your thoughts about a challenge to Pelosi if the Democrats failed to win the House.
After all, you’re right that the political climate is right for a major sweep. The biggest challenge, though, is that the 2000 redistricting was controlled by the Incumbent Party. There are, simply put, too few competitive seats to allow for a sea-change in control of the House.
And Pelosi (who I like on many other fronts) is one of the key leaders in preserving safe districts for incumbents. Redistricting in California alone could have created enough competitive seats to switch partisan control. But Pelosi went all-out trying to prevent reforms in her home state that would have created competitive districts.
If the Democrats fail to win the House in November, a fair amount of blame should go to Pelosi’s yeoman support of the Incumbent Party’s redistricting strategy.
Late Update: Another reader responds:
Very important fact you left out in blaming Pelosi for a go-along approach to California redistricting – it takes 2/3 approval to get redistricting through the state legislature – the GOP had 35% of one house, 40% of the other – there was no way a Texas-like redo was possible.
You need to include this if you are going to analyze what happened here.