Nader urges Pelosi, Dem leaders to step aside

With House Democrats bracing for Election Day losses on Tuesday, Ralph Nader is calling on Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other top party leaders to call it quits.

The prominent consumer advocate and perennial presidential candidate says the failure of those leaders to win the House gavel over three straight election cycle should means it's time for a new crop of lawmakers to take control of the party.

"Pelosi, Steny Hoyer and Steve Israel should now recognize the wisdom of baseball’s 'three strikes and you’re out' ... step down from their posts and invite fresh leadership who can save the country from the ravages of today’s Republican party," Nader said Tuesday in a statement. Hoyer (Md.) is the minority whip, and Israel (N.Y.) is chairman of the party's campaign committee.

Nader is quick to praise the three leaders for their hard work and fundraising prowess. But, he added, "the result is just exemplifying the adage that nice guys finish last.”

"Between 2010 and 2014 … they have demonstrated their inability to reverse a growing Republican majority espousing cruel, brutish and harmful policies to almost any human interest, any environmental interest, and any Main Street interest in conflict with Wall Street demands for privileges and immunities of crony corporate capitalism and to any interest in waging peace over war," he said.

The comments arrive as Pelosi and the Democrats are expecting modest losses at the polls on Tuesday.

The Cook Political Report, an online election handicapper, is predicting House Republicans will pick up between six and 12 seats, while the Rothenberg Political Report is forecasting net GOP gains of between five and 12 seats.

Those figures are far smaller than the seismic shifts that characterized the last two midterm cycles, when the Democrats picked up 31 seats in 2006 and the Republicans picked up 63 in 2010. But any losses will be a disappointment for Democratic leaders who thought they had a shot at defying history by winning control the lower chamber after last year's government shutdown left Republicans bruised.

Instead, the combination of retiring incumbents, voter apathy, overseas conflicts and the unpopularity of President Obama has forced the Democrats on the defensive, hoping simply to keep loses at a minimum ahead of the 2016 presidential race.

Pelosi, who for the last two cycles has defied predictions that she would retire, has, true to form, not revealed her plans post-election.

Nader, for one, thinks she and other top Democrats have had enough chances.

"It is indeed time for a change, time to put the Republic beyond the reach of the worst Republicans in that party’s 160 year history," he said.