Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Oy gevolt. So in addition to the outburst of pro-Jeff Sessions sentiment, Senator Trent Lott (R-MS), once banished for proclaiming that "we wouldn't have all these problems" had we maintained a segregationist agenda, is now the Number 2 Republican in the Senate (As Robert George says: There is something painfully ironic with Trent Lott gaining the title of "minority whip"). This from the party trying to engage in "outreach" towards African-Americans? It'd be laughable if it wasn't so sad.

But don't think the Democrats aren't holding their own on the idiocy front. Pelosi has managed to royally piss me off on both the Hoyer/Murtha race for Majority Leader, and the Harman/Hastings decision for chair of the Intelligence Committee. If the Democrats have a mandate to do anything, it's to fight corruption in the halls of Washington. Murtha has consistently been on the watchlist of corruption observers, and just recently called the Democrats' reform bill "total crap". He's effectively beholden to defense contractors, and loves earmarks to death. Oh, and aside from Iraq, he's as conservative as you can get in the Democratic caucus and largely incoherent as a speaker. Hoyer is not my favorite Democrat in the world, but he was instrumental in getting Democrats elected this cycle, his positions--though not exactly liberal--are more in line with the general views of the caucus, and he knows how to play ball in Washington. Plus, given the fact that I'm starting to really dislike Pelosi, I'm not sure I want to set her up as a DeLay-style tyrant of the House. As for Harman/Hastings, it's no question: you don't take off one of our party's top experts on Intelligence and replace him with a former judge impeached for taking bribes! This should be a no-brainer. And the kicker is that in both these cases, Pelosi's decisions seem less about what's good for the country or the party, and more about waging personal vendettas against two people she detests (her feuds with Hoyer and Harman are long-runnng). This is not an auspicious start.

So, like John Cole, I have to agree with Dean Barnett: Republicans and Democrats are [apparently] determined to engage in a two year dumb-off. Ugh.

1 comment:

jack said...

The Murtha quote was distorted. I'm not a big fan of him either but don't forget that Hoyer was the guy who bragged about starting is own K-Street project. He also undemined Murtha and Pelosi's efforts on Iraq. The one OTHER thing Democrats have a mandate for is getting us out of Iraq and when it comes to that (the most important issue of our time) Hoyer is a non-starter.

The Harman thing can similarly be explain by her position on the war (in favor) and the Intelligence Committee is sort of really important when it comes to a whole slew of issues dealing with the war notably any investigation into distorted intelligence during the lead-up to the war.

And the one thing the party doesn't need is leadership thats constantly undermining one anothers efforts and stabbing each other in the back.

I'm not exactly comfortable with the Democrats Pelosi's chosen to replace Harman and Hoyer but I do like that Harman and Hoyer are being replaced.