Friday, November 17, 2006


Take My Leader....PLEASE!

Given the outcome of the various leadership contests, it is begining to look like the predicted "dumb-off" for the next few years. However, I think my colleague, John Podhoretz, makes a good point when he says that, as unseemly as it may look from the outside, the Democratic Party public debate is a good, healthy one.

Nancy Pelosi may have made a serious error in error in judgment by backing the very flawed John Murtha. However, the Democrats eventually made the correct choice in selecting Steny Hoyer. Hoyer is a conventional liberal (ironically, more liberal on most issues than Murtha), but fairly "clean" (or at least has never been named as an unindicted co-conspirator). Furthermore, he has shown due deference to the Blue Dog (conservative Dems) Coalition.

On the other hand, the Republicans have brought back both John Boehner AND Roy Blunt as their leaders. Wonderful! Hey, the American people may have voted for change, but why the heck should the House GOP vote for GOP? So, for those keeping count, of the four Republican leadership positions in the House and Senate, three (Boehner, Blunt and Trent Lott 2.0) are also-rans with various sorts of baggage that they are carrying around. In that sense, that puts the Republicans ahead (which is to say, "behind") in the "dumb-off" sweepstakes.

Losing minority leader and whip candidates, Mike Pence and John Shadegg, will be around for a while, but their rejection by the Conference suggests that House members have a long way to go before they get their reform-minded mojo back.

Republicans can't just depend on Democrats continually screwing up to regain power The House Democrats already showed that they're not willing to play that game -- even if it is to the temporary detriment of their incoming Speaker.

(Sorry for the late post -- this was written before 11 this morning -- but there was some problem between Internet Explorer and Blogger today. I am rapidly seeing the value of Firefox!)

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