Could Nancy Pelosi have gotten off to a worse start? Thinking … Thinking … Thinking …
No. She could not. That was as bad as it could have been. It was the answer to a Conservative's prayer.
Before we go any farther, let's review the fact that elections for Majority or Minority Leader or Whip are what are called "caucus elections." They are internal to each of the two parties; they make the rules for their elections, and by tradition they are secret ballots which allows them to lie to each other with alacrity.
Each party nominates its candidate for Speaker, but the Democrats did not, last week elect Nancy Pelosi to be the Speaker.
By now you know the story: Nancy Pelosi go talked, maneuvered, cajoled, or simply fooled into publicly supporting Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) for Majority Leader of the House starting in January.
Rep. John Murtha is something of a thug. He barely escaped being charged with a crime during an FBI sting operation called: ABSCAM and is generally known, as a member of the Appropriations Armed Services Subcommittee to have a soft heart for those who produce hard campaign cash.
In fact New York Daily News reporter, Mike McAuliffe wrote:
"Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington (CREW), which slammed Murtha last summer for steering hundreds of millions in taxpayer funds to clients of his lobbyist brother and former staffers."
CREW, according to McAuliffe, says those "clients donated more than $500,000 to Murtha in the last two elections."
Pelosi had even gone so far as to rig the order of the elections, by having the vote for Speaker come before the vote for Majority Leader - the better to bend new Members to her iron will.
Nevertheless, Murtha was beaten like a rented mule in the race for Majority Leader by Rep. Steney Hoyer (D-MD) who didn't get along with Pelosi before, and how will NEVER get along with her.
The Dems, of course, have made it abundantly clear that this was an internal fight, had nothing to do with their laser-focus to make taxes more fair, end the war, cool down the planet and drain the swamp of corruption.
In fact, the Washington Post ran a piece written by Hope Yen headlined: "Hoyer Claims No Bad Blood with Pelosi."
But, Hoyer didn't seem as certain about that in the body, as Yen wrote, Hoyer "acknowledged Sunday he was seeking assurances from incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi that she would not retaliate against his supporters."
Here's how far they got on that swamp-draining thing: Nowhere. On the issue of "earmarks" - which is the process whereby lobbyists, corporate executives, Mayors and University Presidents get Members of the Appropriations Committees to put in language which forces the US Government to pay for some product or project.
The sweeping change on earmarks being proposed by the halo-laden Democrats is, according to the NY Times' David Kirkpatrick:
"[W]ould apply only to 'district-oriented earmarks,' that is, projects obtained for constituents. Lawmakers already boast of sponsoring such items. The earmarks involved in corruption cases are often directed to contractors or campaign contributors elsewhere."
So, the answer is to force Members to make public those earmarks they already brag about (called, "pork") while allowing them to wipe their fingerprints from those earmarks bought and paid for by people like Murtha's donors, family members, and former staffers.
Democrats are not exactly cleaning out the cesspool of corruption. It seems more like what has been uncharitably described as a French Shower: Spritzing some perfume near the offending area not to remove the smell, but to overwhelm it with yet another.
On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the three articles discussed above, a link to an explanation of ABSCAM; an amusing Mullfoto taken at a restaurant in Georgetown, and a Catchy Caption of the Day.