I Knew Pelosi Was Liberal, But I Didn't Expect Plain Stupidity

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Nov 16, 2006 11:28 AM

I know I'm probably being naive, but I really expected better from her. Not better as in good policy, but better as in avoiding self-immolation before even being officially named Speaker.

But that's the road Pelosi has taken, backing the corrupt Jack Murtha for Majority Leader and twisting arms to get folks to abandon the formerly presumptive, more moderate Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. Party unity? Who needs it? Blow it outta the water just a week after the election!

Pelosi's aggressive intervention on behalf of Murtha has baffled and angered many Democrats, who think she has unnecessarily put her reputation on the line out of misplaced loyalty to a friend and because of a long-standing feud with Hoyer, the minority whip. Pelosi has pushed Murtha's candidacy at social events, in private meetings and with incoming freshman Democrats; they have been called to her office to discuss committee assignments, only to hear first that she needs Murtha in order to be an effective leader.

Hoyer, 67, was heavily favored to win the race until Sunday, when Pelosi -- in a move that shocked even her staff -- openly threw her support to Murtha, despite a vow to stay neutral. She said in a letter that she was swayed by Murtha's early call for a withdrawal of U.S. troops, and that he would be best positioned to lead a new Democratic majority.

Allah looks like he's staging a rogue run at Minority Whip to unseat Trent Lott with all the vote-counting he's doing. Does Murtha have the votes or not? Inconclusive.

Dean's excited about the conclusion of the 2006 Leadership Dumb-Off, and who wouldn't be? It was the Republicans' to lose after the Lott reinstatement, but Democrats are surging toward the end, here.

The answer will come in momentarily. If Murtha wins, then the Democrats have surged out to a decisive lead in the dumb-off, having outdone our cagey offering of Trent Lott by quite some margin.

The Huffington Post, unsurprisingly, is rooting for Murtha to bring the trophy home for Dems.  

Hey, Republicans are rooting for the same thing! I knew this was the new age of bipartisanship!

In Republican leadership news, the under-underdog Joe Barton has dropped out of the Minority Leader race in the House and thrown his support to Boehner, which it seems to me is bad news for Pence. I think a lot of people were hoping the two underdogs would split on the first ballot, at which point Barton would throw his votes to Pence for the second ballot.

Update: Hardball's not just for obnoxious, middle-aged blonde men! Did Boehner threaten Barton's committee position to get him out of the race? RedState's take on this is that Boehner's feeling the heat. Keep calling:  202-225-3121. Capitol switchboard, baby!