Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Official Blog.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Hoyer wins number two spot

So Steny Hoyer won the race against Jack Murtha to be Majority Leader. If you have been exposed to any cable television, then it is clear that the entire party is falling apart over this and we might as well just pack it in.

Clearly Pelosi is finished, according to this narrative, and only a turn to the right can save us. (Have I ever mentioned that the bobble heads on cable TV are idiots?)

If you, sensibly, have been ignoring cable television, then you realize that only political junkies, reporters and members of Congress really care much, and that since Murtha is a decent guy (despite being involved in the ABSCAM mess) then this isn't much of an issue. Sure, the right wing blogs will try to make something of it, but they don't have much to work with right now.

Trent Lott is back, so that's something.

But if you wish, you can find out how your Democratic representative voted.

UPDATE: David Sirota ably explains why Hoyer's election as Majority Leader in the Democratic caucus is no loss for Speaker Pelosi:
If Murtha had won, she would have had a close ally as her number 2. With Hoyer winning under these circumstances, she has also won because she has let him know that his disloyalty to the Democratic Caucus in the past on major issues has created a strong block of opponents to him - and that the only way for him to mollify those opponents is to stay in line in the future, rather than continue publicly undermining the Democratic Caucus as he has many times before.

Not surprisingly, Hoyer’s victory statement was filled with declarations that he now appreciates Murtha’s leadership on the Iraq War (this comes after he attacked Murtha’s position on Iraq).

But the win-win nature of Pelosi’s intervention in the leadership race isn’t just limited to sending a message to Steny Hoyer. She has also won today because she has sent a message to the entire Democratic Caucus by letting every Member know that there will be unpleasant consequences to Hoyer-esque Democratic disloyalty.

Though Hoyer won the election, you can bet he didn’t enjoy having a spirited opponent. Every single member of the Democratic Caucus now knows that when they behave the way Hoyer behaved in the past, they may face similar pain.
Steny Hoyer didn't get the post of Majority Leader handed to him on a silver platter. He had to work for it and line up commitments from fellow Democrats. Majority Leader Hoyer now has an opportunity to prove his loyalty and show he's not a tool of big corporations. We hope he's changed his ways and will distinguish himself during the next session.

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