November 16, 2006

Hoyer in as House Majority Leader over Murtha

Chicago Tribune photo by Pete Souza

The Trib puts it:
There's excitement on Capitol Hill. It's just been announced that Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) won the House Majority Leader's post and it wasn't even close. He had 149 votes while Rep. Jack Murtha (D-Pa.) had less than 90.

This is a big loss for Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.,) the House Speaker designate, who had publicly supported Murtha in recent days. It means her power has been questioned and resisted in her first major test. So she will begin her speakership in a weaker position than she would have otherwise. That will be the story line today across the media.

Man, is it ever the "storyline".
I don't think this is nearly as momentous a defeat for Pelosi as the media pack mentality is making it out to be.

The other backstory is that this is somehow an indication on how Dems will position themselves on Iraq, being that Murtha's well-known view that troops should be withdrawn gradually to positions "over the horizon" differs from Hoyer's, who is regarded as having a more "stay the course" view.

I certainly hope that Hoyer's win doesn't entrap the Dems in continueing the do-nothing Iraq policy the voter's rejected and which is continuing to produce a steady stream of body bags at Dover Air Force Base.

Interesting in this as well is that Murtha flat out stated that he had the votes to win to Chris Matthews last night, saying so in no uncertain terms.

These elections are done by secret ballot, and somehow a ton of votes evaporated overnight for Murtha.


At 11/16/2006 4:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the first chink in the National Democrat Party armour. Once again the Liberal have over read their victory. What's our next issue, "Gays in the Miliitary"?

Democrats need to understand that being in power is a different skill then throwing bombs.

Hoyer is a grimy hack with little sustance. This afront by her will hurt many for years to come. the only thing you have in government is loyalty. When you can't trust your memebership -- it's TKO.

At 11/16/2006 5:05 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Well, obviously for you, hope springs eternal.

I don't think you're analysis is remotely true.

The Dems are going to work together and seize the opportunity to remind the country what it was like back when the government actually functioned for their benefit.

At 11/16/2006 5:42 PM, Blogger demgorilla said...

Murtha had ethical chinks in his armor that led to his defeat, his leadership on Iraq not withstanding. Democrats have a golden opportunity to push through major ethics reforms, on the dirty trail of Abramoff, etc., so Murtha would have made that difficult and had spoken against ethics reform.

At 11/16/2006 7:53 PM, Blogger diehard said...

Anything is better than what we had.
A rubber stamp congress, that blindly agreed to an unnessicary war.
An blathering idoit as President oops I guess we still have that!

At 11/16/2006 11:00 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Diehard! Long time, no see.

And hey, we're not supposed to be mean to poor George.

And after all, he's finally going to Vietnam. 30 some years late, but....

At 11/17/2006 2:34 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

To follow the right wing spin of assuming Murtha is ethically challenged because he was investigated but found utterly clean in the Abscam investigation THIRTY FREAKING YEARS AGO is pretty sad.

And you're a Dem?

Nevertheless, it will be fine that Paul Rumler's old boss is now the top dog. I just hope he doesn't give Bush much cover on Iraq.

At 11/17/2006 6:11 AM, Blogger diehard said...

Thanks Dope,
The Democrats have gained back credibility by running as Democrats. Lets hope that they now can do the right thing not only with withdrawing from Iraq,[which by the way, takes a lot more courage than stay the course], but with NAFTA, orginized labor,the envoirment and minimum wage.

At 11/17/2006 9:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting that there wasn't so much as a peep about Trent Lott being selected as Minority Whip by one vote.

At 11/17/2006 11:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hoyer is a solid choice, one that Arsenal employees should especially embrace. Not sure how many of them realize this (because they mostly lean right), but Hoyer has been a huge advocate for civilian employees over the years. In fact, last January, when Bush tried to lower their annual pay raise, Hoyer fought for, and eventually won the amount that was originally sought.

At 11/17/2006 9:07 PM, Blogger Benton Harbor said...

Dope, you said Murtha was found to be "utterly clean." I thought he was named as an unindicted co-conspirator.

I'm assuming that meant they didn't have enough evidence (in typical legal speak), but to say he was "utterly clean" might be stretching it a little.

At 11/17/2006 10:48 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

OK... if you want to get into semantics, I see your point. How about not guilty?

I mean, you can say someone's tainted or corrupt if they were investigated and never even indicted. You know what they say, any decent prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich.

If they didn't charge Murtha with anything, you can be sure they had no evidence of any wrong-doing.

I just think it's pretty unfair to suggest Murtha is somehow a shady dealer because he was tangentially involved in that investigation, which happened 30 freaking years ago, I might add.

At 11/19/2006 7:21 AM, Blogger nicodemus said...

The problem with Murtha is that his anti-war rhetoric has made him too divisive a figure. And yes, ABSCAM was 30 years ago, which means that Murtha is way too old and he has been in D.C. much too long. His constituents just haven't realized it yet. I am tired of these old farts (from both parties) who want to hang on to their power forever. At a time when Murtha should be looking into retirement and a condo and enjoying his golden years, the guy actually wants to move up the ladder!! How absurd.

I wonder, Did Murtha get off his duff and go out and help House candidates and build up IOUs the way that Steny Hoyer helped Phil Hare ?

I think House members must have figured, "okay it is enough of s stretch for me to go out on a limb and vote for ol' Bright Eyes for Speaker. And that is enough, but Murtha, too?!" They wanted to go with someone more "safe" who is more of a consensus leader. A smart move.


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