Thursday, November 16, 2006

Murtha Loses--And So Does Pelosi

From my "Capital Games" column at

The vote count is in: Steny Hoyer defeated Jack Murtha 149 to 86 for the majority leader post in the House.

There's no way to spin this: this was a big loss for incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The vote wasn't close. Her ally was rejected. This reflects poorly on her. And it will be remembered by her political opponents--particularly those who want to undermine Pelosi's efforts to enact lobbying and campaign reform--that in this contest she endorsed a fellow who has long been accused of slippery ethics. (See the posting below.)

Moreover, Murtha, the candidate with the most ardent antiwar credentials, lost--and did so decisively. How will this be interpreted (or exploited) by pundits and politicos who oppose the Pelosi/Murtha call for the withdrawal of troops? Murtha champions did try to turn the majority leader race into a debate on the Iraq war. Can the vote be read as an indicator that many House Democrats don't support Pelosi all the way on her opposition to the war?

It certainly is true that these sort of leadership races are often decided (via a secret ballot) not by ideological issues but by personal and managerial factors. Think of it this way: how would you vote if you could vote for one of your bosses? You might not pick the person who agrees with you on policy matters. You might select the guy or gal with whom you have--or could have--the best personal relationship. Or whom you think would be more effective as a manager. Or whom you owe a favor.

Still, this vote will be depicted as a slam on Pelosi and on the start-withdrawing-now Democrats. (It perhaps did show that Pelosi has to improve her vote-counting skills.) Pelosi did not have to choose sides in this fight. But because she fiercely lobbied her fellow House Democrats for Murtha--after first saying she would remain neutral in this bitter battle--she begins her tenure as speaker with a loss that was self-inflicted. Now she moves on to what might be a harder task than getting her fellow Democrats to elect Murtha her No. 2: forging a Democratic alternative to George W. Bush's policy in Iraq.

Posted by David Corn at November 16, 2006 12:53 PM


capt said...

Mr. David Corn,

"It perhaps did show that Pelosi has to improve her vote-counting skills"

That particular skill should be a given, no matter what or how.

Thanks for all of your work


circular_illogic said...

Isn't it possible that this vote was based not on Iraq, but Abscam? Part of the Dem resurgance was the promise to fight corruption after all.

capt said...

Ballyhooed Effort To Win Jews Over To GOP Is Miserable Flop

Here's another interesting election postscript: A much-ballyhooed campaign by a group called the Republican Jewish Coalition to win Jewish voters to the GOP has proven to be a miserable flop, today's Washington Jewish Week reports. The group -- which includes former Bush Press Secretary Ari Fleischer among its board members -- made a great show earlier in the cycle of boasting that the GOP's alleged pro-Israel stance would translate into huge gains among Jews. Didn't happen, though. National exit polls cited by the paper show that Democratic support among Jews soared from 74% in 2004 to ... 87% in 2006. A message to the RJC from us here at Election Central: Mazel tov! View some of the RJC's lurid but wholly ineffective flyers here.


*****end of clip*****

Seems like the neocon's lost more and more. It brings me back to a simple question: "what group of voters are the Democrats worried about losing?"


capt said...

The abscam thing might have had an impact but I would almost hope it was Murtha's PAST support for military action and PREVIOUS support of Bush.

(Hey a guy can hope)


O'Reilly said...

Next time you hear Newt Gingrich disparage Nancy Pelosi and her 'San Fransisco Values' remember;

o Nancy was born and raised in Baltimore, MD.

o She been married to the same man for 26 years.

o Newt has been married three times.

o He divorced his second wife when she was in the hospital dying of cancer.

o Newt has NO moral authority over Nancy Pelosi.

I'm glad Democrat Congressmen picked Hoyer, their choice. The rest is pratter.

Imagine Corn being so cuaght up on inside the beltway conversation that he'd actually be concerned about how Republicans will use Murtha/Hoyer vote against her? Huh?

O'Reilly said...

Julie Mason blogs for the Houston Chronicle that this joke is in circulation:

"Q: How is Vietnam different from Iraq?

"A: Bush had a plan for getting out of Vietnam."

O'Reilly said...

More Froomkin...

Richard Cohen writes in his Washington Post opinion column: "Washington's easy acceptance of lying, especially presidential lying, is beyond lamentable. . . . In the most recent case, Bush not only lied but compounded the lie by lying about why he lied in the first place."

Cohen revisits how, less than a week before the election, Bush told three wire service reporters that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld wasn't going anywhere. Then, the day after the election, he announced Rumsfeld's replacement.

"The president had his excuses ready," Cohen writes. "He lied for the sake of the troops. . . .

"In fact -- and this is a fact -- the lie about Rumsfeld was consistent with the White House's political line that everything is just hunky-dory in Iraq and that only Democrats and advocates of same-sex marriage could think otherwise. It would have been inconsistent with the political line for Bush to have admitted doubts about Rumsfeld. It had nothing to do with the troops. . . .

"In this way, Bush lied about the lie and then, as has become customary, draped an American flag over it. . . .

"It has now been a week, and the president's lie has been forgotten . . . or excused . . . or minimized. . . .

"How dare these people lie to you and me and send Americans to die in Iraq for reasons that turned out to be wholly nonexistent? One way to return to the truth is to find the liars. I ask this not for myself but -- and I mean it -- for the troops."

capt said...

Wilson’s lead narrows

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) - Republican Representative Heather Wilson’s lead over challenger Patricia Madrid has narrowed in the race for the First Congressional District after Bernalillo County election workers finished tallying hundreds of in-lieu-of ballots.

County Clerk Mary Herrera says 616 of the in-lieu-of ballots went to Madrid and 293 went to Wilson—shrinking the incumbent’s lead to 1,164 votes.

County workers have been busy reviewing more than 3,700 provisional and in-lieu-of ballots. They disqualified more than one-fifth of them Wednesday, leaving Madrid with fewer ballots to overtake Wilson.

Workers are still tallying nearly 1,500 provisional ballots by hand, and another 71 in-lieu-of ballots also need to be hand counted.

Herrera hopes to be done with the county’s canvass by Friday afternoon.


*****end of clip*****

Key your fingers crossed for us in the 1st district. It seems to be helping.


David B. Benson said...

Ok capt, my fingers are crossed (except when keying...) ;-)

Gerald said...

Pelosi should have let the Democrats decide on the leadership team.

Dean must not be moved out as chairman of the DNC by Emmanuel and Carville.

Why are both parties infested with stupid leadership?

I can see that the Nazis will again win it all in 2008!!!

Gerald said...

o'reilly, thank you for the comparison between Newt and Nancy!!!

Gerald said...

The Gerald Plan

Here is my plan for Iraq and America.

Leave Iraq now!

Use Debi Smith’s letter as an apology to the world!

Once the Iraqi government comes to grips with resolving their plans, we can give massive aid to reconstruct a country that we broke through a wrong and an immoral war.

Open dialogue and no more talk of “my way or the highway” from a low life creature named Bunnypants!

Investigate the abuses of Hitler Bush and share findings with the International Criminal Court at The Hague, Netherlands!

Join the International Criminal Court and become part of the world community!

Post all of Hitler Bush’s abuses toward our laws on all municipal government buildings to use as a guideline against future abuses by another low life slime ball!

Commit our great country to love, mercy, justice, and peace!

Gerald said...

Dear World

Gerald said...

Dismay Grows

Yes, my Nazi comrades, we are the leading terrorist nation in the world. Nazi America has inflicted more death and destruction upon the world than any other nation in the universe's history.

Gerald said...

Please begin to realize that Nazi America is at this present moment, the most evil, vile, wicked, and demonic nation to have ever been born.

Gerald said...

Waging Peace

Gerald said...

Sources of Violence

Gerald said...

America's Election

Gerald said...


Gerald said...

Above all, America must take a hard look at its foreign policy. What role should the strongest power on earth play in the international arena, and just what are the limits of that role? How can U.S. power be matched with its finite economic possibilities and under what circumstances should it be used? If American power is used, what should its objectives be?

The answers to these questions may well have to wait until the 2008 elections sweep what remains of the Bush administration into the dustbin of history.

Massive murders, massive torture, and massive war crimes are not the answers for the world by a nation that claims to be called by God to lead the world!!!

Gerald said...

Corruption and Ethics

Gerald said...

"In the Catholic tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue, participation in the political process is a moral obligation." U.S. Catholic Bishops

56% of the Catholics voted for the Democrats in 2006 compared to 47% in 2004. This percentage warms the cockles of my heart. Maybe, just maybe Catholics have located their moral compasses.

Gerald said...

More pro-life Democrats were elected in 2006. The Nazi Party does not have a lock on pro-life issues. If you study the Nazi Party carefully, you will realize that they are the Pro-Death and Destruction Party.

Saladin said...

o'reilly, I don't see that any of these politicians have any "moral" authority over anyone! Kettles calling the pots black.

O'Reilly said...

New Thread (soon)

capt said...

Yes, new thread!


Detroit Don said...

Tempest in a teapot. Pelosi was supporting an old friend, and the media (including Mr. Corn) wants to spin this into some type of crushing defeat. This woman was just elected, unanimously, as Speaker of the House.

It's inter-party politics, and the media is like a trained seal when it comes to covering the Democrats, honking the horns of "division" and "turmoil" whenever one Democrat disagrees with another. This is even as the Republican party is devouring itself! Trust me, if they truly want to hold on to the recent Democratic landslide and start moving this country in the right direction, they'll all get over this.

titchaba said...

Pelosi's nod to Murtha was a well earned "Thank You", nothing more or less.

Stenny is a good guy, and I don't see any particular division.

Getting rather tired of spin, not to mention chasing forum's all over the web.

Not a good sign that Dave's blog is still down.

It is not a new idea, but consider actively engaging "the enemy" instead of stealth and subtrafuge. Hack them Back.

I have seen skills here.