Corn looks at the evidence and concludes "Hastings past will hobble him as a spokesman for the Democrats on national security." He suggests that Pelosi skip over Harman, and Hastings, and fallback candidate Silvestre Reyes, and instead choose Rush Holt, a liberal Dem from Princeton who worked as a State Department intelligence analyst and hasn't been shy about challenging President Bush. But how does Holt solve Pelosi's political problem? The black caucus will still be furious, and the Blue Dogs won't be too happy either.
Amy Holmes, appearing Tuesday on Hannity and Colmes, came up with a more ingenious solution: Pelosi could reach out and give the job to Rep. Sanford Bishop. Why Bishop? Because CBC's original beef with Harman, according to the LAT, is that when Harman returned to Congress in 2001, after a failed run for governor, she was awarded all the seniority she'd acquired from an earlier stint in the House. As a result, she vaulted over Hastings and bumped another black Congressman off the intelligence committee. The name of the bumped black Congressman: Sanford Bishop. Pelosi would be correcting an old injustice. Bonus factor: Bishop's a Blue Dog!
In short: Choose Bishop, and CBC is happy and the Blue Dogs are happy. And Pelosi is happy (because she's screwed Harman). Harman's not happy, but she must have known she might not be named chairman under Pelosi--anyway, she'll survive. The Latino caucus could be disappointed that Reyes didn't get the job, but Reyes had much less of an expectation of getting it than either Harman or Hastings.
Maybe Bishop has some disqualifying characteristic, though I haven't found one in a quick Web search. He might have to give up his seat on the (powerful) Appropriations Committee, but he's only a low-ranking member there. I can't find any House rule that would stop him from making the shift.
If there's a fatal defect with Holmes' Bishop solution, let me know. If not--why not?
Update: Time'sTimothy Burger mentioned a possible Bishop gambit yesterday also. ..
More: Tom Maguire emails to note that judging from his voting record Bishop "looks to be an awfully Blue Blue Dog (which means he is kinda of Red)." Bishop voted to authorize the Iraq War, for example, and in favor of the Military Commissions Act. But he sided with most Democrats in opposing the warrantless wiretapping bill. Still, Maguire argues Bishop's record is "a heavy load" if Pelosi's "goal is to replace Harman with a Bush-basher."
Kf response: Does that mean that Henry Waxman, who also voted for the war, couldn't chair this committee? [But you yourself have argued that pro-war Waxman is ill-suited to investigate pre-war intelligence?--ed Hmm. So I have! I guess I'd say a) there's a difference between disqualifying all war supporters from general oversight of intelligence, which seems excessive, and allowing a war supporter to conduct a rifle-shot investigation into pre-war abuses of intelligence that promises to turn into a bogus argument that those who voted for the war were deceived; b) Waxman didn't need to support the war to be in synch with his district--on the contrary, it's a liberal West L.A. area highly skeptical of the Bush administration. But I suspect Bishop, from a conservative-drifting district in Georgia, would have been taking a big political risk by going against the grain of his district if he'd voted against the war.] 7:08 P.M. link
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
bhTV: Bob Wright says McCain's Iraq position is highly convenient. 2:57 P.M.
Hype Watch: In House races, Republicans lost 8 percentage points among Hispanics between 2002 and 2006. They also lost 8 percentage points among whites, notes Polipundit. How does this prove that the House Republicans' immigration stance cost them Hispanic votes? ... Meanwhile, acording to the NYT's chart, the Republicans actually gained two percentage points among blacks in this very unRepublican year. Immigration? ... P.S.: The NYT's Hispanic exit-poll numbers for 2002 actually don't add up. According to the Times, Hispanic men gave Republicans 36% of their votes that year. Hispanic women voted 33% Republican. How do those numbers average out to a 38% overall Hispanic Republican vote? Are there voters who aren't men or women? 12:53 A.M. link