P elosi's " big win": That Democratic leadership race is no big deal! In a few weeks virtually everyone will have forgotten about the Pelosi-vs.-Hoyer dustup. Except Pelosi! Here's the most telling paragraph in today's excellent Romano/Weisman Washington Post report:
For the most part, lawmakers, Hill aides and some outside advisers -- even some close to her -- say they are at a loss to explain why Pelosi has held a grudge for so long, because she clearly has the upper hand as leader of the House Democrats. They suggest that part of what rankles her is that Hoyer is not beholden to her and feels no compulsion to publicly agree with her on every issue. This, allies say, she sees as a sign of disloyalty. [E.A.]
Wow. What about 149 people who publicly disagree with her? [More than 'disagree'--ed Defy!] ... 2:46 P.M. link
'We are entering an era where when the Speaker instructs you what to do, you do it": Pelosi puts her prestige on the line, in a self-conscious display of strong-arm tactics that sound like they were taken from bad movies,** and gets creamed. For some reason House Democrats decided they didn't want an old-school influence jockey who couldn't string five coherent sentences together without embarrassing himself to be their #2 national spokesman! Influence Peddler:
So now we know which of Pelosi's nightmares she will live for the next two years. The first act of her new majority was give her a 'no-confidence' vote.
And it isn't really a divided caucus, either. The vote for Hoyer was 149-86. That's not really all that divided.
So what does this show? That House Democrats will defy Pelosi, that she is out-of-touch with the will of her caucus, and that Hoyer has a sizeable constituency of his own. By making this such a high-profile, high-stakes contest, Ms. Pelosi may have graduated Mr. Hoyer from second-in-command to legitimate rival - something that would not have happened if she had not tested her influence in this contest.
At least she's not the vindictive sort! ... Meanwhile, the HuffPo "Fearless Voices"site has replaced regular programming with somber classical music. ...
**--Sample of the failed high-schoolish Pelosi-camp tactics, from WaPo:
One conservative Democrat said that a Murtha-Pelosi ally approached him on the House floor and said pointedly: "I hope you like your committee assignment, because it's the only one you're going to get."
Wednesday, November 15, 2006