Republicans are going to jail left and right, they are swimming in Abramoff money, they just elected someone who is on tape conspiring to break house rules to lead them the next 2 years like he has last year. But Democrats are clearly the crooked ones because one of them turned down a bribe and another was found not guilty. Eric Earling is stupider than a sack of shit.
It’s no secret Nancy Pelosi fumbled her way out of the blocks as incoming-Speaker of the House by publicly pushing for ethically-challenged Jack Murtha over now Majority Leader-to-be Steny Hoyer. Indeed, Pelosi took a thrashing from the punditocracy over the unforced error (see a representative sample from Howard Fineman, John Podhoretz, Time Magazine, and the Seattle Times…even the New York Times piled on with gusto). On the heels of that universally poor coverage, will Pelosi make an even worse mistake, and will Democratic members of the House from our state support it?
Ethically challenged because he turned down a bribe? Members of Bush’s administration are behind bars and several members of Congress are out because of their horrible ethics. But oh look over there someone offered someone a bribe 20 years ago and he turned it down.
But more than that, I know it’s the myth, but it wasn’t a fumble. She was supporting someone for their vocal opposition to the war. This is what leadership looks like. You don’t always win but you never win if you don’t try. And isn’t setting a precedent of using her political capital to end the war going to pay dividends, even with a loss, in the upcoming session?
Locally, Jim Miller broached the story of Pelosi’s consideration of installing Rep. Alcee Hastings as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Post-election, and post-Murtha/Hoyer squabble, the selection of an impeached judge (who was removed from the federal bench because of allegations of bribery) to a sensitive post important to national security would be a stunningly imprudent choice.
Fuck the courts, Jim Miller and the rest of the sound politics crew know what really happened. They have magic powers.
Byron York at the National Review has done some thorough work on the topic, covering the investigation into Hastings’ misdeeds, the fact the liberal lions of the House voted to impeach Hastings, and more recent news that Bill Clinton’s scandalous last-minute pardon bonanza while exiting the White House included a reprieve for Hastings’ co-conspirator.
I have no particular love of Hastings but a court found him not guilty. I know that doesn’t mean shit to Republicans, but I think it bears mentioning.
The whole question of Hastings’ background is under the klieg lights because Pelosi seems to bear a grudge against current leading Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, Jane Harman. The essence of the grudge, however, just like the choice of Murtha over Hoyer, appears to rest on personal reasons, not sound policy or political thinking. That’s a highly questionable story line for a new Speaker to create for oneself while stepping into an already pressure-infused position.
Hey, she was clear at the time that she was supporting Murtha over the war. You know, the most important issue of this generation. Murtha came out against it and “changed the national debate.” She felt that elevating him would help get us out of Iraq. At least that’s what she said, but maybe we should just defer to Earling’s ability to mind read people he’s seen on teevee.
Readers will recall the gratuitous self-inflicted wounds the Clinton administration suffered early in 1993 when the hottest stories about the new President’s term were gays in the military and trying to find an Attorney General nominee who didn’t have a nanny problem. Proper political vetting and agenda setting would have insulated Clinton from those disasters. Likewise with Pelosi. If she hands Hastings’ the Chairman’s gavel for Intelligence she’ll open herself up to a torrent of questions, and related media coverage, rather than focusing on her “100 hour agenda.” The fact there is a Clinton pardon involved in the whole mess would just add to the smarmy theme of the media tale.
I really can’t help it if the press is too vapid to understand the profound good that the FMLA, starting to balance the budget, the Brady Bill and the crime bill, direct student loans, school to work, the Northwest Forest Plan, increased funding for headstart and other education plans, the Violence Against Women Act, or middle class tax cuts did for America (they also didn’t talk about the things I disagreed with like NAFTA except that one debate on CNN). If they wanted instead to focus on some personality bullshit, the best we could do then and can do now is make fun of them. And point out that they’re full of shit. I mean they didn’t report on the first 100 hours by and large until after the election.
But you are right: the media do hate the Clintons.
During the contest between Hoyer and Murtha, local Democrats were candid about their preferences for Majority Leader. While the selection of Committee Chairs does not necessitate the same intra-caucus vote, one would think such members might have some thoughts on who should hold an important position like Chair of the Select Committee on Intelligence. And, thoughts on whether or not the current, and at least qualified, ranking Minority member should be bumped, in favor of a disgraced former judge, removed from office by the United States Congress.
Removed after a trial by a Senate Committee. I mean at least get your facts right.
Messrs. Inslee, Larsen, Baird, Dicks, McDermott, and Smith: what say you?
I’m not any of them and I have more of a free hand, but I say you are full of shit.