To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Pelosi's First Two (Big) Mistakes

Today Pelosi backed Congressman Murtha to be House majority leader. While he did take a brave stand against the Iraq war he has been in the House for 32 years, is the Dems' King of Pork and a total windbag. I would rather have an enema than listen to him for more than one minute. The Wa Post reported,
In criticizing Murtha today, CREW [Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics] noted that he was given a "dishonorable mention" in the group's list this year of "the 20 most corrupt members of Congress (and five to watch)." Murtha was listed among the "five to watch," the report said, for "abuse of his position as ranking member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee to benefit the lobbying firm of a former long-term staffer and clients of his brother, Robert 'Kit' Murtha, a registered lobbyist."

All but three of the 20 on the "most corrupt" list were Republicans, and Murtha was the only Democrat among the five "dishonorable mentions."
Why is Pelosi backing Murtha over the better candidate Hoyer? Sad, but true, she has a childhood beef with Hoyer.

Mistake #2 is canning Jane Harman from the intelligence committee because she doesn't like her and proposing replacing her with corrupt Representative Alcee Hastings of Florida. Wa Post op-ed writer Ruth Marcus opined on what a bad choice that is:
Pelosi is in a box of her own devising. The panel's ranking Democrat is her fellow Californian Jane Harman -- smart and hardworking but also abrasive, ambitious and, in Pelosi's estimation, insufficiently partisan on the committee. So Pelosi, once the intelligence panel's ranking Democrat herself, has made clear that she doesn't intend to name Harman to the chairmanship.

The wrong decision, in my view, but one that's magnified by the unfortunate fact that next in line is Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings. In 1989, after being acquitted in a criminal trial, Hastings was stripped of his position as a federal judge -- impeached by the House in which he now serves and convicted by the Senate -- for conspiring to extort a $150,000 bribe in a case before him, repeatedly lying about it under oath and manufacturing evidence at his trial.
If the Dems want to maintain their momentum, and it is theirs to lose, they need to choose leaders for reasons other than playground grudges and back pats. In all cases, they need to not select leaders who embody all of the dysfunction of the thumped GOP Congress.