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With Murtha’s Defeat, Will Pelosi Continue Catfight with Harman?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 6:21 pm - November 16, 2006.
Filed under: 110th Congress,2006 Elections,Liberals

With the defeat earlier this morning of her choice for House Majority Leader in the 110th Congress, House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi suffered her first setback since Democrats won congressional majorities in last week’s election. Not only did Pelosi publicly back John Murtha, she lobbied on behalf of her septuagenarian Pennsylvania colleague and even nominated him in today’s balloting. Despite her efforts, the current House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer defeated Nancy’s man by a comfortable margin, 149-86.

While Hoyer’s victory is good for the Democrats, it’s not all that great for their leader in the House. We now know that she does not have all that much control over her caucus. Jim Moran’s words notwithstanding, this is not an era where “when the Speaker instructs you what to do, you do it.” House Democrats will know that they can defy Pelosi and not only get away with it, but possibly also bring a majority of their fellow Democrats along with them. And they will know that there won’t be a great cost to reaching out to compromise with Republicans.

The next question for Pelosi is whether she will continue her catfight with her California colleague Jane Harman, in line to serve as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, but whom the incoming Speaker wants to sideline for Florida Representative Alcee Hastings, impeached and removed from office as a federal judge for taking bribes. Editors of the New Republic as well as the New York Times have taken Pelosi to task for preferring as disgraced former judge over a widely respected liberal Congresswoman for this important position. As Captain Ed puts it, she opposes Harman not because of her qualities of leadership but “strictly for personal reasons.”

Tammy Bruce thinks Pelosi’s behavior is “typical of what I witnessed within the Democrat Feminist establishment for so long“:

petty personal animus dictating policy with extraordinary effort put into projects to destroy other women who did not confirm or pay allegiance to the status quo.

This cannibalistic approach to politics and society has doomed the feminist establishment, far too often keeping remarkable women from being able to make a difference. Jealousy, envy, and projected anger drive women in power on the left. All the talk of empowerment, fairness and justice, is just that–talk. Dems and the average American feminist are going to see the ugly underbelly of leftist women who see other women as competition and nothing more than something to move out of the way.

No wonder columnist Robert Novak described Harman as Pelosi’s “rival diva.”

Perhaps, Murtha’s defeat will persuade Pelosi to move beyond the petty politics of personal animus as she prepares to take the Speaker’s chair. Thus Murtha’s defeat, while a temporary setback for Pelosi, could end up benefiting both her — and her caucus. The real test will be to see how she handles the House Intelligence Committee. If she overcomes her animosity and taps Harman, she could become one of those rare politicians who learns from experience. Time will only tell.

But, now we do know that Nancy Pelosi is a politician who often lets personal considerations shape her policy choices. Hardly the mark of a leader capable of cleaning up Congress and providing a “new direction.”

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21 Comments

  1. Welcome, Powerline……

    …..to a ghost town. 🙂

    monty

    Comment by monty — November 16, 2006 @ 7:20 pm - November 16, 2006

  2. With Murtha’s Defeat, Will Pelosi Continue Catfight with Harman? …

    With Murtha’s Defeat, Will Pelosi Continue Catfight with Harman? GayPatriotWest With the defeat earlier this morning of her choice for House Majority Leader in the 110th Congress, House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi suffered her first setback since D…

    Trackback by Bill's Bites — November 16, 2006 @ 9:09 pm - November 16, 2006

  3. I and many others hoped we’d never see the time when someone with the venom of Ms P. would become Speaker, but it has happened and it’s pleasant to know that there are some intelligent Dems who see through her motives.
    Tom

    Comment by Tom Kubitz — November 16, 2006 @ 11:15 pm - November 16, 2006

  4. “But, now we do know that Nancy Pelosi is a politician who often lets personal considerations shape her policy choices.”

    Yeah, it is a shame, since we have already seen what happens to policy choices when someone ‘lets personal considerations shape [their] policy choices.’ What was that that Bush said? Something about seeing into souls?

    Comment by jimmy — November 17, 2006 @ 12:02 am - November 17, 2006

  5. It’s a shame Republicans didn’t use a little more “personal animus” with their fellow Republicans. It may have kept them honest and therefore kept them in power, no?

    I find it funny that most of the posts here now are doomsday predictions about Democrats who’ve barely just begun their new terms. And nothing like an enlightened, feminine perspective of Tammy Bruce, Ann Coulter’s even less attractive wanna-be. Shouldn’t she be barefoot in the kitchen pregnant with John Bolton’s child rather than writing and blogging, which is obviously men’s work?

    Comment by Just A Question — November 17, 2006 @ 12:20 am - November 17, 2006

  6. What arrogance. Speaker-elect Pelosi must share Tom Delay’s DNA.
    If she doesn’t learn from her mistakes, as you point out, Dan, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Democrats dump her before the ’08 elections to improve chances of keeping the House and adding seats.

    Comment by Ashley Hunter — November 17, 2006 @ 1:08 am - November 17, 2006

  7. And nothing like an enlightened, feminine perspective of Tammy Bruce, Ann Coulter’s even less attractive wanna-be. Shouldn’t she be barefoot in the kitchen pregnant with John Bolton’s child rather than writing and blogging, which is obviously men’s work?

    One wonders why liberals are always trying to denigrate conservative women, especially since feminism is supposedly all about the right of women to do as they please.

    I suppose it’s because, similar to how they denigrate black conservatives and gay conservatives, the price of their support is absolute obedience; a woman like Tammy Bruce who does not believe or do exactly as JAQ requires is a threat to his dominance, and thus must be punished.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 17, 2006 @ 2:20 am - November 17, 2006

  8. Pelosi has already demonstrated her willingness to ignore ethical considerations by backing Murtha. She resents Harman for refusing to tow the party line and use classified intel to bash Bush. Harman has become more strident this year, in stark contrast to her well-earned reputation for seriousness on national security matters, but it hasn’t mended the fences. To Pelosi, putting our nation’s security above partisan politics is an unforgivable sin.

    Hastings is not only Pelosi’s preferred choice, he is being strongly pushed by the CBC, who are finally demanding the spoils of their long and loyal support of the Democratic Party. Clyburn as Whip is just a down payment. Rangel and Conyers have “earned” their promotions by sheer “virtue” of seniority, so they don’t count against the debt perceived to be owed.

    The CBC is apparently the last citadel of “old school” politics on Capitol Hill, where it is still cool to be corrupt, and no consequences ensue. Recall their strong objections to Rep. Jefferson’s demotion after that worthy had been videotaped accepting a $100,000 cash bribe, and the FBI found $90,000 of the marked bills in his home freezer.

    With at least nine of the newly-elected Democrats joining the Blue Dog Caucus already, Pelosi needs to shore up her base of support, which has included the CBC, if she is to be effective at all as Speaker. Hastings buttons the deal. He would sell us out to al Qaeda in a heartbeat for the right price, but he will behave as Pelosi wishes, and you must have priorities . . .

    Comment by Jim Addison — November 17, 2006 @ 3:29 am - November 17, 2006

  9. There is a school of thought that leaders make movements.It’s essentially Carlyle’s “Great Man” school of thought.One of the reasons I left the Democrats is so many of their leaders seemed to be” not too bright.”
    I’m amused at the sociology majors who are adjuncts at a juco,and consider themselves intellectuals.Pelosi strikes me as someone who would have been unable
    to rise in the private sector-or even academia.Does anyone think she will have an impact?

    Comment by corwin — November 17, 2006 @ 7:29 am - November 17, 2006

  10. My guess is Pelosi’s support for Alcee Hastings has less to do with personal animus toward Jane Harman — of which there clearly is some, if not alot — but more with the politics of getting and maintaining the Speaker’s chair. Most likely a deal was struck with the Congressional Black Caucus, who has been pushing Hastings for the House Intel Committe chairmanship for months now.

    Comment by Disaffected Dem — November 17, 2006 @ 7:45 am - November 17, 2006

  11. Dan, great post.

    As I read it, I built parallels to the way the GayLeft treats gay conservatives, gay GOPers, or anyone who doesn’t march promptly onto the Democrat Plantation. Putting so much effort in isolating, demeaning, ostracisizing fellow gays just because of a strong cannibalistic urge within the GayLeft to dominate the political thought within our community. NDXXX nails it in his comments above. In fact, your quote –with a tad bit of tweaking– could be about the GayLeft’s treatment of other gays.

    Here in Michigan, factions within the Democrats and feminists have had a long simmering feud over leadership. I’ve watched political careers within those groups destroyed by a level of viciousness I thought was usually only found in the GayLeft activist community.

    Recently, a female Democrat candidate for state senate and noted maverick caught the ire of the Democrat feminists when she agreed, in part, with the controversial statement of former Harvard-Prez Larry Summers. (e.g., is there something innate that prevents women from doing better in math/science?)

    Unfortunately, she was arguing for greater affirmative action steps to encourage younger grad-level females to study math/physics/science and dedicate themselves to improving the low placement of women in math and science. The feminists bounced on her, labeling her “closet conservative” (the kiss of death among Democrats) even though she was solidly pro-union, pro-gay marriage, pro-choice even for reasons of personal preference into the 2nd trimester, and anti-war.

    The feminists and Democrat leadership mowed her down faster than a wheat combine rolling over a grouse nest full of fledglings in late October. And it was just as ugly. Petty. Catty –at one point, when she cried for the media to get back on the serious issues of the campaign (like diversifying our state economy away from automobiles) her feminist opponents got some added airtime because the female reporter opined she thought the candidate was ducking a serious issue –i.e., you don’t really think like we do, how can we trust you in office? And the “controversy” continued, killing her opportunity to win in a 2 way race. Who won the nomination? A male.

    It was political correctness at the expense of advancing women with divergent ideas (well, not really of course in this case). Here, divergent ideas and independent thinking lost.

    Her best line in the winnowing moments of the campaign: “Think. It isn’t illegal… yet.”

    I think NancyP and other harsh, “Take-No-Prisoners” feminists would prefer to make “thinking” illegal. It sure is true for lots of activists within the Democrat Party… and the GayLeft… and the environmentalists… and the Black Community… and the Anti-war crowd… and on and on.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — November 17, 2006 @ 9:35 am - November 17, 2006

  12. I think that the major reason the House Democrats rejected Murtha in favor of Hoyer is that power does not lie with the Speaker-elect. First, one notes that Rahm Emanuel is playing an increasingly critical role in the selection and grooming of candidates. His background, as a Clintonista, provides him access to a range of financial resources that otherwise might be difficult to attain. Secondly, with Mr. Carville’s attack on Howard Dean, one sees another Clintonista, moving to replace a man who has embarrassed the party.

    Comment by alex dulevitz — November 17, 2006 @ 10:37 am - November 17, 2006

  13. Sorry, blundered in not completing my thought. Ms. Pelosi’s role the next several years will be to demonstrate how effectively she can rule the House, settting the stage for 2008 and Sen. Clinton’s run for the White House. With the demonstrated leadership of Ms. Pelosi, while controlled, it makes the acceptance of Ms. Clinton that much more achievable. I am impressed with the virtually silent revolt and tip my hat to the Clinton crowd, who not only achieved a victory, but demonstrated cool efficiency in doing so.

    Comment by alex dulevitz — November 17, 2006 @ 10:42 am - November 17, 2006

  14. Ms. Pelosi’s role the next several years will be to demonstrate how effectively she can rule the House, settting the stage for 2008 and Sen. Clinton’s run for the White House. With the demonstrated leadership of Ms. Pelosi, while controlled, it makes the acceptance of Ms. Clinton that much more achievable. I am impressed with the virtually silent revolt and tip my hat to the Clinton crowd, who not only achieved a victory, but demonstrated cool efficiency in doing so.

    Comment by alex dulevitz — November 17, 2006 @ 10:44 am - November 17, 2006

  15. It’s fun to see the total disarray of the Democrats. As an American though I need to see more aggressive pursuit of the criminals on the left. The country deserves better of it’s public servants. Real Estate flipper Reid, the corrupt Murtha now has been exposed. Interesting the number of times the Murtha black and white video has been replayed the past week isn’t it?

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — November 17, 2006 @ 11:57 am - November 17, 2006

  16. You guys are amazing.

    If something were to happen to the country in the next month, you’d blame a Democratic congress. LMAO.

    monty

    Comment by monty — November 17, 2006 @ 9:36 pm - November 17, 2006

  17. lol, grammy pelosi bamboozles gay patriot. what she did was very shrewd and clever. in one fell swoop she silenced the “out now” crowd by actively supporting murtha. if you think for one minute that she didn’t know what the outcome of the vote would be, then you don’t have any idea of what a savvy gammie she is.

    Comment by markie — November 17, 2006 @ 10:15 pm - November 17, 2006

  18. I’m inclined to agree…now she owns the anti war lefties like the Kos kids etc and she just made her bones with them…and it would also explain why Murthafurka looked so ill at ease and out of sorts at the leadership news confernce she held…..he had just been well used by Pelosi for her own purposes and he damn well knew it

    Comment by Lord Locksley — November 18, 2006 @ 1:49 am - November 18, 2006

  19. If something were to happen to the country in the next month, you’d blame a Democratic congress. LMAO.

    Hmmmm Monty,

    Would that be much like blaming the Bush administration for 9/11??? Seems all the planning happened on Slick Willie’s watch.

    Comment by Chaz — November 21, 2006 @ 11:38 am - November 21, 2006

  20. lol, grammy pelosi bamboozles gay patriot. what she did was very shrewd and clever. in one fell swoop she silenced the “out now” crowd by actively supporting murtha. if you think for one minute that she didn’t know what the outcome of the vote would be, then you don’t have any idea of what a savvy gammie she is.

    Markie,

    Cynical, aren’t we?? By your estimation Pelosi is savvy because she lied to her constituents! She pushes the “out now” envelope during the runup to the election and then doesn’t have to come through because she throws Murtha to the dogs. That makes her a liar who knowingly screwed Murtha, one of her most loyal (although an idiot) congressmen! Wow! The cleanest and most ethical House in history???

    Comment by Chaz — November 21, 2006 @ 1:29 pm - November 21, 2006

  21. As always, the Democrats are masters of the double standard.

    Comment by Chaz — November 21, 2006 @ 1:30 pm - November 21, 2006

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