Pelosi apparently wants to prove herself as worse than mediocre before taking the gavel from Hastert. I called Murtha an unforced error on Tuesday, and the more Murtha speaks publicly, the more obvious this becomes. Murtha is almost incoherent when on camera; he makes a terrible public face for the party. Murtha's power comes from his legendary ability to maneuver pork as rewards for allies and punishment for opponents, the exact kind of politics that Democrats claimed to oppose in the midterms last week.
And then there's Alcee Hastings, the man Pelosi wants to replace Harman as Intel chair. I started writing about Hastings in June, when his name first got floated as the potential chair for this committee, and I've mentioned him a few times since. Murtha might represent old-fashioned pork politics, but Hastings actually was corrupt enough to get impeached and removed from the federal bench -- by a Democratic Congress. If Murtha was an unforced error, Hastings is an embarrassing example of Pelosi's judgment. She needs the support of the Congressional Black Caucus to get elected Speaker, and they want Hastings to succeed Harman, if Harman doesn't get the chair. Pelosi can't afford to alienate them any further after she had the audacity to ask William Jefferson to resign from his committee assignments after the FBI found $90,000 in his freezer.
All of this re-enforces the point that the Dimocrats did not win this election; the Stupid Party lost it. But now the chickens are coming home to roost for the American Socialists.
Democrats are in a bad position. They can't afford to throw Pelosi under the bus after promoting her as the first woman Speaker in American history. They can't afford to have Hastings and Murtha in leadership positions and then face the voters in 2008 who wanted reform and change. They can't afford to undermine her authority and openly campaign for the reversal of Hastings' appointment and the failure of her Murtha endorsement.
Twist in the wind, you corrupt bastards. I'll be taking aim at you for the next two years.