Thursday, November 16, 2006

Hoyer beats out Murtha

Dealing a blow to Pelosi and the netroots, but showing the Democrats as a group have some common sense.

The vote wasn't even close: 149-86.

Snarky aside: What does that say about Murtha's nose-counting ability (a key job of the whip)? Seeing as how he said yesterday that he had the votes to win (besides saying that the furor over ethics was "total crap"). So maybe Hoyer won simply because of his superior math skills.

The netroots aren't batting so well in this election, with the repudiation of Ned Lamont and now Murtha. Although it's not clear to me why Murtha was ever a darling of theirs in the first place. Sure, he's antiwar. But on many other issues he's rather conservative. And on the key issue -- corruption -- his record is just too tarnished.

Sure, so is nearly every senior member of Congress. And maybe a guy like Murtha is the best one to clean up the place, like Nixon going to China, because he knows how to game the system (and thus how to fix it), and it would demonstrate that things really are changing.

But all in all, the Democrats voted for sanity today, as well as retaining a moderate voice in their senior leadership. The personal animus between Polosi and Hoyer could lead to trouble, but they've worked around it for years now and probably will be able to continue doing so. The lopsided vote total also strengthens Hoyer's (and thus moderates') hand; Pelosi would be foolish to seek an unnecessary confrontation with the man who is emerging as the voice of the new moderate majority in the Democratic caucus.

Common sense has (for the most part) prevailed for more than a week now. That's got to be some kind of record as far as Congress goes. Let's hope it lasts.

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