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Hoyer Win a Blow to Pelosi

In a blow to incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) beat out her chosen pick -- Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) -- for House Majority Leader.

Hoyer's victory was considered a certainty as recently as Sunday but Pelosi's decision to publicly back Murtha, and work her colleagues on his behalf, left observers wondering whether it was a tighter race than it at first seemed.

Apparently not. Hoyer won 149 votes to just 86 for Murtha -- a stunningly large margin given Pelosi's heavy involvement.

Expect Pelosi and Hoyer -- along with new Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (S.C.) and Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) -- to put on a happy face about the results in the coming hours and days, but the reality is that Pelosi gambled and lost this morning and now has an adversary rather than an advocate in the Majority Leader spot.

Remember this is the ultimate insider's game and not likely to have any political ramifications outside the Beltway. But, it does weaken Pelosi's hand somewhat within her own conference and provides something less than a ringing endorsement of Murtha's high profile call for American troops to be withdrawn from Iraq.

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 16, 2006; 12:21 PM ET
Categories:  Democratic Party , House  
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Comments

Hoyer's election demonstrates the new power of the centrist Democrats and the Blue Dogs. Murtha's comment to the Blue Dogs on the ethics proposal by Pelosi was the end of his campaign.

The future of the Democratic party and Congressional control revolve around leadership and messages that speak not only to Democrats, but Independants as well. Pelosi would do well to listen to the Blue Dogs and look at the state legislative results as well as the Congressional numbers. Democrats did VERY well on the local level and it was the Independants that made the difference in Red states like New Hampshire for example.

I would invite the Blue Dog leadership into my inner circle really quick. They hold the cards.

Posted by: First Time Blogger | November 27, 2006 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I never understood the Nancy Pelosi/John Murtha relationship. San Francisco and Johnstown, PA, are both Democratic strongholds, but that is all that I can see. Johnstown and the rest of Cambria County narrowly voted for Bush over Kerry two years ago. The Johnstown area is heavily populated by blue-collar ethnic Catholics, liberal on economic issues, but very conservative on social issues.

Pelosi strikes me as vindictive, getting revenge on anyone who crosses her -- Hoyer, Jane Harman on the House Intelligence Committee, former Congressman Martin Frost when he ran for DNC Chair.

Posted by: Conan The Librarian | November 20, 2006 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Let's see-- Murtha defeated and smeared at the same time and the rising star first female Speaker of the House the only woman capable of being a threat to the 'other' female candidate with presidential ambitions-- The pro-war DLCers have won the first and quite vicious internecine battle for the soul of the demi-party-- 6 more American 'volunteers' were killed in Iraq while the 'victors' attempt to spin their way into control of a victory they didn't earn-- a victory wrought by Dean -- Something is rotten in the state of Denmark--Everything is rotten inside DC

Posted by: w | November 18, 2006 3:44 PM | Report abuse

drindle

No money is needed to fix illegal immigration, nor is a fence. Just fine employers- $1k first time, 10k second, $100k thenceforth--for each illegal employed. Problem solved, while making money.

Posted by: bill | November 17, 2006 8:55 PM | Report abuse

stream of conscious, conscience, concise, consistency, i forget which but i wrote this way in college and paid for my cigarettes that way never got an a on a paper writ by me but the rich kid always got it and the prof didn't side by side i wonder if it even matters. turn in a bag of sh*t and quote the teacher things don't change much the high and mighty always love slobbering small dogs and fools until the dog turns on them in a rabid frenzy riding the edge of the wave to hell hoping to avoid the angle of death with no hope and only self pity true believers all

Posted by: stream of conscious | November 17, 2006 2:33 PM | Report abuse

in the World Wrestling Federation, wh oare the heros?


do the wrestlers really work against each other or is it a show to pull the audience around?


did Kerry take a dive in '04?


Does Heinz outsource all of its factory work to other countries? I was told that it does........so how much is Kerry for the American workers?


Is there a better way to union bust than to send the jobs overseas?


did you know that until the late 80's 50 percent of all middle class jobs were blue collar....


retirement, healthcare, pension, predictability


perhaps you missed Billy Joels and Bruce Springsteens songs about Born in the USA, or Irontown? maybe they were just making all that up about the unnecessary demise of a way of life in these United States?


how you going to get out of the ghetto if you can't get a job?

pay attention.

Posted by: for instance think abou this | November 17, 2006 11:24 AM | Report abuse

every time you use the phrase "war on terror," you are helping an ad campaign to give legitmacy to something that was never more than a PSYOP...

wanna know about the origins of the "war on terror?"

g o o g l e Negroponte Honduras,


and see that the same ad campaign existed there, and the same people are leading it again......


and indigenous peoples are being murdered again...


knee jerks are for jerks try understanding what you're looking at, not relaxing into the mindless snowstorm of it's us against them.........that is for lazy stupid types....

Posted by: you might think abou t this too | November 17, 2006 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Have you given any thought to this scenario?

Perhaps, although she badly wanted Murtha to win, Hoyer's election gave cover to many, many Blue Dogs and conservative Dems who just got narrowly elected. They can go home and proudly trumpet that they didn't cave in to that liberal SF Values Speaker.

Outside the Beltway, that might fly really, really. well. She's still the speaker, and the first woman ever to hold the office.

She'll be extremely popular around the nation as a "small s" speaker.

Posted by: Just Askin | November 17, 2006 11:01 AM | Report abuse

if you are blue collar,

_illegal_ immigration _is_ stealing their jobs.

carpenters, roofers, electricians, plumbers, construction, and what not are being taken by people willing to work for less.........it's not all washing dishes, and being a servant...


I watched apartment complexes being builty along the 123 corridor, about 2.5 miles from CIA headquarters in McLean, by a full crew of illegals....buddayssssssssssss


and since the factories have all been sent overseas, your country brothers are w/o work and doing odd jobs, painting, lawn work, brickwork.......


except that they can't get it.


and they are _all_ rude, belligerant and unspohisticated, and not Republican....


so being an a** isn't party dependent, and knee jerk opinions are as ugly whether you're a dem or a repub......


amnesty for _illegals_ is the same as outsourcing of American jobs, maybe you've not noticed but American Factories are shut down in a lot of places

and white collar jobs are going overseas, in fact they are bidding government jobs to India, competing with Beltway Bandits for that unquenchable flow of government work....


pay attention, and don't become the thing you hate most, like the jews in Israel...you become what you hate, read about star bellied sneetches.

Posted by: actually, | November 17, 2006 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I see Murtha's defeat as a blow against corruption not a blow against his "high profile call for American troops to be withdrawn from Iraq."

Those of us who thought the Iraq War a very bad idea and would like our troops out now do not turn a blind eye to corruption even if it is on the doorsteps of our "high profile" leaders.

Posted by: Carolyn Fuller | November 17, 2006 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I see Peggy is one of those angry, shreiking bigots -- the Repug party is full of 'em. Full of it, and full of them. Jesus what obnoxious twits. Loud, rude, overbearing, even in a chat room. They never stop whining, winning or lose.

Gee-- wonder where all this money's going to come from? Guess cons figure if we want more, we'll just print it-- we got lotsa paper:

'The WSJ tops its worldwide newsbox with the Iraqi government issuing an arrest warrant for Sheik Harith al-Dhari, one of the most prominent Sunni Arab clerics and head of the influential Muslim Scholars Association. USA Today leads with word that the war on terror, focused mainly in Afghanistan and Iraq, will likely cost more than the war in Vietnam, which would make it the most expensive conflict since World War II. Congress has already approved $70 billion for the 2007 fiscal year and the Pentagon is currently considering asking for anywhere from $127 billion to $160 billion more. So far, Congress has approved $502 billion for the war on terror. Notably, USAT reminds its readers that in 2003, the Bush administration estimated the Iraq war would cost $50 billion to $60 billion.'

Posted by: drindl | November 17, 2006 7:48 AM | Report abuse

GREAT, NOW THEY CAN ALL WORK TOGETHER TO TAKE CARE OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR OVER 25 YEARS FOR THIS TO BE TAKEN CARE OF. HOPEFULLY THEY CAN GET THIS OUT OF THE WAY. THERE WAS PLENTY OF TIME FOR BOTH PARTIES TO TAKE CARE OF THIS, JUST FOLLOW THE LAWS THAT WE HAVE TO DO THIS VERY DIFFICULT TASK. NO AMNESTY OR GUEST WORKERS AND CLOSE THE BORDERS. THATS ALL WE ASK...............

Posted by: PEGGY | November 17, 2006 7:14 AM | Report abuse

THIS IS WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!!! NOW THAT THIS IS ACCOMPLISHED, GET DOWN TO WORK AND START WITH ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. DID ALL THE DEMOCRATS FORGET ABOUT THIS AS USUAL???IF CONGRESS GRANTS AMNESTY AND CITIZENSHIP TO TWENTY MILLION ILLEGAL'S WE ARE IN BIG TROUBLE. TAKE CARE OF THIS IMMEDIATELY NO AMNESTY AND CLOSE THE BORDERS NOW!!!! THE LAWS ARE READY TO TAKE CARE OF THIS.

Posted by: PEGGY | November 17, 2006 7:06 AM | Report abuse

The Democrats had to go through this Kabuki dance sooner or later. Pelosi is just not the kind of pol who leaves debts unpaid. The result is a bit of kerfufel, but I doubt Pelosi is unhappy with the result, really. If she can work with Harry Reid, she can work with Hoyer too.

Murtha will want to get this behind him quickly; Hoyer has no reason to act differently.


Posted by: nrglaw | November 17, 2006 12:43 AM | Report abuse


I understand that ratings for Faux News has been slipping on average 3 points since the election while Oberman on MSNBC has gained. Even OReilly is down. The White House PR machine is being tuned out. One has to love it.

Give Me Liberty, and vote Dem.

Posted by: Liberated Dem | November 16, 2006 11:59 PM | Report abuse

I got nothing against conservatives, I go t a howle heap against fearbased liars...of opportunity.


why didn't slaves know ho w to read and write when they were freed? because they were lazy? and why didn't they have the same social skills, because they slept in the barns and didn't have family structures? And no business skills because they didn't have businesses, for the mos part........

segregation, creates more than seperation, it creates ethnicity.........

maybe yall figure it out someday, when you actually begin to understand that engineers dont' have opinions, it's all empirics....w/o clarity, you are your enculturement......even if that means you're a lazy, alcoholic, addictive personality, that knows little more than jiving and shucking the "haves, and the Have mores," like little Georgie Bush...so that Americans can die to get you richer....that doesn't make you bad, it makes you ineffective as a leader.....and a danger to the nation.

Posted by: ps2 | November 16, 2006 11:37 PM | Report abuse

I would be more inclined to see this as a blow to the new Speaker if she hadn't been elected unanimously. Instead, the GOP is rushing to the press, pushing a non-story that the Dems can't get it together. Truthfully, sniping is all they've got now. Funny how the tables have turned, and the new Congress hasn't even been sworn in yet.

And if I hear one more Republican schmuck talk about "tax & spend liberals" I'm just going to snap. At least we Democrats understand that, if you're going to spend money, you actually have to raise it from somewhere. Republicans have taken this country from the biggest creditor nation to the biggest debtor nation. Thanks so much for that. We even managed to fix it for awhile (without decimating social programs), and Bush squandered that.

The only people who need be worried about higher taxes are the ones who can afford it. CEOs are just going to have to buy smaller yachts.

Posted by: JamesC | November 16, 2006 9:46 PM | Report abuse

This is about soooooo much more than Pelosi, Iraq, or who the "media" endorsed and/or smeared.

1) Hoyer is a moderate Dem (and there are such things as moderates, they are the intelligent people who are willing to hear both sides of issues, AND they come in both red and blue colors) while Murtha is a very conservative Dem. Case in point, Hoyer is pro-choice while Murtha is pro-life. Hoyer is a better counter point to the more liberal Pelosi, and thus gives a better national face to the House Dems. Murtha's positions are simply not in line with the Caucus, and I think they saw that.

2) Hoyer was an insane campaigner for House Dems this election cycle. Visiting in the range of 80 districts and raising ALOT of money; these are all important things for an intra-party position. He is an unsung reason the Dems have the majority. This was alos shown by how many freshmen supported Hoyer.

3) Murtha was a one issue canidate: Iraq. And his stance is quite insane. A quick pullout is extremely dangerous in Iraq. Hoyer, quite a bit more responsable, wants a much more thoughtout and intelligent pull out. Call me what you will, but I was raised that one cleans up the messes they make; we've made a HUGE mess in Iraq and we have to actually clean it up, leaving immediately is not an opinion (and we can thank W for that for generations; heck-of-a legecy). Back to my original point: Hoyer was more diverse on the issues he ran for as Leader; I would hope most people who read this would perfer a deep-issue candiate to a shallow-issue one...

4) Pelosi will end up fine with this; does anyone really think we will be hearing about this come January? And this is a political junkie and life-long Washingtonian talking here!

5) One needs to consider that Murtha announced his canidacy back in June for this; back when it was still HIGHLY unclear the Dems would take the House, and when it still was an extreme long shot to take the Senate. I would have voted against someone who would throw a grenade like that. One should ask if this thought crossed some Reps minds, too.

5) If the "media" was backing anyone, it was Murtha. Every story, ever newscast, everthing that the "media" put out on since Election day mentioned Murtha alot more than Hoyer. If one looks at the newscasts alone, Murtha almost always was mentioned first, more times, and his pic AWLAYS was put on screen while Hoyer's was rarely. THAT'S sketchy! Don't believe me, dig up any news story over the last few days and you'll see it if you look objectively.

6) Finely, Murtha's ethics record probably did scare off some fence sitters. And it is not just Murtha's Abscam record; he got up before a group of Blue Dogs afew days ago and called the ethics legisation Pelosi is putting forward crap! Yes, he did say he was voting for it, but you still don't call it crap and in a way that makes the whole thing sound trivial. Talk about not knowing your audience. Corruption was a major issue voters cited on Election Day. Is that crap? Hoyer has been saying that it is the quality of the Reps/Senators that has made Congress unresponsive to the people. I think Americans would agree with him.

One side note: I saw one person say something about when Hoyer will challenge Pelosi for the Speaker position. Answer: not anytime soon. Dems are not backstabers (though I think they should have removed Pelosi after the 2004 debacle). The Republicans are insane sharks when it comes to their leaders(and that is a neutral view on it; any scent of blood in the pack gets them to turn on each other). Case in point, their own leader and whip races tomorrow. Blunt is a pretty good rep of their base and caucus, and Boehner is still untested; yet I won't be surprised to see one or both go tomorrow. If someone can tell me I'm wrong and keep a straight face, you don't follow Congress all that closely.

Please respond to me on this. I've been following this since June when Murtha announced his canidacy. I know alot and I think the Dems made the best desicion. I only wish they had voted for Hoyer back in 2001 for whip; then Hoyer would be Speaker. :)

Posted by: Brian from NW DC | November 16, 2006 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone taking Bob Novak seriously anymore?

His opinion piece today about Pelosi is a carping, whining pile of words that reminds me so much of the Clinton years I can't stand it. Are we going to have to live through the mean-spirited nit-picking of sore-loser Republicans for the next 2 years, starting today? Even Bush got a couple of years to really screw things up before Dems started jumping on him. Remember, Bush ran as a moderate (that sounds like a joke).

Repubs - please, for the sake of an intelligent conversation, don't just come out swinging, let's at least try civility for a month. Stay tuned...

Posted by: Sr. Bojangles | November 16, 2006 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Is there any credence to the notion that Pelosi had to support Murtha because any other position would have alienated him for future support, which she needed. And since she knew he'd probably lose, and she was going to have some difficulties with Hoyer anyway, why not support Murtha now and mend fences later? Straddling the fence garners her nothing.

Perhaps this makes her more devious and Machiavellian than she really is, but Pelosi seems smart. She can count votes too.

Posted by: Palgrave | November 16, 2006 7:17 PM | Report abuse

where is it listed on the Republicans party agendae that PNAC,


is their agendae?


do you know what a con spiracy is? a hidden agenda, unannounced, carried out by a group of people.


can you say, war powers, without a war?


that's fraud if a civilian does it isn't it?


that doesn't happen w/o complicity.


and Negroponte, given the ability to jerk pensions if the intelligence agent turns states evidence against the whitehouse....he was given that power by congress.....just like he was given the ability to excuse a company from having their books examined.....that was another rider ona bill giving him special priveleges....


and who is Negroponte, former ambassadour to Honduras and

classmate at yale with Bush, Negroponte, Wolfowitz, Goss, and a walker....serendipity or collusion? ClAss of '60.

Posted by: ps. | November 16, 2006 7:13 PM | Report abuse

thats a hoot.


when polled by the Wall Street Journal some months back, like this year, 80% of the fighting men and women in Iraq, thought that the United States has been attacked by Iraq....


seems like the corrupt Executive Branch's habit of stringing the words together


World Trade Center/911, Iraq and Terrorists had made people, witha soundbite mentality, believe "inadvertantly," that Iraq had attacked the United States and that they were harboring terrorists....


DO YOU THINK That the men and women in Iraq, if they were polled now, would agree that they are over there to make sure that the bush family and friends, as well as extended family of friends, Saudis, Emirates of UAE, Turkish buddies in backstabbing, British Petroleum and others of an OIL BASED Interest deserved to be supported by their deaths....


or would they say that they were there because of a drummed up terrorist threat BS show?


G O O G L E Negroponte and Honduras if you want to learn about the mirror of our clandestine terrorist fabrication machine in Central America during the Contra/Sandinista years and while you are at it check out

Gates and Iran/Contragate, see if theres any connection between that old narcotics for terrorism haint and this daddys boy presidents daddy....George H.W. Bush.

hello, Judge....ah ham a bits prickley, but its cause I got to get some stuff loose from the hwite house.....

ps. I post for effect, not for literary purpose....sometimes prickly increases clarity in the receiver. CIAo

Posted by: look, by their own choice... | November 16, 2006 7:07 PM | Report abuse

But laughing at Pelosi's first attempt at Croney-ism is waaay more entertaining..

Posted by: loyalties | November 16, 2006 6:07 PM | Report abuse

There are young, middle-aged and older men and women who serve in the military by their own choice, and who defend our liberties by their voluntary service to this country. Did you stop driving your car today? No? Then we're all complicit in this addiction to foriegn oil, not just conservatives.

Posted by: loyalties | November 16, 2006 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Has the Anonymous Stream of Conciousness poster returned? I'd like to say we missed you over past several months but you're a bit on the prickly side and your postings can be hard to read so that'd be dishonest. Let's just say your absence was noted and "welcome back."

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | November 16, 2006 6:02 PM | Report abuse

brave men and women?


partiotism as a ploy is simple jingoism.


the young men and women of this country are being taken advantage of by your complicit congress who are hoping to make a killing in the oil market in the near future.....


you know like midnight oil meetings with another short staffer that you like to hold, Dick CHeneys'

right?

Posted by: loyalty to | November 16, 2006 5:49 PM | Report abuse

seems like people with no morals and short staffs use the word lefties on a regular basis to cover for the fact that they don't have any original thoughts...


right? neo conartistes' in love with their left hand.

Posted by: hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm | November 16, 2006 5:47 PM | Report abuse

for your deeper understanding from online w/Peter Baker earlier;

Sherrill, N.Y.: With all the talk about Murtha and ABSCAM, I seem to recall that John McCain had some ethical issues along those lines. Can you confirm??

Peter Baker: Senator McCain was one of five senators investigated by the Senate ethics committee in what became known as the Keating Five scandal. The issue was whether the senators interfered with regulators on behalf of a savings and loan owner who gave them campaign contributions and so forth. The committee concluded that Senator McCain "exercised poor judgment"


So yah see, George H.W. Bushes son Neil was one of the people indicted in the Silverado Savings and Loan thing that they are trying to paint Murtha with...R. Marcus included....and John Harris, hes an independent thinker isn't he?


and my mane is rubled stiltskin...


Posted by: politics online and deeper understanding of _your_ issues.. | November 16, 2006 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm...loyalties and friendships of convenience... sounds like you lefties can find moral justification for almost everything. The loyalty to this country that our brave men and women in uniform exhibit every day is something we should all aspire to, even the DEMS in Congress.

Posted by: dbroot | November 16, 2006 5:42 PM | Report abuse

This result will have no effect on Iraq whatsoever.

Whoever heard of President Bush listening to the Democrats when it comes to Iraq, let alone the Democrat leadership?

Pelosi showed she values loyalty above political expediancy. And she is still Speaker. Not bad for a "loss"... but it will be very interesting to see how she reacts to all the press "Massive blow" talk.

Posted by: JayPe | November 16, 2006 5:39 PM | Report abuse


The House is a club built on personal loyalties and friendships of convience. The unstated issue is Pelosi has always viewed Hoyer as someone who wanted her job. Their differences have spanned almost a decade.

This is not about a division or fissure within the Democratic party. Hoyer, Murtha, and Pelosi will not allow for there to be a major split within the House. What it does summarize is DEMS actually debate, vs suppress the opposition as the GOP has done.

There will be more divisions, and then a circling of the wagons. This is democracy folks. Compare this to the GOP who never met real opposition from their moderate House members who now are truly an endangered species.

Me thinks this is a slow news cycle, so elevating the Hoyer/Murtha story enhances the likelihood someone's interest is peaked. But out in the real world, no one knows who Hoyer is or what a Majority leader does unless they equate Delay to the position, it is a behind the scence job and Hoyer is up to it.

As for Pelosi taking a hit from her colleagues, I would much rather she know now that to govern, she must get opinions from the left and the right. That is where the American people are, like having left handed and right handed people. For so many to attempt to put label on everyone is one of the reasons nothing is getting done.

Give me liberty or get the hell out of the way,

Posted by: Libetarian Dem | November 16, 2006 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Wow. With allies like Pelosi and Kucinich (hah!), Murtha needs more enemies. What a pathetic excuse for a first week.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 16, 2006 5:34 PM | Report abuse

a panderer to people like you who switch position based upon what they provide?

Posted by: and what is Tom Delay? | November 16, 2006 5:27 PM | Report abuse

in this food chain, your stupid policies, thougtlessness and corrupt practices affect other peoples lives........


literally, there are people in wheelchairs for the rest of thier lives because they believed you BS campaigns based upon using patiotism as a ploy,


when it was _really_ a mockery of the truth, what you were selling was backing a position, so that a few olde world peoples, could get richer....


the stuarts of England, represented by their heirs bushe one and two, the second is the drug addi ct adn the Emirates and Royals as well as bsiness buddies in the United Kingdom, Belfast and other cozy buddies of fortune...


suffice it to say, OIL is the prime motivator of this BS story about serving democracies interests in the ME. The only thing being served is avoiding discovery...for a couple of hours.

.

Posted by: look | November 16, 2006 5:25 PM | Report abuse

So loyalty to your political party and its leaders is the touchstone of our elected representatives and senators. Wouldn't it be unique if these elected officals made loyalty to the country their first priority.
As for Nancy Pelosi it seems that she's a Tom Delay in a skirt or pant-suit. No slur intended but she seems to want to run the House like a branch of the mafia,
I doubt that she'll remain Speaker for the next two years.

Posted by: chris | November 16, 2006 5:21 PM | Report abuse

hear zouky, zouky, zouky -
zouky sez: "the reasonable Dems balked and rejected her"
and how does that figure into the fact that she were confirmed as Speaker by a unanimous vote. Unanimous! you can spout off yer repub puke butt ya caint reed fer sheeeit'...
in case yer confused, zouky, unanimous is defined as: "all in agreement" - and if yer still confused, "all" is defined as: every "Dem" in the House of Representatives. yer the only reject around these parts, pardner. and just hows all them all-hat-no-cow repubs a doin' in the House? Oh, I remember. Them were the ones what got rejeted last Tuesday. don't cry too much, zouky, at least they still gots their hobby-ranches and black hats.

:~)

Posted by: queenofzouk | November 16, 2006 5:21 PM | Report abuse

and checking zouks hardrive for child porn are inorder....


soaring intelligence, looking up from where you stand my ankles look like mountains king of dirt.

Posted by: an exercise in cleaR THINKING | November 16, 2006 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Any Dem in leadership is better than the Rove/Delay/Newtie 'Axis of Weevils' in the 108/109th Congress, I say.

Posted by: pearls before swine | November 16, 2006 5:07 PM | Report abuse

drindl -
LOL! you go girl!

:~)

Posted by: queenofzouk | November 16, 2006 5:05 PM | Report abuse

One should not make too much of this.

Posted by: stevethehumble | November 16, 2006 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Us liberals would love to release the floodgates of liberal spending, but your wonderful GOP congress already beat us to it.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 16, 2006 4:51 PM | Report abuse

This event is being described by the Post, both here an in the dek to the story on Hoyer's win, as a "major blow." Yet there is no detailing of evidence to document that assertion. Is this really a "major blow?" A major blow comes close to sinking one's ship. Is Pelosi really that badly hurt by this?

Posted by: RJ | November 16, 2006 4:42 PM | Report abuse

'Release the floodgates of liberal spending and taxing.' and how will that be different from the floodgates of con spending and taxing? Really zouk you loser -- loser -- loser you should just go away and stop vomiting your stupidity. You lost, get used to it. You lost because your party is morally bankrupt and you have no ideas except stealing the taxpayer's money. go to hell.

Posted by: drindl | November 16, 2006 4:41 PM | Report abuse

and another thing - "but if that is all you have" - I have my very own fan club - you have, besides insults to the posters here, exactly what? wingnut fantasies? Roveian penis-envy? all-hat-and-no-cow hobby-ranches?

and there are a hyphen inbetwinxt two and year as in two-year - which I wrecin us "Dems" will galdly take, que no. and "suubstantive" (sic) has only one 'u', jeanious boy... (let me guess - it are those big, troll fingers...good fer pickin' yer nose but not so much fer typin', eh)

:~)

Posted by: queenofzouk | November 16, 2006 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Give me a break, Chris. This isn't just "inside baseball," it's "inside" the baseball. No one cares how the ball is made, so long as it's in play.

And did it ever occur to you that Pelosi's purpose in backing Murtha was not to settle an old score with Hoyer, but rather to send a message to Bush about Iraq?

The probability of her having been "weakened" by this is about the same as that of Bush being right about Iraq.

ZERO.

Posted by: Nitestik | November 16, 2006 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Dingbats - this is really very simple and chris (somneone for whoms opinion actually gets remunerated) has it exactly right. Pelosi lost her first test while trying to shift radically left. the reasonable Dems balked and rejected her. she should get used to rejection.

Posted by: kingofzouk | November 16, 2006 4:30 PM | Report abuse

chris, i disagree with your analysis. from what i've heard, pelosi backed murtha for largely symbolic reasons, knowing that hoyer had the votes. this could turn out to be a shrewd move: pleases the base with the effort; pleases the moderates with the outcome.

Posted by: just another hack | November 16, 2006 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Couldn't it be that there were 2 good candidates and the best one won?
I honestly don't see this as a blow to Pelosi. This is how democracy is supposed to work. You back the thing you think is best, you vote, you move on.

Maybe we're so used to the lock-step Republicans, with the threats and reprecussions of voting one's conscience, that we've forgotten what democracy looks like. (Independent voter)

Posted by: Sr. Bojangles | November 16, 2006 4:18 PM | Report abuse

hear zouky, zouky, zouky,
blah blah blah - being lectured by a LOSER repub...ROTFLMFAO
"Maybe you should cut down your goals." goals? my sole purpose (goal) in life as queenofzouk is to moc you. Simple? yes. Gratifying? extremely!!! As fer screaming insults from the edges of society - have you looked in a mirror lately? zouky sez: "mirer, mirer on duh wal, who are the wingnutiest of 'em allll?" zouky, that dashing image you see in yer "mirer" is a mirerage - and not the wart-faced troll the rest of us see.

:~)

Posted by: queenofzouk | November 16, 2006 4:15 PM | Report abuse

GOPers may not be so giddy when the new committee chairs actually take hearing testimony under oath.

GOPers may not be so giddy may not be so giddy when they lose on every Rule in the House.

GOPers may not be so giddy when they realize that the only thing they'll be able to accomplish (at least on the House side) is circulate Dear Colleagues to each other espousing more wingnut causes and losing every Rule and every floor vote.

Face it: if you work on the House side for a GOP member who's not on Approps, you might as well content yourself with opening mail for two years.

Live the Minority--BE the Minority.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 16, 2006 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I see the soaring intellect of the left has returned. no doubt that is the best you can do. too bad because you only get a two year chance and then you will revert to screaming profanity and insults from the edges of society again - where you belong. but I can see your stymied brain is doing its best to be funny and poignant at the same time. Maybe you should cut down your goals. This is supposed to be a suubstantive site and you do not do any justice to the wacky positions taken up by your comrades by clearly demonstrating your ignorance and stupidity. but if that is all you have, I suppose you must continue.

Posted by: kingofzouk | November 16, 2006 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and my favorite, overused quote on the matter is:

"I can't believe they are self-destructing before they even get started," said Representative Ray LaHood, Republican of Illinois. "Everyone on our side is giddy."

Yeah, lets see how giddy he is when he wants to introduce some GOP, right-wing amendment and the door is slammed in his face.

Posted by: JB | November 16, 2006 3:59 PM | Report abuse

hear zouky, zouky, zouky -
Kinda like the logic that says you need to wage war to win elections, you need to stay the course to kill more Americans, you need to do more of the same for homophobes, you need do nothing to save Rummy - he, he - he's discarded toast anyway.....
all that new math that Rove used to predict a repub landslide is rubbing off on zouky - how are ya doin' on the reading contest with Chimp boy whilst the Dems kick yer phucingass?

Posted by: queenofzouk | November 16, 2006 3:51 PM | Report abuse

This is much ado about nothing.

First, this is a perfect result for Pelosi. While he came out front on the Iraq issue, Murtha has been known to side with the GOP on some ethics and social issues. Now, he owes Pelosi - no way he can gather votes against the caucus. Hoyer doesnt gain by defeating Pelosi on issues she wants to move forward. Hence, she now has everyone behind her.

Second, the Dems already had decided they are going to move forward on issues where there is concencus across the caucus, such as minimum wage and their other "Top 6". Those havent changed, and no one is voting against them just because of some arm twisitng in a leadership race.

Third, as many have said, this is inside baseball. Everyone involved understands that once the vote is over, you move forward. The GOP has had leadership fights on a regular basis, but when they wanted to move legislation forward, they got all their ducks in a row - Pelosi will do the same.

If you want a sign that there is little real discontent, note that the vote for Speaker was unanimous - no secret ballots against Pelosi to show outrage.

Posted by: JB | November 16, 2006 3:47 PM | Report abuse

hear zouky, zouky, zouky - -
I will call you a wingnut LOSER and it will be a good thing to keep warmongers, inteligent designers and homophobes in a tizzy-fit for at least 2 years. dirty Jack is going to jail for 5 years and 10 months before he hangs himself in shame. Ultra-conservative - like nationalized warmangering. coming to a bankrupt public policy near you. Fiscal discipline? what's the national debt now, zouky - spend and cut taxes for the wealthy...Smirk, smirk

Zouky, your team lost so why don't you just go away and shut the phuc up! Smirk, smirk. Grin, grin...

:~)

Posted by: queenofzouk | November 16, 2006 3:42 PM | Report abuse

so I guess loyalty from Bush is narrow-minded but from Pelosi it is a good thing. Only in the Logic of Dem-land. Kinda like the logic that says you need to raise taxes to improve the economy, you need to retreat to win a war, you need to do more of the same for failing schools, you need do nothing to save SS.....
all that new math they are teaching is evident in this hokey reasoning.

Posted by: kingofzouk | November 16, 2006 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Altho I LOVE CC's column, I also have to disagree with this one.
This is NOT a big deal, in the face of winning both the House and the Senate. In fact, if I could have, I might have planned it this way.

First, Pelosi is the very first female Speaker of the House. No way she's a loser.
Second, she gets to highlight that Murtha's a hero to us all, and was loyal to her.
Third, we get to find out that Murtha was actually cleared of all the ABSCOM stuff, without actually having to hear that he was "involved" for the next two years on every Fox braodcast.
Fourth, it raises Murtha's elevation as an authentic speaker for the Democrats, as he got a decent number of votes. Also, he's a conservative so it's delicious to watch the rightwing nutcases bash him.. a pro-gun, anti-choice hawk who thinks the Iraq War is a disaster.
Fifth, it proves Democrats do NOT march in lockstep, can debate one another, and move on, unlike what we've seen from the House under The Hammer.
Sixth, Hoyer's not a bad guy. I think he'll do a fine job. I do NOT think he will spend the next two years stabbing NP in the back, unless he's an ass. From the number of votes he got (which is also perfect -- no second guessing and murmuring) I doubt he's an ass.

Anyway, keep up the good work, Chris.
But, sorry, this wasn't one of them.
With NP saying, "Let there be peace on eath, and let it begin with us" I'm not sure this is even a two day story.

Oh, except among the rightwing nutcases, who are going to be screaming that Democrats can't get along for the next...
uh, 730 days, or (hopefully) more.

Posted by: Jan | November 16, 2006 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Nice try, Chris, but wiles of the masterful new Speaker are not to reveal what really occurs. As several have noted in these responses to your rather shallow thoughts, displaying an internal and settled disagreement is good to see after the years of GOP straitjacketing. Hoyer is an excellent choice with his much broader list of Democratic issue familiarity. While Murtha did valuable service with our Middle East mess exposure, he doesn't bring a wide swath if issue involvement and there is more to the world than Dubya's Iraq horror.

Posted by: Bill Eger | November 16, 2006 3:19 PM | Report abuse

What a lightweight and unimaginative expression of conventional wisdom on Chris' part. What Pelosi proved is that she is a person of character and that she is loyal to a fault- even if she knew she was going to lose. Murtha backed her for the Leader post and she responded in kind. Those who support her in the future will now know their loyalty to her will be reciprocated. That would be a good quality for a new Speaker of the House.

Posted by: Robert | November 16, 2006 3:17 PM | Report abuse

What a lightweight and unimaginative expression of conventional wisdom on Chris' part. What Pelosi proved is that she is a person of character and that she is loyal to a fault- even if she knew she was going to lose. Murtha backed her for the Leader post and she responded in kind. Those who support her in the future will now know their loyalty to her will be reciprocated. That would be a good quality for a new Speaker of the House.

Posted by: Robert | November 16, 2006 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I will call them obstructionists, and it will be a good thing to keep those economy-ruining laws off my money. dirty Harry is in for a tough 2 years before he resigns in shame.

Ultra-liberal - like nationalized Hillary-care. coming to a bankrupt public policy near you. Fiscal discipline? Smirk, smirk. Release the floodgates of liberal spending and taxing. I promise nothing will be done about SS, medicare, failing schools,......... In fact, the fumbling Dems won't even think up an idea for these before their time runs out.

Posted by: kingofzouk | November 16, 2006 3:07 PM | Report abuse

lets talk about the dems and the repubs,

some other day.


how about getting something done.

Posted by: yeah, | November 16, 2006 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I would imagine, that Pelosi actually avoided some trouble by not favoring her friend Steny.

So the press puts some spin on it, the voters get confused and its business as usually,

you hope. Sorry, you will be wearing your underpants outside your pants for the rest of your life, so


we the people can see your stains.


ha ha ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ho ho ho...

Posted by: yeah, | November 16, 2006 3:00 PM | Report abuse

what is an ultra lib bill, a way to redirect the attention of people with the attention span of a 12 year old and the iq of a rush limbaugh?

please labels are so trite.

Posted by: oh pray tell | November 16, 2006 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Kingofzouk:

Why would "ultra-lib" bills passed by the House not make it to the President with a Majority Democratic Senate? You are not thinking that Republicans would abandon all of their talk about the injustice of filibusters and use one themselves would you? I hope not....If they do, will you call the Republicans in the Senate "obstructionists" as Republicans have been calling Democratic Senators for years?

Posted by: The | November 16, 2006 2:54 PM | Report abuse

political system is more like the World Wrestling Federation than a real opposing team, or different viewpoints way of interacting.


need something earmarked or a bridge built to no where after a Katrina disaster? Oh, of course we won't call it a bridge to no where funding in Alaska and the Republican Senator from Oklahoma that asked that the money get sent to Katrina victims instead, we will just ignore him........


even though there are bloated bodies floating in an American city, because we have a history of the wealthy helping the wealthy.....


that _is_ what congress is all about.


that _is_ why we are in Iraq setting up to steal the oil from the indigenous population while creating a spin about terrorisms.....


while the biggest coverer up of TERRORISM IN THE WORLD JOHN NEGROPONTE FORMER AMBASSADOUR TO HONDURAS....


go og le that friends....


IS THE CORRUPT EXECUTIVE BRANCHES APPOINTEE TO HEAD US INTELLIGENCE....


and he even has two special powers...

1. if you are an intelligence officer, he _can_ jerk your pension w/o review if you try and turn states evidence against this administration.

2. if he decides that you are a good friend to this administration, he can exempt your company from review.


both of those things occured as a result of your COMPLICIT CONGRESS, PNAC related reference, giving him the ability.....


democrats and republicans are consorting to get the job done, to fleece the people of due process, oversight and value as a resource.

Posted by: the American two party | November 16, 2006 2:54 PM | Report abuse

This is a one-cycle story that doesn't amount to a hill of beans. What is much more important is the increased decibels from the WH,McCain, Lowry et al about the need to get more troops into Iraq, "just one more push" etc. When it doesn't happen, the right will say that the Dems lost the war in Iraq - a reprise of the right-wing rationalisation for the loss in Vietnam -'we could have won it but we had one hand tied behind our back' etc.

Posted by: Colin | November 16, 2006 2:53 PM | Report abuse

So Pelosi is speaker of the house but continues to represent her SF ethics. the whole point of this failure on her part isnt that she has misread the electorate who is not insiting we get out of Iraq and surrender right away. In fact, this clearly shows the majority of the population still wants to win. Murtha represents all the bad things in politics - corruption, ego, deal-making to gain influence, cut and run, etc. Pelosi has stumbled right out of the gate and will be a laughing stock in no time. SNL has already begun. They can pass all the ultra-lib bills in the world but very few will make it past the Senate or the Pres. I suspect few will make it past the Blue-dogs and Dem special interest groups. So difficult to actually originate ideas and so easy to snipe from the sidelines. Karma.

Posted by: kingofzouk | November 16, 2006 2:49 PM | Report abuse

but as a citizen of the United States rather than a mindless paritsan, I am a lot more impressed with actions than with exclamations of someone passed gas.

What about the fraud of a war? What about the elimination of the middle class. What about the fact that we have more employees of purportedly United States Companies overseas than working in the United States.


How is the economy supposed to move forwards when there is a significant portion of the population that is degreed working the service sector or a significant number of tradespeople outbid by _illegals_ are you all on something that prevents your interacting with the world that you exist within except for your party hats?

Wake up.

Posted by: perhaps this is just me | November 16, 2006 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I love all of the gloating by the Republicans in the above posts. As if the past two weeks have been good for their party.

What position did Hoyer win today? Oh yeah, Majority Leader. Perhaps this is not the time for gloating quite yet. Maybe wait a month or so on this one.

Posted by: The | November 16, 2006 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm afraid I have a problem with your police work there Chris. If Pelosi had really been working to get Murtha votes the results would not have been this lopsided. I think her endorsement of Murtha was a simple nod to her SF constituents--not to mention a political favor for an old ally and friend--knowing all the while that Hoyer would be the next Majority Leader. I suspect Hoyer knows the same.

Posted by: Matt | November 16, 2006 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Now will anyone at the Post report the real story behind Murtha's "anti-war" stance? It had NOTHING to do with opposition to the war or even an opinion about how it is being fought. IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY. There isn't enough $$$$ going to his pet projects in Pennsylvania or to his brother's clients! It's all going to fund the troops he doesn't give a damn about. The Pentagon has been his own personal gravy train for 25 years and it has been derailed by the war in Iraq.

I truly feel sorry for liberals who have followed this crook's siren song.

Posted by: sick of liberal hypocrites | November 16, 2006 2:35 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me that Ms. Pelosi did what was honourable and backed her friend who had helped her out I the past. We should respect a person who honours friendship rather then doing what is politically profitable. I do not think she lost any gamble. The outcome of this leadership election will not diminish her power and I do not think there will be an adversarial relationship as Hoyer and Pelosi have work together in the past despite being on opposite sides of an issue or two. Ultimately the party is best served by Hoyer's election and the swamp has already begun to drain with his victory over Murtha. I am sure that deep down Pelosi knows this and may even be pleased that she was able to do what was right by her friend while the membership gave her the Majority Leader the Party needs. I know I am pleased.

Posted by: Morgan D. Lerner, Washington, DC | November 16, 2006 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Good !!! Let the dems mess up good..... better chance for us in 2008

Posted by: Marlene | November 16, 2006 2:29 PM | Report abuse

By most accounts of those present in this week's "meet the candidates" for (incoming) House Majority Leader, Murtha came across as a "dullard." Plus, he has a "ton" of excess baggage in the "culture of corruption" department (past and present, apparently). Some pundits were rootin' for Murtha to highlight the blatant Dem hypocrisy on corruption. Some say that the mainstream media would continue to render liberal, progressive, socialist Dem hypocrisy moot, in any case, so whatever Murtha (or any other Dem) might do, wouldn't receive much notice.

Posted by: Ed Trottier | November 16, 2006 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Why are you making so much out of this? It was clear that Murtha didn't have the votes and this isn't some giant "blow" to Pelosi. Nothing to see here, move on.

You are creating a drama out of nothing. The right-wing talking point that the Democratic Party is somehow already going to implode from within is getting REALLY easy to recognize as nothing more than wishful thinking BS. Give me civilized debate over a bunch of lock-step GOP zombies anytime! You folks should watch the British Parliament in session sometimes. That is how people that actually THINK have discussions about policy.

Posted by: maria in SF | November 16, 2006 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Well Chris...I will have to agree with others that you remain charmed by the DC Insider, which you think you are but hardly...You were the last one, other then the Prince of Darkness to see the Democratic victory this year...as for Steny...as a former lobbyist..Steny is as smelly as anyone up there...to think that Murtha lacks ethics and Steny has them is so absurd...Steny plays the game of old school dealing just like Murtha or worse..the only difference is that Steny is such a hack with no sense or issues or the understanding of the voters fears and trimpths...Steny has no clue about how people live, how they fight a war..what is does know is how to get a deal done and how to make that person pay for that deal.

Posted by: J. Turtle | November 16, 2006 2:21 PM | Report abuse

sorry, forgot to fill in my name in the last post.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | November 16, 2006 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

It's called democracy. People vote, and the winner wins.

Yes, I know that under Bush and the neocons you're not used to it, but that's what just happened in the House #2 race.

Nancy had an opinion of who she'd like to have, and the rest of the elected reps in the Dem party decided they had a better choice.

This is why Dems are the party of the Bigger Tent.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 16, 2006 2:19 PM | Report abuse

What this really says about Pelosi is that she is not very good at counting votes, which is not a great thing for an incoming speaker. She should have been able to see that Hoyer was too far ahead for her involvement to make any difference and stayed away from the fight.

Contrast this with Lott. For all his faults, he obviously knew how to count and sway votes: he came out of nowhere and beat Alexander by one vote.

Posted by: Jon | November 16, 2006 2:17 PM | Report abuse

rollingwoods, you are wrong.

No one needed to "slime" Murtha- his record of opposing moves for ethics and accountability has always been out there and is well known, except apperently to some anti-war bloggers who imagined him to be something better than he is.

The most effective voices against him were from those on the left (Soros fruned CREW) and center (NYT) who favor a cleaner government.

Posted by: bill | November 16, 2006 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I like this result because i think it gives the Dems in the House a good spokesman. Before the elections, I remember saying to a friend that I hoped Pelosi would become speaker so she wouldn't have to say anything. She is great in small groups, but put her in front of a large crowd and she can't handle it. Murtha, similarly, is a back-room dealer. He's uncomfortable around the press and around cameras. Hoyer seeks out the media and puts a good spin on things. It's helpful to have someone who can represent the Democrats well in a leadership position.

Posted by: JD | November 16, 2006 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Ya know what I hate about blogs? People who post and don't use a name, ANY NAME, to let folks know who to respond to. Kinda chickens**t if ya ask me.

Posted by: abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz | November 16, 2006 2:11 PM | Report abuse

For the record:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 16, 2006

Contact: Schorr Johnson, (919) 821-2777, ext. 216

NCDP Chair Meek to Carville: The Election Results are Proof Dean's 50-State Strategy is Working

Raleigh--North Carolina Democratic Party Chair Jerry Meek contacted Democratic strategist James Carville by email yesterday after Carville criticized the Democratic National Committee's 50-State Strategy.

"A week after historic Democratic gains at the national level and in North Carolina, the last thing we need is someone trying to stoke infighting by second-guessing a winning strategy," said Meek. "It's about as productive as Rod Brind'Amor criticizing Coach Peter Laviolette because the Hurricanes lost three games before winning the Stanley Cup."

Meek's email to Carville:

Mr. Carville,

As the Chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party, I cannot disagree more strongly with your recent comments regarding Governor Dean. For the past 20 months, we have benefited from having regional field directors across this state, organizing, building, and implementing ground plans. The results here in North Carolina were tremendous. While your focus seems to be exclusively upon congressional and senatorial races, I'm concerned about all of the races - including down ballot races. Because of the work of these regional field directors, we elected Sheriffs and county commissioners in some of the reddest of counties. We increased our control of the state house by 5 seats (now 68-52) and of the state senate by 2 seats (now 31-19). We elected Heath Shuler to Congress, with one currently undecided potential pickup seat. These down ballot races are particularly important to future electoral successes.

There is no institution - other than the DNC - that is charged with the task of building the Party in the long-term (rather than focusing exclusively on the current election). Howard Dean understands, correctly, that we need to have an infrastructure in place that creates continuity between elections, allowing for the Party's expansion.

Like every State Chair I know, he has my full support. I can assure you that any attempt to remove Gov. Dean would be met with fierce opposition.

Best Wishes,

Jerry

Posted by: drindl | November 16, 2006 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I just read all of todays comments on this and cannot believe the spin being put on this non-news. To begin with, both Murtha and Hoyer are moderates - pro-military (not the same as pro-Iraq, mind you), pro-labor, traditional Democarts in the mold of Scoop Jackson and Harry Truman. Hoyer's win was due to the possible *perception* of wrong doing by Mrtha. Now, no one with any knowledge of what took place actually believes that Murtha took a bribe or even condoned it. The fed's have tapes of those meeting and if Murtha had done anything really wrong, he would indicted right now....but he isn't simply becasue he really didn't do anything wrong. Ditto for Hoyer. He is way too close to K Street and the corporate world for my taste, but he also has a history of supporting American labor and I believe he will vote to at least limit outsourcing and guest worker visa's. Also, he IS opposed to our involvement in Iraq right now and has clearly gotten the message that the voters want us out of there immediately and let the Arabs worry about the consequences.

Posted by: MikeB | November 16, 2006 2:10 PM | Report abuse

S SECTARIAN violence rises in Iraq and the White House comes under increasing pressure to revamp its strategy there, a debate is emerging inside the Bush administration: Should the U.S. abandon its efforts to act as a neutral referee in the ongoing civil war and, instead, throw its lot in with the Shiites?

A U.S. tilt toward the Shiites is a risky strategy, one that could further alienate Iraq's Sunni neighbors and that could backfire by driving its Sunni population into common cause with foreign jihadists and Al Qaeda cells. But elements of the administration, including some members of the intelligence community, believe that such a tilt could lead to stability more quickly than the current policy of trying to police the ongoing sectarian conflict evenhandedly, with little success and at great cost.

This past Veterans Day weekend ... almost the entire Bush national security team gathered for an unpublicized two-day meeting. The topic: Iraq. The purpose of the meeting was to come up with a consensus position on a new path forward. ...

Numerous policy options were put forward at the meeting, which revolved around a strategy paper prepared by Hadley and drawn from his recent trip to Baghdad. One was the Shiite option. Participants were asked to consider whether the U.S. could really afford to keep fighting both the Sunni insurgency and Shiite militias -- or whether it should instead focus its efforts on combating the Sunni insurgency exclusively, and even help empower the Shiites against the Sunnis.

To do so would be a reversal of Washington's strategy over the last two years of trying to coax the Sunnis into the political process, an effort led by U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad. It also would discount some U.S. military commanders' concerns that the Al Mahdi army, a Shiite militia loyal to the radical cleric Muqtada Sadr, poses as great a threat to American interests as that presented by the Sunni insurgency centered in western Iraq's Al Anbar province.

So what's the logic behind the idea of "unleashing the Shiites"? It's the path of least resistance, according to its supporters, and it could help accelerate one side actually winning Iraq's sectarian conflict, thereby shortening the conflict, while reducing some of the critical security concerns driving Shiites to mobilize their own militias in the first place. ...

Posted by: Anonymous | November 16, 2006 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I want to read Robert Caro's analysis of this in 25 years time.

So Murtha is one of the most conservative Democrats in the House, so Pelosi's backing him is her way of reaching out to conservatives to say that she'll be mindful of their needs.

Only he also prominently criticized Bush on Iraq, so maybe Pelosi's backing of him is her way of reaching out to liberals to say that she'll me mindful of their needs.

Only Hoyer opposed Pelosi for Minority Leader years ago, so it's possible that her endorsement of his opponent was just to show that she hates him.

Only Murtha also worked very hard to get Pelosi elected Speaker, and Pelosi's endorsement was tepid, so Pelosi's minimal backing of him was just to show that she's loyal to her friends. It had nothing to do with Hoyer at all.

Was it a gamble that failed to pay off, or was it a shrewd political move that made Pelosi look conservative/liberal/loyal? Did the endorsement reveal that Pelosi doesn't care about corruption, or did Pelosi's lack of effort for Murtha reveal that loyalty won't outweigh corruption?

Did Pelosi even really endorse Murtha at all?

And why does the media seem to say that this reveals that the Democrats are divided, when they're clearly less divided than the Republicans whose vote for Minority Whip was decided by a single vote?!?

Posted by: Chris M. | November 16, 2006 2:04 PM | Report abuse

"I wonder if this wake-up call will remind Democrats that 80% of registered voters did not vote to put Democrats in power. So much for mandates."

John, I have no idea where you get that 80% number. The Democrats in the House received more votes than the Republicans. Unless you're talking about the registered voters who didn't vote for anyone at all to be put in power, because they didn't vote. And I don't know why the opinions of non-voters should be counted.

Posted by: Blarg | November 16, 2006 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Rollingwood,

I agree with all but the last comment. Murtha is on Appropriations Sub-committee on Defense as the ranking Democrat. He'll be Chairman of that Sub-committee and will use it to throw his weight around, including as a loose canon. We've not heard the last from Mr. Murtha.

As I stated on previous threads, this is a non-story, non-event only selling inside the beltway, if that. Nancy paid her debt, now their even. Steny and Nancy will get along fine, with some manuevering by their staffs. As long as Nancy keeps her nose ethically clean and the Dem's control, she'll be Speaker as long as she wants it.

Posted by: BlueDog | November 16, 2006 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Pelosu backed Murtha because of his stance on the war and out of loyalty since he had endorsed her so strongly when she ran against and defeated Hoyer. She KNEW that Hioyer had the votes, but sent a clear message to her party that she is both loyal AND against the Iraq fiasco!

Meanwhile, bored pundits and "wise" so-called experts, coming down off an election year high diet of red raw meat haven't yet calmed down enough to relax and take a deep breath before looking for new "issues" to invent!

Tempest in a teapot? ...YUP!

Posted by: Demogorgon | November 16, 2006 2:00 PM | Report abuse

It is hard to divine Speaker Pelosi's backing Rep. Murtha, particularly as she must have been aware of Rep. Hoyer's strength and support. One cannot put personal feelings above the good of the Congress and the nation.

In politics, timing is everything. In this case, the watch was a few minutes too slow.

I hope that this does not portend what we can expect from the House under Rep. Pelosi. There is too much to do and it must be done right. Get on with it, Ms. Pelosi.

Keep up the good work, Chris.

Gonzalo I. Vergara, Lt. Col., USAF (Ret)
Lincoln Hills, CA

Posted by: gvergara | November 16, 2006 2:00 PM | Report abuse

In Georgia, Rep. John Barrow (D) defeated Republican Max Burns by 864 votes out of more than 140,000 cast. In Wyoming, Rep. Barbara Cubin (R) beat Democrat Gary Trauner by about 1,000 votes out of nearly 200,000 cast.

Barrow's victory means Democrats successfully defended every seat they held in the House and Senate, as they rolled to majorities in both chambers of Congress during last week's voting.

--amazing that a savage bit** like Cubin could win, but I guess Wyoming is a state where folks like the idea of giving a guy in a wheelchair a good ol goin-over.

But the good news --dems held every single seat. Eat it, wingers.

Posted by: drindl | November 16, 2006 1:59 PM | Report abuse

'Blow to Pelosi' -- oh jeezus what drama queens are media are. Yo lean so far to the right it must be pretty funny staggering down the street in DC.

She knew she didn't have the votes -- she's the speaker for chrissakes. It was to repay Murtha for talking about Iraq-- and to embrace guy with 'centrist' credentials. But Murtha did it for the military... he's one of the biggest recipients of contributions from military brass. He's tighter with them than anyone in Congress.

Must be linked to a wingnut site today. Some incredibly stupid comments coming from wingers [concern trolls] pretending to be Dems.

'All that talk about getting out of Iraq? That was just the fringe element of our party. Take your good old time and let's win over there!'

From someone named dusty. You can tell he's a chickenhawk --doesn't care how lonng the war goes on coz he knows he'll never fight it.

and for the moron in Crawford [i mena the one that posted here --redeployment was always the point. moving the troops to more effective positions. Muurtha NEVER advocated an immediate pullout. That was just you wingers revising history again.

Posted by: drindl | November 16, 2006 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I realize Mr. Cillizza is not assigned to international affairs. The point is simple: the piffle-spit between Mr. Hoyer and Mr. Murtha means almost nothing. More important is how the Democratic Party majority in Congress chooses to wield its power. They were elected in a referendum election on Bush policy. If they present no clear alternative to Bush policy, especially on Middle East (I realize sub-Saharan Africa is of no concern), they will risk disappointing the people who voted them into power in the first place. We have several examples of that here in Scandinavia.

Posted by: Sven in Stockholm | November 16, 2006 1:52 PM | Report abuse

From someone totally outside the beltway, this looks like a good result. Pelosi proves she's loyal to her friends, Hoyer and Pelosi reach out to different groups within the Dem congressional reps, and Murtha who seems pretty out-of-the-Democratic mainstream (and kinda a loose cannon) doesn't get to embarrass anyone ethically from a position of power.

Posted by: rollingwoods | November 16, 2006 1:49 PM | Report abuse

What this really means is that we are NEVER getting out of Iraq. The "serious" people in DC (which includes everyone from Jim Baker, the Clinton, Chris Matthews, Barack Obama, and George Will) will continue to argue that what's best for the US is to "stay the course."

More troops will die. More money on the defense industry will be spent. And people who argue that throwing blood and treasure down a black hole will be demonized -- just look at how Murtha's non-actions 25 years ago were trumped up by the cable news shows and WPNI. (I'd love to know who fed this story to the media, and the decision process that led editors to actually treat it seriously.)

Let's all remember today. DC is no different today than it was on 11/15/68. Everyone at that point knew Vietnam was lost, but tens of thousand of more Americans, and tens of thousands more Vietnamese, would need to die to satisfy the egos of the DC establishment so we could have "defeat with dignity."

It seems somehow appropriate that the same people in that establishment then (Broder, Kissinger, and Cheney are only the most well known) are the same people being treated seriously now.

And only in DC would having a "consistent" and "serious" world view be treated with respect, even if that world view led to disaster before and is leading to a disaster now.

Posted by: Choska | November 16, 2006 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Murtha deserves respect and kudos for making the Iraq fiasco a focus of discussion months ago. At the time, I wasn't even aware of Murtha's checkered (ABSCAM) past. Having learned that, I'm not at all disappointed at the result. Iraq wasn't the only stain on Bush's party -- corruption was up there, too. In that light, maybe Murtha's loss is a good thing. I agree also that this is mostly a "tempest in a teapot. Let's move on.

Posted by: rafe b | November 16, 2006 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Chris,
Watch what they do, not what they say(although I beleive what was said at the post caucasu press conference will reflect what they do). Hoyer deserved the win but Murtha would have been okay also. This House will stand or fall together and the Democratic Majority knows this.

Posted by: A Hardwick | November 16, 2006 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Sven,
I'm not sure why you think coming onto a blog that is specifically devoted to American politics and has absolutely no focus on international affairs is goint to talk about Kabila rather than what he is paid to cover.

Posted by: Chris | November 16, 2006 1:36 PM | Report abuse

See photo of Hoyer and Pelosi at http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/16/us/politics/16congcnd.html?hp&ex=1163739600&en=ff1c971279854b88&ei=5094&partner=homepage

Murtha looks PO'd but then he always does. Hoyer and Pelosi make a nice couple, don't they? According to the MSM Hoyer should be sticking a knife into her back with his right hand. Hmmm, wonder if all of this is a little overblown?

Lesson: never give a news-hungry MSM more information than they really need; they will invent controversy where it doesn't exist. The GOP set the bar for non-disclosure; Pelosi should hew to their example.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | November 16, 2006 1:31 PM | Report abuse

"this guy chris is another one of those reporters who think reporting on the race is more important than details and stances"

That's what the blog is ABOUT, friend.

Posted by: Venicemenace | November 16, 2006 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Actually, John, what it does prove is that the Dems are hardly monolithic. The only goose...I mean lock-steppers here are the House GOP. If the Dems are the party of "no agenda" and "everyone else," it's to a large extent because the GOP has pushed everyone else out.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 16, 2006 1:24 PM | Report abuse

this guy chris is another one of those reporters who think reporting on the race is more important than details and stances. yes, i would have liked to see murtha voted in as leader, but where i think the dems will show their metal is they start making the corporate media more accoutable to the public

Posted by: lamont | November 16, 2006 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Mr. Cillizza. This is a major blow to the esteemed Mme. Pelosi, especially so early in her career as the Speaker of the Congress.

I expect Mr. Hoyer will soon attempt to overthrow her and I am certain her grandchildren no longer wish to bounce on her knee.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has re-elected its president, but that is probably not something worthy of much attention in Washington.

Posted by: Sven in Stockholm | November 16, 2006 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I think shades of blue is a healthy alternative to blood red...

Posted by: James from Indy | November 16, 2006 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Oh, no doubt. Hoyer won because "the media" scared off Murtha's supporters. Suuuuure. Everyone knows that the WP can turn the House on a dime if wants to.

I used to think the right was chickensh!t for crying so much about the media. Now I realize the left is just as chickensh!t.

Posted by: Rick in Cincy | November 16, 2006 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I don't think this is a major blow to Pelosi. She took a stand with Murtha to show loyalty and support for his position on Iraq, knowing all the while that Hoyer would have the votes . She doesn't lose anything by doing this, and everyone (including the press) will move on quickly.

To all of you who are knocking the DC insiders: of course this is more important inside the Beltway than to the rest of the country. Regardless, the folks in Congress who are voting are INSIDE THE BELTWAY. You can bet that their staffers have been reading CCs blogs and assessing things on their own. If posters here think that this is obsessive, then spend your time reading something else.

(CR from VA, are you reading this?)

Posted by: GoBlue girl | November 16, 2006 1:19 PM | Report abuse

This proves that there really is a moderate wing of the Democratic Party that would like to escape from the leadership that has always belonged to the liberal left. The Democrats owe Pelosi, but watch for the moderates to gain real control, leaving the "leadership" to do what they always do - make irresponsible statements because the press gives them a free ride.

Posted by: Ed Pickett | November 16, 2006 1:16 PM | Report abuse

This is not a blow to Pelosi. She had to back Murtha because he so strongly backed her, but was there ever any doubt that Hoyer would win? Pelosi and Hoyer aren't exactly close and everyone on the Hill knows what was going on. She didn't lose anything, except in the spin machine, and it won't effect her ability to lead.

Posted by: Jamie | November 16, 2006 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Nice try Chris.Seeing evil when no evil exists.Pelosi wasn't born yesterday.She knew Hoyer had the votes.To imply she has created an adversary by backing Murtha ia asinine.Don't let your new found celebrity get you in trouble.

Posted by: jhickey | November 16, 2006 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Given that Pelosi most likely backed Murtha out of loyalty and that she's more closely aligned with Hoyer than Murtha on a lot of issues, I don't see how this is such a big loss for her. If Hoyer is dumb enough to take an adversarial stance with the Speaker right from the start, then he's too dumb to be Majority Leader.

Posted by: Claire | November 16, 2006 1:14 PM | Report abuse

"The most ethical congress in history"

Well maybe Nancy learned that Americans don't like people who think ethics are "crap" in positions of power when we're trying to have the most ethical congress in history.

Put away the left-wing bicker habit Nancy and let's all move to the center please...

Posted by: Long Beach Independent | November 16, 2006 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Thank God...Pelosi was a fool to take this gamble and it makes me question whether she is ready for primetime. Hoyer was head and shoulders above Murtha and it would have been foolish to even contest this. Pelosi ought to get some serious talking to from the committee chairmen who've been around long enough to know what true leadership is. Hopefully she learns from this and doesn't become an albatross...she was power mad and her wings got clipped. Now to a real new direction for America..not some petty and unnecessary distraction.

Posted by: Goodnew | November 16, 2006 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Much ado about nothing. I sometimes think you political hacks write this crap just to validate your existence. Major blow to Pelosi? She won majority leader by a unanimous vote!

Murth lost because of questionable ethics, there is no other reason but that. It is not evidence of a divided democratic house, or of dems selling out their base (absolutely ludicrous suggestion) - its evidence that dems want to get off to a clean start.

There was a day when independent thought and meaningful disagreements were appreciated because it helped America come to a more nuanced view of our society and world.

The Cizzla's of the world treat governing the country as if they were watching a college football game. "Ooh Pelosi is going to drop in the polls, and Murtha's out for the national championship". Thankfully, publications like the Washington Post are losing their grip on controlling what the public sees and hears.

Posted by: Dave | November 16, 2006 1:05 PM | Report abuse

The apple fell rather far from Tommy D'Alesandro's tree. This was a fight that never should have seen the light of day and, while I agree that there isn't an iota of interest outside of the bar at The Palm, Nancy needs to remember that the Caucus isn't just California.

Posted by: bioesq | November 16, 2006 1:03 PM | Report abuse

A serious and remarkable misstep for Pelosi. Why in the world would a newly annointed Majority Leader (who truly could lay claim to having "political capital") put her power and reputation at risk by sliding into the mud-wrestling ring? I can only guess that there's really bad blood between her and Hoyer, and this doesn't bode well for the Dems' ability to form and pursue a coherent agenda. No, no, Nancy!

Posted by: Captain Comity | November 16, 2006 1:02 PM | Report abuse

"I think Hoyer being chosen over Murtha has more to do with Murtha's scandalous past."

No, what it REALLY has to do with is the scum that is the DC press corps (including our host -- and bloggers like Josh Marshall) doing everything in their power to tarnish Murtha's reputation while ignoring the fact that Hoyer is a complete K-Street slimeball.

So, 26 years ago a relatively unsophisticated and inexperienced blue collar congressman TURNED DOWN a bribe from someone he thought was an Arab, but didn't want to offend this "Arab" by treating the bribe offer with contempt. He wouldn't have been the first American to think "that's how they do business in the Arab world" and I can certainly understand why Murtha might think "I better not offend him lest he decide not to provide investment and jobs in my rust-belt, blue-collar district."

Hoyer is a DC insider, and people like Cizzilla and Marshall and the rest of the DC press corps make their living sucking up to DC insiders. So they slimed Murtha, and scared off lots of potential Murtha supporters who realized that scum like Cizzilla would continue to slime Murtha (and the Party) if they didn't get their way.

Posted by: paul lukasiak | November 16, 2006 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if this wake-up call will remind Democrats that 80% of registered voters did not vote to put Democrats in power. So much for mandates.

Posted by: John | November 16, 2006 12:59 PM | Report abuse

To: George W. Bush

From:Congressional Democrats

Re: Iraq
-------------------------------
All that talk about getting out of Iraq? That was just the fringe element of our party. Take your good old time and let's win over there!

Posted by: Dusty | November 16, 2006 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I guess the right-wing snipers here will just have to content themselves with watching the bickering over the GOP MINORITY leadership posts.

Oh yeah--nobody cares!

Posted by: Anonymous | November 16, 2006 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Good grief!! Who cares. Everything isn't earth shattering or as important as you people imagine. We need a new way of speaking rather than everything being couched in terms such as "fighting for you in Washington;" "battle for the White House;" "a blow to Pelosi;" and other military/pro sports expressions. Most people in the US don't even know who these people are, much less what they do. Relax Chris.

Posted by: Russ in Miami | November 16, 2006 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Re: your "Remember this is the ultimate insider's game and not likely to have any political ramifications outside the Beltway." So why are you (and others) giving it the attention and words that elevate it such a big deal, and attaching this the Iraq solutions-debate to the win or loss? It is you all who are making it breathless for us, taking from the inside to the outside.

Posted by: sayitain'tso | November 16, 2006 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Remember what Bill Shakespeare said: "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!" Looks like Nancy's gonna have to get her ego in check, here. I hope she learns the lesson early while the stakes are (relatively)low.

Posted by: Dave | November 16, 2006 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I think everyone is jumping to conclusions. Pelosi knew Murtha would lose, but wanted to side publicly with his stance on the war. It was not a defeat, it was a very canny move on her part and Murtha and Hoyer both knew exactly what was going on. The real story? Republicans have picked a ticking time bomb in Trent Lott. He's bound to go off on someone or something and remind everyone why the party suffered a major defeat in the elections. Not one seat lost by a Democrat! All the headlines about Democratic trouble are being pushed by the Rove spin machine.

Posted by: Lev Raphael | November 16, 2006 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I am a lifelong Democrat, and I don't think there is any problem in this. Get over it. This is how politics works, and everyone inside the Democratic Party understands this. All 228 or so House Democrats understand this is how politics works. Murtha publicly supported Pelosi for Minority Leader, and she repaid the favor. Murtha (and Pelosi) lost, and now the Party moves on. They're all big boys, and it won't affect how Dems govern, which is what matters right now. Enough with the politics, and lets start worrying about governing. That's what everyone outside the Beltway cares about.

Posted by: Steve | November 16, 2006 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I don't think this undermines Murtha's call for troop reduction in Iraq. This was about ethics. The dem caucus probably made the right call. We owe Murtha our thanks for changing the center of political gravity about Iraq. But his ethics were a problem. And Pelosi will recover. They're not monolothic. Dems are not the Borg and Pelosi respects that.

http://intrepidliberaljournal.blogspot.com

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | November 16, 2006 12:47 PM | Report abuse

How long before Hoyer replaces Pelosi?

Posted by: Question | November 16, 2006 12:46 PM | Report abuse

One thing CC actually got right: this whole hubbub was about as inside baseball as it gets, and has very little ramification for anyone working outside of a 1/4-mile radius emanating from the south side of the Capitol, as well as perhaps K Street.

Whether a Speaker's strength is good or bad kinda depends on who they are and who you are. If you were a DeLay supporter, the installation of Hastert as Speaker was pretty much all you could ask for, wasn't it?

Adam Hammond nails the larger point. Better to be bickerers than lock-stop apparatchiks.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 16, 2006 12:45 PM | Report abuse

And so it begins. The predictable Democratic sellout of its base. You anti-war lefties can go back off the grid and resume your latte-sipping ways.

Even your so-called leaders won't support withdrawal from Iraq. Hell, they can't even say the word. They call it "redeployment."

Hee, hee, hee.

Triangulated again.

Posted by: Sam DeCurtins, Crawford, Tex. | November 16, 2006 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Not getting much attention here is new Majority Whip Jim Clyburn. Back when I lived in South Carolina, I remember pretty much congratulating a young black co-worker on Clyburn's win to the House. She said, "Yeah, it's nice, but I just wish he was a little smarter..." So we shall see.

Posted by: Gene | November 16, 2006 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Wow, right-wingers mainlining the spin provided by the so-called "liberal MSM." Will wonders never cease?

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | November 16, 2006 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Who cares if Hoyer is a pro-war, pro-business guy with a Republican wardrobe and an news anchor's demeanor? It's not as if he'll have the same power as Tom "The Hammer, the Exterminator" DeLay.

More interesting, perhaps, is the Republican battle between Mike Pence and John Boehner. They make Dick Armey look like Disraeli. Oh, Newt, my captain! What has happened to us?

Posted by: Amos Tinkle | November 16, 2006 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Way to go Pelosi! Everyone who voted democrats in, are dismayed that this woman already has put the dems at odds with each other. Does she have a brain?

Posted by: Dim | November 16, 2006 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I think Hoyer being chosen over Murtha has more to do with Murtha's scandalous past. That's not a comment on his present behavior, or his stance on the war. It's more a reflection of avoiding the compromising positions we've seen many politicians taking lately. If Pelosi wants the cleanest Congress in history, she will have to consider these things more carefully. Let's hope she doesn't let her position go to her head. A change would be good.

Posted by: Melange | November 16, 2006 12:33 PM | Report abuse

What a relief.

However I've lost most of the hope I had that there would be real draining of the swamp. I hope I'm wrong. It looks to me that the democrats don't get it and will be thrown out again in turn.

It was curious to see how uninformed and self-referential much of the bog world is. I hadn't spent much time in it before. They had created this heroic Murtha while anyone who reads the serious "MSM" has known for a long time that he is anything but.

One guy in the thread below even claimed that a vote for Murtha was a vote for accountability in Iraq- when he's the guy who blocked investigation of corruption in Iraq.

Too bad Hoyer isn't more inspiring.

Now for some ethics reform. How about starting with a lifetime ban on pols and staffers ever lobbying?

Posted by: bill | November 16, 2006 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Here are some questions, Chris: What does this indicate about Pelosi's relationship with the powerful new committee chairmen in the House? What does it say about Hoyer's ambtions? Does the vote say more about how the Democrats view Murtha or how they view Pelosi? Will Pelosi be as stubborn about accepting the reasons for defeat as Bush has been? And the worst question: Did Murtha know something about Pelosi that she didn't want anyone to know? I'm looking forward to your answers.

Posted by: Nancy Kirk | November 16, 2006 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I like this result. Frankly, I like the fact that the Dems are not a monolithic block. Their internal bickering helps reassure me that they are not capable of suppressing dirty secrets or otherwise uniting to work against the common good in the manner that the current house has demonstrated. Their fractuous nature also lends weight to the positions on which they unite. I just don't see this as a weakness in the ruling party.

Posted by: Adam Hammond | November 16, 2006 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Heck, I can just repost what I said earlier to treat this 'news' that surprises no one with the respect it deserves.

"Jack Murtha abducted by aliens after stabbing Nancy Pelosi to death with one of Harry Truman's 1951 signing pens! The end of Democracy as we know thanks to those evil Dems! Dogs sleeping with cats etc, etc.!!!!!!"

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | November 16, 2006 12:26 PM | Report abuse

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