The fate of Jack Murtha and Alcee Hastings will be early signs of how badly the war effort lost on Tuesday.
Speaker Pelosi’s Impending Intelligence Failure
…In the 109th Congress alone, Mr. Hastings voted consistently against key counterterrorism tools, including the Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act, the Intelligence and Law Enforcement Resolution, and the USA PATRIOT and Terrorism Prevention Reauthorization Act. He has been an opponent of the trial by military commissions of unlawful terrorist combatants as well as border control, NSA communications intercepts, and terrorist financing tracking measures.
The whole thing is here.
…Murtha, who is the ranking member of the House Appropriations subcommittee on Defense, also defended his decision to seek the leadership post, asserting that not only is the office an “open seat” in the new Congress, but arguing that he outranks Hoyer in the Caucus hierarchy.
“There’s Nancy Pelosi, [Appropriations Committee ranking member Rep.] Dave Obey (D-Wis.) and myself, and then Hoyer is listed after me in the power plays,” Murtha said on NPR.
That assertion bewildered at least one Democratic House lawmaker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity: “In my mind that shows a lack of understanding. I like Mr. Murtha but that’s not just the way it is.”
“There is real genuine concern that we don’t want to see a divisive leadership fight, just at the time that we’re seeing tremendous success and tremendous unity and harmony and good feelings in the Caucus,” the lawmaker added.
…The newbies did not join the Democrats in order to instill socialism, and some in the activist community may find these new members very trying indeed.
More on this thought in a must read by Tony Blankley:
…Mrs. Pelosi has already committed to the seniority system. A group of older (70-something) hardcore liberal men who have been waiting a long 12 years to regain the power snatched from their hands in 1994 will be very hard, or impossible to rein in. Unless they independently agree with the moderate strategy of the third-way Clintonites (Rahm Emanuel, Steny Hoyer, the Democratic Leadership Council, etc.) we should expect rough legislative and public image management challenges for Mrs. Pelosi.
And a closing thought, from Scott Johnson at Powerline, pithily describing a big election-day winner mentioned here yesterday:
In yesterday’s press conference, President Bush looked to his unpopular immigration reform proposals as “an issue where I believe we can find some common ground with the Democrats.” Working together, the president and a Democratic Congress might be able to finish off the Republican Party.