Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott, ousted from the top Senate Republican leadership job four years ago because of remarks considered racially insensitive, won election to the No. 2 post Wednesday for the minority GOP in the next Congress.
Lott, who was pressured to step down from the Senate’s top spot more than four years ago, returned to the center of power by nosing out Sen. Lamar Alexander, who had made an 18-month bid for the post.
Good job, GOP! You’re doing just fine in the “who’s going to look like an idiot next?” game kicked off by Nancy Pelosi:
For years Murtha has relied on the Abscam bottom line to argue that the case is not a problem for him: He wasn’t indicted. But he was named a co-conspirator in the bribery scheme. The feckless House ethics committee didn’t take action against him, though the outside investigator it hired quit in disgust after the panel rejected his recommendation to file misconduct charges.
“I am the guy that didn’t take the money,” Murtha said this summer when his opponent raised the issue.
Yes, but: He’s the guy who, brought into the deal by two other House members — Frank Thompson (D-N.J.) and John Murphy (D-N.Y.) — agreed to meet with men offering money in return for official action. He’s the guy who knew these two colleagues expected a payoff and even vouched for them with the would-be bribers (“Both of them are solid.”).
I’d count that as Dems = 1 and Reps = 1. Let’s score a few more, k?
How about Mel Martinez’s elevation to the RNC chair? I think the GOP gets two points here — one for ticking off the “boil those illegal aliens in oil” crowd, and another for his involvement in the Terry Schiavo fiasco. I’m going to deduct a point, though, since I don’t actually think anybody outta be firing up their kettles, anyway.
Dems = 1, Reps = 2
But I’m not actually done with Pelosi, who’s shaping up as a real point-scorer before the game’s fully underway. Back to Murtha:
Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), a Murtha supporter, said Monday night that Pelosi is playing for keeps.
“She will ensure that they [the Murtha camp] wins. This is hardball politics … We are entering an era where when the Speaker instructs you what to do, you do it,” he said. “Yes, she’s making calls to people. She is contacting people and letting them know that it’s an unequivocal letter.”
Can’t you just feel the love? The spirit of cooperation? I got such a warm feeling when I read that. You?
Dems 2, Reps = 2
And how about Alcee?
With Rep. Alcee Hastings a frontrunner to be House Intelligence Committee chairman, he’s already facing unpleasant publicity stemming from his involvement in a corruption case years ago.
The Florida Democrat, a former federal district judge, was acquitted of conspiring to solicit a bribe from criminal defendants in 1982. But after a jury found attorney William Borders guilty of being his co-conspirator, Hastings was impeached and removed from the federal bench by Congress in 1989.
Hastings then won a seat in the House of Representatives. Borders, who refused to testify against him in the bribery case, went to prison and won a pardon from President Clinton in 2001.
Folks, if Alcee Hastings gets to chair that committee, I’m thinkin’ that’s a three-pointer… but we’re in a time-out on that, so I’ll let it stand at a tie: 2 to 2.
Now — before y’all start pouncin’ on me like a ball of yarn, I want to add something. It’s beyond me, at this point, how we can expect anything different. Up there in that ole boy – ole girl system, one might have expected that Steny Hoyer would have waltzed right into the majority leader slot. Perhaps he’s better than Murtha?
Umm… maybe. At the very least, his K-Street dreams would qualify him for a point here.
Truth is, there are no winning scenarios here; everybody’s got a trunk of junk. The game is rigged, because there are no eligible players. Pretty sad, eh?
Can you say “term limits”?
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Others disgustedly blogging from various vantage points:
Michael Stickings at TMV
Nick Anderson (and all his ever-angry commenters)
GTL — who wonders whether Pelolsi’s really the best choice for Speaker:
It almost makes me wonder if the Congresslady from California views the House Speaker position as nothing more than an appointment as treasurer over that huge bag of money owned and grown by we, the American Taxpayers?
If so, OUT WITH HER before she causes more irreparable harm to this great Democratic Republic than the Republicans (God Bless their ouster, by the way) ever dreamt of causing.