Loyalty, Yeah, That's It.
Could it be a pretext to bigger rifts in the Democratic party when some legislation comes up in the next two years? Maybe, but I doubt it. Murtha put his own foot in over ABSCAM and the ethics rules in the last week. While they say they hate it, democrats listen to conservative talk radio, and read things like the WSJ editorial page and realized that while Jack may have been, as Pelosi put it, the best chance to end the War in Iraq, he was the worst choice for the post.
Democrats elected in traditionally conservative districts knew by yesterday that Murtha's past, and his current mouth, were going to end up being a bigger problem than a loss on one leadership vote for Pelosi. They didn't want him hanging as baggage around their neck for the next couple of years.
The other group, and larger one, though should bother Murtha. They are the life long blueblood democrats, who despise him simply because of his support for the military in the past. Yes, they understand why he was brought to the forefront as the party's military expert to bitch about Iraq, but they'd like him to go away now. With the Democrats election victory, that group sees no use in keeping Murtha in the spotlight, the old war horse can now be put back in the stable.
Hoyer and the others voted into leadership positions, on the other hand, should watch their backs. No matter how much nice nice was made for the cameras after the votes yesterday, they have to understand how quick a fairly successful person will be jettisoned by the new Speaker.
Political expediency is obviously the word of the day in the new majority. Murtha was picked to end the war quickly. When the next big subject comes up, and Pelosi feels someone is better equipped will she stab Hoyer, or Emanuel, or one of the others in the back to get her person into a post? Only time will tell, but if I were in a leadership position in the House, I'd always be wondering about who's being lined up to replace me.
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