Welcome To The Majority
No, it's not the chicken and rice pilaf of fund raising dinners they are tasting, but the stinging words of columnists that are generally reserved for the majority folks in Congress.
Robert Novak's syndicated column takes on Pelosi, and her endorsement of John Murtha for Majority Leader in the House and what it's costing her. David Broder takes on the challenges facing Harry Reid, and why he may not be up to them.
While Pelosi is blowing political capital, a form of money that's seldom well spent, on supporting Murtha, she still has the advantage of being in charge of a body where a majority actually does rule. She'll lose a few folks on certain votes because of the back stabbing of Steny Hoyer, but will survive this episode.
Reid though, now has to play in a chamber where 60 votes are required to get anything done, and only has a 1 vote majority. Coupled with that, the one vote is an independent who disagrees with Reid on what the Democrats consider their most important item, Iraq.
Reid's job is made tougher by the fact that for the last few years he's been the chief obstructionist in the Senate, playing the 60 vote rule on ending debate for all it's worth. If he comes out and cries foul the first time it's done to him (which won't take long) the wolves will be on him like a wounded sheep.
While it's generally understood that you take the Minority Leaders and elevate them to the Majority posts when your party takes control of Congress, this might have been one time when the Democrats would have been better off elevating new leadership, especially in the Senate.
Reid's history as a bridge burner is going to make it tough for him to build any to the nine votes he'll need from the right to get anything significant through his chamber. With four years worth of sound bites and snide comments on record, he now has to convince the people he refused to budge with why they should help him out.
Pelosi's challenge is easier because of the size of her majority, but she'll still have to keep the blue dogs in her camp when it comes to the sizable spending initiatives on her agenda. She'll end up spending the month after today's vote for House leadership soothing bruised egos to get everyone lined up in her camp, time that could be better spent working on the actual agenda for the 110th Congress.
Welcome to the microscoped life that is the Majority leadership Harry and Nancy, the excuse that you are the minority is gone, now you have to figure out how to get things accomplished, with tons of pesky columnists writing about it all the time.
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