Hoyer Beats Murtha for House Majority Leader

It's over. Steny Hoyer will be the House Majority leader.

Hoyer was elected on a vote of 149-86.

The AP is reporting it as a snub to Nancy Pelosi.

Update: Arianna weighs in.

don't shed any tears for Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi. Even though her guy lost, this was still a big win for her. A victory for taking a stand -- and for her leadership. Because that's what real leaders do, they take stands. They listen to their hearts and follow their gut. If you only jump into the fights you're sure you can win -- notches in the W column that will look good on your political resume -- you're a hack, not someone who can move the party and the country forward. It's not about trying to have a spotless record; it's about knowing which battles are worth fighting, whatever the outcome.

It bodes well for Pelosi that was willing to spend her political capital right off the bat -- especially on the issue that will define her time at the helm. Far too many modern politicians save their political capital until it's lost all its value.


< "Seriousness" on Iraq | Anguish and Applause at Sing Sing >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Nancy smiles (2.00 / 1) (#17)
    by JohnLopresti on Thu Nov 16, 2006 at 04:58:06 PM EST
    I thought the nomination of Murtha layered.  But the primary effect was to challenge the conservatives to aggregate strength to elect Murtha.  Nancy gave the conservatives the chance and they could not muster enough folks; net result, shift centerward.

    With the drone of war and the social regression agenda of Reagan, Gingrich, Bush-I, then the neoCon presidency of Bush-II, the void from Gephardt was a classic fork in leadership's road, an opportunity which the fairly moderate herself Pelosi welcomed.  Being a scion of East Coast Baltimore elbowing pols, Nancy knew six years of ardor might bear fruit, if only she could fundraise and network enough to turn the classic tide of midterm second term 'rebuke'.  It would be a chore worthy of a party organization expert.  After East Coast upbringing in a politico family, she entered the tutelage of the equivalent in Northern CA in a time before the social revolution meant much here; simply a time when solid liberal politics was a given because most of us started as liberals.

    As it turned out, her tastes and sensibilities proved more independent than liberal, and definitely unconservative; albeit, in our times, the folks who want to preserve, for example, healthy waterways, old stand forests, wilderness, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, are more likely to be of an independent or even beyond liberal frame of reference rather than your stevedore productionline childlaborshielding liberal of yore; and though Dems want to save such things, the 'saving' in the modern lexicon of politics for some Orwellianly perverse reason is not labeled 'conservativism'.  It is called other things, though.

    Nancy is far from outlandishly liberal; is fair; gave the right in the Democratic Party their prize candidate, although admittedly Murtha was from the right's perspective flawed for the antiwar epiphany; actually even that withdrawal moment was far from dovenikism on Murtha's part; rather, it was a practical realization given the neoCon hold on two branches of government, words spoken by a person who as a youth had offered to defend his country.  Pardon the virtual image of pathos.  It is to say, simply, Murtha was flawed for the right for his having capitulated to the reasonable expectation that if the military was engaged on the executive's behalf and funded by congress for the American people, it should be well managed; and seeing it was far from fairly managed, it would be better to alter the course.

    So while the ship of state was drifting sideways, to borrow the sad statement about Iraq spoken by a Republican recently, Murtha was forthright enough to call for the House to develop a more mature foreign policy than the administration which was still on the NeoCon bandwagon.

    Nancy can lead.  And she is smart.  Steny will be the strongest second.  Be glad the margin of Hoyer's success was so wide, yet, recognize that Murtha likely feels appreciated, as his was a substantial share of the votes.  I am sure he will regard this showing as a feather in his cap when he retires.

    I appreciate Jeralyn's bringing the news free of the frills.

    OT: re: US v Libby; info re Addington.  Jeralyn, your new website platform purges Trolls; at TheNextHurrah there is that feature but it is convoluted for the site managers, and Rovian hordes have descended with ad mulierems and nonsense.  Consider this post by a stalwart whose webname is Jeff, offering to discuss the recent Libby filing's mention of the utility of the NIE; ordinarily ew would write a diary about some material like that; but, with the bookwriting, and the necessary research on dK, ew has little time to visit the homewebsite which ew helped found last year.  And I think the trollism has made that site less appealing, and the dialog more irrational and less friendly; definitely hostile to the kind of vibrant humor ew brings to discussion.  Maybe you could email with 'Jeff' if you think he has new documents or insights.  That is actually why I checked in here, with your historical interest in that confluence of cases; but, the handwringing over Pelosi's assertiveness has a specious quality, so I took a moment to participate here in a timely way regarding the Hoyer news today.  Regards, J

    It does not matter (1.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Nov 16, 2006 at 11:18:40 AM EST
    how it is reported.

    This is not a big story.

    It never mattered as much as anyone thought.

    I was annoyed by the smear campaign against Murtha. I hope that Hoyer can patch this up.

    Wrong again (none / 0) (#2)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Nov 16, 2006 at 11:59:10 AM EST
    Big Tent - Wrong again. Pelosi endorsed Murtha. She got her head handed to her.

    A Speaker who can't get her "man" as Majority Leader is a Speaker who will get nothing done.

    And be annoyed if you like. Murtha did what he did, and what the WHOLE video tape shows he did.

    A speaker who will get nothing (none / 0) (#3)
    by aw on Thu Nov 16, 2006 at 12:12:58 PM EST
    Wishful thinking, maybe, on your part.  She's achieved a lot and she's just getting started.  

    Pelosi (none / 0) (#4)
    by Peaches on Thu Nov 16, 2006 at 12:26:07 PM EST
    I remain hopeful that Pelosi will accomplish some things. But, my skeptical side says she worries she is as corrupt as the other side.

    It appears she made a mistake in endorsing Murtha and that's not a good first step.

    We all make mistakes, and if we are... (none / 0) (#7)
    by Bill Arnett on Thu Nov 16, 2006 at 12:36:12 PM EST
    ...wise enough to appreciate where we went wrong, or how someone else's plan might just have been a better plan, it provides us with an opportunity to learn from a defeat and make us grow both stronger and smarter.

    I wouldn't write off Speaker Pelosi yet. I wish we had many, many more women in government as more compassion and understanding is sorely needed.

    Mornin', Peaches, aw, and Jim. Hope you all have a good day.


    Hi, Bill (none / 0) (#9)
    by aw on Thu Nov 16, 2006 at 12:41:59 PM EST
    Thanks for all your support for women.  I surely appreciate it.

    Ellsworth (none / 0) (#5)
    by Slado on Thu Nov 16, 2006 at 12:33:17 PM EST
    I know the "democrat" who won in southern Indiana voted for Hoyer because he knows that his hold on the house seat depends on him staying in the center.


    Not supporting a Pelosi liberal agenda.

    From your link (none / 0) (#8)
    by aw on Thu Nov 16, 2006 at 12:38:15 PM EST
    Hoyer campaigned for Ellsworth and visited Evansville.

    During the campaign, the national GOP's campaign committee and Rep. John Hostettler suggested that Ellsworth, if elected, would be beholden to Pelosi and her "liberal agenda."

    Is it comprehension problem or just dishonesty?


    Good sense (none / 0) (#6)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Nov 16, 2006 at 12:35:12 PM EST

    The House Dems had the good sense not to do a Trent Lott.  The Repubs lost the vote.  OTOH, they still have a chance with Hastings.

    it's simple (none / 0) (#10)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Nov 16, 2006 at 01:04:03 PM EST
    Hoyer is  more where the mainstream of where the party is. Pelosi  made an error in judgment.

    I disagree (none / 0) (#12)
    by aw on Thu Nov 16, 2006 at 01:14:25 PM EST
    I don't believe that's true.  Hoyer is more like where the mainstream of Republicans are, with his bragging about his own K-street project and with his support for the Iraq war. On other issues, he's okay.  But, I wish somebody more honest would have run and won.

    I wasn't playing fair; i admit it. (none / 0) (#13)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Nov 16, 2006 at 01:27:47 PM EST
    I actually read the article and paraphrased this to set you up:

    "Steny was more where the mainstream of where the party was," said Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank, who will become chairman of the House Financial Services Committee."

    Of Pelosi's endorsement of Murtha, Frank said, "She's a very smart woman who made an error in judgment."


    Well (none / 0) (#14)
    by aw on Thu Nov 16, 2006 at 01:32:13 PM EST
    You know the voters are the party, too.  That's who I was referring to.  The ones who actually rejected the war and the corruption.

    Ah, the usual suspects ... (none / 0) (#11)
    by Sailor on Thu Nov 16, 2006 at 01:10:32 PM EST
    slado and ppj telling folks they call traitors and unpatriotic how they should conduct their business. Thank god they're in an ever increasing minority. The dems ignored every bit of advice from them and their ilk and won the elcetion and the house and the senate.

    Not one single dem incumbent lost in a national race. My advice for the dems is to listen to everything ppk and slado say ... and then do the opposite.

    Is it comprehension problem or just dishonesty?
    They aren't mutually exclusive;-) BTW, Hoyer contributed quite a bit to Ellsworth's campaign, appeared with him and supported him. He chose to dance with the one that brung him. That's called loyalty.

    Wrong as usual (none / 0) (#15)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Nov 16, 2006 at 01:51:12 PM EST
    Sailor - Can you get nothing right? I never told Pelosi what to do.

    What I said was that Pelosi made a big mistake. Now, if you deny that, fine. But the reality is that she did.


    What's the threshhold? (4.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Repack Rider on Thu Nov 16, 2006 at 09:07:31 PM EST
    Pelosi made a big mistake

    On a scale of invading a sovereign nation that posed no threat to us, pinning down our military for years while they and their equipment are ground to rags, and borrowing $300 billion from the Red Chinese to pay for it, how big a "mistake" was it?

    On a scale of spending the afternoon of one of our biggest natural disasters shopping for thousand dollar shoes, how big a mistake was it?

    On a scale of lying about the tenure of Donald Rumsfeld and sacrificing any chance of his party doing well in an election, how big a mistake was it?


    guys (none / 0) (#16)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Nov 16, 2006 at 01:58:38 PM EST
      Murtha lost 149-86. I don't think ellsworth much matters in light of such a landslide.

      Different ways ays of looking at it:

     It was a a direct slap and  strong message at the starting gate  to Pelosi from the majority of the caucus that she better lead as a centrist.

      It was a clever and perfectly concealed exercise in reverse psychology using Murtha as a sacrificial lamb and he agreed to run and get slaughtered to give the House Democrats an immediate chance to demonstrates the  essential moderatism that prevails.

       Murtha's  outsized ego placed Pelosi in a no-win situation because by persisting when he was  a landslide loser he forced her into either taking it on the chin to bolster her image for loyalty and strength  or being criticized for being manipulative and too eager to forget her friends when its expedient.

      That Murtha did not bow out when the vote was so one sided that it cannot possibly have been thought he would win (one thing politicians are good at is counting votes) is a sign of something for sure.



    i'm not so sure.......... (none / 0) (#18)
    by cpinva on Thu Nov 16, 2006 at 04:59:31 PM EST
    it's a "slap in the face" to pelosi. she's done her bit for loyalty, it's done and over. time now to get on to substantive issues. murtha was a loss-leader to begin with, way too much negative baggage attached to him, far more than hoyer. this is one less bit of ammo for the repubs to go after.

    sen. pelosi's been around for a while, she's a mother & grandmother, she isn't going to let this set her back. as well, she has the support of women, a much needed democratic constituency. dems aren't going to risk offending them, by not giving pelosi a fair chance to succeed, it would be political suicide.

    Only in Jim's world is this a big deal (none / 0) (#19)
    by Kitt on Thu Nov 16, 2006 at 05:30:33 PM EST
    It's over - Hoyer was elected by the secret ballot. It isn't a big deal in the overall scheme of things. It's time to get down to business.

    I think the Democrats should ignore the media, who seem hellbent on projecting this as some major schism.

    Case in point (none / 0) (#21)
    by Kitt on Thu Nov 16, 2006 at 07:15:34 PM EST
    Typical spin from the media: Pelosi Splits Democrats With Push For Murtha
    Speaker-to-Be Accused Of Strong-Arm Tactics

    The previous headline read: Democrats split unites Republicans.


    Has anyone considered,,,,, (none / 0) (#20)
    by kdog on Thu Nov 16, 2006 at 05:55:24 PM EST
    The war lobby feared giving Murtha more power, lest that lead to a withdrawal from their profit-center in Iraq, put the screws to their bought-off reps, hence Moyer wins?

    Pelosi mis-fired (none / 0) (#23)
    by NYBlue on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 12:14:57 PM EST
    Pelosi should not have made this her first fight unless she KNEW she had the votes.  Her job is to lead the Democrats and help the party put up a united front -- this means being able to count and anticipate media responses.  This vote served to show that she needs to count votes a little better before putting her neck on the line.  Nothing good comes out of this loss for Pelosi or party unity.

    I still don't understand why Pelosi (i) could not have picked somebody without an Abscam cloud for majority leader and (ii) may be putting an impeached and convicted judge (by the Democratic Congress!) in charge of the intelligence committee.  She talked about running the cleanest House and her judge of character is not passing the smell test on Main Street.  The election exit polls showed, even more than dealing with Iraq, America wanted corruption out of the House and Pelosi seems to want to bring out the few people who have corruption clouds over them and shine the spotlight.  Hopefully she can shift her focus to "governing" and move on.  Hopefully this waste of effot can be forgotten.