Tuesday, November 14, 2006

BEHIND THE SCENES... MORE OR LESS

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Johnnygunn over at Daily Kos has a great analysis of the Democratic victories last week across the country-- House races, Senate races, governorships and state legislative districts, "The Big Picture." If only there was no Rahm Emanuel we would have won so many more seats! The DCCC seriously underperformed the state legislative candidates. Nothing we can do about that now-- except learn from our mistakes. And that sure doesn't look likely, not with Rahm running around taking credit for winning candidates who he actively-- even viciously-- opposed. And claiming as "rightful places" in the Leadership positions for himself and Deputy Dog Hoyer. The Democratic caucus will fight that out for themselves behind closed doors-- more or less-- and there isn't much any of the rest of us can do about it. If Iraq is the important issue, it's pretty clear cut; Hoyer is a stay the course kind of Dem and Murtha is... well, a genuine hero. If supporting Pelosi is important to you... it's also clear cut: Murtha's her guy and will have her back. Hoyer can be expected to stab her in the back at every opportunity from time to time. He's part of the power-crazed Emanuel machine. Other than that... I don't know.

Hoyer has a moderate voting record, good on most of the important social issues, crappy when it comes to protecting consumers and workers against Big Business. Murtha, alas, has been lousy on most everything until he saw the light on Iraq. I'm not satisfied that either guy is what I'd want representing the "anti-corruption Democratic Party." Hoyer is more nightmare on K Street, a Democratic symbol, along with Rahm, of the kind of systemic corruption previously embodied by Tom DeLay, Jerry Lewis, John Boehner, Denny Hastert, Ney, et al. Murtha... is more of a  lone operator on that field. Not my cup of tea, but not many politicians are.

Just as I was about to put this piece to bed, a friend in Oregon sent me a note from ex-Congressman Les AuCoin-- a man of impeccable progressive credentials. Let me share them with you:
Hoyer and his aides have consistently worked to undercut Nancy Pelosi since she defeated him to become minority leader. Now Nancy is backing Jack Murtha over Hoyer, the current Democratic whip. Why would a shrewd operater like Nancy take such a risk before even being sworn in as speaker? Simple: She thinks Hoyer, as majority leader, will work as hard to cut her throat as to perform his duties.

I read the NYT hit piece on Murtha. Rap your fish in it. I was an outspoken defense liberal when I was in Congress and Murtha was a hawk. But we trusted each other and worked beautifully together. Jack is tolerant of opposing views and would take the same approach as majority leader.

I had a friendly relationship with Hoyer, too, but all you need to know about Steny's politics you'll find in David Sirota's book, Hostile Takeover: How Big Money & Corruption Captured Government--and How You Can take it Back. Better yet go to Sirota's blog. He's a K Street Democrat.

We don't need K Street Democrats as party leaders, we need progressive populists.

Them's my views.

Les AuCoin


Meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle, the Repugs are furiously battling over their (relatively meaningless) leadership too. In one corner are far right and hideously corrupt Boehner and Blunt and in the other corner is even further right-- hard to imagine, but true-- Pence and Shadegg, who are supposedly reformers and not as corrupt. They'll probably lose because the Republican caucus thinks they can keep the lobbyist gravy train running-- and if Rahm and Steny get into the Democratic Leadership, this could be the basis of real bipartisanship. All the crazy right wing bloggers (as well as much of the far right propaganda machine) are for Pence and Shadegg.

And meanwhile, the recounts are continuing. The Republicans' most blatant attempts to just outright steal seats were in FL-13, OH-02, OH-15, and, worst of all, NC-08. There are also battles going on in GA-08 and CT-02, where Democratic victories are being challenged. In Ohio Mary Jo Kilroy and Victoria Wulsin are far from conceding and are aggressively looking into vote tampering. The DCCC is all over the FL-13 race-- Jennings is, after all, a dependable Emanuel pawn and he needs her for his career aspirations. As Paul Kiel points out on TPM this one probably represents the Republicans at their absolute filthiest. "The fight will center around the district's Sarasota County, where the electronic machines did not register a vote in the Congressional race for 18,000 voters (13%) -- what's called an "undervote." That's compared to only 2.53% of voters who did not vote in the race via absentee ballots." Rahm's puppet is only down by 386 votes. From all I've read, this election should just be re-voted-- without Diebold's participation. A court challenge is definitely in the works.

Over of the Senate side, the Democrats has a smooth leadership session and no waves were made, at least not publicly. The anticipated committee assignments-- which will get discussed with the Repugs once their messy leadership battle is over-- look something like this:

Agriculture       
CHAIR:  Harkin
Leahy
Conrad
Baucus
Lincoln
Stabenow
Nelson (Ne)
Salazar
Brown
Casey
Klobuchar

Appropriations
CHAIR:  Byrd
Inouye
Leahy
Harkin
Mikulski
Kohl
Murray
Dorgan
Feinstein
Durbin
Johnson
Landrieu
Reed
Lautenberg
Nelson (Ne)

Armed Services
CHAIR:  Levin
Kennedy
Byrd
Lieberman
Reed
Akaka
Nelson (Fl)
Nelson (Ne)
Bayh
Clinton
Pryor
Webb
McCaskill

Banking
CHAIR:  Dodd
Johnson
Reed
Schumer
Bayh
Carper
Menendez
Akaka
Brown
Casey
Tester

Commerce
CHAIR:  Inouye
Rockefeller
Kerry
Dorgan
Boxer
Nelson (Fl)
Cantwell
Lautenberg
Pryor
Carper
McCaskill
Klobuchar


Energy
CHAIR:  Bingaman
Akaka
Dorgan
Wyden
Johnson
Landrieu
Cantwell
Salazar
Menendez
Lincoln
Sanders
Tester

Environment Public Works
CHAIR:  Boxer
Baucus
Lieberman
Carper
Clinton
Lautenberg
Cardin
Sanders
Klobuchar
Whitehouse

Finance
CHAIR:  Baucus
Rockefeller
Conrad
Bingaman
Kerry
Lincoln
Wyden
Schumer
Stabenow
Cantwell
Salazar

Foreign Relations
CHAIR:  Biden
Dodd
Kerry
Feingold
Boxer
Nelson (Fl)
Obama
Menendez
Cardin
Casey
Webb

HELP (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions)
CHAIR:  Kennedy
Dodd
Harkin
Mikulski
Bingaman
Murray
Reed
Clinton
Obama
Sanders
Brown

Homeland and Government Affairs
CHAIR:  Lieberman
Levin
Akaka
Carper
Pryor
Landrieu
Obama
McCaskill
Tester

Judiciary
CHAIR:  Leahy
Kennedy
Biden
Kohl
Feinstein
Feingold
Schumer
Durbin
Cardin
Whitehouse

Intelligence
CHAIR:  Rockefeller
Levin
Feinstein
Wyden
Bayh
Mikulski
Feingold
Whitehouse

Budget
CHAIR:  Conrad
Murray
Wyden
Feingold
Johnson
Byrd
Nelson (Fl)
Stabenow
Menendez
Cardin
Sanders
Whitehouse

Aging
CHAIR:  Kohl
Wyden
Lincoln
Bayh
Carper
Nelson (Fl)
Clinton
Salazar
Casey
McCaskill
Whitehouse

Veterans
CHAIR:  Akaka
Rockefeller
Murray
Obama
Sanders
Brown
Webb
Tester

Small Business
CHAIR:  Kerry
Levin
Harkin
Lieberman
Landrieu
Cantwell
Bayh
Pryor
Cardin
Tester

Rules
CHAIR:  Feinstein
Dodd
Byrd
Inouye
Schumer
Durbin
Nelson (Ne)
Dorgan
Murray
Pryor

Joint Economic
CHAIR:  Schumer
Kennedy
Bingaman
Klobuchar
Casey
Webb

Indian Affairs
CHAIR:  Dorgan
Inouye
Conrad
Akaka
Johnson
Cantwell
McCaskill
Tester

3 Comments:

At 7:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the list of committee assignments, Howie...

in most cases I was "holy chit! dream team!!!" ... but then I saw stuff like Lieberman in charge of "Homeland Security"....

One can only hope that Reid directs key legislation to the right committees....

 
At 11:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to second that thanks for the new list. Compared to the last crew it is dreamy indeed. Especially that "Tester" (hehe) on energy, yes!
Landreiu and Pryor are clinging to Lieberman, or is he clinging to them.
DWT is really off to a wonderful post election game!

-eureka springs-

 
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