Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hoyer Singing Republican Party Talking Points, But Waxman Kicks Dingell's Ass Anyway... As Blue Dogs Howl In The Wind


Poor Nancy

It was a secret ballot yesterday and it was a secret ballot today, so I guess we'll never know, but I'd put money down that Hoyer voted for Dingell over Waxman at the Steering Committee meeting and again today at the full caucus. (Waxman won 137-122.) Hoyer's not a Blue Dog; he just plays one on the national stage. His role as Majority Leader puts the lie to the sop that the Democrats are a progressive party.

I just thought of Hoyer as another corrupt hack before the Democrats won back a House majority in 2006 when his office asked me to interview him, pleased that I was not jumping on the Murtha bandwagon like most progressive bloggers, grateful for Murtha's sudden stand against Bush's war policies. My memory of Murtha's shocking and career-long reactionary politics and unabashed Republican-like corruption wasn't going away just because he finally was taking a stand against Bush on something he had been actively collaborating on. Anyway, Hoyer's people didn't care that I had equally negative feelings about Hoyer, just as long as I bashed up Murtha and agreed not to call Hoyer a "shill" while I was on the phone with him. On the phone, I found out that Hoyer, much like Lieberman, was once an idealistic young progressive who actually believed in and fought for the values that have attracted people to the Democratic Party... despite the fact that power is in the hands of people like Hoyer and Emanuel.

Today, long after the idealism has been dead and buried for decades, Hoyer seems to see himself as a brake on the aspirations of working families. He seems to have assigned himself the role of "adult" who keeps the idealists in check and spinning their wheels so they can't do anything harmful. He can always be counted on to internalize GOP talking points and then spout them out again to anyone who will listen. Tuesday they were listening at the National Press Club. He said the lame duck session of Congress might extend into December so that the automobile industry problems could be worked on. Nice of him. Congress Daily:
"We do believe dealing with the automakers is a pressing need." In his speech, Hoyer warned the liberal wing of his party about the need to govern from the middle if Democrats want to build a lasting majority. He said that the party's majority status was possible because Democrats convinced independent voters that the party can govern responsibly during times of crisis. "For the first time in decades, we are a true national majority party, and if we want to stay that way, we must govern like one," he said." The 33 new members coming to town "are pragmatic, not dogmatic. They were elected on promises of bipartisanship and fiscal discipline. They were elected, quite simply, to solve problems, not further politicize Washington."

Well, who's going to stand up and say, "Hey gramps, I was elected instead of a right-wing jackass to solve real problems that are the result of policies shoved down our throats by right-wing jackasses... and their enablers from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party, like yourself?" No one. And who, after all, isn't pragmatic?

Sure a boatload of corporate hacks and Hoyer-like shills were elected to Congress but, thanks largely to the Democratic grassroots, so were real progressives like Alan Grayson (FL), Tom Perriello (VA), Jared Polis (CO), Mark Schauer (MI), Eric Massa (NY), Donna Edwards (MD), Jim Himes (CT), Larry Kissell (NC), Gary Peters (MI), Martin Heinrich (NM), Dan Maffei (NY). I've talked to each of them and they are all "pragmatic." They all want to get things accomplished. And they are all dedicated to furthering the interests of working families above and beyond the corporate interests Steny Hoyer slowly but surely became a captive of.

[UPDATE: Did Obama's team help Waxman stick it to the Blue Dogs?]

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