Thursday, December 04, 2008

Who Should Take Over House Ways And Means? Let's Make Sure We Poll All GOP Interests And Make Sure It's Not Some Dirty Damn Liberal


Who better to take over?

I've always been a firm believer that public servants who abuse the power of their office for their own benefit should be severely dealt with, regardless of political party. Whether it's Duke Cunningham, Bob Ney, Mark Foley, Tom Delay, Jerry Lewis, Virgil Goode, Katherine Harris or Dick Cheney, politicians who commit crimes should get the book thrown at them. And, needless to say, that includes Democrats. Last week we tried to demonstrate that in the case of Charlie Rangel, although, I'm afraid, it went over the head of DWT's Mormon stalker (in comments). Pressure is mounting on Pelosi to make him give up his chair on the House Ways and Means Committee, considering that it was the abuse of that position that may have allowed him to commit a serious of serious offenses.

To understand how strong that pressure is, forget the parry-and-thrust between Rangel and the NY Times and instead consider that yesterday's CongressDaily featured a long post on the ins and outs of finding the right successor for Rangel. Do you recall any of the Inside the Beltway types viewing a Republican appointee to any job thru the lenses of how that person might be accepted by working families or by organized labor? Or did I miss the issue where CongressDaily suggested that Elaine Chao might be the world's absolute worst Labor Secretary because she loathes working people and doesn't recognize their aspirations as legitimate or worthy of her attention?

Did anyone ever question whether one of Congress' biggest corporate shills on environmental issues, Dirty Dick Pombo, would be unqualified to be Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee because he was unanimously loathed by every single environmental group in the country? And what about that issue of CongressDaily-- or any other daily-- that pointed out that maybe Joe Barton (R-TX) shouldn't be chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce because the $1,315,660 in legalized reported bribes he's taken from Big Oil over the years is far more than any other member of the House, more even than notorious Big Oil puppets like Don Young (R-AK- $964,763), Steve Pearce (R-NM- $804,815), Tom Delay (R-TX- $688,840), and Pete Sessions (R-TX- $582,264), and that all the green energy groups feel that Barton is an integral part of the energy problem in our country and decidedly not part of the solution? No, I must have missed it too.

But yesterday CongressDaily was dismissing Democrats on the Ways and Means Committee in line to follow Rangel-- should he decide to... spend more time with his family or need to spend more time in the court system-- because they are-- Heaven Forbid!-- too liberal. Or too intellectual. Or not in the pocket of Big Business lobbyists. And That Will Not Due in Companytown, DC.
Next in seniority to Rangel is Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Fortney (Pete) Stark, D-Calif., who is given virtually no chance. "The conventional wisdom is he would have a tough time getting elected chairman," said a Democrat close to leadership. From suggesting Republicans were sending troops to Iraq to die "for the president's amusement" to referring to a former GOP lawmaker as a "little fruitcake," Stark is prone to gaffes, sources said. "The guy behind [Rangel] is just not tenable. Republicans would have a field day," an industry lobbyist said, while noting the business community would "go nuclear. It would just be open warfare." A more viable pick might be Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Chairman Sander Levin, D-Mich., who is next in seniority, although sources cautioned the cerebral Levin may be too deliberate for the high-profile job. Levin also appears to relish his duties at the helm of the trade panel. He is also seen as very much in tune with the labor movement, although industry sources said Levin was someone they could work with, as opposed to Stark. Also, the Democratic Caucus still largely respects the seniority system, the Democratic strategist said. "If you make the decision that Stark is too out there, then I don't see how you go over Sandy," he said. "He's been a loyal member, and nobody would doubt he's got the intellectual and legislative expertise for the job."

Next is Income Security and Family Support Subcommittee Chairman Jim McDermott, D-Wash., who is seen as a bit more of a pragmatist than Stark but still in the too-liberal category. He also is a highly partisan figure, and sources said there was generally little reason to reach down the seniority list to tap McDermott.

Maybe Republican interests and DC lobbyists would be more approving if Pelosi brought William Jefferson (D-LA) back on the committee and made him chairman. He's so much more cooperative and easier to... easier to... well, just easier. Like Rangel.


Republicans were gleeful when the Bush Regime proceeded to act as though they had won a landslide-- or even an election. Now they're not able to grasp that victorious Democrats might put progressive ideas and the advocates of those ideas into play. And it's not just Pete Stark and Jim McDermott that Inside-the-Beltway reactionaries and profiteers are bemoaning. D-Day has a great analysis of how arch-wingnuts like the little neo-fascists at the American Enterprise Institute are trying to force Obama to pick someone else other than Xavier Becerra as U.S. Trade Representative. Let's see how long it takes him to buckle on this one. Maybe he should steel his nerves by watching this short clip of Barbara Boxer explaining electoral consequences to reactionary kook James Inhofe.

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At 9:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mulatto? The children of slaves? I'm so pleased that you're "satisfied".

Welcome to the 19th century, you moron.


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