UPDATE: The pro-Murtha lobby is reminding me that Murtha now claims that he didn't say that Pelosi's ethics reform package was "total crap," rather he claims he said "it's total crap, the idea we have to deal with an issue like this [i.e., ethics]." Yeah, that's nice. That "total crap" issue is the one we just won an election on because we said it was the number one issue in Washington. Yes, Murtha looks much less the jackass now. I stand corrected.
Check out those faces. Rahm looks like the cat who ate the canary, Nancy looks like she's saying between clenched teeth "get your hand off of me," Steny looks like he's giving Nancy bruises, and Murtha looks like someone just secretly videotaped him postponing a bribe from Arab sheiks.
So Steny Hoyer from Maryland is the new House Majority Leader and, well, we're relieved. We couldn't stand Murtha. It was Pelosi's call, and we were going to support whomever she chose (and as a result, we intentionally laid low the past few days pending the vote), but I can't say we're not pleased that Murtha lost. The guy is trouble. Saying yesterday that Pelosi's ethics reform package is "total crap"? That kind of hot-head, shoot from the lip, talk is downright quaint when he's the lone guy taking on Bush's failed Iraq policy, but as the Majority Leader in the House, on every other kind of issue, let alone ethics, it's cocky and creepy.
For Pelosi's sake, I wanted Murtha to win. He's a great counter-balance on paper - the war-hero war-hawk vs. the lady from San Francisco - but in reality, he's just too conservative, too little a team player, and in terms of the ethics issues raised about the guy, he doesn't exactly exude Mr. Clean. In the end, if Steny is willing to play nicely with Nancy, and vice versa, I think they'll make a great team.
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