Monday, November 13, 2006

Good Reading in the Republic

Generally we were sour on the election coverage this year in the major newspapers. However, we must give credit to Robert Robb's post election dissection in the Republic.

Astute analysis remarkably free on the anecdoctal "Many believe. . ." that has become so popular among journalists. Should be required reading for those looking for the lessons and trends of the past election.

Of course I would credit Robb's secondary job as a blogger for being responsible for his superior journalism.


sirocco said...

Good article -- I certainly agree with him about CD5 and CD8 both "being in play".

The 2008 election is important for both Mitchell and Giffords. If they can manage to win that one, then they "establish" themselves as incumbants and, based on AZ electoral history, will become very hard to unseat barring some very large-scale meltdown.

Framer said...

The unfortunate part for Giffords and Mitchell is a lot more depends upon how the Democratic House as a whole acts in the next two years rather than their individual record, making the result largely out of their control.

Should Pelosi overreach, these two will bear the brunt of it, perhaps even if they vote against some of the more unpalatable issues for district Republicans and moderates.

If, however, the conservative Democrats hold more sway, this could be beneficial for their chances in 2008.

First up, Hoyer vs. Murtha.

Curious as to who my Democratic friends think Gabby should vote for, and who she will vote for. Tough decision for her. You don't want to move against Pelosi this early, yet you don't want to be on the hook for Murtha either when Hoyer is much safer for her reelection bid.

sirocco said...

It is an interesting decision -- the safe course might be to simply abstain, on teh grounds that, being new to the table, you don't know enough about the players yet.

Having said that, I think Gabby should vote Murtha. Ultimately, Pelosi controls commmittee assignments, and it may be possible to trade the vote for a seat on one committee of her choice.

cc burro said...

The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington is a Progressive group which goes after federal government abuses and mostly corrupt Republicans by using the legal/FOIA process. This group issued the "Top 20 Most Corrupt Members of Congress in September 2006--Plus 5 to Watch For"--included just a few Democrats--mainly Republicans [Renzi, Hayworth], but the list of 5 included John Murtha.

If what they say is true, it would be a VERY bad start for this new Democratic congress, which campaigned against the Republican corruption, to put Murtha in a leadership position.

See VERY interesting weblinks below.

Framer said...

Not to mention Alcee Hastings. Why not Hoyer and Harman? Are they really that bad? They certainly feel more like the congress that has just been elected rather than "Friends Of Nancy."

Maybe the Democratic overreach will occur before Nancy even takes the gavel.

Simply amazing.

sirocco said...

Well, the reason for Murtha basically comes down to the Iraq war.

Clearly the number one issue in the election was the war, and people's unhappiness with it. On this matter, Murtha has far, far more credibility then Hoyer.

By the way, I saw somewhere that many of the incoming Dems favor Hoyer because he was so instrumental in helping raise funds for their campaigns. However, I believe Giffords received little, if any, backing from that front, so she would not have the same tie.

Framer said...

Actually, the reason for Murtha is because he is a Pelosi loyalist. Hoyer has long been a Pelosi adversary and the last thing she wants is to have him in her rear view mirror waiting for her to trip up. If most Democrats were honest, they would feel a lot more comfortable with him going forward than Pelosi.

Murtha is just as corrupt as any Abramoff Republicans, but he is Nancy's creature which seems to excuse that.

Should be fun today and tomorrow.

sirocco said...


Oh, I agree -- Pelosi and Murtha go way back, and, as you note, Hoyer ran against Pelosi for the minority job in, what, 2001 I think?

Anyhow, I didn't mean to discount those factors -- the _public_ reason for pushing Murtha is the Iraq war.

I'm torn here -- in general, I prefer Hoyer. However, in the long run it might be better to have a tandem at the top which will work better together.

Of course, it goes without saying Giffords would be a better choice than either Murtha or Hoyer. :P

sirocco said...

As an aside ... the elevation of Trent Lott back to the #2 slot by the R's gives a lot of cover to Dems should Murtha be elected to the #2 slot on the Dem side.

Framer said...

Except that Lott is just a windbag, he is not really corrupt. If being a windbag disquallified anyone in Congress, you could feed the remaining members with one sandwich.

Ive got mixed feelings about Lott. He will be very effective as a whip, as long as it is a "behind the scenes" job. I do not want to see him take an active role in crafting policy. Certainly I do not want to see him back as the leader of the caucus.

Framer said...

Also, a whip and the Majotiy leader are not really similar in nature. The leader sets the agenda, the whip just enforces it. The two call for different skill sets. Being a whip is more in line with what Lott is good at.

And by looking at media response today, the Murtha-Hoyer thing is going to get uglier.