Saturday, December 02, 2006

Retrospective View of a Narrowly Averted Sandbagging

Posted by olvlzl.

When she appointed Silvestre Reyes to head the House Intelligence Committee Nancy Pelosi didn’t please everyone, some on blog threads complained about him being too conservative, I, frankly, don’t know. What was clear is that she had masterfully solved the Harman-Hastings controversy that had been cooked up by a media obviously set on destroying her effectiveness in governing the House. And it is more than slightly plausible that Harman had played a hand in promoting the “scandal” as a means of getting herself appointed by setting up a weak alternative in Hastings.

This piece from Thursday has some information that I’d managed to miss in all the junk about it, including this eye opener:

UPDATE: Not that any more are required, but one should add to the pile of myths and falsehoods fueling this story the notion that Pelosi was "denying" Harman her natural and rightful place as Chair, or "demoting" her or pushing her aside. In fact, the House Intelligence Committee -- in addition to having unique non-seniority rules -- also has unique term-limit rules, limiting members to no more than four terms in a six term period.

Harman had met the term limits, and thus, rather than having some entitlement to become Chair, Harman was hoping that Pelosi would, in essence, break or waive the rules in order to appoint her. Pelosi did not go out of her way to "deny" Harman what would have been her rightful place, the central assumption of most of the anti-Pelosi commentary. The opposite is true: Pelosi would have had to invoke unusual steps in order to appoint Harman as Chair.

In the two attempts at turning Nancy Pelosi into damaged good, this and the Majority Leader contest there is the same MO that the media used with Clinton, turn nothing into scandals, declare observance of the rules to be illegitimate, report rumor as if it was fact...

While I am certain that Nancy Pelosi is smarter than her enemies in the press, they outnumber her and they’ve got the mic. Without our support for her efforts the corporate media can destroy her and, most importantly, stop the efforts to defeat George Bush and the massively corrupt Republican Party. It’s going to be hard enough just to keep the Jane Harman’s in the party from blindsiding her. But maybe Nancy Pelosi is showing them that she won't cave in to that kind of intimidation.