About that Vote for Change….
So, according to a new poll:
While voters in Election Day surveys said corruption and scandal in Congress were among the most important factors in their vote, the postelection poll indicated 37 percent of all adults said the war in Iraq should be at the top of the congressional agenda during the next two years. Nevertheless, 57 percent of all adults in the AP-Ipsos poll said Democrats do not have a plan for Iraq; 29 percent said they do.
That finding strikes at the heart of a Democratic dilemma. The party has been of one voice in criticizing President Bush’s strategy for the war but has been more equivocal on how to move in a different direction.
Democrats such as Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts and Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania want a fixed deadline to pull all troops out of the country. Other Democrats, including some party leaders, have voiced support for a staggered withdrawal that demands greater responsibility from the Iraqis.
I like that…”equivocal.” Sheesh. Anyway, let me see if I’ve got this straight. For a couple years now the President has been criticized by many Democrats for either not having a plan or having the wrong plan. Now, the average American voter is telling us that Iraq is the most important task facing a Congress led by the Democrat party, but also admits that they don’t think that the new leaders in Congress have a plan.
And how is that tactic of voting out the GOP because of “corruption and scandal” working out? Well, apparently, the new House Majority leader isn’t exactly squeeky clean. Writes the Wall Street Journal’s John Fund:
House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi’s endorsement of Rep. John Murtha for majority leader, the No. 2 position in the Democratic leaderhsip, has roiled her caucus. “She will ensure that they [Mr. Murtha and his allies] win. This is hardball politics,” Rep. Jim Moran, a top Murtha ally, told the Hill, a congressional newspaper. “We are entering an era where when the speaker instructs you what to do, you do it.”
But several members are privately aghast that Mr. Murtha, a pork-barreling opponent of most House ethics reforms, could become the second most visible symbol of the new Democratic rule. “We are supposed to change business as usual, not put the fox in charge of the henhouse,” one Democratic member told me. “It’s not just the Abscam scandal of the 1980s that he barely dodged, he’s a disaster waiting to happen because of his current behavior,” another told me.
By no means is this the only such story. Ruth Marcus at the Washington Post also wrote about Murtha (read ’em both). But it’s not just Murtha…apparently Speaker-Elect Pelosi also thinks having an impeached judge running the House Intelligence committee is a good idea. Marcus wrote about this one, too:
…Nancy Pelosi’s first test as speaker will arrive long before the 110th Congress convenes. Her choice to head the House intelligence committee — unlike other House committees, this one is left entirely up to the party leadership — will speak volumes about whether a Speaker Pelosi will be able to resist a return to paint-by-numbers Democratic Party interest-group politics as usual.
Pelosi is in a box of her own devising. The panel’s ranking Democrat is her fellow Californian Jane Harman — smart and hardworking but also abrasive, ambitious and, in Pelosi’s estimation, insufficiently partisan on the committee. So Pelosi, once the intelligence panel’s ranking Democrat herself, has made clear that she doesn’t intend to name Harman to the chairmanship.
The wrong decision, in my view, but one that’s magnified by the unfortunate fact that next in line is Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings. In 1989, after being acquitted in a criminal trial, Hastings was stripped of his position as a federal judge — impeached by the House in which he now serves and convicted by the Senate — for conspiring to extort a $150,000 bribe in a case before him, repeatedly lying about it under oath and manufacturing evidence at his trial.
How’s that vote for “change” looking now?
UPDATE: (Via Instapundit) Meanwhile, the GOP has apparently learned a lesson and decided that Trent Lott should help lead them into the future. Brilliant. And Allahpundit points to this John Miller piece that explains why the GOP dumped Lott in the first place. Dean Barnett is right: “Is it just me, or is it becoming increasingly apparent that the Republicans and Democrats are determined to engage in a two year dumb-off?”