The Itty-Bitty Tent
The Democratic Party strategy for the 2006 congressional elections included the careful selection of moderate and conservative democrats who were more likely to unseat Republicans in places not normally amenable to liberal politics. But now that those decidedly un-leftist Dems have done their job—helping capture control of both houses from the GOP—it appears that the incoming Democratic leadership has no qualms about abandoning their pre-election pretense of moderation and centrism when doling out committee chairmanships.
California’s Jane Harman is the ranking Democrat in line to replace Republican Peter Hoekstra, though insider reports suggest Pelosi could pass over Harman, instead assigning the post to one of the next-highest ranking Democrats on the committee, possibly Alcee Hastings of Florida. Harman was one of a small number of Democrats who attended secret house briefings on domestic surveillance policies, and some Democrats have criticized her for being too moderate and too willing to cooperate with Republicans.
In other words, Pelosi will use the voters’ decision to elect Democrats as an excuse to elevate to power far-leftists. You can bet that the very same liberals who were ready to excoriate Republicans in the event they denied maverick Republican Arlen Specter a Senate committee chairmanship back in 2002 do not see the beam in their own eyes. Such is the effect of demanding that everyone else be inclusive.