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Word to the Wise

By Matthew Yglesias on October 21, 2006 at 6:33 pm

"Word to the Wise"

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One thing to keep your eye on is emerging tensions inside the Democratic Party which find their locus in the persons of Nancy Pelosi and Rahm Emmannuel. Essentially, the way the centrist side of the argument is trying to set things up, insofar as the election returns are in some sense disappointing, this will be blamed on Pelosi, Leader of the House Democrats. But insofar as the election returns are encouraging, credit belongs to Emmannuel, Architect of the Great Victory. Damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t, in other words. This Bull Moose post gives you a good example of the genre. He’s expecting big things for the Democrats, and hails the wisdom of the House Democratic leadership, with said leadership comprised apparently of Emmannuel and Steny Hoyer. Pelosi, a liberal who thought invading Iraq was a bad idea before it was cool, who also happens to be the actual leader of the caucus, doesn’t come into play.

As I say, keep your eyes peeled. Also check out Zach Roth’s excellent profile of Steny Hoyer in The Washington Monthly. Hoyer, clearly, would be a big step forward from his GOP predecessors as Majority Leader, but he’s no great shakes and not the sort of dude who’s going to, say, spearhead an exciting era of progressive reform. Meanwhile, many liberals have complaints of their own with Pelosi, some warranted others much less so. Folks should be aware, however, of the objective contours of this debate . . . the alternative to Pelosi is weak tea of the sort served by Hoyer and Emmannuel (who, I’ll happily grant, is a pretty canny electoral tactitian) and not the leader of your dreams.

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