Sunday, January 07, 2007

Nancy, Alcee, and Charlie

One can only hope that the new speaker of the People's House will not repeat disasters like the attempted Alcee Hastings appointment. That was scary. Hastings would have been chair of the House Select Committee on Intelligence. It suggested to me that, for all her talk of bipartisanship, she has so little confidence in party discipline and cross-aisle support that she was willing to make a dangerous concession to the Black Caucus because she felt she had to. Pelosi herself voted to impeach Hastings when he was a federal judge caught taking bribes, so it was not news to her who he is. It also suggests how patronage-driven and unprincipled the Black Caucus is that they would press Hastings on her. Charlie Rangel is like Henry Clay, "brilliant and corrupt, like a mackerel by moonlight, he shines and stinks." It was not a promising start. Still, one has to be hopeful and optimistic that things will get better under the changed regime.

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