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November 19, 2006


Should've done this earlier, but now that Hoyer's been voted into the Majority Leader spot, it's worth knowing who he is. Zach Roth's prescient profile of Hoyer -- titled "The Establishmentarian -- is the place to go. A taste:

When I asked friends and former staffers which issues Hoyer seemed to feel most passionately about, most spoke instead about his political skills. “He cares more about process than issues, per se,” says John Moag, who worked for him in both the Maryland state Senate and the U.S. Congress. “Good process ultimately produces good policy. This is a guy who’s been compromising his whole life because he knows that’s how it gets done.”[...]

the flip side of Hoyer’s obsession with process and old-fashioned relationship building is a reluctance to think strategically about changing the ways that Washington operates—even when doing so would benefit Democrats. Over the last year and a half, Hoyer—a protégé of Tony Coelho, the former California congressman who revolutionized Democratic fundraising in the 1980s—has led an aggressive effort to raise money from K Street lobbyists. Even more important, he has seemed unwilling to fundamentally rethink the unhealthy relationship between lobbyists and legislators that currently drives our political system. If Democrats are not only to regain power, but to maintain it and govern in a fairer and more responsive fashion, they’ll need to unite behind root-and-branch reform. But the evidence suggests that Hoyer lacks the political vision, and the will, to do so.

Read the thing whole. Or whole the read thing. Whichever.

November 19, 2006 | Permalink


"Or whole the read thing."

Or hole the Reed thing. Pain or pleasure? Let Ralph decide. (That guy needs some gold ingots to keep his penny loafers grounded.)

Posted by: Bruce Webb | Nov 19, 2006 5:13:06 PM

Me thinks that Nancy will focus on unity of the House Dems as her 'strategy' piece - which is probably a good idea, since allowing the Rethugs to pick off Dem members for votes would be a disaster for 2008.

It almost doesn't matter if Bush vetos what the Congress sends him - since it creates a record of clear thinking and good government with which to clobber the Repub. House members/candidates in 2008. That has to be the main objective of the Dems for 08: good proposals met with partisan opposition and Bush vetos.

And investigate like mad....

As for Hoyer, Pelosi can let him prove that his 'process' approach works, and if it does, and it results in meeting the objective above, he's OK. If he starts splitting the Dem. caucas, put him out on his ass as majority leader.

I'm not sure who said that war is politics by another means (or politics is war by another means?), but that understanding is needed for the next two years and probably beyond.

Attempt to be bi-partisan: Yes. If met with Rethug intransigence, use the unified Dem majority to preserve a good record for the US people.

The Rethugs aren't used to bi-partisanship, since they never did much of that since Gingrich days. They tried, and all to often succeeded, in peeling off enough Dem votes to pass their wingnut agenda. Nancy can't let that happen again.

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | Nov 19, 2006 7:49:11 PM

I think if we worry about who we get our money from, and whether that check comes with a price, it seems the smart thing to do would be to have as wide & varied a fundraising source as possible. The narrower the money pit is, the more beholden officials will be to narrow interests rather than the public good.

Posted by: DRR | Nov 20, 2006 2:47:58 AM

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