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Hastings v. Harman : Pelosi’s leadership dilemma
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Brad Plumer boils down the Hastings v Harman controversy for the chair of the House Intelligence Committee pretty well. After discussing the obvious and well-known corruption problem from which Hastings suffers he says:
More substantively, Harman knows a lot about intelligence. She's very experienced. Very smart. But she's also very hawkish. She strongly supported the war in Iraq, although she's since made some pointed criticisms of both the occupation and the administration's warrantless spy program. But hawkishness is the main theme. Hastings, on the other hand, is a dedicated war opponent, and has accused the White House of both fabricating intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq invasion and ignoring federal law in its surveillance program. Both are pro-Israel, but Harman has much closer ties with AIPAC, which, in addition to the espionage business, has, I tend to think, a pernicious influence on American foreign policy.
Given the attempt to put John Murtha in the Minority Leader's spot, one can see a pattern emerging here. A key leadership post and a key committee chair to virulent opponents of the administration's Iraq policy. Is there anyone out there who doubts that had Murtha won his daily topic dejure wouldn't have been Iraq?

The same goes with Hastings. And with them out there leading the charge, who doesn't have too? Nancy Pelosi.

It allows her to keep the veneer of moderation while stirring the fire of the extremist Iraq agenda behind the scenes. Now, with Murtha gone and the Hastings appointment under intense scrutiny, she may be left to do what she really didn't want to do ... lead the opposition to Iraq. Hoyer certainly isn't going to do it. And I doubt that Harman would do it to the satisfaction of Pelosi.

Again, Pelosi finds herself in a lose-lose leadership situation of her own making. Plumer sums it up well:
Many people think that Pelosi only chose Hastings so as to placate black Democrats and settle a personal score with Harman. Maybe so. On the other hand, if people want an aggressive intelligence committee that will hound the White House at every turn—and, most critically, push back on whatever intelligence the administration tries to peddle to justify an attack on Iran—Hastings might actually be a better fit. He's more left-wing on foreign policy, a good deal more confrontational, and he doesn't have to answer to hawkish constituents like Harman does. But... at the end of the day, there's still the corruption. Republicans will have a field day with Hastings.
Indeed. And one has to wonder, even if Hastings was everything Plumer describes here as an Intelligence committee chair, whether it is enough to overcome the corruption problem he suffers. More importantly, is it a political weapon Democrats want to hand Republicans on a silver platter which will be wielded unmercifully whenever Democrats attempt to talk about ethics or corruption?
 
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It allows her to keep the veneer of moderation while stirring the fire of the extremist Iraq agenda behind the scenes.
At some point doesn’t an agenda lose it’s "extreme" taint? Like when a majority of the public supports the agenda?

 
Written By: Davebo
URL: http://
At some point doesn’t an agenda lose it’s "extreme" taint? Like when a majority of the public supports the agenda?
The fact that polls say that the majority of Americans disapprove of the Iraq war does not then translate into their blanket approval of a 4 to 6 month pull-out, which is the extremist agenda.

So no, it doesn’t.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
More importantly, is it a political weapon Democrats want to hand Republicans on a silver platter which will be wielded unmercifully whenever Democrats attempt to talk about ethics or corruption?
The Democrats do not need to talk about ethics or corruption. They have won power and will by now be engaging in their own corruption and unethical behavior. The only purpose of the talking up anti-corruption before the election was to gain power.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
Wouldn’t removing Harman also violate another Pelosi "promise" to institute all of the 9/11 Commission recommendations? One of which was to reduce the turnover on the various intelligence committee’s so that members can build up some experience and expertise in this critical and difficult role.

Pelosi really has backed herself into a corner.

This would be fun to watch if I wasn’t so sure it was going to negatively affect my personal liberty.
 
Written By: MJP
URL: http://

 
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