I didn't want Nancy Pelosi to be Speaker of the House. Yes, yes, first female and all that. Yay. But I'm one of those strange people who think that qualifications and ability should also be considered. Been there a long time? Check. Smart, capable? Done great things for California? Check, check, and I think so. Able to reach across party lines to actually get something done in Congress this time around? Um, not so sure about that one.
After the war in Iraq and the Katrina disaster, one of the most-often heard criticisms of the Bush administration was that cronyism was rampant. That Bush favored loyalty over ability. That the administration was awarding no-bid contracts to companies connected to the Vice President. That there was no accountability or oversight.
This is not the time to prove to cynics everywhere that the Democrats are no better. So why did Nancy Pelosi push for John Murtha to be the new House majority leader? Why is she considering giving the chairmanship of the House Select Intelligence Committee to Alcee Hastings of Florida? Reportedly, she doesn't like Jane Harman, considered by many to be the logical and appropriate choice, and wants to give the chair to someone a bit more left-leaning. Ok, a lot more left-leaning. We have an open-ended "war on terror" going on. Is this really the post we want use to play favorites? (One would, of course, hope that ability would always trump popularity, but one then one might be accused of smoking something.)
C'mon Nancy. Do the right thing: Go with the people who have legitimately earned the chairs. Let's not turn Congress back over to the Republicans in two years.