Until now I have passed on the apparently scintillating question of who Nancy Pelosi would pick to chair the Defense Committee for two reasons. First, the idea that she could only pick Jane Harman or Alcee Hastings seemed silly. Second, I don’t understand getting worked up about something that Pelosi hasn’t done yet. Well, I guess I was right. Alcee Hastings won’t be picked for reasons that should be obvious to everybody and, via two excellent posts by Glenn Greenwald, Jane Harman has already met the post’s limit of four terms.
Look at it this way – the GOP’s work output demonstrates that they never liked the act of governing very much. Despite their rhetoric about the “party of no” and whatnot, Republicans really thrive on ginned-up scandals and phony outrage. Those slow or new enough to disagree can kindly revisit how many hours of testimony the Republican Congress spent determining whether the Clinton White House used its Christmas card list for fundraising. FOX News, the Goldberg clan, Drudge and most of our luminaries in the rightwing New Media made their name by throwing a three-year epileptic fit over a blowjob in the Oval Office. Casting wild aspersions at powerful Democrats is their comfort zone.
With Democrats back in the driver’s seat the GOP and its trained pets will get back to doing what they do best. This fabricated flap over the Defense Committee seat will be only the first of many, many, many Drudge-fueled scandals that amount to less than nothing once the smoke grenades have run out of fuel. I guess one could ask whether the clenis years taught the major news outlets anything about playing the sap, if one wanted to get a reputation for not paying attention. In reality the stupidity hasn’t even warmed up yet.
Postscript: Those scandals which don’t amount to nothing, e.g. which have some meat on their bones, will and should be taken seriously. For example William Jefferson, who bloggers across the lib spectrum are working their ass off to unseat. But count on acres and acres of flak for every one that matters.
In other news the pace has picked up here in the salt mines of my academic research lab, which will probably cut into my time to troll the internet for good material and blog it. In the meantime I recommend giving John the usual hard time as well as Steve Benen’s excellent work at the Carpetbagger Report. More than anyone else I usually check there before fleshing out a post because odds are that Steve already has it up. Thus my posts tend to have a lot of Carpetbagger links. I don’t know to what degree his commenters have caught on to our trademarked brand of spoofing (something in the water around here?) but try not to drive them too crazy.