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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Nancy Goes Hawk Hunting

There's word that Pelosi intends to prevent colleagues who are hawkish on national security from getting important chairmanships. The speaker-to-be is said to be especially keen on punishing California Rep. Jane Harman for supporting the war in Iraq and the Patriot Act. Let's put this in perspective. With Dennis Kucinich ("Let's surrender as fast as possible") and Joe Lieberman ("We cannot afford simply to walk away") representing the Democratic Party's opinion range on Iraq, Harman edges much closer to Lieberman than Kucinich. On surveilliance: Harman argued that Bush's warrantless wiretapping program is essential to US national security and that its disclosure has damaged critical intelligence capabilities; yet she declared that the program goes far beyond the measures to target Al Qaeda about which she was briefed. If such common sense centrism is anathema to Pelosi, the Democrats' newfound harmonic convergence will be short lived. Though hardly a surprise, Pelosi's disdain for Harman abounds in irony. Not surprising part: Many of the Dems who did their best to get rid of Lieberman revel in Kucinich's Blame America First mentality. Since Nancy needs to keep her kook-fringe left flank covered, why not throw Harman overboard early? Ironic part: Pelosi regularly pays lip service to her party's passion for "diversity." And so while she begins the kind of ideological purge that triumphant leftists always conduct against moderates, don't be surprised if Nancy cites "the need for inclusiveness" as the reason she's, um, including someone other than Harman.