Carol Platt Liebau: Appoint in Hast(ings), Repent at Leisure?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Appoint in Hast(ings), Repent at Leisure?

Nancy Pelosi is being urged not to appoint impeached and convicted former federal judge Alcee Hastings to the chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee.

Will she listen? It's far from clear. So far, as Robert Novak points out, her personal wishes (friendship for Murtha, for example) have seemed to trump any other considerations -- and it's well-known that she has no love for Jane Harmon, who would otherwise succeed to the committee chairmanship.

As I noted here, in a pre-election column:

Nowhere are the differences between the parties more profound than when it comes to the war on terror. In contrast to President Bush – who does what he must to protect the country, even when it’s unpopular – the Democrats consistently allow politics to trump security. That’s why, if Democrats win the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi may deny moderate, bipartisan Jane Harman the opportunity to chair the House Intelligence Committee, and replace her with liberal Rep. Alcee Hastings, a former federal judge who was impeached for and convicted of bribery.

It will be interesting to see how seriously Nancy Pelosi takes her own mandate to "uphold the highest ethical standards and to have the most open and bipartisan Congress," won't it? Having campaigned for "Abscam Jack" Murtha today, will she support Alcee Hastings tomorrow?


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