Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Murtha-Hoyer Getting Uglier

The partisan in me takes delight at the Democratic infighting that escalated today, with Murtha accusing Hoyer of planting Abscam stories against him.

Murtha's connection to Abscam has been public knowledge since... when was Abscam? 1980? And there has been a significant amount of attention to it for months - at least if you were paying attention to Murtha's campaign this year.

Murtha's only legitimate complaint is that the mainstream media has been in the tank for the Democrats, and has buried all stories of Democratic corruption until after election day. Murtha may think that the sudden attention to this story can only be due to Hoyer, but really it's just the media rediscovering Democratic corruption now that it's 'safe' to do so. That's already a well-known phenomenon.

If the New York Times had done a big story on Murtha's Abscam involvement a few months ago, he could legitimately say it was old news, and that the voters did not care about it. Another case of Democrats wanting to have it both ways.

A nutty attack like this one will only show Murtha's fellow House Democrats that he doesn't know how to react in the spotlight. It's likely to undercut his campaign. As a partisan whose side would clearly be helped by Murtha's ascension to lofty heights, I can only be disappointed.

Still not convinced that Murtha is behind and needs to gamble? Check out how Steny Hoyer is acting.

I think that internecine squabbles like this one can only help Republicans, but regrettably, it's unlikely to amount to much in the long term. Few recall the competition between Jerry Lewis and Dick Armey shortly before the Republicans took Congress, or the Bob Walker/Tom DeLay faceoff for Majority Whip right after. Neither one proved a long-term impediment to the new majority. I suspect that this will cause some problems, but it will probably be overcome before long.

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