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Excellent post on Murtha versus Hoyer! I would like to see Murtha as the leader as well. It's vitally important that the majority leader be someone tough enough to take a stand.

blue girl

Really good post, Lance. Thanks for breaking it all down like you did. I'm not good at that. I've just been running around the house yelling They better go with Murtha or I'm going to freak out!

He's been out front, *all alone* on TV for months and months talking about his redeployment plan. He's the one who took the heat. He deserves it for that. Plus all the other reasons you list above.


I'm not being sarcastic here, honest. Will those who decide these things listen to you? Your reasoning is extremely convincing, Lance. Can we petition? Bombard someone with emails that put forth a polite request?
As a political outsider (due to flaws more flagrant than a mere lack in telegenic attributes, i.e., I am accused of hyperbole almost daily) I still wish to contribute. With the nation finally moving a few inches forward, good and capable people need to make the most of it, leading me to wonder: What do we do next, especially those of us who constantly struggle to convince others of what seems simple and obvious?


I'd only add one name as evidence that your thesis is correct: Newt. He's a despicable man, and his policies stank to high heaven, but he looked like a statesman.


I hear you. I still remember back, several years ago, when the Democrats decided to have Pelosi give the Democrats' response to one of the president's speeches (probably the State of the Union).

As someone who has put a certain amount of care and thought into how people present ideas and positions in non-textual form (and who has taught students how to analyze and prepare such things, too)... I was appalled.

On tv, that woman is the utter opposite of charismatic - flat delivery, bug-eyed unblinking stare into the lens, poor hair and make-up, lack of punchy soundbites... yes, all of these things are shallow, but they do matter these days. (These are also things that Kerry struggled with.)

So you end up with this image of the president in a handsome suit with the flag and cheering and clapping crowds surrounding him, hair and make-up and lighting perfect, every utterance polished to the nth degree (this was back before his shtick wore thin with repetition and smirkiness) -- followed by an excess of untelegenic blah in a small room.

No wonder the media makes fun of the Democrats!



My last Congressional representatives have been, in order:

current - Nancy Pelosi
Bobby Rush
Rahm Emmanuel
Adam Schiff
Tom Lantos
Anna Eshoo
David Dreier
Tom Campbell
Norm Mineta

What's my score, like 650? Only Emmanuel and Rush have below 100 scores on my list (besides Dreier, of course, who has a score of 0). I'm going to be moving to Colorado 1 next year, in which there was not even a Republican candidate in this year's elections. Yes, that race was between the Dems and the Greens.


Nice post Lance!

I think the metaphore is pretty illustrative too. Good point on McCain that I haven't read elsewhere too.


You know, they may all look like class officers, but there is a lot of money spent on making them look better. Nancy Pelosi doesn't remind me of a class officer, anyway; more like the semi-snooty tennis team type.

And yes, we should have someone who is telegenic. The other member of that class is Emmanuel, and he's actually really bad on camera. Murtha is as bad as Hoyer on TV. And I'm not sure how much the job will involve TV; think of how much DeLay has been on TV in the last few years.

Newt? That fat f*ck? Actually a nice guy in person -- bought me a beer once while studying for the bar -- but come on, he looked horrible. Maybe the chess club president.

I think Lance needs to drop the Aaron Sorkin thing for a bit. Remember: Washington is Hollywood for ugly people.

The genius of McCain is that he'll wink at you and you'll think he's just saying crazy things to get elected, but deep down inside he doesn't care except for a nice game of solitare.

Sunny Jim


You are right to mention John Kerry's image problem. And let's not forget Al Gore's image problem. Or Michael Dukakis's image problem. Or Fritzie Mondale's image problem.

Let's just computer-generate a meld of their faces into one stuffed shirt and give him the name, Walter F. Dukerrigore (accent over the final 'e', which my keyboard won't do).


re: the gender gap

I thought the bigger issue (in recent years) was that women were more likely to be swing voters. In other words, the Democrat's lock on that slight advantage among women is not as solid as the Republican's lock on their advantage among male voters.

"The object, of course, is not to become another boys' party or more of a Daddy Party.  The object is for Democrats to be seen as what they are, the party of the grown-ups, the party of everyone."

Well, yes, and that mirrors the goal of feminism as well. That doesn't mean a lot of people aren't still going to see you as the girl whatever. That would, after all be the reason feminism is needed.

The bigger problem isn't that the Democrats are seen as the girl's party, it's that just about any attempt to cajole the kind of people who think this way will make it more likely we will lose those swing votes.

Self-identified moderate and conservative women aren't going to vote for Democrats who become more "moderate" by becoming more conservative on the issues such women tend to be more liberal about: most especially reproductive rights. In my experience, it's only further evidence to such women that Democrats are all just a bunch of hypocrites and aren't really good for anything.

Yet it also seems to be the easiest issue for Democrats to give up - in no small part, I suspect, because it's also the easiest and least (personaly) painful way to signal that you are one of the boys after all.

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