City of Roses
Balladeer, I agree with you in part, primarily on the corruption issue and that Pelosi is already apparently contradicting her post-election promise to "drain the swamp" and promote the "most honest and ethical Congress in history", first by endorsing a representative with a history of corruption contamination, and now by pushing a candidate who was actually impeached previously for bribery and perjury (the Congress voted 413 to 4 to impeach him, about as much a landslide as Congress rallying against Rangel's draft bill, and later the Senate voted 69 to 26 to remove him entirely from office)
I personally believe neither Alcee Hastings nor Jane Harman should assume the chairman role for the House intelligence committee, and that representative Rush Holt Jr. would be a much better and more ethical choice who is on the committee as well. He has been an intelligence analyst at the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research and also has experience dealing with nuclear issues, thus makes him well-experienced for the position, and in addition, he has a clean public record on ethics and also has been vocal toward the Bush Administration in changing the course in Iraq for some time.
I think it's quite unfortunate and hypocritical Pelosi is playing to these sort of racial politics as a primary excuse for selecting a disgraced candidate to assume this role, rather than hold to a notion she addressed as recently as a week and a half ago (which I already thought was saying and promising too much, as realistically corruption will always exist in Congress in one shape or another, but it doesn't excuse our elected officials in providing accountability and oversight to such measures.)
I already am gravely skeptical that Pelosi will be any more competent as a House Speaker than Dennis Hastert or Newt Gingrich, who they themselves are major jokes of speakers as they are, when the former even had the gall to say that spending federal money to rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina "doesn't make sense to me." I hope she can prove me wrong here, and I will give her a month or so to try and prove herself, but I must say I have intense doubts.
Regarding your earlier point about Bush never pandering to public opinion, this is where I strongly disagree with you. I find many of his decisions have been calculated and politically-motivated, including as recently as accepting the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld AFTER the mid-term elections two weeks ago, despite saying as soon as four days before the election that Rumsfeld would stay on the job until the end of his presidency. It would certainly seem Bush was for Rumsfeld before he was against him! LOL!
Remember Harriet Miers? Bush was staunchly defending this Supreme Court nominee even as much criticism began coming out, and then finally he bowed to political pressure from the far-right to rescind her nomination. If the president truly wasn't bowing to public pressure, surely he would have ignored vast criticism, allowed the hearings to happen and allow a floor vote to happen where she probably would have lost anyway, right?
Remember the Dubai deal, when he was strongly backing the deal despite unanimous opposition, and rather than standing up for what he believed in under belief that rejecting the deal would make us appear bigoted and intolerant in the eyes of the world, bowed to public pressure and de-railed the deal.
Remember his statements during the 2000 campaign saying he opposed nation-building which contradict his position now on the war on Iraq, or in May 2002 originally opposing the forming of an independent commission to investigate the Sept. 11 attacks before later that September reversing his position, or originally opposing the creation of a new Department of Homeland Security before U-turning toward the largest expansion of the federal government since the creation of the Defense Department in 1949?
Remember also, during the 2000 campaign, when he said he was against federal intervention regarding the issue of same-sex marriage, and believed states should have the right to decide for themselves, but later and ever since has been spearheading the support for an amendment to the Constitution that defines marriage as being exclusively between a man and a woman?
Hmmmmm, I guess it's just me and there truly is no bowing to public pressure there, LOL!
But on a more serious note, I believe it helps to have a balance between standing up for what you believe in, and understanding what the public wants you to accomplish. Relying heavily bent on the former only encourages autonomy and stubbornness, which can leave an individual wrapped up too much in ones self and truly not understanding what the public wants, while relying too much on the latter only encourages opportunism and the questioning of ones character. I believe indeed one should have conviction, integrity and vision.....but also be flexible, tolerant and accept criticism. And I believe Bush is too heavily stubborn generally, while those like Hillary Clinton and John McCain are too heavily opportunistic generally.
"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"