Meanwhile, Betsy’s Page looks at Murtha’s candidacy for Majority Leader and thinks Pelosi has gotten herself in a box:

And don’t forget that this is one guy who was all against any plans to limit earmarks. Is he really the guy that the Democrats want as their poster child for their efforts to supposedly remake the House?

It will be interesting to see if Pelosi is going to go to the mattresses to get her guy elected Majority Leader. She has made her support so public that it will be taken as a defeat for her if Steny Hoyer defeats Murtha. But a Murtha victory will immediately taint the new Democratic majority with a very strong whiff of corruption plus being tied to a guy who is a past master of pork and earmarks. Is that their new image for disposing of the “culture of corruption?”

Republicans, on the other hand, should be happy with Murtha as the face of the “New” Democratic majority in Congress.

UPDATE: The New Republic is criticizing Pelosi’s effort to put the impeached-for-corruption Alcee Hastings in as Chair of the Intelligence Committee:

Ordinarily, few people would take Hastings seriously for such an important job. In 1981, Hastings was a federal judge in Miami. He was accused of conspiring with a friend to take a $150,000 bribe in exchange for issuing light sentences to a pair of mobsters. A Miami jury acquitted Hastings (while convicting the friend), but three different federal judicial panels later referred him to Congress for impeachment. “Judge Hastings attempted to corruptly use his office for personal gain. Such conduct cannot be excused or condoned even after Judge Hastings has been acquitted of the criminal charge,” concluded one panel, composed of five circuit court judges. . . .

There’s ample reason to think that Americans cast a negative vote last week–not so much for Democrats as against Republicans. Over the next two years, voters will be watching to see whether Democrats are up to the responsibility of governing, and doing so with the national interest in mind. If Nancy Pelosi bases her decision about such a critical position on a combination of personal feuding and identity politics, she won’t just do Republicans a favor by giving them a readymade bogeyman to attack. She will have shown voters that she’s unable to push aside petty institutional politics in the name of the national interest.

Read the whole thing. So far I’d say the Dems are off to a weak start.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Tom Bevan has more on Murtha’s problems:

What irony. One of the left’s main knocks on President Bush over the years is that he’s been too blinded by loyalty and that his administration has suffered from cronyism. Yet here you have the new Speaker of the House, whose drapes haven’t even been measured or hung yet, pulling out all the stops to install an ethically-challenged pal for Majority Leader out of blind loyalty and passing over another perfectly competent member (Jane Harman) out of pure pique to turn over the Chairmanship of the Intelligence Committee to a man who was impeached for taking bribes. Not the most auspicious of beginnings, I’d say.

Neither the GOP nor the Democrats seems to have taken the lesson of the ’06 elections to heart.