HOYER BEATS MURTHA: And it wasn’t even close. Arianna Huffington is unhappy, but I think this is good news for the Democrats. And, probably, for the country. Contra Arianna, though, I don’t see how this can be anything other than a defeat for Nancy Pelosi.

UPDATE: Mickey Kaus: “Pelosi puts her prestige on the line, in a self-conscious display of strong-arm tactics that sound like they were taken from bad movies, and gets creamed. For some reason House Democrats decided they didn’t want an old-school influence jockey who couldn’t string five coherent sentences together without embarrassing himself to be their #2 national spokesman.”

As I say, this is good for the Democrats.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Wonkette: “Steny ‘Slightly Less Corrupt’ Hoyer was elected Majority Leader, beating out John ‘Bribe Me Later’ Murtha. The vote in the Majority Leader race: 149-86. . . . expect to see ‘Dems Divided: Speaker Pelosi’s Leadership Ability Questioned’ pieces in your major papers by sundown.”

Of course, it is a victory for Pelosi in this sense: “The Democrats stepped back from the cliff on this one. Two years of Jack Murtha as a visible symbol of Congressional Dems would have gone a long way toward regaining the [Republican] majority in 2008.”

Guess that Dennis Kucinich endorsement wasn’t enough to put him over the top.