Now, these two incidents could be unrelated. A top Harris aide, Kevin Reigrut, said he doubts the gaffe doomed his boss, and pointed to the fact that a ton of Republicans were elected in November, many of whom want seats on that particular, prestigious committee.
But as David Waldman points out, Republicans are pretty fond of putting their physician members center stage as arbiters of health policy wisdom. See, for instance, this joint -- the GOP's doctors had their own internet TV show!
And with Democrats now relegated to the minority in the House, they can't do much more than go on offense -- a skill Dems like incoming ranking member Henry Waxman (D-CA), and committee member Anthony Weiner (D-NY) are well practiced in. The GOP made a wise decision keeping Harris at arm's length.