Holy Crap

November 20, 2008 10:05 a.m.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D) has ousted John Dingell (D) as Chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

That’s a hugely big deal on any number of levels — not least of which is the two men’s very different positions on energy policy. We’ll have more soon.

Late Update: Here’s the reaction from a Republican Hill staffer friend of mine — very sane good guy, but, you know, still a Republican …


The day Henry got into this race, this result was ordained.

The differences between the 2 are, as you mentioned, HUGE.

But, honestly, the real story here is Nancy Pelosi whacked John Dingell. She put a hit on him, and it was executed.

The rest of the story takes a back seat to that FACT.

For the moment, I’m still going with ‘Holy Crap’.

Late Josh POV Update: My own take is that this is fundamentally Waxman’s doing, not Nancy Pelosi’s — though certainly Pelosi could have come out in favor of the incumbent chair (and the principle of seniority) and quite clearly did not. This seems more like their interests being aligned. And off the insidery personalities front, this is a really, really big deal in policy terms. Note too that Phil Schiliro, Waxman’s longtime top guy in the House, is now Obama’s chief Hill lobbyist. This is more grease on the skids of real change on the energy and environment front.

Later Update: TPM Reader SW does not like it …

Democrats in Congress have no sense of justice. Joe Lieberman who was rejected by CT Democrats and then rejected the party by undermining Obama during the campaign retains his committee. Congressman Dingell who helped deliver votes for Obama in blue-collar Michigan and has been a pillar of strength in the party for many, many decades gets the boot. What is wrong with this picture?

At the end of the day, I think you simply cannot make the decision on these grounds. But there’s no denying or ignoring the very different outcomes.

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