Wednesday, December 06, 2006

See, I was right about Jane Harman

By Michael J.W. Stickings

I supported Jane Harman for House Intelligence Committee Chair. My supported softened somewhat, but I still supported her. And when it was clear that Pelosi was going to pick someone else, I supported Rush Holt as a suitable compromise candidate. And when Pelosi picked Silvestre Reyes, I was fine with it.

And how's that working out? Let's just say, not as expected:

In a surprise twist in the debate over Iraq, Rep. Silvestre Reyes, the soon-to-be chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said he wants to see an increase of 20,000 to 30,000 U.S. troops as part of a stepped up effort to "dismantle the militias."

The soft-spoken Texas Democrat was an early opponent of the Iraq war and voted against the October 2002 resolution authorizing President Bush to invade that country. That dovish record got prominently cited last week when Speaker designate Nancy Pelosi chose Reyes as the new head of the intelligence panel.

But in an interview with NEWSWEEK on Tuesday, Reyes pointedly distanced himself from many of his Democratic colleagues who have called for fixed timetables for the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

I'm with Kevin Drum on this: "OK, let me get this straight. Even though she clearly knows her brief and was the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Jane Harman was passed over for the committee chairmanship because she had supported the war and was just generally a little too hawkish on national security matters... Which is better: someone who got it right in the beginning but has since lost his way, or someone who originally made a mistake but seems to have learned something since then? I think I'd pick door #2."

Nice move.

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