Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover

bumped - Matt

Folks are rightly outraged today about House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer vigorously coming to the defense of President Bush. You know there's a huge problem with our political system when the number two Democrat in the House is throwing himself in front of the media to defend an extreme right-wing President.

But then, we shouldn't be surprised by Hoyer's behavior. As I document in my new book Hostile Takeover, Hoyer has long led the charge to emasculate the Democratic Party. Whether on economic policy, on the war, on trade policy or on just generally selling out to Big Money interests, Hoyer has self-servingly gone out of his way to undermine his party. Put another way - if you are looking for one of the root causes of the Democratic Party's problems, look no further than Steny Hoyer.

Let's take a look at Hoyer's recent behavior in aiding and abetting the hostile takeover of our government. On economics, here's what I pointed out back in January:

You remember, it was Hoyer - the Democratic Whip - who refused to whip votes together to try to defeat the corporate-written Central American Free Trade Agreement. When Pelosi tried to build opposition to the disgusting bankruptcy bill, it was Hoyer, the second-ranking Democrat in the House, who not only didn't whip against the bankruptcy bill, but actually voted for it, after pocketing massive campaign contributions from the banking industry...And when Pelosi worked to keep her caucus together in opposing the GOP Energy Bill, it was Hoyer who voted for the nauseating legislation after pocketing more than $300,000 from energy/natural resource industry cash. That legislation that literally gave away billions of taxpayer dollars to the energy industry profiteers who proceeded to bilk Americans with higher and higher gas prices.

On Iraq, the same kind of behavior:

In today's Washington Post, for instance, the paper reported that according to congressional sources, Hoyer "told colleagues that Pelosi's recent endorsement of a speedy withdrawal [from Iraq] combined with her claim that more than half of House Democrats support her position, could backfire on the party." You might recall that last week it was Hoyer who, after Pelosi came out in support of Jack Murtha's plan for an exit strategy, was quoted in the Post saying withdrawal "could lead to disaster" - a statement only a Washington politician wholly out of touch with ordinary Americans could make, considering a disaster has long been unfolding in Iraq, and considering most Americans now support an exit strategy.

Then there is the corruption at the root of the hostile takeover of our government:

Then, while Pelosi works to resist the influence of corporate interests as she goes after the GOP's "culture of corruption," it is Hoyer who is deliberately landing stories in newspapers about his efforts to formalize his own system of legalized bribery - putting his own campaign wallet ahead of Democrats' efforts to develop a message of reform. Today in Roll Call, for instance, it was Hoyer who placed the story that details his efforts to "woo K Street" (aka. the corporate lobbying community). The story notes he convened a meeting of "50 business-minded Democratic consultants, lobbyists and corporate officers to get them to commit to writing checks." And in case you didn't think Hoyer was trying to land these stories - just check out his website (since taken down after criticism) where he brazenly displays a similar story, as if his corporate shakedown operation is a trophy to be marveled at - and not an albatross that directly undermines his party's message.

Remember folks - this is the number two Democrat in the House, opposing courageous members of his own party who are trying to take our country back. And now he has taken it to a whole new level by criticizing critics of President Bush. If you don't think there's a hostile takeover going on, just look at these examples, and remember the name Steny Hoyer: he's leading that takeover towards completion.

Tags: corruption, David Sirota, hostile takeover, Steny Hoyer (all tags)



Re: Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover

And Emanuel is pushing primary candidates who would probably vote for Hoyer before Pelosi.

by Bob Brigham 2006-05-03 08:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover

BS. Anyone ever hear of free speech? Every think the guy just meant what he said and it was NON-political? Maybe he comes from a time when you just don't hit the Office of the Pres that hard?

(Personally I don't think it was hard enough give W being in it!)

But I do NOT think this is a Black and White issue.

There are a lot a shades a grey in the world and especially in politics...I'd like to hear an interview with Hoyer to hear just exactly what motivated him to walk right into the line of fire!

Hell there has to be a reason.

On April 9th the party choose him to take the Admin to task for weakening the security of the country. Want to hear his five minutes? It's in flash format at Political

And I can't reconcile the two views. There's more to this story than we know today.

by BigDog 2006-05-03 12:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover

Here I was; minding my own business; reading Sirota's excellent post on Hoyer when all of a sudden here comes this big old turnip truck and out falls BigDog.  

by weinerdog43 2006-05-03 02:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover

After all these years my political antenna are tuned pretty good. No doubt it was a bonehead move. No question about that. Agreed. I'm just curious why!

I don't think it makes him any less of a Democrat. But I'm sure as hell curious as to why he'd put himself in this position to take this much fire.

by BigDog 2006-05-03 08:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover

How many Republican leaders in the House, let alone the the party second in command, jumped to the defense of Clinton, noting that he was the president and deserved some respect?

I often hear about Emanuel's killer instincts being just dandy when his efforts are directed towards Democrats. He just wants to win. But here we have a president who is sinking like a rock, and instead of throwing him an anvil, Hoyer is giving him - the the GOP outrage machine - bipartisan cover. And he's our second in command in the House?

This is why winning at all costs in the short term has a long term cost.

by michael in chicago 2006-05-03 05:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover

On to reality...

I'm personally convinced that there is more than meets the eye to this story.

And, oh by the way guys, it isn't the end of the world.

I will be calling his office tomorrow to see if I can get an recorded interview with him on the topic to just why the hell he would make such a bonehead move!

by BigDog 2006-05-03 08:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover


How many Republican leaders in the House, let alone the the party second in command, jumped to the defense of Clinton, noting that he was the president and deserved some respect?

Ever hear of playing by different rules?

by BigDog 2006-05-03 08:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover

This is going to be a long, ugly, bloody process. But the traitors to the Democratic party will have to be voted out before we can get at the traitors to our nation who are being protected by too many in the DC establishment.

You are doing historic work, DS.

by zappatero 2006-05-03 08:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover

Hoyer's contributors via Open

by rba 2006-05-03 11:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover

the word traitor has a specific meaning. Don't throw it around please just cause someone pisses you off.

And Hoyers comments did me too.

by BigDog 2006-05-03 12:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover

Correct, Hoyer is not a traitor to the country.  I object the implication by many Republicans that the Democratic party is filled with traitors to America.  But I did not take the comment to suggest that Hoyer was.

That said, Steny Hoyer is unquestionably a traitor to the Democratic party.  To its values. To its policies.  And to its electoral chances.

by space 2006-05-03 01:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover

Pedantic, I know, but here are the specific meanings of 'traitor':

1) one who betrays another's trust or is false to an obligation or duty
2) one who commits treason

'Traitor' is a fine, robust word. There's no reason not to use it to describe someone who is false to an obligation or duty.

by BingoL 2006-05-03 01:03PM | 0 recs
I'll Take Definition #1

It is listed first for a reason too, wouldn't you know it.

He is a traitor to our party, to our values, to the millions of unsuspecting Dems who think he's fighting for them, but betrays them in a thousand little ways, day after day.

David has the facts. I stand by my charge.

by zappatero 2006-05-03 02:07PM | 0 recs
What to do?

The inescapable inference from the fact that, despite the record Sirota outlines, Hoyer is still in position as Whip, is that there is no majority among House Dems willing to oust him.

(Many may think his record is lousy, but fear the mayhem resulting from the consequent battle.)

What will happen in the 110th? Will Hoyer challenge Pelosi? Is there a loyal centrist who could challenge Hoyer and win? Is it necessary for party unity for the top two roles to be shared by one liberal and one centrist?

Clearly the result in November will have a large bearing on this: if, despite everything, the Dems fail to take control, perhaps a wholesale clearout will get rid of Hoyer, and inject fresh blood into the leadership. (Not necessarily blood more congenial to lefties, of course.)

If the Dems do win, the current leadership will run on their success - which may be hard to argue against.

On the other hand, the prize of being a Majority Leader (or Whip) may make aspirants all the more willing to mix it.

Interesting times ahead.

by skeptic06 2006-05-03 09:53AM | 0 recs
...or Speaker, indeed... (n/t)


by skeptic06 2006-05-03 09:55AM | 0 recs
a lot will depend

on how many dems, and which dems, end up in the house in '07. a really big influx of fresh faces (if it turns into a landslide) could change the dynamics significantly.

by wu ming 2006-05-03 10:41AM | 0 recs
Re: What to do?

I don't have a problem with a centrist as whip. I just want a Democrat. The proper thing to do when you're whip and disagree with your party's position on legislation is to collect the votes for your party anyways. As a congressmen your obligation is to vote how you feel you should vote. As whip though, your obligation is to your party and Hoyer, it appears, hasn't fulfilled that obligation.

by js noble 2006-05-03 01:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover

if you are in nyc, you really should hear Sirota talk more about the "hostile takeover" on May 10th at 6:30...The event is called Campaign '06: The Year of the Hostile Takeover? and it will be a conversation about why our middle class is disappearing and who is responsible. Placing pundits of different perspectives within the democratic party alongside one another should get you out next Wednesday night. Other panelists include Howard Wolfson, one of the most famed political consultants around. He has worked for some Democrats that Sirota has criticized in his work. Can they agree? /unique_event.php?ID=38

by SarahDMI 2006-05-03 11:18AM | 0 recs
Focusing on the Real Enemy

I am not going to comment specifically on Steny Hoyer's comments about Stephen Colbert as I think both Bush and Colbert can take care of themselves.  However, I am becoming increasingly concerned about posts on the front page and in diaries bashing Dems.  

It reminds me of the scene in Monty Python's Life of Brian when the 2 anti-Roman groups meet in the passages under the emperors palace and state - "we must fight the common enemy - the People's Front of Judeo", another anti-Roman group.  There is something in the Dems nature that makes us want to eat our own.

We need to be focused on beating the Repubs, not picking out the foibles of every Dem even if one happens to be in leadership.  There are a lot of things I am not happy about with the Dem party but I cannot stand another cycle of losing and letting the Repubs run this country further into the ground.  

You have to walk before you can run and you have to win before you can change things.  No minority party ever changed the world.  Let's focus on winning a majority in the House and Senate and then we can find a challenger to Steny Hoyer and others if we so choose.  One step at a time.

by John Mills 2006-05-03 11:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Focusing on the Real Enemy

No, I couldn't disagree with more. Basically, Steny Hoyer represents EXACTLY what is wrong with the Democratic Party today - he is the epitome of a K-Street Democrat buried in the money of special interests. And I absolutely agree, if this guy becomes either majority leader or speaker - I think it would be wise for the Democratic Party's future to oust him via primary.

I'm kind of surprised there wasn't an effort this year - this guy in my opinion is worse than Joe Lieberman. Except he actually maintains a position of power.

by KainIIIC 2006-05-03 12:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Focusing on the Real Enemy

I am no fan of Steny Hoyer but the point I am trying to raise is that the energy being devoted to Stephen Colbert's comments, the presses reaction to or non coverage of them, Steny Hoyer's comments.  I mean who cares.  Then there is all the stuff about Bob Casey, the Dem who voted wrong on this issue, the Dem who voted wrong on that issue, etc.  Imagine if we focused all this energy into electing Dems who could:

A - Give us a majority in both the House and Senate.

B - Could vote for a new Dem whip.  

We need to focus on electing Dems and preferably reform minded Dems if we want to change things.  Being in the minority gets us no where.

by John Mills 2006-05-03 12:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Focusing on the Real Enemy

A majority of which we are in control in name only isn't a majority. Some of you seem to think these things- what people do and say- don't matter about what they will do and say when in control. They are indicators of what will happen. They are also indicators that a house gained in 2006, can be lose in 2008 because we didn't have the foresight to see what is in front of our face. Remember- the discussion is about what this Democrat did to cut the legs out from his own party. The question becomes- who is hurting whom? By your way of thinking- they can do no wrong because fo the D. By Sirota- he's only adding unless they violate a Democratic 11th commandment

by bruh21 2006-05-03 12:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Focusing on the Real Enemy

No.  My point is Hoyer's comments and all the Colbert stuff is all "inside DC" stuff that does not warrant the energy and attention being devoted to it.  The White House Correspondents Dinner is like a prom for DC insiders.  Nobody outside of DC watches or cares about it.  You want to change things, put your energy into electing Dems who can actual do something and stop wasting it on this stuff.  

And yes, I think there is some merit to the 11th Commandment of thou shalt not criticize a fellow Dem publicly.  It is not an iron clad rule but Dems bashing other Dems publicly hurts the brand.  It is the main reason I don't like Lieberman - he goes on TV and criticizes other Dems on a regular basis.  The Repubs show a lot more discipline on this end and it helps them.  

by John Mills 2006-05-03 01:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Focusing on the Real Enemy

One other thing - I know a lot people will disagree with me but I feel we are losing sight of the most important thing - electing new Dems so we can achieve majority status and start to reform the process.  You can't change anything from the minority.

by John Mills 2006-05-03 01:09PM | 0 recs
Gonna disagree to an extent

The issue here isn't so much that Hoyer said what he did, but that he is in a position of leadership and is undermining the party with both his words AND actions. The examples cited in the post about his voting for GOP legislation and not executing his job as whip are just part of the larger pattern.

Incumbents are hard to change, oust and influence. If we adopt a win at all costs mentality, then anyong with a "D" in front of their name is fine. I completely understand the rational behind this approach. But I'm not sure I agree with it.

If we allow the type of Democrats who vote with the GOP on key piece of legislation like CAFTA or the Bankruptcy bill to go unchallenged, and through this lack of challenge, solidify their hold on the leadership of our party, what makes you think we will ever reform the party? The power of incumbency is very strong, especially incumbency in leadership positions

I don't believe people like Emanuel are interested in returning the Democratic party to power for the sake of the party as much as for the sake of the power of the majority. Sure there will be changes in policy, and right wing agenda items will be lessened. But I don't for a second see the rise of progressive agenda items either. Pro-war, pro-business, pro-status quo memebers of both parties may have different ideological outlooks, but their results are very similar.

If we are going to truely reform our party, then the part leadership has to reflect that reform. It must reflect a true opposition of the GOP pro-war, pro-business agenda. If it doesn't, then the power base of those opposed to what progressives and "FDR" Democrats stand for will have no easier route back to power either.

Giving Democrats like Hoyer who give the GOP cover in hopes of defeating the GOP at all costs is a short term strategy. Building the party through challenging Dems in primaries, like what is happening to Lieberman, leads to true reform AND long term growth of the party.

I know we're going to disagree and I can understand your point. But as dire as things may seem, we still have to look long term.

by michael in chicago 2006-05-03 05:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Gonna disagree to an extent

Actually Michael, I don't disagree at all.  I just think it is a multi step process to change the party and the political terrain.  It took the right wing 30+ years to cap their complete rise to power in 2000.  Unfortunately, it will take time to swing the pendulum back and we have to start somewhere and I see that somewhere as regaining a Congressional majority.  

The Repubs after the 1964 disaster went to Nixon in 1968 who while a hawk on defense and foreign policy was relatively moderate to liberal on domestic policy.  He created the EPA, OSHA, proposed universal health insurance through an employer mandate, established wage and price controls, etc.  While Nixon was in power the Repubs began to build a conservative machine through organizations like CATO, the Heritage Foundation, etc.  It is easier to change things and build a movement when you have some power and control a branch of government.  Right now we control nothing and we have no policy infrastructure to back the party.

People like Steny Hoyer are not young and are not going to be around forever.  We need to start to replace them with younger Democrats with new ideas and ways of doing things.  This will not happen overnight but it will happen.  My concern is I am not sure we are helping ourselves spending so much time harping about Steny Hoyer's comments et al rather than putting our efforts to elect the next generation of Dems.  I know I am in the minority here but I felt it needed to be said.

by John Mills 2006-05-03 06:12PM | 0 recs
Not blogger self-censorship again?!

There's an ambiguity in the word Dem. If you mean Dem pols, I'd tend to agree with you.

But - how do you have primaries without one Dem criticizing another? Bash is rather a loaded word in the context.

When it comes bloggers, though, we represent no one but ourselves, and the American public ignores us accordingly.

Some lefty commentators try the guilt by association thing with various fringe groups - the LGF commenters, for instance - but, for lack of evidence of official GOP sanction, it just comes off as desperate.

Civility of discourse, I'm all in favor of. Self-censorship, not so much.

by skeptic06 2006-05-03 01:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Not blogger self-censorship again?!

I meant Dem elected officials criticizing each other in public.  It would be nice if primaries were kept to issues but I am smart enough to know that doesn't happen in the real world.

by John Mills 2006-05-03 01:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Focusing on the Real Enemy

I agree that the propensity of the lefty sphere to go haring after inessentials for inane reasons is depressingly high.

And the evident supposition by a fair few that a whole load of centrist Dem MCs could be eased aside (in this universe) by a cohort of noble, True Believing warriors for the liberal cause is even more depressing.

However, I think it's right that, in parallel with dealing with election issues, Dems should be thinking now of what happens in each house, win or lose, the day after election day - and thereafter for the following couple of years.

The GOP Plan B will clearly be to tie a Dem-controlled House or Senate up in shenanigans; kill the bills that escape the Capitol with vetoes; find a way of blaming the Dems for the resulting non-production.

As Plan B's go, it's not a bad one.

And the leadership on the Dem side - and not just Hoyer - hardly give comfort that they will be able to keep a grip on things even when buffeted by events (as well as by the GOP!).

by skeptic06 2006-05-03 01:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Focusing on the Real Enemy

If people want to get rid of Hoyer, they need to find a candidate in the caucus to challenge him which is fine with me.  As you noted earlier, a new crop of freshman Dems is probably the ticket to doing this but we need to get them elected before that can happen.  Funny how it all comes back to winning elections.

by John Mills 2006-05-03 01:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Focusing on the Real Enemy

I have to respectfully disagree.  I think that comments like Hoyer's give important cover to a far-right movement intent on destroying Democrats and democracy.  I think a major factor in the electoral success of the far-right has been the masking of their agenda from the voting public.  A second factor has been to marginalize critics.  Hoyer's comments reinforce both tactics.

I'm saying that comments like Hoyers work against our ability to get that majority.  Hoyer is very public and comments like his get amplified by the Right's channels.  The damage he and others do with such comments goes very far.  

Blogs are not as public.  The noise we make, unfortunately, stays largely amongst ourselves.  But we do reach party activists, and can therefore can apply internal-party pressure and educate each other about hy such comments are harmful.  

by davej 2006-05-03 02:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Focusing on the Real Enemy

I understand where you are coming from but  Stephen Colbert is a comedian who I love on Comedy Central and was an entertainer at the WH Correspondents dinner better known as the DC insider prom.  This is such an inside story it isn't even funny. Colbert's audience is predomenently young and urban, not exactly the people who listen to right wing radio.  I doubt most of Rush's listeners know who Colbert is and this is a 1-2 day story at best.  I don't think it is going to swing votes over Iraq, high gas prices, etc.

There was a great diary today about how Jon Tester has pulled in front of Conrad Burns in Montana.  In the whole scheme of things, I think that is more important and wish we were more focused on stuff like it.  

by John Mills 2006-05-03 04:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover

Sirota should really consider writing on the hostile takeover of Illinois District 6 by Ladda Duckworth and Rahm Emanuel.  Similar to Hoyer, Duckworth is also steeped in K-Street money.

by illinois062006 2006-05-03 12:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover

Jay just engaged in an abuse of the ratings system.  He should retract his rating immediately.

by illinois062006 2006-05-03 03:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover

All those of you who criticize and undermine Nancy Pelosi should consider that her positions are far, far more progressive than Hoyer's.  You don;t want him as the Minority Leader, much less as Speaker.  Be careful what you wish for.

by Mimikatz 2006-05-03 12:41PM | 0 recs
Omigod, it's come to this!

Nancy and Steny play Good Cop, Bad Cop.

That is the most depressing political idea since Bush Reelection.

Oy veh!

by skeptic06 2006-05-03 01:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover

I think you guys are really misjudging Hoyer. In the 25 years he's been representing his district, he's pushed for higher pay and more benefits for federal workers. He's extremely popular in his district, and has been rated among the top ten members in obtaining funding for local projects. He was the chief House sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act, was a former chairman of the Helsinki commission, and is supposedly renowned as a champion of human rights. He's been plenty partisan as whip, too. When 11 democrats voted for the rule to consider the corporate tax bill, Steny came down on them hard. Chris Bell was responsible for filing the ethics complaints against Delay, but Steny was involved in filing the ethics complaint alleging blackmail in the prescription drug bill vote. And all that corporate money he's raised? He's been using it to supply democratic challengers, and he campaigned hard for them too. He's also come down on the left of many democrats when it comes to taxes, publicly telling people that he is thinking about eventually raising taxes on the middle class to fund more government programs. There is also a long record of Steny's attacks on Bush, so he isn't some Bush-lover either. I've personally met Steny, and he seems like a great guy. Along with John Dingell, he's one of the last of the old bulls from the O'Neill era,  and if he ever became Speaker, would probably be a throwback to that period in time. I don't think that's what democrats should be looking for right now, but I also don't think Steny is a traitor to the party.

None of this excuses Hoyer from speaking out against Murtha's plan, or not whipping the vote against CAFTA, or speaking out against Stephen Colbert when he didn't need to. Those are definately marks against him. However, a lot of you guys are making Hoyer out to be a lot worse than he really is. I don't see many who have honestly researched his record, or honestly considered what it would take to remove him. He's not vulnerable to a primary challenge, as he is very popular with his district. Although he lost to Pelosi for an open position, he also was unanimously elected whip. Not only is it a little counterproductive to talk about getting rid of Steny, its also going to be literally impossible to pull off, even if Steny was as bad as you said.

by JRyan 2006-05-03 01:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover

"In the 25 years he's been representing his district, he's pushed for higher pay and more benefits for federal workers. He's extremely popular in his district, and has been rated among the top ten members in obtaining funding for local projects...he's also come down on the left of many democrats when it comes to taxes, publicly telling people that he is thinking about eventually raising taxes on the middle class to fund more government programs."

How are these things points in Hoyer's favor? Basically you're saying he is an expert at pork barreling and raising taxes to give more of his constituents jobs. And since when do Democrats support raising taxes on the middle class? This guy is pretty much the essence of the negative Democrat stereotype.

Look, I think people are sort of blowing this up and I think a primary challenge against the minority whip isn't going to happen. But the guy shouldn't be anywhere near a leadership position in the party.

by js noble 2006-05-03 01:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover

Looking out for your constituents is part of what a representative is elected to do. I don't disagree that some pork is pretty useless and expensive, but I challenge you to find some in Hoyer's record. And hell, the democrats have to start talking about raising taxes soon to start to repair the massive defecit that could eventually ruin this country. Except for the fact that he is more of a vfree-trader than I am, I'm in favor of his economic policies. I'm also sure that he's in favor of taxing the rich more than the middle class, that's just the information I was able to dig up at the time.

by JRyan 2006-05-03 01:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover

How are these things points in Hoyer's favor?

Lots of federal workers in MD-05. Lots of federal grants awarded in his district. Here's a list for just one of the five counties he represents. Hard to beat.

As a constituent, I've long been irritated with not getting any responses to letters.

Last Saturday, he was chiding ABC in the WP for an episode of 'Commander-in-Chief' which depicted the MD-DC line in his district as crime-ridden -- happens to be true, and Hoyer isn't helping by pretending otherwise.

Nevertheless, I've been seeing Steny Hoyer bumper stickers since junior high -- he is popular, and I can't help but advise the well-intentioned to put their money into a different primary challenge in '08.

On a different note, he may be retiring in '08 anyway.

by dblhelix 2006-05-03 02:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover

Steny Hoyer's voting record per Progressive Punch is less liberal (or if you prefer, progressive) than the voting record of the average Democrat.  Hoyer clearly has been disapointwd he failed to win the Minority Leader post and has had Pelosi in his sights.  The problem with Steny Hoyer though, is not his voting (similar, in fact, to Lieberman's) but his mouth (similar to Lieberman's).  John Murtha, for one, is more conservative than Hoyer but also more disciplined.

I could find a lot of people in the House, some more liberal than Hoyer and some not, who would be less inclined to shoot off their traps.  Among the names that come to mind, for example: Rush Holt, John Conyers, John Dingell, John Murtha, Chris van Hollen.

Democratic leaders, in short, have a much greater obligation to STFU than bloggers.  Vote as you wish but if you are in the leadership, Steny, act like it.

by David Kowalski 2006-05-03 01:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover

"Hoyer clearly has been disapointwd he failed to win the Minority Leader post and has had Pelosi in his sights."

From what I've been able to tell, its been the exact opposite. Pelosi is somewhat known for her vendettas, and she has been unable to forgive anyone who ever opposed her. Martin Frost opposed her-he is now no longer in the House. John Dingell voted for Steny over her-in 2002, she gave money to Lynn Rivers, his primary opponent. You just don't do that to a loyal soldier like John Dingell. Joe Crowley voted for Hoyer. She denied him the DCCC (gave it to Rahm instead), and quietly worked against him when he ran for caucus chairman. Harold Ford made a quixotic run against her. He is now leaving the House for what will probably be a suicide run at Frist's seat because he has no future left in Pelosi's House. Seems to me that she's been doing the same thing to Hoyer. I'm not inclined to place the blame solely on his doorstep.  

By the way, when Hoyer says something, I doubt it is heard by the vast majority of America. People know who Joe Lieberman was, and they listen when he goes on tv. No one knows who Steny Hoyer is, and his personal opinion on whether Colbert was funny or not is worth almost as much as mine. You guys really need to chill, and not go picking fights with 67 year-old guys that are at heart good democrats.

by JRyan 2006-05-03 03:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover

"Martin Frost opposed her-he is now no longer in the House."

You raise some really interesting points here but in all fairness Marty Frost is no longer in the House because of Tom DeLay's redistricting, not Nancy Pelosi.  It is pretty clear Pelosi has a mean streak, though.  Considering how weak the Dems have been the past 6 years, I am not sure that is a bad thing.

by John Mills 2006-05-03 04:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover

True, but I'm fairly sure she played some kind of a part in torpedoing his move to chair the DNC (obviously, Dean was a factor too). My problem with Pelosi is that she only relentlessly attacks democratic rivals. She doesn't go after republicans the same way. Moreover, she rose to her position because of her fundraising prowess and her parties, which were apparently very popular. I don't know if she's the kind of leader the democrats need right now. Hell, I don't know if anyone in the House leadership is the kind of democrat we want representing us.

by JRyan 2006-05-03 05:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover

Agree about the general staleness of the Dem leadership in the House.  I worked on the Hill a decade ago and it is frightening how many committee ranking members and members of the leadership are in the exact same positions as the mid-1990s.  WE NEED SOME NEW BLOOD IN THE LEADERSHIP.

by John Mills 2006-05-03 06:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover

And finally  you get to the core issue. This is precisely the problem with this guy. In the final analysis its not even like he's doing anything unique in terms of what the Dems have been doing since 92, but that begs the question doesn't it. If their strategy made any sense, why are we now the minority? I would argue that the exact same fear of risk that you see here- with the votes and public statements that he is making, are the exact same types of behaviors that you will see in running elections. Where is the experimentation? where is the taking risks to see what will work that hasn't been tried yet? Other than outside forces like Dean pushing onto them concepts like the 50 state strategy where is the leadership for winning elections coming from in the House? I think all of these things are really the same subject- which you perfectly describe as a lack of turnover, and a lack of new ideas for how to win. Hoyer is just representative of that on multiple levels.

by bruh21 2006-05-03 07:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover

Agreed.  I never meant my post to be about defending Hoyer.  It was about misplaced energy.  THe Repubs went out and elected like minded REpubs which eventually allowed them to replace their old guard with Newt Gingrich et al.  We need to do the same.

by John Mills 2006-05-04 04:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover

Also, replacing people like Hoyer won't happen overnight.  It takes time, focus and sometimes patience to build a movement.

by John Mills 2006-05-04 04:38AM | 0 recs
There's 'mean' and then there's 'petty'

I'd open the possibility that what the Dems lack (in their MCs and (to an extent) in their blogs) is is not aggression but controlled aggression.

For instance, Reid went troppo last November over the no-progress on the Iraq WMD intel inquiry and staged his Rule 21 stunt.

The inquiry is still mythical, but there's been no follow-up (none so spectacular, at least).

It's as if it just got his goat the once, he blew off steam, and now he's resigned to nothing happening.

No plan, no coordination, no goal - just an emotional spasm.

(And let's not get started on the Alito business...)

Pelosi was erratic about the Murtha Iraq withdrawal plan - and there was some cock and bull story her people put out about it that was even less convincing than their explanation of the Slaughter report on/off Pelosi website débâcle.

They're pissed off about being in the minority for six straight Congresses (bar that 18 months in the Senate). They sound off from time to time. Then they shut up.

That's not leadership.

by skeptic06 2006-05-03 05:59PM | 0 recs
Oh, okay

I misunderstood. I thought "Hostile Takeover" referred to the takeover of progressive blogs by book-pimping bloggers.

by bluenc 2006-05-03 01:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover

As a Democratic Leader Mr. Hoyer should have known enough to keep his mouth shut. Give me a break. As far as I'm concerned this just lost my vote for him.

The Democratic leadership is in disarray. I have found that this party, my party, does not represent me and my family anymore. The Green party represents my values much better. His attitude and defense of the president will not win elections in November. It will only show that he is a "flip flopper" and "not a strong leader". Maybe Mr. Hoyer should spend more time speaking out about the incompatence of the Republican leaders and more time speaking about what the Democratic party proposes if they were to lead. Also, in the whip position he should be also spending his time "whipping" the other Democrats in the house to get them to vote as a block. He has been a complete failure on this count. The Dems are all over the place.


"when given a choice between a real Republican and a Democrat acting like a Republican, voters will choose the real Republican every time."  Harry S. Truman

by OsoDelMar 2006-05-03 01:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover

I guess this is a shining example of "power corrupts." In the late 70s, I lived in Maryland and followed local politics. Hoyer was loved by the yound dems back then. We saw him as the antidote to the old pol dems. He was young, liberal, and, it seemed, principled.

I left Maryland long ago, and haven't followed Hoyer's career, so I don't know how or when the transformation occurred, but it's depressing to compare the Hoyer of then to the Hoyer of now.

by TenStepsLeft 2006-05-03 06:12PM | 0 recs
So Hoyer's pro-incompetence

In fairness, that probably qualifies him for a leadership position in the Democratic establishment.

by jcjcjc 2006-05-03 06:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover

I think there is a difference between having a less than ideal voting record, and criticizing other Democrats, or defending the President when his approval rating is in the 30s, particularly if you are in a leadership position.

The Democratic Party has never had a particularly cohesive ideology, and there are many Democratic Congressmen and Senators who are elected from deep red areas, primarily to represent local interests.  These guys are just not going to vote with the party much of the time and that's fine.  You don't see much anger on the internet over Nelson of Nebraska, or Gene Taylor.

However, something more can be demanded by the netroots from Congressmen and Senators who represent blue areas, particularly if they are part of the leadership.  At least they should refrain from repeating the talking points of the other party!  And if they do, get them out of the leadership.  I don't think that is asking too much.  Keeping these guys around weakens the party overall by muddling its message.

Removing Hoyer from the whip position won't cost the Democrats any seats, and will probably gain votes since you won't have a the number two Democrat in the House who says not to criticize the leader of the opposing party.  Even if he was defeated in a primary, a loss of a seat is unlikely since he represents a gerrymandered Democratic district.  There are Blue Dogs where yeah, if they go the district is lost but not in this case.

Now this isn't a liberal or progressive party, so that inevitably means that if the leader is perceived to come from the liberal wing of the caucus, the whip must be a centrist.  However, I'm sure there are capable centrists who won't trample on the message so much and who won't undercut the leader.  Any suggestions?

by Michels 2006-05-03 08:15PM | 0 recs
#1 reason Hoyar is the most dangerous Democrat

He got vey little media attention, but as it was becoming clear that the GOP SS scheme was falling flat, Hoyar offered a "compromise" that raised the retirement age of Social Security.

Anotherwords , had we not already delievered the knockblow (through amazing Democratic unity , even Max Baucus,who was a major player in destroying Medicare with the Drug bill, strongly opposed the GOP SS schemes)then Hoyar would have been able to forge an agreement that gave the GOP EXACTLY what it wanted.The Cavuto/Limbaugh choice between "cutting benefits or raising the retirement age".

The national debt is going up so fast that the soon to be $3 trillion in the SS trust fund (which wont go down at all till 2018 )will be able to collect very high interest rates and especially if the economy only grows at 1.5%. Even if the economy grows at the typical 3% rate then the debt will still explode (though not as much if it grew less) The 1.5% economic growth rate is the reason GOP (and Liebermann) says the program will go broke in 2042.IMPOSSIBLE!

If the economy grows at 1.5% then the debt will increase $1 trillion per year (just at first then much more later with ever so snowballing debt) instead of the typical $600-$700 billion.Higher interest rates will be a must to attract investment in treasury bonds. SS will collect MUCH higher interest rates and since there will be trillions in SS debt holdings then 1.5% economic growth will deliever a very safe SS program.

If the ecomomy grows at 3% then SS will be safe till 2052 and that doesnt assume the fact that interest rates will skyrocket.Everybody knows that our exploive debt increases is only increasing every year and eventually the straw will break the camels back.Just will take longer than the "1.5%" growth rate.
(o and btw , under any circumstance, but especially the 1.5% GOP stated growth rate, the stock market would be a HORRIBLE investment for SS while federal treasury bonds would be golden)

Hoyar and Republicans know that the $3 trillion in SS debt will need to be paid back starting in 2018.So the "2018 crisis" we hear about is a FEDERAL crisis not Payroll Tax/Social Security crisis despite popular mythology to the contrary.Cut benefits or raise the retirment age and you help make the FEDERAL crisis a little more simple to solve since endless IOU's to SS wont cost the federal governemnt, up to its eyeballs in money it owes to seniors,a thing if people arent allowed to recieve benefits.Somebody could "owe me" $1 million and still be safe even with a yearly income of $15,000 if they arent required to pay me till Im 80 since Im only in my 20s.They would be in even better shape if they decide to move the goal posts even further back when I start to get near 80.

by StingyHoyar 2006-05-03 09:26PM | 0 recs
Bottom line.

SS will be safe way past 2052 and way way past 2042.

Every bit of ecomomic growth above 3% or below 1.5% will only raise the longevity of Social Security.Its win win for SS.

The debt WILL explode but lets assume it will be able to be held down (impossible,we are deep in the bottomless pit and falling faster and faster)or even paid off.That can only happen with economic growth way beyond 6% per year to hold it down (from growing much) or beyond 10% per year to pay it down.Then SS will be safe way beyond 2070.Its win win.

Social Security is under No CIRCUMSTANCES in trouble unless the Federal budget defaults and nothing can be paid to Bond holders.By then we all will be screwed beyond belief.Its like being spit on after you have been skinned alive.

Spread the word!

It hasnt gotten out yet.

by StingyHoyar 2006-05-03 09:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover
The US government helps create and develop an organization (Al-Qaeda) to get
foreign military invaders (the Soviets) out of Muslim Lands. Today that foreign military
 invader and occupier of muslim lands is the US. Why should the US Government be
 surprised that Al-Qaeda is now fighting the US Military Occupiers of Muslim Lands.
After the cold war the US government/military/industrial complex searched for a
 new world war and they think they have found one. Don't let them!! Contact
The New House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer who appears to support this
continued occupation at phone number 202-225-4131 or fax him at 202-225-4300!
DEMAND: STOP Funding This War and Get US Troops Out of Iraq's 1000 year civil war
by The Diplomatic Alternative Project 2007-01-05 03:22AM | 0 recs


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