Life of the Party

The front page of today’s New York Times features an outstanding photo, a real peach. In the foreground are the presumptive Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and her intraparty foe Steny H. Hoyer. Ms. Pelosi, who has yet even to take up the gavel, has already shown outstanding political ineptitude in her attempt to foist Pennsylvania pork broker and Mideast defeatist John Murtha upon the House as majority leader. The Democratic caucus, in what many see as a telling lack of fealty and a sign of party disunity, decisively rebuffed her, installing Mr. Hoyer, currently the minority whip, instead.

The photo in the Times, an exemplar of the superficial posturing that masks the vindictive skulduggery of actual politics, shows Pelosi and Hoyer posing before a cluster of microphones. Both are beaming radiantly, and the patrician and immaculately groomed Hoyer has his arm around Pelosi in a loving and protective embrace. By all appearances they are delighting in shared good fortune, and are, at minimum, the dearest of friends. The fact of the matter, of course, is that Pelosi has just suffered, in her attempt to slip a kindjal between Hoyer’s ribs, a major blow to her leadership of the party’s House delegation, as well as a major, and excruciatingly public, political humiliation. A happy couple, indeed.

Meanwhile, applauding the cooing lovers as protocol requires, the spurned and rejected Murtha looms at rear, glowering balefully. And off to the left, we see party strategist Rahm Emanuel, looking on with a knowing smirk.

You can see the picture itself (which is credited to one Doug Mills), and read the accompanying article, here.

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