'Moderate' Steny Hoyer? WashPost Ignored Voting Record
The man Democrats nominated for Majority Leader, Rep. Steny Hoyer, has a lifetime American Conservative Union rating of eight percent (zero percent in 2004, 12 percent in 2005). If you'd rather have the liberal rating, Americans for Democratic Action gave him a 100 in 2004, and a 95 in 2005. This should mean that any objective reporter would describe him as a "liberal." But here's the Friday Washington Post account of his selection, headlined "Political Pragmatism Carried Hoyer to the Top," by Post political reporter Shailagh Murray:
Steny H. Hoyer is a practical moderate and Nancy Pelosi is a liberal idealist, and for more than 40 years they have competed like siblings, all the way to the pinnacle of politics.
If that isn't odd enough, then Murray says voting for the 95-percent-liberal-voting guy was a way for "conservative" Democrats to show they weren't liberals:
By rejecting Hoyer, Pelosi may unwittingly have elevated him, particularly among moderate members who are nervous about her liberal views, particularly on social issues. Now, even before the Democrats take over in January, they can claim to have bucked the boss, by voting against Pelosi's candidate for her second-in-command. That may prove particularly useful for freshman Democrats who won in conservative districts and will presumably have to fend off tough challenges in two short years.
Hoyer, then, is less liberal than Pelosi, "particularly on social issues"? The Post didn't seem to check again. Both Pelosi and Hoyer win 100 percent ratings from NARAL Pro-Choice America. Pelosi's record with the largest gay-left pressure group, the Human Rights Campaign, is 100-100-100 in the last three congressional cycles; Hoyer's is 88-100-100.
Beware the idea that there is great ideological diversity between Democrats in the House. Always check the record before you buy it. Reporters obviously don't. In this case, it seems Murray is mistaking nuts-and-bolts, grip-and-grin, show-me-the-money campaigning "pragmatism" (and opposing it plastically to Nancy-P "idealism") for moderation or conservatism.