On the House Leadership Race

I have no public position on the House GOP leadership race, but I’d like to point out something to my fellow bloggers who seem to believe that the selection of one candidate or another by the Conference will be usefully indicative of the Conference’s ideological commitment, ethics, likelihood of combatting pork, or whatever.

There is a key difference between this election and the election campaigns — like Bush v. Kerry — that bloggers more commonly comment upon: All the voters voting in the House majority leader race know all the candidates personally.

They know if one of more of the candidates has ever broken their word to them, or bent over backwards to keep a pledge when it was difficult to do so. They know if they joined in when work needed to be done or just stuck their name on a press release after someone else’s efforts brought a success. They know what counsel they gave in private meetings and if their behind-the-scenes efforts seemed turned toward the benefit of the nation or their own self-aggrandizement or re-election chances. They may know if they’ve done something that has disqualified others in the past from holding leadership positions in the House, or, conversely, if they have sacrificed much to make something happen they believed in, possibly at high costs to themselves.

My point is that the members of the GOP conference know the candidates better as individual men than anyone who does not know them personally could, and how they vote will reflect this. If the end result, whatever it turns out to be, does not make sense to some in the blogosphere, it may not be the result of an ideologically-impure conference, but of considerations we who do not work there know nothing about.

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