Hardliners Bump Dreier and Not in the Way He'd Like

BlowdreieredA pre-emptive coup yesterday kept Republican California Congressman David Dreier from replacing Tom Delay as House Majority Leader. Slate's John Dickerson writes that hardliners in the GOP opposed the leadership's plan to "effortlessly slide David Dreier, the silky-smooth California congressman" into the position. The LA Times notes that conservatives thought of Dreier as "squishy" on social issues and rejected the man that AP called a "Different Kind of Republican." Do you think the mainstream media was trying to say something beyond Dreier being interested in "filling Delay's slot"?

It's funny but it's not: Liberals whispered gleefully all morning yesterday about Dreier's squishiness -- and some outright screamed about it. What part of the Democratic agenda this was supposed to advance is unclear, as the group that stood to benefit the most from rumors about Dreier were social conservatives. Who's to say if the background noise from the blogosphere helped the wingnut's successful campaign to bump Dreier -- a moderate on abortion,* stem cells, and same-sex marriage -- for Missouri's Roy Blunt, to whom the Christian Coalition has given a 92 percent approval rating and who is a protege of noted gay rights advocate John Ashcroft. It certainly couldn't have hurt. Gaybaiting is an ugly way to win; it's an even uglier way to lose.

Dreier a Different Kind of Republican [AP]

Justice DeLayed [Slate]

GOP Divides Duties of Majority Leader Three Ways [LAT]

*Don't trust other people's rough drafts.


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