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Thursday, September 29, 2005

A Reminder of Who Runs the GOP

It's Roy Blunt, not David Dreier, who will be the temporary majority leader while Tom DeLay is under indictment. The telegenic Dreier was supposedly the pick according to yesterday's early media reports right after the indictment news came down. But that soon changed.

At a private midday meeting of a large number of Republican conservatives, several lawmakers argued that Dreier lacked a sufficient commitment to the conservative agenda, according to GOP officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting was closed. In particular, some participants in the meeting said he had voted in favor of federal funding for stem cell research and against a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and favored a less restrictive policy on immigration than many conservatives.

"There was a lot of discussion in that room about, Will ... he advance the conservative agenda?" said Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., who attended the meeting and said he personally would have been comfortable with Dreier in the post.

The stem cell funding ban, the gay marriage ban, and restricting immigration: these are the issues that determined the House Republicans' leadership choice. Remember that.

UPDATE: Or maybe it's because Dreier is gay. (That would help explain his being so photogenic!) Amazing his name could even be floated if he was really living with his chief of staff last year, and amazing I missed this angle--I haven't been engaging in enough online rumor-mongering of late. Via Chimes at Midnight, which gets a much-deserved nod on the Deval Patrick blogroll.