In a stinging rebuke of the Blue Dog caucus, Henry Waxman has defeated John Dingell for Chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Why, it seems like only yesterday the Blue Dogs were sniffing that the Steering Committee who recommended Waxman were a bunch of unrepentant hippies who didn't reflect the overall makeup of the Democratic caucus. (In fact, it was.)
This is a huge defeat for the Blue Dogs, who were hoping to use Dingell as a roadblock to keep any meaningful change from happening with regard to issues under the Committee's jurisdiction -- telecommunications and health care, energy and environmental protection, interstate commerce and consumer protection.
This, more than anything, could be the biggest change in the federal government in 2009 and beyond. Waxman's Safe Climate Act sets the targets needed to mitigate the worst effects of global warming. It now becomes the working document in the House for anti-global warming legislation. And his constituency doesn't include a major polluting industry.
From a policy standpoint, it's a major progressive victory.
Indeed it is. And this, with Daschle's helming DHHS, tells me that we are, at long last, going to see some actual progress.
I feel like I can breathe again after nearly a decade of drowning. Anyone else experiencing the same?