Crisis averted: CBC says new House Dem leadership position OK for Clyburn

posted at 9:30 am on November 17, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

So much for the Congressional Black Caucus’ mini-rebellion over the make-work position created for James Clyburn as a sop to get him out of a losing challenge for the whip position in the next session of Congress.  On Monday, they huffed about the lack of authority for Clyburn in taking a renovated second-tier position in the game of musical chairs created by Nancy Pelosi’s insistence on clinging bitterly to her party leadership position.  By Tuesday evening, after Pelosi held a closed-door meeting with the group, the position had a little more definition and a lot less opposition:

The new leadership job created for Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) got strong reviews from some critical members of the Congressional Black Caucus after they met Tuesday evening to discuss the post with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

The exact responsibilities of the post of “assistant leader” — not to mention its staffing, funding and office allocations — remain murky, but two high-ranking CBC members said they are satisfied that the position is suitable for Clyburn, who is the highest-ranking African American in Congress.

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) said it will include duties as a liaison to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and to the House Appropriations Committee, where Clyburn served before entering House leadership. Clyburn is currently the majority whip, but when the new post was announced by Pelosi, he abandoned a bid to fight Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) for the minority whip position when Republicans take control of the House in January.

That’s it?  Clyburn gets to act as liaison to the DCCC and Appropriations?  The DCCC has been until now run by Chris Van Hollen, one of Pelosi’s close lieutenants in a position that is itself the fifth-ranking leadership position in the caucus.   Van Hollen will likely be replaced, but apparently not by Clyburn, who won’t even have that much authority over its actions.  He’ll just liaise on Pelosi’s behalf.

The relationship with Appropriations is even more threadbare than his liaison to the DCCC.  Appropriations is a full House committee, not a Democratic caucus, and Clyburn will be at best just another member (if he even gets assigned to the committee).  In the next session of Congress, Democrats won’t control any committees; Republicans will set the agenda in the House, especially on spending. What kind of power will Clyburn wield over its direction, given that he will only be liaising for Pelosi to the Democratic minority?

It’s a make-work position, nothing more.  It’s a bid by Pelosi to keep the CBC from challenging her grip on power by ensuring a soft spot for Clyburn.   It’s so obvious that Cleaver felt the need to deny it in his statement:

Cleaver emphasized his belief that Clyburn should not be viewed as the black representative in the leadership — stressing that the CBC will continue to speak for the African American community.

“This is not a black position,” he said.

It’s not a black position per se, but it’s clearly a payoff to the CBC.


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the congressional equivalent of a DMV worker leaning on a shovel….

ted c on November 17, 2010 at 9:33 AM

Nah, it’s not a black position. He’ll just step and go fetch for Nancy; he’ll just be drivin’ Miss Nancy. What a bunch of morons!

SilentWatcher on November 17, 2010 at 9:33 AM

Jimmy will get the job of soothing the Captain Queegs aching feet.

csdeven on November 17, 2010 at 9:34 AM

“This is not a black position.”

puhleeeeze

cmsinaz on November 17, 2010 at 9:35 AM

“This is not a black position,” he said.

Yes it is.

RadClown on November 17, 2010 at 9:35 AM

the congressional equivalent of a DMV worker leaning on a shovel….

ted c on November 17, 2010 at 9:33 AM

yepper

cmsinaz on November 17, 2010 at 9:35 AM

“This is not a black position,” he said.

“We have lotsa those, shoot, they’re a dime a dozen, but this ain’t one of em.”

Akzed on November 17, 2010 at 9:36 AM

“This is not a black position,” he said.

apparently, neither is the one enumerated in Article II.

ted c on November 17, 2010 at 9:38 AM

“a little more definition……..remains murky”

oooooookaaaaay, that’s pretty clear.

“It’s not a black position.”

What’s a ‘black’ position?

Skandia Recluse on November 17, 2010 at 9:39 AM

OT: I just heard on WBT (Charlotte, NC 1110am) that Alvin Greene might run against Obama in 2012. He’s serious. He may run as a Republican. This is from his own mouth!

SnowSun on November 17, 2010 at 9:40 AM

Just remember, we’re the racists. Pelosi could never be guilty of giving a token assignment to a black Congressman in hopes for support from all other black Democrats (the assumption here is that all black people think the same way, I believe… just wait until Col. West gets into the CBC). Yet somehow, it was clear tokenism Bush when assigned positions with actual power to Rice et al.

Wineaholic on November 17, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Assistant leader? lol if that’s not a fake position I don’t know what is.

WisCon on November 17, 2010 at 9:42 AM

This is not a black position

Sounds like an admission they do have black positions.

Wade on November 17, 2010 at 9:42 AM

Lol…suckers.

Asher on November 17, 2010 at 9:42 AM

OT: I just heard on WBT (Charlotte, NC 1110am) that Alvin Greene might run against Obama in 2012. He’s serious. He may run as a Republican. This is from his own mouth!

SnowSun on November 17, 2010 at 9:40 AM

Why do that? Run as a Democrat. The primary debates would be epic!

Doughboy on November 17, 2010 at 9:44 AM

Sounds like an admission they do have black positions.

Wade on November 17, 2010 at 9:42 AM

In the Antebellum South, I do believe they were called house Negroes.

What was the CBC offered to accept this?

coldwarrior on November 17, 2010 at 9:47 AM

the congressional equivalent of a DMV worker leaning on a shovel….

ted c on November 17, 2010 at 9:33 AM

Clyburn wasn’t shovel-ready?

Yoop on November 17, 2010 at 9:50 AM

Clyburn is now to the Congressional Democratic leadership what Ernie Hudson was to “Ghostbusters” — though at least there, the guys released how useless the Environmental Protection Agency was.

jon1979 on November 17, 2010 at 9:51 AM

Gives a whole new meaning to the term “race card.” I am sure that civil right marchers are looking down from Heaven and are soooooooo proud….

VastRightWingConspirator on November 17, 2010 at 9:51 AM

OMG, the Democrats are something else.
And the Tea Party is racist? I honestly do not understand how anyone who is considered a minority can support the Dems. I really don’t.
Yeah, sure there is the handouts but after that it is all power hungry elites trying to keep the little people happy.

ORconservative on November 17, 2010 at 9:53 AM

Yeah, but does he get a G5?

NickelAndDime on November 17, 2010 at 9:54 AM

“This is not a black position,” he said.

Shine yo’ shoes, boss?

JohnGalt23 on November 17, 2010 at 9:55 AM

Alvin is taking donations at his website to run for pres:
http://alvingreeneforussenator.com/home.html
The radio guy (Keith Larson) cautioned him about the legality.

He might run as a republican, since he’s got the same position on gay marriage (male & female only). He’s wanting to keep his options open & have some payback against the SC democratic party.

SnowSun on November 17, 2010 at 9:57 AM

“This is not a black position.”

That is EXACTLY what this is!!!

capejasmine on November 17, 2010 at 9:58 AM

Will Clyburn now answer to “boy”?

cyclown on November 17, 2010 at 9:58 AM

Regardless of skin color, all Democrats are black comedy.

NoDonkey on November 17, 2010 at 10:01 AM

The exact responsibilities of the post of “assistant leader” — not to mention its staffing, funding and office allocations — remain murky

Dear Leader just told them ‘get to the back of the bus’.

And they did.

GarandFan on November 17, 2010 at 10:04 AM

Somebody’s gotta serve the coffee……..

joe btfsplk on November 17, 2010 at 10:05 AM

Disgusting. Alvin Greene deserves more respect than Clyburn.

Oldnuke on November 17, 2010 at 10:06 AM

Assistant leader = overseer.

In the alternative, it’s a Seinfeld position–a position about nothing.

BuckeyeSam on November 17, 2010 at 10:09 AM

Poor, whiny, black Democrat tools need to constantly be patted on the head by the white Democrat leadership and given little shiny objects in exchange for their block votes.

How pathetic that among 40+ race-victim House Democrats, not one has the balls or brains to vote independent of the borg. This group is self-defined by race and completely diminished by it.

Jaibones on November 17, 2010 at 10:10 AM

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) said it will include duties as a liaison to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and to the House Appropriations Committee,

So he’s a glorified messenger boy?

RadClown on November 17, 2010 at 10:12 AM

Are Dem House members now required to salute Clyburn in a particular way?

Can you imagine the conversation?

Pelosi: “Jim, we can’t pay you anything more, and we can’t provide you with anymore staff. But we’re offering you the brand new title that we create just for you–Assistant Leader. We think you’ll do an excellent job.”

BuckeyeSam on November 17, 2010 at 10:15 AM

I think Clyburn might have misunderstood. It’s not Assistant Leader, it’s Assistant to the Leader.

John Deaux on November 17, 2010 at 10:16 AM

Actually, if Clyburn does really well at assistant leader, maybe next year, they’ll make him Den Mother!

John Deaux on November 17, 2010 at 10:18 AM

He’ll just liaise on Pelosi’s behalf.

Notice how Pelosi is putting more distance between her and the DCCC. That way, in 2012, when Dems lose more seats, it’s even more the fault of the DCCC and now the fault of Clyburn

BuckeyeSam on November 17, 2010 at 10:18 AM

the Assistant Leader is a ‘nearin’!

NoDonkey on November 17, 2010 at 10:24 AM

Clyburn’s in the big house now. Maybe Nancy will let him walk through the front door one day.

SouthernGent on November 17, 2010 at 10:25 AM

…Chris Van Hollen, one of Pelosi’s close lieutenants in a position that is itself the fifth-ranking leadership position in the caucus.

Don’t you mean “circus”?

jack herman on November 17, 2010 at 10:33 AM

Keep nancy’s porch clean now. Claire McCaskill needs a place to sit.
/loyalty

ted c on November 17, 2010 at 10:34 AM

See? They *do* know they’re place in the Democrat party. Nancy must’ve pulled someone aside and reminded them not to get uppity.

Midas on November 17, 2010 at 10:41 AM

Pelosi promised all the senators the shiniest shoes in congress…the podium will now be called the “porch”…

right2bright on November 17, 2010 at 10:55 AM

This is not a black position

If you have to say it, then it probably is….

kinda like saying that you’re a lady. If you have to tell people that you’re a lady, then you probably aren’t.
/Margaret Thatcher

ted c on November 17, 2010 at 10:56 AM

Bought.

SurferDoc on November 17, 2010 at 10:58 AM

I don’t care if they create feel-good positions for dems, as long as their overall staff budget is cut.

Vashta.Nerada on November 17, 2010 at 11:01 AM

It is not a black position…
says a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
I’m in a feedback loop here. so much material, so little time.

azkag on November 17, 2010 at 11:12 AM

Just wait ’till Clyburn
Finds out the name of the post
is “Stepandfetchit”…

Haiku Guy on November 17, 2010 at 11:22 AM

Clinton overheard:
“So what is Clyburn’s new job…
Getting us coffee?”

Haiku Guy on November 17, 2010 at 11:24 AM

It almost makes you want to puke. Some of their constituency is at 25% unemployment and they’re only concern is their political careers. The only blacks represented by the black caucus are its members.

repvoter on November 17, 2010 at 11:34 AM

The CBC has always just been a faithful lapdog of the Democrats. No way were they going to raise much ruckus. Nothing new here.

Grayson on November 17, 2010 at 11:34 AM

Dear Mr. Clyburn: You’ve been dissed—big time.

jeanie on November 17, 2010 at 11:59 AM

How pathetic that among 40+ race-victim House Democrats, not one has the balls or brains to vote independent of the borg. This group is self-defined by race and completely diminished by it.Jaibones on November 17, 2010 at 10:10 AM

Agreed. I don’t know what I’d do if I were black, but I’d like to think my “blackness” would not destine me to forever be tethered to the plantation.

Reminds me of one of MLK’s best quotes, that the black man will never be free so long as the chains still exist in his mind. And we might add, so long as he keeps working for the folks that keep him in his place.

Freedom isn’t free; neither to the soldier who provides it, nor to the citizen who practices it. If it were practiced more responsibly by the citizenry, it wouldn’t be so costly to the soldiery who provide it.

rwenger43 on November 17, 2010 at 12:01 PM

….created by Nancy Pelosi’s insistence on clinging bitterly to her party leadership position.

It’s laugh out loud lines like this that keep me coming back to HotAir – thank you Mr. Morrissey!

Ann on November 17, 2010 at 12:46 PM

Okay Dwight Clyburn: Not assistant leader- Assistant to the Leader

Free Indeed on November 17, 2010 at 1:01 PM

“assistant leader” = “token negro”, not that I care. The CBC is a racist construct that should not even exist.

woodNfish on November 17, 2010 at 2:10 PM

How appropriate! Clyburn as “Jim” to Nancy’s “Miss Watson” . . .
Mr. Twain must be laughing at the irony . . .

tpitman on November 17, 2010 at 5:44 PM

So he’s a glorified messenger boy?

RadClown on November 17, 2010 at 10:12 AM

How is this glorified???

runawayyyy on November 18, 2010 at 4:01 PM