Breaking: Murtha says he's got the votes to beat Hoyer; Update: Bumbling Abscam apologia video added!

Two minutes ago on Hardball; the video’s coming. While you wait, chew on the latest from Kucinich, who’s supporting him over Hoyer for majority leader.

Fresh from having his ass kissed, Joementum pronounces the Democratic withdrawal plan “a very serious mistake.”

Update: Zinni, Batiste, and now Abizaid.

Update: Here’s the clip. Matthews covered a lot of ground: sequentially, the race with Hoyer, Abscam, his dismissal of Pelosi’s ethics bill as “total crap” in a meeting with blue-dog Democrats the other night, and finally the raid on William Jefferson’s office. Matthews, to his credit, pressed him a bit on Abscam, but watch how he uses leading questions to get him out of trouble at the end of the second and third segments.

Here’s the background on the “total crap” remark. Good luck squaring this with what he tells Matthews:

“Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) told a group of Democratic moderates on Tuesday that an ethics and lobbying reform bill being pushed by party leaders was ‘total crap,’ but said that he would work to enact the legislation because Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) supports it,” John Bresnahan reports for Roll Call.

“Even though I think it’s total crap, I’ll vote for it and pass it because that’s what Nancy wants,” Murtha said, three sources at the meeting told the Capitol Hill newspaper.

And here’s an account from WaPo of what Steny Hoyer said almost a year ago about the consequences of precipitous withdrawal from it. Murtha refers to it at the beginning of the clip.

Pelosi (D-Calif.) aggressively endorsed a proposal by Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq as soon as possible, leaving only a much smaller rapid-reaction force in the region…

House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) issued a statement Wednesday that was in marked contrast to Pelosi’s. “I believe that a precipitous withdrawal of American forces in Iraq could lead to disaster, spawning a civil war, fostering a haven for terrorists and damaging our nation’s security and credibility,” he said.

Hoyer’s since been cowed by the base into moving towards Murtha’s position, which is too bad: his sentiments here are perfectly in line with what the three generals above mentioned are saying. Of course, they’re also in line with what Bush is saying. That’s why he had to abandon that position in the first place.

Update: You can watch the full interview here.

Update: Yeah, this might be relevant too:

Roll Call has stated that in early 2004, John Murtha “reportedly leaned on U.S. Navy officials to sign a contract to transfer the Hunters Point Shipyard to the City of San Francisco” and that “Laurence Pelosi, nephew of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, at the time was an executive of the company which owned the rights of the land.”

But that’s only the most recent chapter of Nancy Pelosi, John Murtha and San Francisco’s largest tract of undeveloped land.