The divisions that are going to emerge within the Democrats on Capitol Hill particularly on the House side are going to be an increasing part of the story of the 110th Congress. Moderate, centrist, outsiders have captured House seats for the Democrats and have seen their victories used to enthrone leftist, ethically obtuse insiders in committee chairmanships and other leadership positions. The push/pull between those who won at the polls and the one-party district members whom these victories powered into positions of power will be a recurring theme as the Congress unfolds.

It will begin over the issue of ethics. The dichotomy between the attitudes of the newly powerful House committee chairmen is essentially ìnow its my turn. But the outsiders and reformers who used revulsion against a corrupt Republican majority in Congress to win their seats realize that they need to end feeding at the trough, not just rotate which pigs are eating.

Coming from swing districts which could easily swing back to the GOP the new Democratic Congress members will not take kindly to being overridden by the powers that be among the Democratic majority. What can a Charlie Rangel understand about the needs of a new House member from a swing district?

He's about to learn quite a bit on that subject

Dick Morris and Eileen McGann