House Republicans elected their minority leadership this morning, and the group looks a lot like the old majority leadership, just without Dennis Hastert at the helm. Despite the "thumpin'" Republicans took in last week's midterm elections, one House Republican complains that there "simply wasn't the mood to change" when it came time to picking new leaders.
So House Majority Leader John Boehner becomes House Minority Leader John Boehner. Former Tom DeLay deputy Roy Blunt becomes the minority whip. Florida Rep. Adam Putnam moves up from the chairmanship of the Republican Policy Committee to become the Republican Conference chairman. Michigan Rep. Thad McCotter takes over Putnam's old job. And Tom Cole -- a Bush loyalist through and through -- replaces Tom Reynolds as the head of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
A little more on who's who:
House Minority Leader John Boehner: Boehner declared at the end of last month that Donald Rumsfeld is "the best thing that's happened to the Pentagon in 25 years," then followed up by suggesting earlier this month that generals on the ground, rather than Rumsfeld, are responsible for the sorry state of affairs in Iraq today.
House Minority Whip Roy Blunt: Blunt argued back in 2005 that Tom DeLay was indicted in Texas "largely because of his effectiveness as a leader" and predicted that the Hammer would "return" to his job as majority leader "once this indictment is out of the way."
House Republican Conference chairman Adam Putnam: The Florida representative was heard to lament Thursday that even "white rednecks" didn't turn out to vote for the GOP last week.
House Republican Policy Committee chairman Thad McCotter: McCotter took money from both convicted GOP Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham and DeLay's ARMPAC.
Tom Cole: The Oklahoma representative said back in 2004: "I promise you this, if George Bush loses the election, Osama bin Laden wins the election, it's that simple."
One more thing to notice about the Republicans' minority leadership: Aside from Cole, who's a Native American, there aren't any minorities -- or women -- there.