I am so relieved to hear that Bill Jefferson was left off the powerful Ways and Means Committee despite pressure from the CBC on Nancy Pelosi to re-instate him. Someone please explain to me what they think there is to gain in supporting him? Who exactly are they trying to impress???

There are a number of African-Americans who have been confirmed as chairs of key committees. This is big news, but my prediction is that all of a sudden there will be a lot of strange talk about disorganization and incompetence on the Hill, especially from conservatives or those who feel they got stiffed for a committee seat they wanted — wait for the hate.

There’s a new black blog on the block: Black Agenda Report. They’ve got a really interesting analysis of the CBC along gender lines taking a deep dive into the Sept 2006 CBCMonitor report. The BAR contention is that overall the female members are almost all great progressives and it is the men who vary along a spectrum of corporatist voting records with some progressives in the mix.

I am not sure why culturally we would produce this split. Socially, African-Americans can be conservative and certainly a black woman running for Congress is going to experience some tough knocks that might provide some perspective and a soft spot for the “little person”. Maybe it’s a nurturing thing — wanting to be there for ordinary constituents rather than big business in the district. I don’t know — those reasons all feel sexist and wrong to me. What’s your theory? Why are the female CBC members reliably progressive and the men aren’t?

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