Matt Stoller wrote a piece yesterday about the fight over the Energy and Commerce Committee chairmanship between John Dingell and Henry Waxman and he points out that the outcome of this is probably far more important to a progressive agenda than all this sturm and drang about Lieberman and he's right. Waxman is an effective, green progressive and he knows how to get things done. Dingel is an elder who is discredited by his relationship with the auto industry and the NRA. If pragmatic change rather than milquetoast status quo bipartisanship is what people voted for, this is where the action is.
Stoller lays out all the strange political machinations, with the fight over seniority (as this article in The Hill.) It's complicated, petty politics (which should be something the netroots should be good at participating in.) He concludes:
No one really has any idea how the votes will play out, but I am surprised that the blogs have taken so little interest in this fight. The 2008 freshmen are being absorbed into the House quagmire without any protest from our quarters, or even requests that they actually take a position to help a progressive chair one of the most important committees in Congress, the one that regulates climate change, media policy, net neutrality, and trade.
Waxman is the right guy to be in charge of these things as we deal with this economic/energy crisis. Whatever threats there may or may not be to the seniority system by putting Waxman in charge pale in comparison to the necessity to have the House working properly on these issues.