THE END OF INHOFE?….One of the best pieces of news to come from the Democratic takeover of the Senate is the change in chairmanship of the Environment and Public Works Committee, which will move from the odious and delusional James Inhofe to the environment-friendly Barbara Boxer. It’s hard to think of any other committee that will change more dramatically.

Today, the Washington Post reported even more good news:

Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.) announced his intention to become the top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, now headed by Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), who has said that global warming is a hoax. Warner has called for action against climate change, and his ascension to a leadership post would accelerate significant changes already underway.

….First, however, GOP senators must decide whether Warner’s seniority on the committee grants him the right to be the ranking Republican. Inhofe issued a statement saying that he thinks Warner “has misunderstood the rules” and that “I intend to retain my leadership position in the 110th Congress, returning as the Ranking Member” of the environment committee.

Warner responded in a statement: “I carefully reviewed the rules in consultation with the Secretary of the Majority, who assures me that my seniority on the Committee forms a clear basis, under longstanding precedent” for claiming the top Republican spot.

Sidelining Inhofe completely would be one of the most dramatic signs imaginable that the Republican leadership is reclaiming a bit of common sense in the wake of their midterm defeat. Warner may be conservative, but he’s a traditional, reality-based conservative, not a crackpot ideologue like Inhofe. Here’s hoping he gets his wish.

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