Credit: Photograph by Darrow Montgomery

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Poor Tommy Wells. Back in July, D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown stripped the pro-pedestrian councilmember of his beloved perch atop the transportation committee. It looked like a simple case of retribution against a pol who’d been investigating Brown’s disastrous acquisition of two taxpayer-funded Lincoln Navigators. Predictably, Wells’ admirers squealed in outrage over the public pantsing of a brave reformist. But the moral of the story was a bit more complicated. Wells didn’t just lose his spot because Brown has a vindictive side. He lost it because he hadn’t bothered to win the support of his colleagues. The final vote on the reassignment was 12 to one. Even noble souls who shun cars need to secure majorities.