I don't know why Nancy Pelosi thought that she had enough pull in the modern climate to install Murtha to begin with. The Democrats won their majority because several key races featured conservative/moderate Democratic candidates, not because the public has recently decided, in some political American Idol vote, that Pelosi's agenda is The Bomb.
The most telling paragraph from this article is:
Pelosi's aggressive, last-minute campaign for Murtha in the face of overwhelming support for Hoyer left many Democrats worried that she has become too reliant on a tight inner circle, too reluctant to listen to the broader Democratic caucus and mistakenly convinced that she can dictate the direction the caucus must take.
I applaud the House's choice of Hoyer; he has the authority and presence of mind to counterbalance the fears of some moderates and recent Dem-returnees brought on by overblown liberal rhetoric. We got in because the majority of Americans thought/wished/hoped that we could bring common sense back to Washington. Having a Democratic insiders' clique controlling Congress would not be a valid way to prove that our party is more mature or better able to meet the needs of the country than the insider's clique which still controls the Executive Branch.