We can only guess at what games and deals were played to get this position but it almost certainly involved lots of "I'll put in in x committee" deals with the older, more powerful members of the party.
While this only helps Republicans by putting the disliked Pelosi brand on the party for the next election, it really would be better for the Democratic Party to jettison these dinosaur leftists that killed their party and start over with new leadership. Certainly the Republicans seem to be headed that way after 2006 and 2008.
Then again, if you ask DNC leadership, they'll tell you that the Democrats lost not because people disliked their leaders or their policies, but because they didn't sell the policies well and people just voted out blue dog moderates anyway. Go figure.
If the young Democrats are smart and consistent, they'll rebel against this imposition of failure on their house and refuse to play along, but we'll see what happens. Remember in 2008 when the Blue Dogs formed a coalition and were going to moderate the party? How they'd be a tempering force against the radical excesses of Reid, Pelosi, and Obama? Yeah, that didn't work out so well.
Meanwhile, Albert Bozzo at CNBC notes that despite you being out of a job (well hopefully not) congress keeps getting richer.
Despite a long and deep recession, the collective personal wealth of congressional members increased by more than 16 percent between 2008 and 2009, according to a study released Wednesday by the Center for Responsive Politics.And they still don't pay their interns... well unless you consider molestation and sexual harassment to be payment. You know they make 6 figure incomes just being a congressman, maybe they could pay their workers out of that?
The study also indicates that a significant number of members owned shares of major players in the health-care and financial-services sectors, which were the subject of major reform legislation during the period.