C'mon, Nancy, Tell Us What You Really Think

[ Posted Thursday, October 11th, 2007 – 16:15 UTC ]

Let me begin by saying that in general, I like Nancy Pelosi. I think she's been more effective than Harry Reid at both passing bills and defending the Democratic position in Congress. She has held House Democrats together for some crucial votes, and -- because there is no filibuster in the House of Representatives -- she has more leeway to get things done.

Having said that, I was rather stunned to read in a fairly snarky article in the Washington Post that Speaker Pelosi is annoyed at the anti-war base in her own party -- specifically for demonstrating outside her San Francisco house. Here is an extended excerpt from the article (the whole thing is worth reading):

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was in a determinedly good mood when she sat down to lunch with reporters yesterday. She entered the room beaming and, over the course of an hour, smiled no fewer than 31 times and got off at least 23 laughs.

But her spirits soured instantly when somebody asked about the anger of the Democratic "base" over her failure to end the war in Iraq.

"Look," she said, the chicken breast on her plate untouched. "I had, for five months, people sitting outside my home, going into my garden in San Francisco, angering neighbors, hanging their clothes from trees, building all kinds of things -- Buddhas? I don't know what they were -- couches, sofas, chairs, permanent living facilities on my front sidewalk."

Unsmilingly, she continued: "If they were poor and they were sleeping on my sidewalk, they would be arrested for loitering, but because they have 'Impeach Bush' across their chest, it's the First Amendment."

Though opposed to the war herself, Pelosi has for months been a target of an antiwar movement that believes she hasn't done enough. Cindy Sheehan has announced a symbolic challenge to Pelosi in California's 8th Congressional District. And the speaker is seething.

"We have to make responsible decisions in the Congress that are not driven by the dissatisfaction of anybody who wants the war to end tomorrow," Pelosi told the gathering at the Sofitel, arranged by the Christian Science Monitor. Though crediting activists for their "passion," Pelosi called it "a waste of time" for them to target Democrats. "They are advocates," she said. "We are leaders."

The elitism and disdain dripping from Pelosi's comments are staggering, considering the fact that she knew she was on the record when she uttered them. Not content to rail against anti-war protesters on her front sidewalk (which likely would have been enough to gain her some sympathy from normal people, who might agree that the protesters had crossed some line of propriety), Pelosi can't resist the urge to twist the knife by complaining about the First Amendment. Wow. You don't hear Democrats saying things like this very often, for a good reason -- the Democratic base actually believes the First Amendment is a good thing.

Now, I know this is minor news in a week chock full of things to get outraged about (both the Supreme Court and the Bush administration's positions on "torture," for instance). It's not even the top issue to get outraged towards Democrats, for that matter (that would be the hanky-panky emanating from Senate Democrats on eavesdropping).

But while these issues are being paid adequate attention by others online, Pelosi's remarks seem to have been largely ignored. Which is a shame, because somebody needs to ask her a few followup questions on the issue. And not just about her attitude on ending the war.

First on my list of questions would be: Where is the budget? Granted, Democrats are gleefully making lots of political hay out of the SCHIP bill on children's health insurance, but technically that's not even part of the budget. None of the budget bills has been put on President Bush's desk, and Hallowe'en is right around the corner. The federal fiscal year began on October 1st, and yet nothing has happened.

To give Pelosi credit, the House has passed all the budget bills, and the Senate is dragging its feet. But a handful of the budget bills have been passed by the Senate. These bills all need to go to conference committee and then back through both houses before they head to the White House.

A monumental fight is brewing between Bush and Congress on the budget. There are several budget bills which Bush has said he's going to veto which would be every bit as useful as the SCHIP bill in showing America the difference between Republicans and Democrats. The first out of the chute should be the bill which funds the Veterans Administration -- where Democrats have increased funds for veterans' health care, among other things. So why isn't this bill on Bush's desk? Forcing him to make good on his veto threat to deny veterans health care should go hand in hand with the SCHIP bill, as it's a related subject.

So where is the bill? Where are any of the budget bills, for that matter?

Up until now, I have considered Cindy Sheehan's announced primary candidacy against Pelosi for her House seat to be political gadflyism. But now I'm beginning to wonder. Nancy Pelosi is from one of the most liberal districts that exists in America -- San Francisco. If her efforts to end the war have disappointed voters in her home district, and especially if she shows such disdain for the anti-war crowd, it makes me wonder whether the Sheehan protest vote against Pelosi might be larger than anyone expects.

As I said, in general, I like Speaker Pelosi. But if she wants to get away with comments like "We are leaders," she's going to have to... you know... lead.


-- Chris Weigant


9 Comments on “C'mon, Nancy, Tell Us What You Really Think”

  1. [1] 
    CDub wrote:

    Hard to imagine that a politician that's achieved her stature is ready to waste it all in order to keep the peasants at arms length.

    In America, peasants are not only the point, they are the power.

  2. [2] 
    CDub wrote:

    ... At least people are supposed to be the power ...

    We now return you to your Oil company advertisement, already in progress.

  3. [3] 
    Michael Gass wrote:

    I tell you what I think; I think that she is being blackmailed by the White House.

    We were briefly treated to a story in the MSM about Nancy Pelosi and her husband being potentially involved in shady land deals in San Francisco. Whether this is true, or just another fake scandal by the GOP, the issue was broached in the media on May 10, 2007, and since that time Nancy Pelosi has been very quiet. By sheer coincidence, this "scandal" was trotted out the same month that President Bush vetoed the Iraq Supplemental Bill (May 1, 2007). But, the story hit the MSM, then faded quickly. In addition, SINCE that time, Pelosi has done NOTHING of substance.

    Is there any history to support this? Sure.

    We know that the warrantless wiretapping under President Bush started prior to 9/11. We know for a fact that all three of the top telecom companies turned over all records requested to the same government who spied on protest groups and elderly ladies who protested the war. The GOP cronies who found themselves in positions of power manufactured corruption charges against Democratic politicians. The NSA wasn't looking just looking for terrorists before 9/11 when they were wiretapping United Nations officials. So, why are we to believe that the NSA under the administration wasn't mining every Democratic politicians emails, telephone calls, and communications, to uncover and document corrupt practices? We already know blackmail is something this administration will use; they blackmailed countries into signing Bi-Lateral Immunity agreements prior to our invasion of Iraq.

    So, what is to stop them from blackmailing Democrats in Congress whose own corrupt practices became known to them?

  4. [4] 
    cossack wrote:

    The process of tracking the party back to the center has begun. This was inevitable, but after the Petraeus debacle the party received a clear message (from polling and the candidates) that it is now time to begin. Aside from some minor dust ups the party will now start to focus on POTUS. The myth-making and demonization of Bush were effective tools to motivate voter turn out for the midterms but they are not effective strategies for a presidential campaign. Those in the radical left who believe it is the result of GOP blackmail when the party does not march in lock step with their agenda are simply not needed anymore. The winning party will be the one that can gather the center votes. After all, the radical left is not going to vote for a Republican anymore than the religious right will vote for the Democrats. So the fringe pampering is over and the middle game “lite” is on. Hence the admission by the three candidates that the Iraq war will probably continue until 2013 and now Nancy Pelosi’s admission that the time has come “to make responsible decisions in the Congress”. Actually, the Republicans have been working the center for a few weeks now, so it is wise not to let them suck out all of the air from the middle. Personally, I am looking forward to an adult debate on the issues from both sides. I find the right-left sound bite mudslinging tiresome.

    As far as the budget bills go, it is better for the Democrats wait on these. The Republicans are chomping at the bit for the president to veto these bills which will help to shore up the Republican base. So having this battle in a more active news cycle is a good thing. This will allow the Democrats to get their points across without galvanizing the entire Republican base.

  5. [5] 
    spermwhale wrote:

    I knew after I heard her opening act: ““I have said it before and I will say it again: Impeachment is off the table.” Sorry Nancy, that’s not why we voted for a democratic majority in both houses
    “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a dam.”

    Isn’t one freaking decider in 7 years enough for a lifetime? I don’t care if the primary candidate is Cindy Sheehan or Homer Simpson. Yes, with all due respect and credit to Nancy Pelosi for many good votes and solid budget work. However, when 70% of her contingency has made it abundantly clear that this whack-job of President and his administration’s lies and insane bad decisions can not go unanswered.

    As for those republicans, now raising a pudgy finger of protest to hearing us continue to chant the “I-Word.) I suggest if they could find multiple articles of impeachment to raise up against our previous president because he lied to congress about where he misplaced his Havana Corona, then the buggering of the whole country by our current decider should not be cause for them to over-react with indignant incredulity.
    Now Ms Pelosi, if you think these are only voices of the extreme left, then you’ve been watching too many Bill-O Shows.
    The message is now loud and clear: Get the job done or get out of Dodge!


  6. [6] 
    spermwhale wrote:

    oops, please replace constingency sic, with constituency. in my previous comment.

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    Did it ever OCCUR to you people that there is a REASON why Impeachment is off the table??

    Of course not.. You would just rather be hysterical and bash Bush without the first clue as to what is going on..


  8. [8] 
    spermwhale wrote:

    CW, CDub, et al-

    The sign of a certified idiot-whacko is one who asks rhetorical questions and answers himself on the following line.
    Nuff said!

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:


    And the sign of a person who is so afraid of other people's opinions and that they might be right is evidenced by vicious and unwarranted personal attacks..

    Be that as it may, I accept your concession that you have no logical or rational counter to my arguments and that you are completely mentally disarmed...

    Yer dismissed...

    Or, as QUEEN would say...

    BOOM... BOOM... BOOM.... Another one bites the dust...


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