06 November 2008

I think I need to know more about this one....

Nancy Pelosi. Third in line to the presidency. Liberal democrat from San Francisco. I've sort of silently applauded the ascendancy of a woman to a high post and ignored her ever since.

Oh, I've heard the rumblings that she's a divisive figure. And I do think that she stepped in it during the bailout with some of her partisan comments. When you need to reach across the aisle, perhaps it's not the best idea to hold out your hand and slap them in the face as they reach out toward you.

But it is a different world today than it was only 3 weeks ago when we were worried about all that. Today, the Democrats have picked up 19 seats in the house with the potential to pick up six more if all contested races go in a sweep for the Democrats. I read with interest her comments in this article.

But Ms. Pelosi said Democrats could open the 111th Congress in January with efforts to adopt measures blocked by President Bush, including ones to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and embryonic stem cell research. She said Democrats had no choice but to chart a centrist course. “The country must be governed from the middle,” she said.But Democrats on both sides of the Capitol were just beginning to digest the new faces in their expanded caucuses.

The party just won resounding victories in the executive and legislative branches. The country said that they wanted liberal visions to be named to the Supreme Court. Why in the world do they get that the way to go is to the middle? The middle is what you play to get the job.

You know, this sort of reminds me of Jesse Jackson who seems (to me) to have floundered once he reached his stated goals. Then he just start grumbling about how the young people don't understand and we have to continue to FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT, even though the FIGHT has largely been won. He has to FIGHT because FIGHTING worked in the past and let's forget that he DID manage to change the world and the world largely accepts his ideals as being the morally superior ones, he has to FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT against the Man or the machine until the rest of us begin to think he's gone off the deep end. He screams about the fight until he begins to look bitter and eventually says something ridiculous like he wants to castrate the new generation of their movement. It's Michael Jordan and Brett Favre thinking they can stage a comeback. It's John McCain who can't fathom a world in which VICTORY, and WINNING means anything other than obliterating your enemy on a battlefield. We will fight another HUNDRED YEARS! A THOUSAND YEARS! WE WILL FIGHT!!! These people who once captured our hearts and imaginations, who seemed so visionary in their time, are just cardboard cutouts in the new reality.

Speaker Pelosi, you got about as big of a mandate as you can imagine. I don't think the people want you to continue to be mousy about this. We want change and not the little stuff.

Damn straight we want stem cell research.
Damn straight we want universal health care.
Damn straight we want out of Iraq.

I also want massive investment in new energy technology. I want Pell Grants and student loans and lots of 'em. Forget no child left behind. I am sick of playing to the lowest common denominator. No more teaching the test. It doesn't work. I want gay marriage. I want gays in the military. I want the military to drop their moral clauses that cost people their jobs for things that don't affect their employers or their employment. I want to stop taking from the sweat and labor of the working poor and middle class to feed the greed of the already rich. I want the Democrats to show, once and for all, that our economic policies make more sense for the prosperity of this nation than the Republican vision of creating a ruling class. I want a world where women and minorities can be certain that they aren't being systematically marginalized with respect to pay and opportunity. I want clean air and clean water and I want my country to commit to the global environment. I want third-world countries to get the tools (like condoms for fuck's sake) they need to make realistic family planning decisions. I want hunger to be obliterated.

I don't think we're going to get any of these things by playing to the middle. We've given these people a clear mandate. On what planet is it advisable to squander this and play to the middle?

I'm thinking maybe Pelosi isn't up for the job. Being a divisive figure isn't always the answer. Maybe this isn't a job for a partisan player. The world has changed and I'm worried that Pelosi is a one-trick pony. Railing against the opposition isn't the future. We need someone with vision in this position. They need to find that person and quick.

1 comment:

  1. I think Pelosi's comments during the bailout were incredibly milquetoast, I think the Republicans were whistling pure dixie with that one.

    That said, I am one of Pelosi's greatest UN-fans. She -- along with Rahm Fucking Emmanuel, new Chief of Staff -- withdrew funding from Dennis Kucinich from the DNC (or at least, the record shows they almost certainly did, I seem to remember it's not perfectly clear cut), having threatened him not to introduce articles of impeachment.

    Rahm went around 2006 basically telling every Democrat running that if started talking about anti-war subjects, he would make sure they hurt financially.

    Pelosi, supposedly, was his partner in this, the Don to his consigliere/enforcer.

    I think the claims Pelosi are divisive are almost pure bullshit, she is a pretty tough Speaker, but as it often goes with Dems, much her toughness is directed at keeping Dems in line, which is when she can be the most vicious. She was caricatured as a California liberal democrat, but she's hardly Representative from the Set of the West Wing, if you know what I'm saying. And for the Republicans to charge her with being divisive, after the Denny Hastert-Tom Delay House Duo -- I call shenanigans. it's one of those cases where someone might be, compared to perfectly balanced, perhaps a bit more divisive than perfectly fair, but compared to peers on the other side, one is incredibly less divisive. One should demand the best of one's own side, but one should also have perspective.

    Anyway. This is not particularly vicious, I just disagree with it: she basically told John Conyers that if he mentioned impeachment, he was not going to be Chair of the judiciary committee. Of course, he fucking RAN on a platform of impeachment, more or less, and not only did he go along to get along, he stopped even talking about it. I mean, maybe they were his marching orders, but they could have at LEAST lunched some fucking congressional investigations into malfeasance. There are any number of abuses of executive power in Re: the Bush Admin that, I believe, it's within the Congress' purview to examine. But in any case, she essentially made him swallow his campaign promises, which is his fault as much or more than hers, but of course, part of his campaign promise was that he'd been judiciary chair before, and would again, so he'd be able to launch proceedings. [sigh]

    I haven't looked at Pelosi's exact record in a while, but she has charted an ardently centrist course since 2006. One might understand its utility then, even if one disagreed with it, but if it's her strategy now... like I like to say, any strategy that maintains the use of the same tactics no matter what the situation is, is quite simply not a strategy.