[cross-posted to Lotus - Surviving a Dark Time]
...this should resolve the question once and for all: We are on our own.
From today's Washington Post:
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.Oh, well, cue the violins, Nancy Pelosi doesn't like being the target of demonstrators, who she wishes could be arrested for loitering. Poor baby. If she actually did what was necessary to rein in the militarist fantasies of President Shrub, she wouldn't have that problem. Instead, she flat out refuses to cut off funding for the war by blocking passage of funding for it, saying she "will never cut funds for troops in the field." She cravenly capitulates to Bush vetoes of any sort of restrictions by giving him whatever he wants while whining that without the votes to override, she's helpless - rather than, for example, passing the same damn bill again and telling Bush if he wants his blood money, these are the conditions, take it or leave it, and make up your damn mind. And let's not forget that originally, last spring, she didn't even want to allow a vote on a Progressive Caucus alternative with a fixed (relatively) short-term deadline for withdrawal.
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."
But oh my the poor dear is so terribly upset. In fact, she's "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.... 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."A revealing statement in so many ways. First, Nancy Pelosi regards antiwar protestors as irresponsible. That's a rude, wrong, rant, but ultimately not surprising; "passionate" "advocates" are always disparaged in such terms by "serious" people. Then there is her contention that going after Dems is "a waste of time." Which is also not surprising but still it's nice to have it confirmed that for Pelosi it's not about ending the war, it's all about attacking Republicans, it's all about electing Democrats, it's all about, as I have said so many times, positioning for the 2008 elections and continued death, destruction, and devastation are preferable to running the risk of being called "soft" on "national security."
That was actually reconfirmed by another Pelosi comment.
[A]pproval ratings for Congress, in the teens and 20s, didn't evoke regrets. "I don't like the numbers for Congress," she admitted, but "I'm very pleased with the Democratic numbers." She then took an unusual detour into polling minutiae. "Today the Rasmussen numbers were the third time that we were double-digit ahead in the generic," she reported, "and the third month in a row we were in the high 40s."Do you get what that means? The "generic" refers to those "Are you more likely to vote for a Democrat or a Republican for Congress" questions, i.e., asking about party support rather than particular candidates. So Pelosi doesn't care that the voters who put the Democrats where they are, are pissed off at the crappy job they've done, particularly on the war - not so long as Democrats are ahead of Republicans. It's all about the politics, not about the policy. It's all about winning, not about governing. It is, when it comes right down to it, all about the party, not about the people.
Oh, but at least she finished with a joke. "We are leaders." I mean, that is a joke, right? Since the Dummycrats came into control of Congress, there are more US troops in Iraq, hundreds of billions of additional dollars have been approved for the war, no restrictions have been placed on the Shrub gangsters (the utterly toothless "benchmarks" which even the White House can't bring itself to claim are being met, an admission met with almost complete silence from Pelosi's "leaders," do not count), and based on her own accounts, Dims in the House have engaged in nothing but pure self-serving symbolism, passing legislation they know will not become law and by which, when push comes to shove, they will not stand.
If that's "leadership," I'm Fred Thompson.
I've said it, I've said it, I'm going to keep saying it: We are on our own. We cannot depend on the Dimcrats any more than we can depend on the GOPpers to get us out of Iraq until and unless we make it politically untenable for them to do otherwise. And that will not take quiet, "serious," discussions. It will take public noise and lots of it. Which means, by the way, that Pelosi's annoyance at demonstrators outside her house is a good thing because it means they're getting under her skin.
So carry it on.
Footnote: Two quickies on other Pelosi-isms.
- In response to a question about complaints that Democrats didn't go far enough on climate-change legislation, she said "We did not say we were going to do any more than we did." And just how is that an answer to the complaint? What, "We said from the beginning we were going to offer an inadequate program that doesn't solve the problem" and we're all supposed to say "Okay, yeah, great job?"
- Asked about her "greatest mistake," Pelosi said "Why don't you tell me? 'Cause I think we're doing just great." Remember when Georgie stumbled over a similar question and couldn't recall any mistakes? It seems Our Only President is not the only one so afflicted.