Category Archives: Nancy Pelosi

America’s political rigidity

Blame it on the echo chamber.

Or perhaps blame it on fear.

Or perhaps blame it on anger.

Whatever the cause(s), too many Americans have wrapped themselves in their political orthodoxy. It must be a suffocating cloak.

The left will tell you that those on the right have become fascist-loving, race-baiting, Bible-thumping bigots. Turn your head to the right and you’ll find people telling you that those on the left are police-hating, socialist-dreaming, abortion-loving losers.

Perhaps the only thing the two sides will agree upon is the other side just doesn’t get it. Come to think of it, they’ll also agree that the other side is preventing America from moving forward.

Now that’s a fine way to create a healthy discourse.

To suggest that Donald Trump is responsible for this mess is folly. Sure, the president, on multiple occasions before and since his successful 2016 election, has thrown gas on the raging fire, but that fire had been burning for almost 25 years.

Two southern, Republican “gentleman” deserve far more blame than Trump for causing this fiasco. It was Newt Gingrich who used the 1994 midterm elections to establish the idea that Republicans should define Democrats simply as the enemy; their presence in Washington was a heavy weight that could sink the “Contract with America.”

Later, Mitch McConnell saw the first black president in American history simply as someone who had to be removed after just one term. McConnell welcomed the idea that the GOP was the “Party of No,” and had an obligation to place as many roadblocks as possible in front of Barack Obama.

By time Trump came along, hatred for the left and for anything resembling a progressive ideology had been baked into the right’s thinking.

Some of you reading this post have reached a conclusion at this point: Typical liberal.

Well…if I’m one of those liberals, then tell me why I also believe those Democrats who argue illegal immigrants should automatically receive multi-faceted government assistance are wrong. You thought I was going to wade into the abortion fight, didn’t you? Well, since you asked, I’ve always found it curious when the few pro-life Democrats contort their personal beliefs around the idea that abortion is a decided issue. Pick a side: pro-life or pro-choice.

Meanwhile, let’s be clear that the right is in denial when it suggests abortions will stop if Roe v Wade is overturned. Women will still terminate their pregnancies, and in ways that will increase the chances of harming themselves for years to come. We could have that conversation, but, you know, culture wars are so much fun. The right’s sanctimonious attitude about abortion is awful, but the pro-life Democrats who won’t take their personal beliefs beyond fence straddling are weak, in my opinion.

Next, if I’m such a liberal, please tell me why I think free college education is a ridiculous idea. The number one reason public college tuition is so grotesquely priced is because approaching two decades now both parties repeatedly have slashed funding earmarked for higher education. If states’ governors and legislators would do the right thing and reaffirm the importance of college, then this silly idea of making college free could go away.

I could go on, but the point has been made: political rigidity reflects poorly on the nation. I can hear the left reminding me that the right pines for an America that has long since been sent into the history books. (Gotta tell you, there’s a lot to that past that ought never again see the light of day.) And I can also hear the right telling me that the left is ready to reject any semblance of honor and pride in its lust to give something to everybody. (Gotta tell you, I agree with some of this, but let’s not go deep into the weeds.)

Yes, conservative and liberal values are good, and conservative and liberal policies have merit. Damn crazy Independent, I am.

One way to start changing the political dynamic in America: stop electing people such as Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz, Richard Shelby, Nancy Pelosi, Dick Durbin, Patrick Leahy, and Chuck Schumer. Clear out those who espouse hate or represent political entitlement by returning to office again and again (and for no apparent good reason).

Nancy Pelosi is not happy

I quote the following in full…and it comes from Politico’s “The Huddle”:

In a tense moment that may well have encapsulated the frustrations of three-plus months in the minority, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi snapped at a top presidential economic adviser, Gene Sperling, during a closed-door meeting between White House aides and House Democratic leaders Wednesday. ‘Maybe you could consult with us just once,’ she said after the president’s deficit-containment speech, according to one source. Others confirmed the basic content of the stand-out barb from the former speaker in the midst of an active but largely cordial meeting.’

At the time, Sperling was discussing the form and mission of a new congressional working group the president wants to charge with establishing a deficit-reduction plan. In the president’s view, it would consist of 16 members, plus the vice president as chairman, and finish up by the end of June. House Democratic leaders didn’t like the size of it, the reporting date, which falls very close to the deadline for raising the debt ceiling, or the perception that a White House plan had been baked without input from the president’s allies on Capitol Hill. Sperling told Pelosi that the White House welcomed House Democratic input and that the plan wasn’t set in stone. Get your thoughts together, he told the Democratic leadership, and send them on down Pennsylvania Avenue.

Sources say that seemed to satisfy Pelosi, and that most of the meeting was warm — including praise from Pelosi and others for the president’s speech. Sperling laid out the economic case for why the president feels that it’s important to put a deficit-reduction plan together now, as well as the necessity of raising the debt limit. Democratic leaders posed many questions about the construction of the defcit working group, its process and its timing. Ultimately, House leaders, including Pelosi, are worried that a late June reporting date increases the odds that deficit-containment legislation will be attached to a debt-limit increase at the 11th hour in a deal reminiscent of the new six-month appropriations agreement struck by President Obama, Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Instead, Pelosi and her troops want a reporting deadline in early June.

Sperling said repeatedly that the president wants a ‘clean’ debt ceiling vote and that the deficit-reduction group is a separate matter. He did acknowledge the political reality, however, that some congressional Republicans and Democrats want to link deficit reduction and the debt-ceiling vote. Some sources took that to mean the White House is linking the two issues. But several other sources said Sperling made clear that neither he nor the president embraces that idea — that he was simply reporting on the existing situation.

Sperling told the lawmakers that it’s important to have a result from the working group soon — though he did not specify a desired outcome. Whether it’s simply having a process in place or recommending detailed legislative action, the working group’s product could help the debt-limit vote by giving wavering lawmakers something concrete to point to that’s in the works when they are called on to cast tough votes on giving the nation more borrowing authority.

Additionally, House Democratic leaders from the liberal end of the spectrum raised their concerns about cutting from the domestic discretionary budget rather than the Pentagon’s accounts.

Sperling, who generally won high marks for his presentation, gets another chance to dance this morning: He’s the featured guest, along with other White House economic advisers, at a 9 a.m. House Democratic whip team meeting. 

Nancy Pelosi still wants a leadership role

It’s hard to imagine Democrats going for it, but Nancy Pelosi says she’d like to remain atop her party’s leadership in the House.

First, this from the New York Times:

In a letter to her caucus, Ms. Pelosi, who engineered the Democratic takeover of the House in 2006 but became a favorite target of Republicans, said that many of the remaining House Democrats had encouraged her to try to stay on as the leader after the new Republican majority replaces her as Speaker — an unusual move in light of the rebuke her party received at the polls.

“Based on those discussions, and driven by the urgency of protecting health care reform, Wall Street reform, and Social Security and Medicare, I have decided to run,” Ms. Pelosi wrote in her letter.

A series of reactions has been collected by The Week.  

Ms. Pelosi might want to remain at or near the top of her party’s food chain, but I can’t imagine it happening.