Sunday, November 12, 2006

Nancy Pelosi, Democrats and Flexibility

Having lived in San Francisco for 23 years (we moved away 3 years ago), it would be easy to say a lot of negative things about Nancy Pelosi as she assumes the role of Speaker of the House.

She has quite a history of left wing politics, and San Francisco leftists are FAR to the left. As a result, one could easily make statements like:

"Nancy Pelosi is an unreconstructed Hippy Chick, and no matter how many strings of pearls she wears now, she is still a hippy leftist. You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, and you can't take the hippy leftist out of Pelosi."

That would sound dramatic, and perhaps it would even be true. It's just that, I'm not 100 percent sure it would be fair to be that... absolute.

It would be EASY to say that about Barbara Boxer. Moo. But Nancy MIGHT be a bit more... complicated.

I remember when she became the house minority party whip, she suddenly found herself representing and speaking for more than just her nutty San Francisco constituents back home. She had to speak for some Democrats whose views she didn't completely agree with. She had to learn to play the Washington D.C. game.

She modified her speech somewhat. When our troops went into Iraq, she was urged by her San Francisco constituents to condemn the President in the strongest possible terms. Instead, she said something about it not being appropriate to criticize the Commander in Chief in a time of war. It made her constituents furious.

Of course as the war wore on, she started shooting her mouth off; she just didn't want to do it in the beginning, till she saw how things unfolded, and what she could get away with. Some would call that wrong, some would call it shrewd. I think it's safe to say she didn't get where she is today by being a total fool.

As she has been given a greater position in the party, it would seem she has had to adapt herself to the role she's filling. There is some debate about how sucessful she has been at that.

I have never been a hard core leftist. But in my youth, I embraced a lot of leftist ideas that I hadn't thought out, ideas I now look back on and consider to be utter rubbish. I've grown, I've changed, I've matured and learned. As a result, I can only wonder about Nancy.

If I plant an apple seed, I don't expect an orange tree to grow from it. I also don't expect leftist Democrats to act like conservative Republicans. My expectations for what we can expect from her are not really high.

And yet, she is more complex than a fruit tree, and at least potentially, more flexible.

George Bush has said for years that he wants to work with the Democrats. He had a history of reaching out and forming coalitions as Governor of Texas. But for years, the MSM has insisted that Bush is divisive and has divided the country. Bush even reached out to Democrats like Ted Kennedy on issues like education, and Kennedy stabbed him in the back at the first opportunity. The Democrats have not exactly been flexible, or reaching out.

The irony of that is, George Bush is in so many ways like a Democrat. It's one of his qualities that has raised the ire of more conservative Republicans.

Now that the Democrats have won some influence and power, what will they do with it? Nancy Pelosi said before the election that impeachment of Bush is not on their agenda. I have read that the Dems have done polls, that show the idea would be unpopular with the majority of Americans. If the polls shifted, I expected the Dems position on that might shift too. But for now, it seems like they are being ... careful. They have also gotten many "Blue Dog" Democrats elected, and that will have consequences in the party, too.

Has Nancy Pelosi been "stretched" by her position in the party, to the point where she can work on issues in a bi-partisan manner?

Will Pelosi, Harry Reid and the Democrats generally, work with the Bush Administration on accomplishing ANYTHING? It might be easy to be pessimistic, yet I'd like to be optimistic. There are quite a number of issues that really should be dealt with in a bi-partisan manner. The Democrats claim that Bush is divisive. Now they have more power. Are they going to use it to help create bi-partisan unity, on the many fronts it is needed, or will they just continue to make inflexible demands for what they want, and call any resistance "divisive"?

I hope it's the former, not the latter. It takes two to tango. I think Bush really has been doing his part. The Dems have some more moderate members elected now, and it's my hope they might be able to do their part. I don't expect them to agree; in fact I expect them to disagree on many things. But if both sides try, they may find some common ground for bi-partisan cooperation.

While I could easily be the biggest critic of Nancy and her party, I am instead going to pause, and see what they actually do. They have a window of opportunity here, to unite the country. Will they use it? I'm sure I will continue to disagree with them on many things, but if they could start acting like Americans on at least some issues, it would help. I live in hope.

Related Links:

Blue Dog Democrats
It's more than just a figure of speech. Who are they, and what do they want? Here is the Wikipedia entry about the Blue Dogs, with lots of information and links about this important and increasingly influential coalition.

Is Europe Nancy Pelosi’s America?
The Democrat's desire for America to be like Europe, and the dangers therin.

UPDATE: 11-12-06 10:30pm

Nancy is supporting John Murtha (D-Pa.) for majority leader. That sure sends a message, doesn't it? She didn't waste any time, can't say I'm suprised.

UPDATE II: 11-13-06

Nancy Pelosi, adaptable? What WAS I thinking? Ordinary people might adapt their views as they mature, and learn to compromise. But Nancy is an idealogue, and they usually hold hard and fast to their visions, no matter how fantasy based they are.

Pelosi may change her image externally, but she's as much a hard core lefty as ever. The socialists and communists in Europe wear nice clothes, too. It's called P.R.

Neal Boortz gives us the latest scoop on Pelosi's shenanigans:

And Pelosi is leading the charge. And it isn't just that she's pushing Murtha and his agenda forward. An excerpt:

[...] Sure....Nancy Pelosi is doing everything she can to change her image from San Francisco Moonbat to one of a middle-of-the road moderate Democrat. But people who really know Nancy Pelosi know better. The good news for Republicans over the next two years is that she can't hide who she is. And why are all of these supposedly new moderate members of Congress going to vote for Pelosi as Speaker of the House? Who knows.

So now she's saying she supports Murtha for Majority Leader. This suddenly makes Steny Hoyer look like a conservative. So Pelosi is for Murtha....the same John Murtha that is calling for unconditional surrender to Al-Qaeda in Iraq. This is the same John Murtha that jumped to conclusions, all but accusing our troops of war crimes in Iraq. Yup...that John Murtha.

So don't let the conservative hairdo and attire fool you...Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi is a huge far to the Left as they come in the United States Congress.

Nancy Pelosi will also pass over Jane Harman for the chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee. Harman, a California Democrat, is accepted as the Democrat's most knowledgeable member of the House on Security and Intelligence issues. There's a problem though. Harman supports the war on Islamic Fascism. Pelosi wants the House Intelligence Committee to be chaired by someone who doesn't support that war. Make sense to you? [...]

Will the Blue Dog Democrats push for Jane Harman? It will be interesting to see.

The hard left in the Democratic Party wants to cut and run in Iraq. I think many of the Blue Dogs also don't want us to be there. Will they be as quick to cut and run? Who knows. But whatever the Democrats cause to happen with the situation in Iraq now, it will follow them for years to come. And the consequences, unfortunately, will follow us all.

1 comment:

Chas said...

The "Blue Dogs" are interesting, they have been around for over a decade. I linked to the Wiki listing, because they have two links to their "official" sites. It seems they are willing to reach out to and cooperate with Repubicans on some issues, to get things done.