Woman in the House
A Conversation with Nancy Pelosi
By Katrina vanden Heuvel
Nancy Pelosi is the highest-ranking elected woman in American history. She's also a walking political Rorschach test. . . She's also been the focus of criticism for famously declaring before the 2006 election that impeachment would be "off the table."
I met with Pelosi in her House chambers a week before publication of her new book, co-written with Amy Hill Hearth, Know Your Power: A Message to America's Daughters. . . more inspirational manual than cold-eyed guide to the tough battles Pelosi has waged these last years against a President whom she's called "a total failure.". . . designed to humanize Pelosi--a onetime stay-at-home mom of five, now grandmother of seven-- the book also serves as a vehicle for the Speaker to hit the interview circuit, as she will this week, to talk about the state of the country, the Democratic Party, women and politics, and the presidential and Congressional elections.
"One of the perils of my job--not perils but occupational hazards--is that you don't have as much time to reflect as you would like or make submissions to challenges facing the world, so to analyze what has happened in a campaign is really a luxury."
(Katrina vanden Huevel)If the book's subtitle is A Message to America's Daughters, what is your message to those daughters who will ask what our representatives did to hold this President and Administration accountable for grave abuses of power? By not allowing impeachment "on the table," aren't you failing to protect democracy and the rule of law for future generations of our children and grandchildren?
"Let me say it to you this way, because most people are very emotionally involved in this issue and this President, as I said, is a total failure. He's not a leader. He has no judgment, he has no knowledge, he has no plan. I've been saying that for a year. Here's the thing. This is how I see it as Nancy Pelosi, not in my role as Speaker... why I ran for leadership and the rest. I was not setting out to win for two years. I did not want there to be any doubt in anybody's mind that this is going to be a long standing, get used to it, strong Democratic majority. So, in my head '06 was first, and then in '08 we strengthen and increase, In 2010, there's a little ebbing--assuming we have a Democratic President--and that's not traditionally been a big year. So we hold our own. So, 2006, we win. 2008 we grow and strengthen, and in 2010 we sustain and in 2012 with a new map: it's a whole new world. This map, we can only go so far with this map...redistricting...we need a whole new map. What we're talking about is only the next presidential election."
Co-written, today's softer term for ghost-written. Aside from that, we're going to ebb and strengthen, hold our own and strengthen, watch the country go to hell and strengthen, pay any price and bear any burden--not to repair, not to save, not to initiate, but to strengthen.
As the nation absolutely comes apart at the seams in economic chaos, as it loses its cherished Consitutional freedoms, as it lurches from war to war and becomes toxic to international values--her goal is to strengthen her political party.
The Balkanization of America, the true and accurate memoir of Nancy Pelosi.
This woman Speaker of the House is such a sell-out of the principles of legislative duty in federal government, that she ought to be soundly defeated in the upcoming 2008 elections. That will not happen, because San Francisco, despite its liberalism, won't dare to let Pelosi-Power ebb away into the sunset, where it richly deserves to ebb.
Every city has its irresistible shame. Chicago had Dan Rostenkowski and San Fran has Nancy Pelosi--infections on the body-politic.
Her political agenda makes a dandy laundry-list of what is wrong with Congress. Every abortion of duty, each miscarriage of justice in the interest of winning, adds to the decline (14% and dropping) of American respect for those who govern from Washington.
Holding eight years of a lawless and constitutionally destructive administration harmless from prosecution in order to establish an equally gerrymandered Democratic power bloc ought to be, of and by itself, an impeachable offense. Pelosi is selling the Constitution and representative government down the river for political gain--and bragging about it as an effort worthy of her station and the nation she purports to serve.
Pelosi learned her politics from Baltimore machine politicians--her father and brother, both Mayors. She fled Baltimore for the more comfortable clime (and climb) of San Francisco. But in an Orwellian payback, worked to turn America into an extended Baltimore--one of the most toxic and politically dysfunctional cities on the planet.
Nancy Pelosi is the Democrat version of Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay. She dedicates herself, not to giving America its long-denied justice, but creating a warped foreverland of Democrat control of all three branches of government. That's a liberal vision of yet another 'Contract with America' and it's equally toxic. The failure of foresight is identical--the Founders designed the American political machinery not to be dominated.
". . . in 2012 with a new map: it's a whole new world."
Sorry Nancy, but that prescription for gerrymandering is hardly a whole new world--it's the same old dung-heap, with new flies.
This woman is the most dangerous politician of her party, a ruthless and unforgiving list-keeper who crushes those opposed. I encourage every single reader out there to read her own words in The Nation--words by which she (perhaps unknowingly) exposes herself.
If it were only the daughters of America that were at risk--Pelosi is loading the dice for the foreseeable political future.