Saturday, January 23, 2010

More Revengist Politics, and the Case Against Pelosi

In response to a lost-cum-aborted argument over a few drinks when I was cornered about why it was I did not like Nancy Pelosi, I've done some research. I still don't like her. I like her even less now. I was aware of a few less flattering facts, and discovered a few more.

When I started my research, all I found at first were lists of reasons people hated Pelosi that included "she has lying eyes" and "she's a snake." These were not facts. And yet, even when I Googled "Nancy Pelosi Facts" these "facts" were little to no more factual. And then of course I stumbled upon op-eds and articles from both the extreme left and extreme right, neither of which are prone to fact, at least not in its pure form.

So I had to keep digging. I checked her voting records, and I have to say that I am in agreement with many of her stances - if I could believe for a minute that they really were her stances. Unfortunately, her vote is purely - and I mean PURELY Democratic. Not even necessarily liberal because she's liberal, but because clearly she fits the description of "rank-and-file."

Since January of 1989, she has sponsored 75 bills. 61 of these haven't made it out of committee. Now I really need to do some further research to make some comparisons, but is this average? I'll have to find out.

My initial reasons for disliking and distrusting her came shortly after she assumed her role. Mind you I really did like her at first. I was excited that a woman had been appointed Speaker of the House, and was happy to see a Democrat in a prominent position. At the time, I was even willing to ignore the fact that she voted for herself - the first Speaker to do so, when typically they either do not vote or simply mark "present."

I was no fan of Dubyah. I even thought he should have been arrested at one point. But when you have a lame duck president, coupled with a Republican minority, why, oh why, must we waste time bickering. There was work to be done. Much mess-cleaning to be attended to. And yet - it wasn't cleaned up.
Early in her new role, Pelosi pledged a "new spirit of cooperation in Congress." This quote appears within a year of stating about Dubyah - "he must be stopped." Sound familiar?

Not too long ago, I blogged about my dislike of revengist politics. So many bills have been blocked by the Republicans out of spite and bitter wound-licking. And yet looking back, it appears Pelosi did the very same thing. This is one of so many reasons why I can no longer associate myself with either major party.

Of course there was also the recent CIA debacle, in which Madame Speaker was cornered (after attacking the previous administration for torturing Gitmo and other detainees) when it was revealed that she was given a briefing in September of 2002 explaining the coercive measures used. She explained that she was told that the CIA and the Department of Justice reviewed the techniques and determined them legal. Okay, I have to point out that at least one of these agencies is not known for its forthright nature, though she claims to have been deceived by the briefing. Okay, let's give her that one - the facts were not all present in the briefing. It turns out that in 2003 she was implicitly informed of a detainee's waterboarding. No evidence exists for her objection.

In 2002, Pelosi attempted to block Dubyah from entering Iraq - most of her reasons were in fact valid. However, one such reason given was that Iraq assuredly had weapons of mass destruction, and that our troops would be put into danger. Why then, state later that "they had to make up that story about weapons of mass destruction because that was the only thing that would sell the American people." That statement may be true, who's to know? But you can't argue opposing facts to support your aim du jour and expect people to buy it.

We are in a mess, as a country. We have a broken two-party system and a stalled government that is more interested in revengist character assassinations than in actually getting anything done. The right has moved too far right and the left has moved too far left.

I am neither right nor left - [pointing my finger diagonally upward toward the southeast] - I'm over there.


Mandy said...

Pelosi is just another in a long line of "career politicians" who make lofty promises, then become indoctrinated into the "old boy system" once they get to DC. They forget what it's like outside of the beltway.

They come home long enough to run for re-election, promise "change" and then move back to DC.

I agree, the two party system is broken. I, as you know, once considered myself a Republican, well no more. Not sure what I am anymore, or if can even be defined.

We are the generation that must make things happen. No more talking about "change we can believe it" we need to facilitate this change and quickly. For our sake and our children's sake.