Friday, November 05, 2010

Nancy Pelosi: You Were So Effective You Lost

So this is what happens when a woman does her job really, really well: she loses it because a lot of folks don't like her effectiveness. She's demonized. I'll say, Nancy Pelosi has been demonized. I saw it first hand. Case in point: a summer ago I attended one of Congressmen Gene Green's town hall meetings on health care reform. Some angry white guy stood on the curb and carried a big poster of Nancy with a Pinocchio nose.

Check out this op-ed piece by Eugene Robinson in The Washington Post. Here's an excerpt:

"It was frustrating to hear Republicans demonize her in their thunderous public statements, then confess privately that they really liked her. Ain't politics grand?

"And demonize her they did. In their midterm campaign, Republicans attacked Pelosi more often, and more brutally, than they attacked Obama. They made her the living embodiment of Evil Washington, or of limousine socialism, or of whatever alleged plagues that Democrats were supposedly visiting upon the body politic.

"The GOP was able to make Pelosi an issue only because she was so effective as speaker. Obama came to office with a long, ambitious agenda. Pelosi had a big majority to work with in the House, but it was ideologically diverse - Blue Dogs, progressives, everything in between. Somehow, she managed to deliver.

"Some of the votes she won looked impossible. On health-care reform, there appeared to be no way the House could ever be persuaded to pass the more conservative bill that had passed the Senate. At one point, she told me she could find only "maybe a dozen votes" for the measure. But she and Reid managed to find a workable set of modifications - and a clever parliamentary maneuver to pull the whole thing off.

"I was at the Capitol that day when the House passed the landmark health-care bill. Tea Party groups were protesting outside, egged on by Republican members of Congress who came out onto a balcony and led the catcalls.

"Pelosi did what was right for the country, and what's right isn't always what's popular. Democrats may decide they need a less-polarizing figure as minority leader; if they do, well, that's politics. But I'd love to see her stay in the Democratic leadership - and I'm betting that eventually she'd find a way to take back the gavel that she pounds with such righteous authority."

So there. We lost an effective tough woman who could both count votes and make the right things happen. But then, making good things happen has never the goal of the opposition. They are there to say "No" and now "Hell, no." Doesn't make any sense to me in this time when so many good things need to happen to get this country back on track and its citizenry awash with jobs.


caroline hansen kleban said...

See this:

Wrong, just wrong.

Anonymous said...

Tough, smart women have historically been demonized. It's too bad so many are threatened by these traits in a woman.

Sharon said...

I saw this weekend that Pelosi is headed for minority leadership if she gets the votes. She's the perfect person for the job because she will rally the sane and fight for the people of the country, not the corporations. I think she's up to the challenge and maybe even looking forward to it.