In the past week or so, Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi has received an enormous amount of unfavorable and unfair media attention, even in the liberal blogosphere. You should be pissed about it. Livid. Here’s why.
Let’s start by talking about what Pelosi did. She came out in support of John Murtha for Majority Leader, attempting to promote him ahead of Steny Hoyer, who as the sitting Minority Whip was in line for the job. A matter of personal loyalty to Murtha, who floor-managed her campaign for Minority Whip years ago? Certainly. But more importantly, a statement of principal. Murtha had stuck his neck out in opposition to the Iraq War, a “Nixon to China” moment that catalyzed broader opposition in the Congress, marked the turning point in public opposition for this tragically criminal venture, and ultimately crystallized support for the Democratic Party in the 2006 elections. In supporting Murtha, Pelosi sent a signal that the House Democrats would keep the Iraq War front and center on their legislative agenda, keeping faith with the electorate. How is that a failure of leadership?
Now let’s contrast Pelosi and the Democrats with the House and Senate Republicans. In the House, as a reward for having lost the majority, the Republican caucus saw fit to promote Tom DeLay’s chief protege, Roy Blunt, to be Minority Whip. And in the Senate, the Republicans have resurrected Trent Lott, the very man who just four years ago publicly expressed regret that America didn’t elect a segregationist president back in 1948. Consider that just a few months ago, George Allen was considered an early favorite for the Republican nomination for president in 2008. Virginia’s voters have just shredded his political career in no small part over a racist remark that looked like a spilled cup of coffee by comparison to Lott’s gaffe. The fact that Lott was even considered for a leadership position in the Senate should demonstrate that these Republicans are firmly and forever the party of appeals to the basest of human instincts, of racism, sexism, and religious bigotry. So much for listening to the voters.
So why is it exactly that we have to sit and watch while misogynistic media “experts” deride the Democrats as they gather their first majority in a decade, while ignoring the tainted Republicans who got us into this mess (and who seem bound and determined to keep us there)? Write some letters, folks. Let’s get the media to focus on the problem.