Is this statement by Nancy Pelosi a lie, or simply the stupidest thing any politician has said to date this year:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi , D-Calif., admitted Thursday that she had underestimated the willingness of Republicans to stand behind President Bush’s Iraq policy despite the drubbing the GOP took in the polls in 2006.
“The assumption I made was that the Republicans would soon see the light,” she said. Instead, the minority stuck to the president’s war policy in the face of unrelenting pressure from congressional Democrats and powerful lobbying campaigns by anti-war groups.
I vote for a lie, frankly. Pelosi is a lot of things, but she’s not that stupid. Everyone with half a brain knew that the Republicans in Congress, with a few very rare exceptions, would stand by their man regarding Iraq. It’s what their base supporters wanted after all. Her biggest problem wasn’t with Republicans, anyway. It was with all the Blue Dog Democrats who soiled their pants every time any Republican or conservative mouthpiece brayed that placing any limits at all on Bush’s ability to prosecute his war of choice in Iraq would show that the Democrats didn’t “Support the Troops.” They were the ones that made it impossible to place any real limits on funding the war in Iraq.
But Pelosi can’t acknowledge the truth that she has no control over her own caucus, so we get her rather vapid response above, instead. One echoed, by the way, by Senator Durbin, who also ignores the fact the far too many Democratic senators were afraid to place limits on Bush’s war fighting abilities (or his power grabbing ways in general) because they were overly frightened of negative criticism from the all the pipers of the right wing wurlitzer. Criticism they received anyway.
Sen. Richard J. Durbin (Ill.), the Senate Democratic whip tasked with trying to find 60 votes for a filibuster-proof majority, acknowledged this week that Democrats’ biggest failure stemmed from expecting “more Republicans to take an independent stance” on Iraq. Instead, most of them stood with Bush.
Are Republicans obstructionists? Sure. You’ll get no argument from me on that account, but to claim that they were solely responsible for the Democratic leadership’s failures this past year is prima facie nonsense. The truth is that the current crop of Democratic Leaders far too often have been pushovers for the Bush administration. They voted to expand the President’s power to spy on American citizens even after they knew he had explicitly violated the law put in place to prevent illegal wiretapping by the federal government back in the late ’70s. They refused to even consider impeachment hearings to bring pressure on Bush and Cheney and those Republicans who continue to hide behind their skirts. Their vaunted oversight hearings have all but dissipated into the ether, broken on the anvil of Bush’s invocation of “executive privilege” and the refusal of his top aides to respect Congressional subpoenas. Gitmo is still open, and indefinite detentions, kangeroo court show trials and torture are still the order of the day.
In short, Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Reid, and their supporting cast, have no one to blame for their missteps, mistakes and failures but themselves. If Pelosi, Reid, et alia, didn’t know what the Republicans were capable of after two decades of the bitter partisan nastiness which Republicans have so memorably displayed time and time again throughout the Clinton and Bush eras, then they are monumentally naive, utter morons and fundamentally incapable of governing an elementary school student council, much less the United States Congress. I don’t buy that however. What they have shown themselves to be in my book are incompetents and cowards, and by attempting to claim they had no idea the Republicans would continue to support Bush, they are also demonstrating themselves to be liars.