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September 10, 2007

Nancy Pelosi - War Enabler, Unwilling To Take Political Risks (Chad)

Every dysfunctional relationship must have an enabler, the person who allows the behavior to continue, according to the participants in this anti-war strategy call Nancy Pelosi is the enabler allowing the President Bush's failed Iraq policy to continue. If she would just break the cycle of violence all would be well you see, our troops could be withdrawn; Sunni, Shia, Jew, Christian and Buddhist could live in peace together in the Garden of Eden that would spring up on the site of Baghdad. So say the participants, including Congressman Jim Moran.


OK in actuality the majority of the call is Jim Moran (D-VA) and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) making excuses to the various anti-war groups about why more hasn't been done to end the war. A lot of it is pretty funny. The activists sound like a bunch of kids in a "Little Rascals" episode trying to end the war by having a show in the barn. Most of it sounds like it will just as effective too, but I really enjoyed the disappointment that was expressed in Pelosi. It warmed the cockles of my cold Republican heart.

Congresswoman Lynne Woolsey: Let’s start with what it’s going to take. It’s going to take some courage to not fund continuing the occupation. But we have to make sure that ending the war is not perceived as abandoning the troops. So what the triad (Congresswomen Woolsey, Waters, and Lee), are proposing ( H.R. 508 by Barbara Lee) is that we only fund a safe and orderly redeployment, including bringing the big equipment out of Iraq.

So that’s what we’re focusing on. Now, what’s it going to take for the Democratic leadership to do something bold? I don’t know.
I promise you that we’re not going to stop pushing. But there’s still a lack of understanding that the reason we’re in the majority is that the people of this country wanted us to lead in bringing our troops home.

So your role (the NSP and the other organizations represented on this conference call) is to keep on doing what you’re doing. Help people change the conversation from “abandoning the troops” to funding orderly redeployment. I’m telling you, that’s going to take six months to a year. If we don’t get started…and they don’t want it to happen, the Republicans. Then we have Senator John Warner (R-VA) saying, “Start [redeploying the troops] by Christmas.” I think we should build on that, by the way, even though he doesn’t mean it with the same intensity we do. But we have to make it look like this is the beginning of something that could happen so that Democrats could get some courage.

...

Woolsey: Ok, here’s something. I believe that Nancy (Pelosi) is with us, and she’s counting on you guys and Barbara and Maxine and me to push from the Left in the Congress. But the people that need to hear are the moderate Democrats who are holding up the whole thing. They’re the ones who have to know that their people care, that they bring our troops home. They swear they don’t. They swear that they’ll lose their elections if they do the right thing.

So Woolsey has now set up the fall guys, the freshman dems from conservative areas who are afraid to vote to end the war.

Unfortunately the line isn't selling that well anymore:

Benjamin: Well, we’re trying Lynn. We can’t even get Nancy Pelosi to meet with her own peace constituents. I would like to know: doesn’t she have the power to put a bill on the floor and not put it on? Can’t she decide that we’re not going to keep funding this war?

Well, it has to be a funding bill, and the supplemental is our next chance. It’s going to be soon.

Lerner: Pelosi could simply not bring up any funding bill for the military. She could not bring it up, and then say: “We’re only going to bring it up if you agree to end the war.”

Woolsey: That we’re only going to be spending our money to bring the troops home. And that’s what we’re going to be pushing for, I promise.

Lerner: Instead of bringing it to the floor where she knows she’ll lose the vote, she’ll refuse to bring it to the floor.

Woolsey: Well, she could do that, but it’s going to cost money to bring the troops home. The Democrats are more afraid of being labeled as abandoning, and if we fund the safe, orderly redeployment, then indeed folks will start phrasing it that way, including our own leadership, and then we can abandon the mindset that we’re not abandoning our own troops. The Republicans will say it, but Democrats have to quit saying it.

Benjamin: Lynn, if there’s no change of heart from the leadership of the Democratic Party now, is the most likely scenario that Bush will get his now 200 Billion dollars for the war with no timeline?

Woolsey: Well, it could be, yeah.

So the truth comes out for most of the "principled Dems" maintaining a majority is more important than enacting the platform they were supposedly elected on, "Ending the War".

Conversation drifts away to the usual national day of action garbage, which I personally think is just an excuse for liberals to try and clandestinely institute the 30 hour work week. Especially since they are now talking about having these days of action every Friday. Nothing like a good humanitarian reason to start the week-end early. What's your boss going to say? No? If he does you can just look him in the eyes and say "I guess I am just a little more concerned about our brave soldiers fighting and dying in Iraq than you are." That oughta shut him up.

Anyway... The slackers participants talk abou this for awhile until Jim Moran opens his mouth talking about how they are going to challenge General Petraeus. Then the gloves come off:

Benjamin: Congressman, I still don’t understand the strategy. I’m in Nancy Pelosi’s district. We’re been doing a hunger strike, a campout outside her home in August—she wouldn’t even have a meeting outside with any of the peace groups—she said when she became speaker that defunding the war was off the table, so you might feel like she’s with us at heart, but we don’t fee like it out here. We don’t understand that if she can get 220 votes for some version that includes something with a timetable for withdrawal—something, as watered down as it might be—if that doesn’t go through, then why should she put anything else on the table?

Moran: There’s nothing else that she can put on the table because the spending leverage power we have is the only power we have. It’s the power of the purse. All the rest of the stuff really doesn’t matter. It amounts to rhetoric.

Lerner: She shouldn’t put forward a spending resolution. She should simply say that she won’t put anything to the floor of the House that includes spending for the war unless the President agrees to end the war, and use the money to take them home. That’s the power. The danger is that there would be rebellion in the Caucus, but from what you’re saying, it sounds as if even if she doesn’t have the votes of all of the Caucus, she would have a majority of votes in the Caucus for keeping a spending resolution from reaching the floor.

...

Benjamin: But that showed that their were fifty more Democrats who were willing to put themselves forward as wanting to put an end to the war, and I think if you go forward with the supplemental that includes restrictions in using it, and if Nancy Pelosi used her weight to get the Blue Dogs…Now everything she says is that it’s the fault of the sixty votes in the Senate. She never mentions that it’s people within her own party, and I don’t think she’s put the pressure on them—in fact, I know she hasn’t put the pressure on them. So if she could get something with 220 votes, which I don’t think is impossible, if she put the pressure, and if that didn’t go through the Senate, or if by some miracle it did and it got vetoed, then she could respond by not putting anything forward. And that’s what we’d like to see her do.

Moran: I would too, and I really believe that if she can, she will. I don’t want to be an apologist for Nancy, but neither do I want to undermine her in any way. She is the strongest Speaker we’ve had. I don’t want to be in her shoes, because I imagine the pressures that she gets. I know she is as frustrated as I am and Jack Murtha, the Out of Iraq Caucus, etc., that we have not gone anywhere in terms of fulfilling our mission to end this war. And it is showing in the poll results. And they know that we lost ten percentage points in the polls when we failed to have a definitive statement on the war in the last spending bills.

...

Benjamin: She’s the enabler, Jim. We see through that. She allows 200 Billion dollars to go through for war with no timeline for it; she’s going to lose the progressive part of this country.

...

Pelosi: I have suggested that, and have suggested that she meet with you, Michael, but she has an acute memory of you having protested in front of her office and apparently some other tactics. Everybody’s human, no matter what position they’re in, and they particularly get their feeling hurt when they feel that people who are close to them are critical.

Benjamin: You know, we camped outside of Dianne Feinstein’s house and she came out and talked to us. We were delighted—she took thirty minutes to talk to us, and we left. We’ve been outside Pelosi’s and she called us ‘nuts’. She doesn’t understand. She hasn’t talked to her constituents for a year and a half. She hasn’t had a town hall meeting. As Leslie said, she hasn’t talked to the national anti-war movement, I don’t know if she’s talked to MoveOn, but certainly not the rest of us. So we’re not ‘in’ on the strategy, all we see is that she’s become the enabler in this war, and it turns us against her, instead of working with her.

source: The Politico via Instapundit

(for some reason the links wouldn't post so here it is in cut and paste format:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0907/5723.html )

All in all it sounds like not everyone is pleased with Madame Speaker, which the source article at the politico echoes:

Rabbi Michael Lerner, the editor of Tikkun magazine, posted the transcript Friday on the website of the Network of Spiritual Progressives, of which he is a co-chair.

The transcript shows that opponents of the war in Iraq plan to try to convince freshman Democrats from conservative districts that they might not get reelected unless the party produces something serious in the way of resistance to the war. But the call shows the war opponents are having little success because of fears about the impact on next year’s elections if the party is seen as defeatist.

...

The activists express discontent with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). At one point, Woolsey, who represents Marin and Sonoma counties, is quoted as saying: “I believe that Nancy is with us, and she’s counting on you guys ... and me to push from the left in the Congress.”

Lerner, in the interview with Politico, was not sympathetic. “We’re not that concerned about what’s going on in her heart,” he said. “We’re trying to end the war, and in that, she does not seem to be very much with us, [she] is not willing to take any serious political risk.”


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