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Thursday, August 04, 2011

San Fran Nan has a secret plan to get revenge against the GOP

I give House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) credit for still being able to deliver almost all of her party's Representatives on demand. But she and they have mostly been on the sidelines during the grand interplay we've been watching for the last six weeks as the debt ceiling approached. The 2010 election dictated those dynamics, which in turn largely dictated the results. The reason the GOP was able to block (or at least defer) tax increases was, very simply, because the House wouldn't agree to them even when confronted with the prospect of some sort of default by the federal government. And there was not a damned thing Nancy Pelosi could do to affect that, or to much affect the resulting legislative compromise.

Now, however, we learn from Talking Points Memo, a liberal website, that She Has A Plan: Pelosi Says There’ll Be No More Hostage Crises (hat-tip Andrew Stiles at The Corner) (ellipsis & bracketed capital letter by TPM):

"Suffice to say that you won't see a repetition of what happened last week, taking us to the last minute when they didn't even have the votes — they didn't even have the votes — and then saying to us 'You will be responsible for a default," Pelosi said in response to a question from TPM.

Pelosi was reluctant to spell out just how she would stave off this situation, however. "I would say that if I were to tell you...it would be defanged," she said, after being pressed for details. "In terms of what we — how we would approach where they go from here. And that may be a House Democratic position.... Our members were very unhappy about that vote the other day. Very unhappy."

Just how Democrats plan to proceed may ultimately depend on their willingness to stomach the unpleasant consequences of letting Republicans shoot the hostages. But in a revealing moment, Pelosi hinted Democrats may have reached their breaking point.

"[W]e wouldn't let our country default," Pelosi said. "But I'll say it this way to you. A default is a much more serious consequence than a shutdown of government for a few days."

At least as she comes off in these quotes, Ms. Pelosi is making Joe Biden, on the subject of their distinguished opposition from the right, sound positively articulate and temperate. To be fair, the metaphor about "shoot[ing] the hostages" isn't part of the quotes from Pelosi, so it may just be a bit of violent, spiteful imagery from TMP blogger Brian Beutler. (I'm sure Ms. Pelosi and indeed, President Obama, are emailing a rebuke to Beutler even as you read this, since it's so clearly a violation of Obama's "new civility.")

But is there any way to read this other than as a threat by Pelosi, on behalf of House Democrats (and perhaps Democrats generally), to contrive a government shutdown as an act of political retaliation?

If there were any specifics, or if Pelosi had that kind of power, or if she were a serious person instead of a half-dimensional party hack, this would be kinda scary.

Such power as Minority Leader Pelosi may have in the coming negotiations — and therefore such leverage and influence — will be a function almost entirely of whether she's given opportunities to exploit potential rifts between the most adamant and idealistic of those on the right (DeMint, Bachmann, etc.) and the GOP leadership of the House and/or Senate. So if this threat should be taken seriously by anyone, it ought to be the Republican members of both the House and the Senate:

Simply by getting on the same page and then staying there, folks, you'll ensure Nancy Pelosi's continuing irrelevance. There can't be very many more important services you can render to the Republic between now and November 2012.

Posted by Beldar at 04:44 PM in Congress, Current Affairs, Obama, Politics (2011) | Permalink

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Comments

(1) Phelps made the following comment | Aug 5, 2011 10:21:18 AM | Permalink

A government shutdown?!?

Oh, don't throw me in that briar patch! Do whatever you want, stop SS, default, whatever, but please just don't throw me in that briar patch!

(2) steve made the following comment | Aug 5, 2011 12:34:05 PM | Permalink

I have a different take on this. For all of her brave talk, she and her liberal colleagues will do what they always do when they are up against 'terrorists'... they cave. If the Democrats think of the GOP as a bunch of terrorists, instead of complaining, the GOP ought to shift tactics and use that to their advantage. Make them think we're crazy, and they'll fall all over themselves trying to appease us.

(3) sh made the following comment | Aug 5, 2011 1:07:25 PM | Permalink

Myopic Nan seeking swastikas again? I can't imagine what Mostin has up his sleeve if Perry runs.

(4) DRJ made the following comment | Aug 7, 2011 2:01:52 PM | Permalink

After the last 3 years of ObamaCare, the economy, the debt, the deficit and 9% unemployment (16% real unemployment), I hope far-left liberals are the only voters who still find Pelosi credible.

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