Originally created 06/05/06

The Party of Pelosi



If Nancy Pelosi were a Republican, her fascination with having recently discovered curly fries would be the subject of national ridicule.

But because the House minority leader is a Democrat, she will likely get a pass - the media simply won't characterize her as being out of touch.

Yet, she's possibly the most liberal person in Washington; she represents a city, San Francisco, that loathes the military - and, oh, she's a multimillionaire.

Most importantly, Pelosi and the rest of the Barbra Streisand wing of the Democratic Party are as out of touch with the Midwest and South as John Kerry times two.

This is the face of the modern Democratic Party.

That might be a quaint and quizzical notion, were it not for the fact that only 15 seats separate Nancy Pelosi from the office of Speaker of the House - which, not incidentally, is two heartbeats from the presidency.

She, in short, embodies the reason that throwing a tantrum in November is a horrible idea.

You could argue there's no reason to throw one anyway: The economy is humming along, there have been no terrorist attacks on U.S. soil since 9-11, and while blood is still being spilled in Iraq and Afghanistan, fledgling democracies there are taking firm hold in a neighborhood of the world that, just a few years ago, was rife with oppression and the seeds of terrorism.

Still, we keep getting told we've got to turn those corrupt Republicans out. Never mind the fact that corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff's fingerprints are all over both sides of the aisle. And lo and behold, there's Mr. Purity - Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid - accepting free ringside boxing seats while Congress considers legislation affecting the sport.

And then you've got to consider the unsavory alternative: the Party of Pelosi.

The New York Times reported that Republicans are quietly thrilled that part of this election season will be about getting to know Nancy Pelosi.

"She ought to be a big component of the fall campaign," the Times quoted one Republican strategist as saying.

"She can appear tentative and overscripted in interviews," acknowledges the Times itself, "with a tight smile and large, expressive eyes (that) can leave an impression of nervousness." Her performance on a recent Meet the Press, the newspaper recounts, was seen by observers from both parties as "shaky, uncommanding and defensive."

"A lot of Republicans," the Times quoted another GOP lobbyist, "were saying, 'We need her on TV more.' Maybe (the GOP) should buy ad time for her."

More troubling still is the direction she would try to take the country. Somewhere to the left of John Kerry.

This aspect of the congressional election campaign will be as important as any other.

Stay tuned.