What is behind Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s total intransigence when it comes to her positions on President Donald Trump’s most important issues? Much like the mule that represents her party, Pelosi has dug in her heels and refused to budge on the key issues that caused the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. Instead of doing her job, she is indulging herself in a power struggle she is destined to lose.
In a meeting with the President, she demanded that he reopen the government before they get into the discussions on other key, contentious issues. The President then asked Pelosi if he does so, and if, in thirty days, he comes to her with a new request for funding for the border wall would she consider it, her immediate response was “No!” There was no sign of her willingness to discuss or negotiate.
So what is driving Pelosi to stonewall the President? It’s not security for the kids of DACA. She rejected that. It’s certainly not security at our southern border. She rejected that, too. It’s not even humanitarian treatment for the hopefuls in the caravans from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Mexico, some of whom are encamped in misery in Tijuana, Mexico, just over the border. And it certainly is not the hardships imposed by the shutdown itself on our own government workers. Not the children of DACA, not the families in Tijuana, not our own government employees, these are not her issues. They are only her talking points.
It’s simple, really. What Nancy Pelosi wants is POWER! And she hates Trump and will do anything to defeat all of his initiatives.
In the run-up to her appointment as Speaker of the House, she horse-traded favors in support for her election. In return for their votes, she bribed members with key committee assignments, threatened them with retaliation if she didn’t get their vote, and pulled whatever strings were necessary to get the votes she needed. Being Speaker of the House is a powerful position. And she succeeded in winning the votes she needed and more. But even that wasn’t enough. Now she wants power over the President of the United States.
Being an effective leader in Congress requires the ability to negotiate and compromise with the opposition party in order to get the business of the day done. Democrat Tip O’Neill, who served as the 47th Speaker of the House from 1977 to 1987, set an example for Pelosi, which she has declined to follow. O’Neill was the only Speaker to serve for five complete consecutive Congresses, and remains the third longest-serving Speaker in American history. Although he was often at odds with the Presidents during whose terms he served, and he once called President Ronald Reagan, “the most ignorant man who had ever occupied the White House”, he nevertheless had the ability to sit and talk with his adversaries and to compromise on important issues.
Nancy Pelosi has none of those talents. So set is she on achieving unconditional power that she has even refused to attend negotiating meetings with the President, no less participate in negotiations, and has absolutely refused to consider any funding for a barrier on America’s southern border, Trump’s signature issue. In her assumption of power as Speaker, she rules with an iron fist and demands that the Democrat members of Congress follow her lead and vote in lock-step with her agenda. The whip she wields is powerful and commands attention. She does not brook dissent.
Which leads to an interesting situation, as the 116th Congress of 2019 unfolds. A young, impulsive, unruly, and rude class of new, young Democrat Representatives has already let its voice be heard. The new members do not want to sit back and learn the rules of Congress, as they wait their turn to participate. The customs of the last century and a half are not for them.
In the moments after her swearing in, for example, newly elected Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, (MI- D) displayed her total lack of decorum or manners when she shouted her hatred for the President, “We’re going to impeach the motherf-r!” Such language apparently passes muster these days in the halls of Congress, because she did not receive a word of censure from the leaders of her party.
And Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-D), who wastes no opportunity to grab the nearest microphone to speak her piece on whatever subject bypasses her brain and goes straight to her mouth, does not let her lack of factual information or experience as a legislator interfere with her message. As often as not, her facts are wrong and she is frequently uninformed or misinformed about the matter at hand, which does not keep her from making up her facts as she goes along. She assures her adoring public that “There’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right” as if morality is a perfectly suitable substitute for truth and the two are unrelated. In fact, the responses that Ocasio-Cortez gives in live interviews are inarticulate, meandering, and demonstrate her total lack of understanding of the issues about which she speaks so freely, if incoherently.
And these two are only the most visible of this latest class of new Congressmen. As they stretch the limits of tradition to influence the party agenda, Nancy Pelosi continues to wield her power over her party in order to consolidate and increase her own personal power. Her deep hatred of President Trump prevents her from fulfilling her own mission to be an effective Speaker, because she equates her power with her ability to thwart the President at every opportunity.
As she celebrated the reopening of the government from the longest shut-down in U.S. history as a win over the President, she took a victory lap with Chuck Schumer. But her victory may be short-lived. The issues of the State of the Union and security solutions for America’s southern border are now the key issues on her chosen platform, and she intends to use them regardless of the interests of the American people and the country’s national security.
But as the Democrat party continues to splinter under the onslaught of the far left, Pelosi may want to use her dwindling power wisely. She will not win in a contest with the President. If she continues to refuse to allow the President’s State of the Union address in the halls of Congress, if she continues to totally refuse to negotiate funding for a barrier on our southern border, the President still has the option of declaring a state of national emergency to release the necessary funds.
The latest convoy of would-be immigrants to attack our southern border numbers more than 10,000 people. This is a true national emergency that challenges our immigration laws and the law enforcement professionals who enforce them.
The battle is drawn and America waits for whatever is coming next. The President opened the government for twenty-one days. If Pelosi does not join the negotiations in good faith, the President will have to assume that she is far less concerned about the erosion of American democracy and the subversion of the separation of powers dictated by our Constitution, and more interested in holding tight to her own personal power, whatever the cost. It is then up to President Trump to assume the reins of authority belonging to the position to which he was elected and put our national security above the petty politics of Nancy Pelosi. Image: (AP Photo / Tom Williams)