A Democrat Who Understands the Political Climate

One reason why Republicans have piled scorn and hatred on House Minority Leader, and former House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi is that she is not part of the house-broken wing of the Democratic Party. She's definitely no saint--and taking impeachment hearings off the table and joining Obama in his 'moving forward, not looking backward' bullshit was a bad, bad political move*. But, unlike most professional Democrats, she seems to understand the fundamental nature (not to mention, fundamentalist) of the Republican opposition (italics mine):

"They are at a different philosophical place," she said, characterizing their view as: "all engagement has to result in a child." Pelosi noted that contraception and family planning is "not consistent with their belief that it's all about procreation."

Pelosi added that the unreconcilable philosophical differences between Republicans and Dems on abortion left Dems no choice but to adopt a scorched-earth approach to the war ahead. "We don't have a set of shared values," she said. "We have to fight this out in the public domain, so when we move to the Senate it has no popular support."

Pelosi added that this fight was a good way to drive home the reality of GOP extremism to women who were not energized last November, a key swing demographic.

The GOP has sought to wrap its anti-abortion push in the language of fiscal responsibility, but Pelosi's no-holds-barred approach suggests this war could end up being fought out squarely on old culture-war turf.

Finally, a Democrat who publicly acknowledges that there is no room for compromise, that there are fundamental and "unreconcilable" differences between the two parties, and, most importantly, that these differences should be and must be part of the political landscape.

Hopefully, with the decline of the House Blue Dogs in the last election, the Democratic Party will begin to realize that and act as if the differences between the parties are in kind, not in extent.

Of course, there's a good chance that Obama will attempt to undercut Democrats with his conciliatory garbage. Now, if only Democrats would understand that he's a Rockefeller Republican....

*And Pelosi strikes me as enough of a hard ass to understand her mistake.

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I like Pelosi for this reason - she's a pragmatist while keeping her ideals in sight. And you and she are right - there is such a divide between the parties right now that it's a case of making a stand or being swept aside.

But it worries me that politics has got to this state - that it has to be an out and out battle. It means that any ground gained is temporary, and the next election can bring us back where we started. It bothers me even more that I can't see an alternative.

Hey, but C-SPAN might get a lot more entertaining. Have you ever seen videos of the Parliamentary chambers in Malaysia? I'll bet Pelosi can fling an absolutely wicked pair of stilettos!

By Kate from Iowa (not verified) on 18 Feb 2011 #permalink