Democrats & Liberals Archives

Heckling Pelosi

There is a new pastime for journalists: heckling Pelosi. Since the Democrats won the election and it became clear that Nancy Pelosi was going to be the new Speaker of the House, she has been heckled mercilessly. I can understand why Republicans do this. But why on earth should Democrats, who have been in the wilderness for a long time, knock, denigrate and set obstacles in the path of their newly elected leader? Why?

Michael Crowley, of The New Republic, a magazine that calls itself "liberal," points out Pelosi's "dilemma" of the great fissure in the Democratic Party between the lefties and the moderates and the many power struggles she will face. The whole article is presented in a hateful Drudge-type manner that implies she will not be able to do the job. It's infuriating.

After discussing how wonderfully Gingrich ran the Republican show in 1994, Crowley says:

Twelve years later, as Nancy Pelosi fashions her Democratic majority, she must surely envy the simplicity of the Republicans' 1994 creation myth. For one thing, as opposed to the Republican revolution--with its clearly sketched ideals of fiscal responsibility and term limits--there is no commonly agreed-upon story about how the Democrats came to power this fall. Progressives insist that their antiwar position inspired the passion of the electorate; moderates, including a crop of freshmen from the South and West, claim it was their middle-of-the-road social and economic views that led Democrats from the wilderness. And, unlike the Contract-toting newcomers of '94, who marched in devoted lockstep with their leader, Pelosi's troops--who include everyone from Barbara Lee, a Berkeley-based sponsor of a "Department of Peace," to Heath Shuler, a culturally conservative rural populist--have dueling agendas of their own.

The article gets more and more strident as it continues. Knock, knock, knock. Obstacle, obstacle, obstacle. Heckle, heckle, heckle. Not a sign of anything good. Not a peep of a compliment. Not a recognition that Democrats finally have a chance to change course in America.

Crowley tells us that Democrats with different points of view have been elected. So what? Regardless of what their specific views on specific issues are, they are all to the left of the Republicans still in power. This gives Pelosi a great tool for unification of the party. Some Democrats may digress occasionally from the party line, but it will be to their advantage to not do it often.

Pelosi has started in a great way with her 100 Hours Program, where she will introduce 6 pieces of legislation that ALL Democrats agree with - and lots of Republicans. After that, the Democrats, with the aid of Republicans, will consider legislation that the Republicans have not allowed to be discussed, legislation to help the common citizen and not only the rich and elite.

Instead of heckling, Crowley should be crowing. Instead of acting like a Republican who has lost an election, Crowley should be acting like a proud Democrat who has won. Instead of trying to tear Pelosi down and making her job harder, Crowley should build Pelosi up and discuss how she may be able to unite the various Democratic factions.

Crowley: It's easy to heckle. It's hard to give useful advice. If you want to be a useful liberal, help, don't hinder, Democrats.

Posted by Paul Siegel at December 5, 2006 5:45 PM
Comments
Comment #197827

Paul, it’s because we’re a party of all sorts of different beliefs. At any rate, I consider criticizing the government the job of journalists. I’m not going to make exceptions for politicians in my own party.

Some on the right like to believe the left gets a free pass in the media. We know better.

Posted by: Trent at December 5, 2006 5:55 PM
Comment #197833
There is a new pastime for journalists: heckling Pelosi. Since the Democrats won the election and it became clear that Nancy Pelosi was going to be the new Speaker of the House, she has been heckled mercilessly. I can understand why Republicans do this. But why on earth should Democrats, who have been in the wilderness for a long time, knock, denigrate and set obstacles in the path of their newly elected leader? Why?

Good question.
Hastert didn’t get all that heckling did he?
Hmmmmm … why do Democrats do that?

Posted by: d.a.n at December 5, 2006 6:40 PM
Comment #197834

that’s because it often appears that way. but this is certainly something to think about…

good point trent.

Posted by: Diogenes at December 5, 2006 6:47 PM
Comment #197835

Trent,

You’re right.
Criticism (if it is constructive) from within your own party is a good thing.
A party with members that just follow in lock-step is a bad thing.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 5, 2006 7:09 PM
Comment #197837

Yes, how infuriating that a journalist should write an article critical of Nancy Pelosi!! What an outrage! Honestly, I don’t why this it isn’t illegal for journalists to question the actions of Democrats.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at December 5, 2006 7:14 PM
Comment #197839

Paul Siegel
Will the real Republican operative please stand up?
I believe not only will the Republican journalists and an those who claim to be objective
reporters, will come out from their safe abboud, from under a large editorial rock, thus, trying to
bring out every possible dirty trick they can
find, in order to defeat the Democrats, in order to regain their power. I believe this past election just, knocked their socks off!



Posted by: DAVID at December 5, 2006 7:20 PM
Comment #197840

Paul,

You’ve made my day with these quotes Paul! This is hilarious!

Instead of acting like a Republican who has lost an election, Crowley should be acting like a proud Democrat who has won.

But that’s just it Paul. He is acting exactly like a Democrat, win or lose. (You finally may understand what Democrats have sounded like for the past few decades?)

Crowley: It’s easy to heckle. It’s hard to give useful advice. If you want to be a useful liberal, help, don’t hinder, Democrats.

“It’s easy to heckle.” —Is it really?

“…If you want to be a useful liberal, help, don’t hinder…”? —LOL.

Posted by: eric simonson at December 5, 2006 7:25 PM
Comment #197842

d.a.n + Loyal Opposition
By not giving the newly elected people a chance to
prove them selves would be a disservice an short
term memory loss, as to what choices the American
people, have just decided.

Posted by: DAVID at December 5, 2006 7:36 PM
Comment #197847

MSM is mostly liberal leaning, but they are also looking for stories. So far, nothing Pelsosi has done has looked too. Her unexplainable support for ethically challenged Jack Murtha and even more ethically challenged Alcee Hastings has not inspired confidence even among the faithful.

Maybe Nancy will get some praise when she merits it. Besides, the spanking she is getting is tame compared to what the media gives to Republicans.

Posted by: Jack at December 5, 2006 8:00 PM
Comment #197848


I have been a New Deal Democrat since my indoctrination at a very early age. The Democratic Party has always fought amoung themselves because of their big tent. Virtually the whole South left the party and became Republicans because of the fight over segregation and voting rights. That is how the Republicans regained enough power to renew their attack on the New Deal, the Unions and the Middle Class.

I give Newt Gingrich and the contract with America most of the credit for forging the coalition that gained control of the entire government. But to the great fortune of the Democrats, the Republicans began reneging on the contract as soon as they controlled the House. The first thing to go was term limitations. After Bush was elected, they really began helping the Democrats back into power. They ditched the balanced budget. Then Bush showed how dumb he was by putting Cheney and Rumsfeld in command of his aspirations in Iraq. They abandoned fiscal responsibility, bought off their main constituency with big tax cuts, throwed a assult weapons bone to the gun owners and the faith based initiative bone to the religious sector and got reelected in 04. Then they made their biggest blunder, Social Security. It has been all down hill since then and now the Democrats are back in control of Congress.

Well guess what, even before they take their new seats, in a true show of democracy, the Democrats are fighting among themselves. I find that refreshing.

As for the media, the corporations own the high ground and the media. They will continue to use the media and payola to politicians to stave off any meaningful assult on their position.

Posted by: jlw at December 5, 2006 8:05 PM
Comment #197851

I did detect a not of sexism in the way her alleged feud with Jane Harman was covered. The facts are that Jane Harman’s tenure on the committee was up and she was being investigated by the FBI. Yet the received wisdom was that Pelosi was nursing a grudge.

I wonder what people would say about a male speaker under similar circumstance. I don’t think they would say he was a vindictive a$$hole and try to look for ulterior motives. But a woman acts that way and she’s a vindictive bitch.

And I’m not the kind of person who sees sexism every rock.

Posted by: Woody Mena at December 5, 2006 8:29 PM
Comment #197852

Jlw, the reason that the South drifted towards the Republicans is a lot more complicated than that.

It was Southern Democrats, after all, that fillibustered the Civil Rights Act of 64 and George Wallace was a Democrat.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at December 5, 2006 8:30 PM
Comment #197853

oops that’s “NOTE of sexism”

Posted by: Woody Mena at December 5, 2006 8:30 PM
Comment #197854

L.O.

It’s a lot more complicated than THAT. George Wallace ditched the Democrats when he ran for president in 1968.

Barry Goldwater voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Republicans nominated him for President.

Posted by: Woody Mena at December 5, 2006 8:35 PM
Comment #197857

if yall wanted to make the republicans look bad, you’d take the criticism in stride - analyze the complaints, make sure you don’t fulfill the predictions… the way the republicans made the democrats look bad by declining to challenge elections (it doesn’t matter if they had any good reason to do so - it’s a perception thing).

don’t waste time excoriating the ‘foul, biased (or sexist) media’ as the reps did… it’s a waste of time, and just makes you look like you can give it, but cannot take it… and makes you look equally as querulous as the reps - that’s not what you want, is it?

those recently elected now have their chance to prove themselves, regardless of what their critics say - or they can instead waste the opportunity, whining about how they never had a chance.

you may all feel free to continue complaining, of course - i just hope these politicians don’t waste my tax money by following suit. i say again, trent is right.

Posted by: Diogenes at December 5, 2006 8:58 PM
Comment #197862

Paul, it’s called being the party in power. It’s no fun for the media to tear down the Republicans anymore, because they have already been knocked down. The MSM has to sell newspapers, or magazines, or TV time, and they do that by talking about and maybe even creating controversy. Democrats will now start to feel some of the negativity that has been aimed at Republicans for so long. Welcome to their world.

Posted by: nchoosier at December 5, 2006 9:14 PM
Comment #197863
the republicans made the democrats look bad by declining to challenge elections

Pretty typical Dem-bashing. Even when they win, they “look bad”.

The Democrats were on the losing end of a lot of close ones, too, by the way. So don’t pat yourselves on the back too much.

Posted by: Woody Mena at December 5, 2006 9:15 PM
Comment #197864

Paul, are you saying that critique and analysis of the Dem’s is verboten! How very Republican of you.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 5, 2006 9:16 PM
Comment #197867

slow down there, woody. re-read the post. you seem to be misinterpreting my point… but perhaps that was your intention…

on the next read, pay particularly close attention to where i say;

‘it doesn’t matter if they had any good reason to do so - it’s a perception thing’

…read, whether or not they had any good reason to challenge the elections, they could have and didn’t…they could have cried foul… and didn’t…understand? i think most others will.

“So don’t pat yourselves on the back too much.”

how presumptuous. i *have* been patting myself on the back - i voted democrat for congress. given the way yall handle criticism, however, i’m already having second thoughts.

Posted by: Diogenes at December 5, 2006 9:29 PM
Comment #197877
d.a.n + Loyal Opposition By not giving the newly elected people a chance to prove them selves …

I’m not stopping anyone from proving themselves.
I would love them to prove that Congress has really turned over a new leaf, and will truly address these problems.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 5, 2006 10:09 PM
Comment #197878

Let people get out their opinions, Paul. We are not so weak as a party that people questioning the leadership of our party is harmful. Quite the opposite. We don’t want to be power preservationists here, loyal to politicians.

That’s what sunk the Republicans. They got so committed to supporting their leaders that they forgot that these people answer to more than just partisans. They have to answer to everybody. We ignore that at our peril.

We need to do some real good for this country, and we can’t do it by satisfying the egos of our politicians, no matter how instrumental they were to the majority in the beginning. We owe them only the opportunity to prove themselves worthy of their next election, their continuation of power. We do not owe them nor should we give them immunity from criticism. That way likes corruption, excess, and a one way ticket back to the wilderness.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 5, 2006 10:11 PM
Comment #197880

Diogenes

If an election is very close and/or there is good reason to believe the votes were not counted properly or there was other manipulation ,it is not only proper to challege the outcome it is also a solemn responsibility. Peoples votes need to count or we might as well be another banana republic.

Posted by: BillS at December 5, 2006 10:35 PM
Comment #197881

Paul:

This is the funniest thread I have ever read here. All I can say is welcome to leadership. It’s not going to change a bit as long as you are in power.

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at December 5, 2006 10:36 PM
Comment #197882

bill,

this is a good point, and i concur. but this was not really my point… it was more an illustration of my point. you may make the same claim of this crop of politicians - that if what is said of them is untrue, they should protest it.
i would agree here as well, at least to an extent; i submit that one’s actions speak much more loudly than words.

do the job. do it right. make them eat their words.

Posted by: Diogenes at December 5, 2006 10:40 PM
Comment #197885

Diogenes,

Thanks for slowing down and explaining everything for an idiot like myself, but I think I got it the first time.

The fact that the Republicans who lost close races did not raise spurious challenges does reflect well on them. What you haven’t explained is why that makes the Democrats look BAD. The Democrats who lose close races didn’t make a fuss either, except in one district in Florida where tens of thousands of electronic votes just went poof.

There is no logical reason that one side needs to look bad.

Pardon me for not reading your mind and knowing you voted Democratic.

Posted by: Woody Mena at December 5, 2006 10:47 PM
Comment #197886

…i think it wise to heed stephen and trent’s posts on the matter. apparently it is just easier to hear such advice from a compatriot, as it were.

Posted by: Diogenes at December 5, 2006 10:48 PM
Comment #197888

again, you ignore my point to quibble about what is past and gone. i do not need to explain this to you. if you don’t understand it, then you simply aren’t looking at it objectively. you can disagree, but you cannot change my opinion on the matter by denying my right to one. perhaps it would be more beneficial to us all if you focused on the subject at hand.

…and it’s ok; i forgive you for your hasty, unfounded assumptions.

Posted by: Diogenes at December 5, 2006 10:53 PM
Comment #197890

the above post should have been directed to woody. apologies if that wasn’t apparent.

Posted by: Diogenes at December 5, 2006 10:57 PM
Comment #197892


I have been keeping tabs on the Florida 13th race. Christine Jennings is a product of my little home town, the Village of New Boston Ohio. My cousin is married to her brother. After graduating from GHS, she began working in one of the local banks. She moved to Florida, worked her way up to president of a bank, became a millionare, retired and ran for Congress on the Democratic ticket. She is the product of a good Republican family.

Posted by: jlw at December 5, 2006 11:07 PM
Comment #197893

Diogenes,

For Pete’s sake, I wasn’t “denying [your] right” to an opinion, I was just asking you to explain it! Talk about whining. Whatever…

Posted by: Woody Mena at December 5, 2006 11:10 PM
Comment #197894

ok. so you take exception with the notion that when the republicans looked good (by not challenging…) that it made the democrats look bad… poor choice of wording perhaps (a bit touchy aren’t we?)

i retract that portion of the statement, and concede the point. for the record, the statement should now read;

“if yall wanted to make the republicans look bad, make yourselves look good, you’d take the criticism in stride…the way the republicans made the democrats look bad made themselves look good by declining…” etc.

are we feeling better now? is that pc enough? if not, then ditto that “whatever.”

Posted by: Diogenes at December 5, 2006 11:17 PM
Comment #197897


Craig is right. When the Democrats are in control of Congress, they have always fought among themselves. That is democracy in action. What do you want them to do, be in lock step behind Pelosi like the Republicans were behind Hastert. That was dictatorial control in action. No bill will be brought to the House floor for debate and a vote until the Republicans are sure they have enough Republican votes to pass it. That was their way of of doing the countries business. If the Democrats do it the Republican way, the Republicans will get the opportunity to do it again.

Posted by: jlw at December 5, 2006 11:26 PM
Comment #197899

Diogenes,

Hey, I whatevered you first, man! :)

Posted by: Woody Mena at December 5, 2006 11:33 PM
Comment #197901

granted…but in my defense, i wasn’t trying to make you look bad… just trying to make myself look good. ;)

Posted by: Diogenes at December 5, 2006 11:38 PM
Comment #197902

jlw

You are absolutely right. Lets just hope they remember the word compromise. Without it they will accomplish nothing. Debate is good and can be a healthy means to reaching effective and fair conclusions. That is so long as they can come to terms at some point. I do have to believe they realize this and will make efforts to avoid repeating republican mistakes.

Posted by: ILdem at December 5, 2006 11:43 PM
Comment #197903

i’m hoping that i’m preaching to the choir here… but when a person (or party) gets everything they desire, they often discover that much of what they wanted is anything but what they needed… if only they’d been forced to compromise.

of course, the dems aren’t exactly in the same position the reps have been recently… but a bit of compromising (and *gasp* sharing of the credit - even where it isn’t necessarily deserved) might inspire a reciprocal reaction. still, given the record of this batch of republicans, i would cross my fingers… but i wouldn’t hold my breath.

and so you don’t think i’m merely vying for undue sympathy for all republicans - i would not propose that you apply this same strategy to the administration. there i advocate shoving it right up their… well, you get it.

anyway, just a thought.

Posted by: Diogenes at December 5, 2006 11:55 PM
Comment #197953

“In a slap at the Pentagon, the [baker] commission said there is “significant underreporting” of the actual level of violence in the country. It also faulted the U.S. intelligence effort, saying the government “still does not understand very well either the insurgency in Iraq or the role of the militias.”

significant underreporting? and i was told that the media was playing up the violence to undermine the war effort and sabotage our troops? …and it turns out they were downplaying the violence the whole time…

Posted by: Diogenes at December 6, 2006 1:20 PM
Comment #197969


The military are virtually the only ones who know the true level of violence. Most of the reporters are hunkered down in the green zone. Any organization that tries to report the facts is swiftly attacked by the right.

I think that we all have known that the level of violence was worse than what we have been seeing and hearing. However, what we have been shown is way bad enough. It got our attention, got us to change the government, got most of us to want us out of there.

Posted by: jlw at December 6, 2006 2:38 PM
Comment #197978

very true. i wonder how many more would feel as i do, if the entire truth of the situation came out…

Posted by: Diogenes at December 6, 2006 3:22 PM
Comment #197998


I imagine that some who have denied that it is as bad as the media portrayed it to be and now find out it is really worse will come around. There will always be the hard core that would deny what is happening even if we set them down right in the middle of it. Well, they would deny it till they stopped breathing.

Posted by: jlw at December 6, 2006 5:47 PM
Comment #198012

Paul
Gasp! The media can criticize democrats?! Come on. By the way, the article didn’t look so much like heckling to me as pointing out significant challenges Pelosi might face in uniting a diverse group of representatives.

Diogenes, jlw
The exact level of violence doesn’t matter much so long as it is high enough (as it is) that something needs to be done differently.


I wouldn’t count on much cooperation from republicans. On most of the 100 hours, sure, those are fairly popular ideas. Start throwing in universal health care or public funding of elections and there will be a much harder fight. Even certain abortion laws might be difficult to pass. If the lefter dems try to shove through bills most of the country doesn’t agree with, they’ll lose in 2008. Lots of people are predicting more dem gains then, but they’re not taking into account possible dem problems and the recent willingness by Bushco to change the course in Iraq.

Posted by: Silima at December 6, 2006 6:54 PM
Comment #198014

“I wouldn’t count on much cooperation from republicans.”

i think the republicans are coming around… at least i hope so. i would really be quite perturbed if i had to vote democrat again, merely because the reps wouldn’t allow the dems to do what must be done.

“The exact level of violence doesn’t matter much so long as it is high enough (as it is) that something needs to be done differently.”

this is so unbelievably untrue… if only you knew what i know…

Posted by: Diogenes at December 6, 2006 7:06 PM
Comment #198019

Silima-

“Lots of people are predicting more dem gains then, but they’re not taking into account possible dem problems and the recent willingness by Bushco to change the course in Iraq.”

Isn’t it amazing how politics works? Thousands of Editorials from the highest respected publications come out against Bush’s policies for 6 years straight, and it merely hardens the white house position. Yet the dems squeek by in a close election and suddenly we get a reformist white house. The next 2 years, the ball is squarely in the democrats’ court.

Posted by: Kevin23 at December 6, 2006 7:58 PM
Comment #198085

Diogenes
If you know something I don’t, please enlighten me.

Kevin
Yes. Apparently it hadn’t occured to them that the American people could -gasp- hold them accountable for their actions.

Posted by: Silima at December 6, 2006 11:28 PM
Comment #198100

if i were at liberty to do so, you wouldn’t have to ask; i’d be yelling it from the rooftops. suffice it to say, the known atrocities pale in comparison. one might argue, i suppose, that such is the nature of warfare.

Posted by: Diogenes at December 7, 2006 12:09 AM
Comment #199231

Loyal Oppostition,

“I don’t why this it isn’t illegal for journalists to question the actions of Democrats.”

It isn’t illegal because that would be unconstitutional.

The lies, the angles, and the deception are the side effects to our freedom of speech and press.

Something that wouldn’t be unconstitutional is to illegalize press being a profitable business.

If we made all media ‘non-profit’ we would actually be able to put some faith into what we are told.

I think that is an idea all parties can agree on.

Any disputes? =)

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at December 14, 2006 12:34 PM
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