Democrats & Liberals Archives

A Question of Political Pelosi Dynamics.

I guess what I could say here is, you folks said it, not us. But if that actually is your strategy, to destroy the Republicans favorite congressional target Nancy Pelosi, and distract from torture, the question I’d like to ask is, if Pelosi goes down, who would the Democrats replace her with?

Think about it for a second: Democrats on their way up, not down. Pelosi and Reid are hardly popular among Democrats. Republicans have made an open show of being hostile, so Compromisers will be valued less than people who can herd the cats and enforce party discipline.

And Democrats will certainly go for somebody uncontaminated by the torture question.

So, my guess: The Republicans take down Pelosi, and likely get somebody, who, from their perspective, politically and practically, will be much worse.

That seems to fit the profile of the inside-the-beltway GOP these days.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at May 18, 2009 5:38 PM
Comment #281729

Pelosi shot her own self in the foot by her remarks. The minority leader in congress just wants her to appologize for calling the CIA liers. Your obsession with Republicans is getting old.

Posted by: KAP at May 18, 2009 7:59 PM
Comment #281732

hold on, i’m still betting on pelosi. the cia liars? no, can’t be. a previous leader was a bush, and we know they don’t lie right? right. let’s keep shaking the tree. bet we find out that the “evidence” was burned in cheney’s office. oh, did i give away the ending? afraid so.

Posted by: bluebuss at May 18, 2009 8:38 PM
Comment #281733

The newly appointed CIA director, who by the way was appointed by Obama a DEMOCRAT, is himself none to happy with Pelosi’s remarks. Like some say if the CIA did the crimes that she is accusing them of PROSECUTE that would put a feather in her bonnet.

Posted by: KAP at May 18, 2009 8:55 PM
Comment #281734


I honestly don’t think the question of who would replace Pelosi should be relevant. She’s made an accusation—a pretty serious one. So she should either apologize for the accusation, or provide proof of her accusation.

If she does go down for her comments, then she goes down…and gets replaced. But the idea that she should be protected in some way because the alternative might be worse is just plain politics. Its possible that Repubs might just do that, since reducing her authority and power and keeping her in her position might benefit them. But I hope that’s not the case. I’m tired of the political games on all sides.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at May 18, 2009 9:42 PM
Comment #281735


I don’t like Pelosi, but it is not a partisan thing. I don’t like her weak stands on national security. I don’t like her lying about the CIA and I guess I just don’t like her. She is judgement & ethically challenged.

If she goes, she will probably be replaced by Steny Hoyer, who is more intelligent and has greater integrity. An additional benefit will be that crooks like Murtha will lose some clout.

So I think Pelsoi going down will be good for the country. I think her going down will NOT be good for Republicans, since she is becomming a liability to the Democrats.

As for Harry Reid, I can never forgive him for claiming that we were defeated in Iraq. I thought of moving to Nevada just to vote against that … man.

IMO Democrats elected those people when they were in the minority because they wanted to have a strong partisan position. They didn’t really care about competence because they did not expect to be in the majority any time soon. Now smart Democrats will have to dump both of them.

So, Stephen, you are right that the ones that come next will be harder for Republicans, but almost anybody will be better for the country than having the likes of Pelosi and Reid.

Sometimes it is about what is good for the country. Not everybody is partisan all the time.

Posted by: Christine at May 18, 2009 9:49 PM
Comment #281739

I think the dirtier and stinkier this ball becomes, everyone is going to get a bad taste in their mouths.

The wisdom of Obama’s forward looking stance seems better and better, but there is still that nagging sense that the nation needs to somehow purge itself of a demon.

My bet is Pelosi survive’s, as do Bush/Cheney.

Posted by: gergle at May 19, 2009 1:12 AM
Comment #281743

And exactly why wouldn’t Pelosi survive? She is quite popular in her district, a lot more popular than the CIA,I might add. She is also popular with the Dems in congress, that will continue to re-elect her. I am not willing to admit she lied about the CIA briefing until all the cards are on the table, but even if she did,lieing to the press,mis speaking or whatever is not a criminal act. The only outcome would be that people that do not like her will continue to not like her.

Posted by: bills at May 19, 2009 4:42 AM
Comment #281745

My Obsession? Good heavens, man. This is a political blog. It doesn’t mean I have to mention Republicans, but it sure doesn’t make it a strange thing for me to do so on a regular basis!

Pelosi is fighting the claim that she knew all about it. I related, off in this entry’s red column counterpart why that’s unlikely: the Bush Administration’s restriction from classified informtion, not long after 9/11. This is about, essentially, the canard being floated around that Congress, much less the Democrats, knew everything about what Bush was doing. Virtually no one in Congress, for example, was able to read the classified NIE which gave a much more realistic picture of Iraq’s WMD capacity. Instead, they got a whitewashed, overly confident version that chunked all the caveats and qualifications that might have given people doubt.

But keep telling yourself everybody knew, and then keep telling us that those who knew could make a big deal out of things without revealing classified information. That way, the Republicans, or at least the Bush Administration foreign policy can be apologized for endlessly, on the ground that everybody thought it was right. And then, while you folks express regret for the mistakes everybody made, you invite us to continue making them.

Haven’t heard from you in a while. Good to hear from you.

I’m no less tired of the political games. That’s why I’m showing how utterly dumb this strategy is. I’ve commented elsewhere about the hypocrisy of supporting torture as if its virtuous, and then using its bad reputation to try and shame people into paralysis.

I just wish the Republicans would admit that their stubborn embrace of Dubya’s old policies was a losing game to play, and just let that fight end. It doesn’t mean they have to do things our way all the time, but they can be less intent on just being roadblocks.

I don’t like defining the strength of a national security measure by the scale of the transgression the authorities employ to defend the country.

Pelosi has long been cariactured as a far left liberal peacenik, even while she essentially ran things as a centrist, and has seemed scared of her shadow when it comes to confronting the Republicans.

Reid? Reid let the Republicans run him over.

The truth of the matter is Republicans lift these people up as targets because they’re the ones in power, not because they’re especially strong as partisans or politicians.

Do you understand that these guys were the transitional figures, that the dynamic will take things towards speakers and majority leaders who are considerably more firm in the Democratic positions, and who see the Pelosi/Reid years as a cautionary tale as to what happens when you let the Republicans walk all over you. Sooner or later, the Democrats are going to get people who are as tough and canny as political operators as the current president.

I just keep thinking that Republicans are essentially driving this vehicle of partisan warfare until the tank goes dry, and they really have no plan as to what to do when the car stalls out, other than to stand at the side of the road and yell at everybody who doesn’t want to give a ride to the angry, redfaced fellow at the side of the road.

The Republicans need to realize that their anger at and resentment of liberal power has undone them, and they need to consider what they’re doing calmly, and realistically now.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 19, 2009 8:12 AM
Comment #281752
but even if she did,lieing to the press,mis speaking or whatever is not a criminal act.

Um, didn’t you guys want to impeach Bush for doing the same thing?


I didn’t support impeaching Clinton for lying to the press (I did support his impeachment for lying under oath). I didn’t support impeaching Bush for lying to the press. I don’t support legal action for Robert Gibbs for repeatedly lying to the press and I certainly don’t support removing Pelosi from office for lying to the press.

But I do recognize when people are caught being hypocrites.

Posted by: Rhinehold at May 19, 2009 12:14 PM
Comment #281757


Hmmm…you say Pelosi is weak on security…Pelosi went along with the CIA and the Cheney/Bush lies (which could mean she is strong on security)…Pelosi lied about the CIA (which might mean she is stupid on security)…where, oh where, will it all end??? And, other than not liking Pelosi, where do you actually stand on the issue of Pelosi? Do you think she is strong on security, weak on security, or a dumbass about security? Please grade each one on a scale of one to ten…one being bad news for Pelosi and ten being Pelosi is wonderful. Then do the same thing rating the CIA…toss up!

Posted by: Marysdude at May 19, 2009 1:34 PM
Comment #281758


I’ll bet they are both lying, i.e., Pelosi is lying about what she got briefed on and the CIA is lying about what it briefed her on…it’s the nature of the intelligence game…no one EVER tells the truth…that’s why it’s called intelligence…?!?!? And the greatest reason we get involved in dishonorable killing fields.

Posted by: Marysdude at May 19, 2009 1:39 PM
Comment #281762

treason? really?!? you see, i feel like democrats are the only politicians who love america. no talk of succession here on our side. and you are forgetting who sided w/OBL in the first place. typical repub - no accountability, pointing fingers, and distraction. this is just your typical bush distration to get the press off of him - “nancy pelosi knew”. so he once again threw the scent off of him, and threw it on pelosi. and the media dogs took it from there. well played by you republicans, just wish the nation would finally wake up and figure this out too.

Posted by: bluebuss at May 19, 2009 3:35 PM
Comment #281763

Bush was less than honest with Congress. He was less than honest with the American people. Of the two, the latter’s not illegal under most circusmtances, but lying to Congress is.

Marysdude probably has it right: neither side is being completely honest with us.

The difference is, the dishonesty of the Bush administration pertains to their own actions, which they’re trying to avoid the reckoning for.

People are playing a double game here on the rhetoric. They’re saying that support for torture is broad and bipartisan. They go after Pelosi, claiming she knew, in order to imply that the objections to torture are mainly political in nature.

The arguments are contradictory. Some argue it’s not painful or traumatic as its made out to be. Others argue that it is, and the subjects of the treatment deserve it. Some argue that it’s the best means of getting information. Others argue that despite well-informed arguments that its unreliable, that the urgency of the situation justifies it. They call it enhanced, call it harsh, call it whatever, but they don’t call it torture.

But if you really want to see what they think, ask them about the photos, the descriptions. The Right’s opposition tells you one or both of the next two possibilities is likely true. Either the Republicans know these practices are torture and are afraid people will know it when they see it, or they’re not certain that it’s torture, but they think it’s likely that it will be seen that way, portrayed that way, and people need to be kept ignorant to prevent that reaction.

Either should give the Republican and the Right pause. The two possibilities above indicate that they have an argument that documentation is going to lose for them, one way or another. A position of advocacy and apology is untenable one way or another.

I would, without hestitation say that Pelosi’s stumbled, and she’s flailing towards the edge of the roof.

But I don’t think I’d be dishonest if I said that the Republicans are giving her an extra little push in that direction, to the degree that they can.

I must give you credit for a vivid imagination, if you believe that Democrats, by and large, are anything but patriots.

Our culture, though, prefers a more sober approach. Rather than encourage flag-waving jingoism, we encourage Americans to look out for the nation’s interests, for its reputation, for the quality of life and quality of stability in our country’s fortunes. That may seem to some as though we’re constantly critical of the US, that we blame America first, but that’s not our aim.

Our aim is to have America be the good guy, America be looked up to, America extricating itself from shameful acts, and redeeming past sins rather than justifying the new ones.

Unfortunately, some believe in essentially cloistering America in a shell of its own self-approval. Problem is, America doesn’t need to be a nation focused on puffing up it’s self esteem in the face of shame and embarassment, which doesn’t admit faults or mistakes. It needs to be a country mature enough to handle those mistakes, yet still exist with a decent measure of self respect.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 19, 2009 4:13 PM
Comment #281764

You and others on here can keep on telling yourself the Democrats knew nothing of the interrogation methods that were going on. I pray to GOD that there is an invasive investigation just to prove once and for all that the Democrats did know and did nothing. Right now you have all the aces but I’ll bet you $10.00 to a donut that the Republicans, and they are the minotity, know exactly what is going on in congress and outside of congress.

Posted by: KAP at May 19, 2009 4:26 PM
Comment #281765

I know this is a political blog but your party has control. Republicans don’t mean anything now. They are a non issue.

Posted by: KAP at May 19, 2009 4:38 PM
Comment #281766
Bush was less than honest with Congress. He was less than honest with the American people. Of the two, the latter’s not illegal under most circusmtances, but lying to Congress is.

Ok, please enlighten me, when did Bush lie to congress?

Posted by: Rhinehold at May 19, 2009 4:55 PM
Comment #281767
People are playing a double game here on the rhetoric.

Some people are. Some people aren’t. You can’t deflect those that aren’t by pointing to those who are… Or you are doing exactly what you accuse them of doing.

Posted by: Rhinehold at May 19, 2009 4:56 PM
Comment #281768
But I don’t think I’d be dishonest if I said that the Republicans are giving her an extra little push in that direction, to the degree that they can.

Right, they are doing just what the Dems did when they weren’t in power and wanted to regain it. Seems like the time honored tradition of politics in the US to me.

Posted by: Rhinehold at May 19, 2009 4:57 PM
Comment #281771


All those things you say track with Pelosi’s pathology. When she feels personally threatened, as she did in 2002, she goes for the hard options and is willing to inflict suffering on others. When she feels in the clear, she reverts to form and rejects her earlier toughness. People like her invite attack through their perfidious weakness. Your third characteristic, that she is a dumbass on security, is clear from her other two bad habits. She really doesn’t understand that you have to be proactive in security. She doesn’t understand that her weakness and inconsistency makes us less safe. After she has done that long enough and the fecal matter encounters the cooling device, she has to call in the tough guys and start the circle all over again.

I think you agree with me. Pelosi and Reid are transition people. They were never expected to be in charge. The smart Democrats will dump them soon, for the good of the country and the good of their party. I don’t really care if the Democrats or Republicans are running the show. I care how they behave. The Republicans overspent and overpromised for six years. The Democrats promised to change it … by spending and promising even more.

Bill Clinton did well once he was disciplined by Newt Gingrich and the Republican congress. Together they balanced the budget. It is clear that Nancy Pelosi will not be able to carry out that kind of a task. She makes it worse. You cannot trust one party rule.

Posted by: Christine at May 19, 2009 8:14 PM
Comment #281772

Democrats don’t care whether their leaders knew. Or put another way, we don’t care, so long as they’ve conveniently changed their mind and have decided to get with the program on purifying our country of this shameful business of torture.

We see, by and large, this whole monkey business about Pelosi as a manufactured distraction. We know who took the lead on this issue. The Bush made a lot of decision where it told Congress after the fact, and even then only told a few select members under high levels of classification so they couldn’t tell everybody else in their caucus.

And we know that many Democrats, during those last couple of decades played the Republican Lite game, and made many votes they shouldn’t have.

Our first priority is not to punish them for those votes. We wouldn’t have much of a party left if we were as obsessed as the Republicans are with ideological purity. We’re willing to settle for what you could call a convenient change of heart. Convenient to us, at least.

We’re their voters, and we’ve just been through the bitterest of decades. And we’ve made it clear what we don’t want to see out of them. Now we find out who has the brains to get with the program, and who’s going to end up an armadillo with a tire track up their back.

The authorization to use force required the President to make a determination of a few critical points (which would essentially be an executive branch report), concerning the terrorist activity, concerning the maintenance of supplies of WMDs, and that kind of thing.

In order to get his war, Bush did not present a report.

By way of explanation, let me inform you about a convention in legislation, the non-binding introductory clauses in the front of most legislation. You can spot them by the term “Whereas” that follows most of their statements. These “Whereas” clauses usually are not binding in terms of law.

The Bush Administration and its Republican leaders pushed into the AUMF for Iraq a set of statements into that section, ostensibly to function as explanation for the binding part of the bill.

What happens next? The Bush Administration comes back with its report, which is mostly weak fluff, and language it plagiarizes directly from the Whereas clauses, minus the preceding adverb. This it presents to Congress as a Congressional Determination.

Thus, we have a war.

Let’s also not forget the NIE. Having defanged Congress’s defense oversight by yanking most of the Representatives and Senators, they handed them an intelligence document purged of all the uncertainty of its non-declassified counterpart. Of course, a few people might know, but then, they had to keep what they knew secret.

That’s just for starters. How much of that evidence that they handed to the Intelligence Committees, and the Military Committees and all those people did they know was thin, or bogus?

There are some people who believe that they must do anything to protect this country. Unfortunately, they forget than not everything people do to protect this country matches intentions with results. I believe there are a number of people who considered Iraq such a threat to American interests, or perhaps such an opportunity to further them, that they thought nothing of lying to an American public they felt might not otherwise agree to what they thought was best for them.

That, I think, was the attitude of these people. They failed to perceive that on another level that what they were doing could endanger the very interests they were trying to protect. They failed to perceive that they could be wrong, or that a manufactured conflict would run head-on into the real problems in the region, and make them worse.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 19, 2009 9:47 PM
Comment #281773


The run up to the Iraq war was a four ‘P’ SNAFU…’P’iss ‘P’oor ‘P’rior ‘P’lanning…I recognized it, because it was rampant in Viet Nam.

Posted by: Marysdude at May 19, 2009 10:23 PM
Comment #281775

Pelosi manufactured her her own destraction or I should say destruction. Republicans just jumped at the opportunity like the Democrats have done in the past. Just politics as usual. Purifying our country? You are pipe dreaming.

Posted by: KAP at May 19, 2009 10:30 PM
Comment #281778


Really? Why defend her? She is not worth your trouble. You and I both believe that the Democrats would be better off w/o her and I believe the country would be better off if she was taken down a notch. You are too good for her. Dump her.

Posted by: Christine at May 19, 2009 10:43 PM
Comment #281785

“Reid are transition people” Christine, would you rather have Dick Durban running the show? I still miss Paul Simon .

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 20, 2009 1:09 AM
Comment #281792

Bush’s policies were actively, mostly unapologetically in favor of torture. Republicans continue to rip Pelosi over her apparent knowledge of the extent and nature of those policies, even as they continue to advocate them.

From top to bottom, we see Republican pushing the pressure on Pelosi in order to stall and paralyze action to end the policy.

But though top Democrats might have known, even advocated for these policies, most Democrats did not see this as a policy direction America should take.

The trap your argument is in is one of cynicism. You’re saying that because our politicians are so compromised, that we by necessity are as well.

But we’re not. Rank and file Democrats like myself did not attack Bush on this issue because we saw an opportunity to stall his political objectives. We attacked Bush because we sincerely found his policies outrageous and shameful.

I am not defending Pelosi. I am defending the position they are trying to compromise by their attacks on her. Read my entry once again: the subtext is, Democrats find her too compromised already, as it is. If the Republicans are successful at ending her tenure as Speaker of the House, it will only invite Democrats to put a person less compromising and compromised than here in the lead.

But, at what price? The point of the Republican’s attack is not simply to diminish her, but to muddy the waters on torture, to remove the moral clarity of the movement to end our corrosive experiment with those tactics. I wish to expose that cynicism for what it is.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 20, 2009 10:16 AM
Comment #281793

The sad part about this affair is that Republicans don’t seem worried about a similar threat of an investigation into the torture policy from the Democrat controlled Senate or the Obama Justice Dept.

Posted by: jlw at May 20, 2009 11:13 AM
Comment #281804

right now there are NO FACTs concerning whether Pelosi is lying or the CIA is wrong — but golly gee whiz look who is jumping to the end a bit ahead of itself!
and this is after 8 years of complaining about how we were calling Bush et al on the carpet for their DEEDS —
Innocent until proven guilty was the hue and cry — “where’s the evidence”?

Where’s the evidence people?
(by the way, I do not care for the madam, but this is my consistent position regardless of the “accused”)

Posted by: Russ at May 20, 2009 3:11 PM
Comment #281832

I’m still trying to figure out why a Pelosi stupidity, even if proven true, should cleans the waters of turture as a national policy…if it is just a political tactic on the part of Republicans to take the issue of torture out of the limelight, it seems a particularly bad way to do it.

Posted by: Marysdude at May 21, 2009 10:45 AM
Comment #281839


I guess it pretty much boils down to this…our Republican friends have changed the national persona to:

War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength

And now we can add:

Torture is Relief

Posted by: Marysdude at May 21, 2009 12:03 PM
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