There may be more than one reason for the strident partisanship that has gripped our nation’s capital, but one of the more impactful causations is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She has made herself the “Nasty Nancy” of civil political decorum.
Based on her history, that should come as no surprise. She spent her formative years in Baltimore, Maryland, where she was the daughter of the infamous racist political boss Mayor Thomas D’Alesandro, Jr. and the sister of his successor, Mayor Thomas D’Alesandro, III.
It was a certain political brutality learned at home that has enabled her to ascend the ladder to the House leadership – and to retain that position despite an unprecedented degree of unpopularity with the public in general. Admirers and detractors both tend to agree that Pelosi is a very tough woman. It would be fair to say that she is a control freak.
She is more than willing to impose top-down regulations on the American people – even as she often demonstrated elitist privilege. She has been seen disregarding her own mask mandates and even getting her hair done in a beauty parlor closed to regular customers. While she is soft on left-wing crime, she lives in a guarded mansion behind a perimeter wall.
Nowhere is her rule-or-ruin police more evident than in her tight-fisted partisan control of the House. It is not only her control over the Democrat Caucus, but she had extended her power in an unprecedented degree over the entire House – including usurping traditional opposition party prerogatives.
As the Party in power in the House, Pelosi is expected to appoint majority Democrats to the various committees – including to all the chairmanships. What is less obvious to the public is her using the power of the majority to exclude Republican legislators from participation in the process. She has basically ended the committee process in favor of one-party rule – something that is part of the Democratic Party’s authoritarian genes. We can recall how Democrats exclusively ruled over the old racist southland. And even today, most of the major cities are under one-party Democrat rule.
Contrary to the tradition of allowing the opposition party to make its own committee assignments and discipline errant members, Pelosi has decided to “police” the congressional GOP by passing condemnatory resolutions against Republican members while ignoring the insults, threats and egregious behavior of fellow Democrats – such as Congresswomen Maxine Waters, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar. Pelosi has gone so far as to usurp the GOP’s traditional right to appoint its own members to committees by removing Republican members from committee assignments because they would not likely capitulate to her agenda.
The most notable example is the kangaroo court Select Committee looking into the Capitol Hill riot. She not only used her absolute power to reject Republican appointees to the Committee, but then made her own selection of Republican Congressmen Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney – virtually the only Republicans who would pledge fealty to Pelosi and her politically-driven narrative dealing with the events of January 6th. In terms of any objectivity in the investigation of the riot, this Committee has zero. It would be laughed out of existence were it not for a major media prostrating itselves at the altar of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.
We should not forget that Pelosi used her raw power to engineer the first-ever totally partisan impeachment. Not only was this unprecedented in American history, but many members of Congress believe that a partisan impeachment is dangerous – setting a precedent for abusing the impeachment process for narrow political advantages.
In the mourning of the passing of former Kanas Senator Bob Dole, many of the obituary statements pointed to his bipartisan collegiality. The two sides tended to debate policy without the strident partisan rhetoric. That took leaders who respected the opposition and who would exhibit self-control even over absolute powers granted to the majority. There was both a formal and informal recognition of minority rights and protections.
Such considerations are not in the character of Pelosi – or many other left-wing Democrats. She favors stripping away any rules and traditions that would give the minority party a seat at the table. You can see that authoritarian impulse in her opinion that the filibuster – a critical procedure that gives the minority some power in the Senate — should be abandoned.
Pelosi has hinted at packing the Supreme Court in an apparent belief that elections have consequences ONLY if her side wins. The nice sounding voter rights legislations passed by Pelosi is nothing less than an overt attempt to remove the constitutional right of states to manage elections. These are all power grabs.
If you want to affix blame for the partisan hostility and gridlock that have paralyzed our national government, look to Speaker Pelosi as the principal architect. She has not only fouled the current atmosphere, but the precedents she is setting may well carry forward as the norm no matter who wins control of the house. That should be seen for what it is – a legacy of infamy.
So, there ‘tis.