For three years now republicans have painted Nancy Pelosi as loathsome. Not because of anything that she did, but because she’s an easy target.
Let’s face it, she’s not viscerally likable. To be honest, between the turbo charged blinking and the overabundance of plastic surgery, she’s just not that appealing. Republicans leveraged those unappealing qualities to make her the focus of their base’s hatred because until a few months ago, President Obama was far too popular to effectively target. So poor Nancy has been loathed for a few years now, simply for being in a position of power.
Republicans don’t like their women in power. They like them cute and cheerleady. Okay, they like their men to be cheerleaders too. They just like the cheerleading in general, but I digress. I can’t think of one smart republican woman that the party has put forward as a leading voice. No, they give us Sarah Palin. When John McCain picked her, he clearly picked her as the antidote to Hillary. The problem is that his antidote sent a clear message to women, that any dumb bitch will do.
If republicans are smart (I know, I know, there I go with my optimism again), they will have figured out on Sunday that Nancy Pelosi is someone they should fear. Health reform is a victory that belongs to her more than anyone else. She’s fought republicans, democrats, the senate, the president, and his chief of staff to make it happen. There are reports that President Obama wanted to scale the bill back (even further) after Scott Brown was elected in Massachusetts. Nancy refused to have any of that, referring to the president’s proposal as “kiddie reform”. She pressed on to fight for us when everyone else was ready to retreat. She one of a very few handful of tough democrats.
But beyond just being tough, she knows how congress works in a way that very few of our representatives do. When she announced that they were going to pass the vote by using “deem and pass” it wasn’t because she didn’t have the votes (Nancy doesn’t lose votes, look at the record), it was because she rightfully doesn’t trust the senate. Using “deem and pass” (as republicans have done hundreds of times), would have allowed the house to adopt the sucky senate bill while simultaneously reconciling the improvements to the bill. She was trying to bypass a lot of the reconciliation noise that I suspect we’ll be hearing this week. She wasn’t trying to be sneaky with “deem and pass”. She was being very smart.
Despite my early doubts, Nancy Pelosi has proven that she’s a force to be reckoned with. President Obama owes the (I predict) 8 – 10 point jump in his approval rating to her. And we owe the glimmer of hope that we have that health reform is possible to her.
Take heed republicans, Speaker Pelosi isn’t just a dumb liberal with San Francisco values. She’s going to go down in history as one of the most significant speakers this country has ever had. Sorry Boehner, no one will remember you for anything when you’re gone (much like Denny Hastert).
So don’t limit your feelings toward her to loathing. You should fear AND loathe her.
Bravo, Madam Speaker!