RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment

Hasan writes: "It is time for liberals and leftists who lambast Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to admit to themselves that the hippie-punching Pelosi has become a Trump enabler too."

House Democratic Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi. (photo: Oliver Contreras/The Washington Post)
House Democratic Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi. (photo: Oliver Contreras/The Washington Post)

Nancy Pelosi Has Chosen Her War, and It's With Her Own Party's Future

By Mehdi Hasan, The Intercept

08 July 19


hey call themselves the “Squad.” From climate change to student debt to migrants in detention, progressive House Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley have been energetic and outspoken since getting elected last November — and, as a result, have become inured to constant attacks from congressional Republicans and, of course, Fox News.

But how about from their own boss?

In an interview with the New York Times’ Maureen Dowd, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismissed the Squad as “four people” who have their “public whatever and their Twitter world” but don’t “have any following.”

Ouch. This isn’t the first time Pelosi has trolled the left-wing quartet. In April, when she was asked by Leslie Stahl on 60 Minutes to comment on the newly emboldened progressive wing of her party, Pelosi responded: “That’s like five people.”

In the wake of November’s midterms, Pelosi mocked calls from AOC and her allies for a Green New Deal: “The green dream or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it right?”

To be clear: none of these freshmen Democrats have personally attacked Pelosi and all four of them backed her bid for the speakership. As CNN’s Nathan McDermott tweeted, “It is pretty notable that the most vocally anti-Pelosi Democrats (ala the moderates in swing districts who opposed her leadership) don’t get as much criticism from her as the left-wing of the party.”

How about Donald Trump? Pelosi is willing to criticize Trump — “I’ve never encountered, thought about, seen within the realm of my experiences as a child or an adult, anybody like this” — but only criticize. Nothing more. Not impeachment, that’s for sure. The top Democrat in the House told Dowd that the president has engaged in criminal behavior but — wait for it — “you can’t impeach everybody.”

The New York Times interview is yet another reminder for liberals and leftists that if they want to oppose Trump, they have to oppose Pelosi too.

Think I’m exaggerating? Consider three recent — and shameful — episodes.

First, the rape allegations against the president. On June 21, New York magazine published a cover story from the famed advice columnist and writer E. Jean Carroll, in which she documented in excruciating detail how Trump, back in the mid-1990s, forced “his penis halfway” inside of her in the midst of a “colossal struggle” in a Bergdorf’s dressing room.

Pelosi’s response to a reporter who asked her for comment a whole six days later? “I don’t know the person making the accusation… I haven’t paid that much attention to it.”

Now, she tells Dowd: “I respect the case she has but I don’t see any role for Congress.”

The sitting Republican president has been credibly accused of having committed a sexual assault and yet Congress, says the Democratic speaker of the House, has no “role” in holding him to account for it. Oh, and the speaker herself hasn’t been paying “attention to it.”

This, my dear liberals, is your (feminist) champion.

Second, the crisis at the border. One of the reasons Pelosi cited for not being familiar with the E. Jean Carroll story was that she was “busy worrying about children not being in their mother’s arms.” Yet on that same day, as the New York Times reported, Pelosi “capitulated to Republicans and Democratic moderates and dropped her insistence on stronger protections for migrant children in overcrowded border shelters” by signing onto a bill from the Republican-led Senate, giving the Trump administration $4.6 billion to tackle the situation on the southern border.

Last time I checked, though, this administration’s horrific decision to separate migrant children from their parents had nothing to do with a lack of funds. “The cruelty is the point,” as the Atlantic’s Adam Serwer so memorably put it. Plus, 18 so-called “centrist” Democrats pushed Pelosi into dropping her objections to the Senate bill and yet in her New York Times interview, the speaker decided to level her attack on… you guessed it… the Squad. They made themselves irrelevant and shouldn’t have voted against “our bill,” she told Dowd, adding: “They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got.”

Yet they were far from alone in opposing Pelosi’s decision. “The final vote, 305 to 102,” reported the Times on June 27, “included far more Republicans in favor, 176, than Democrats, 129.”

Meanwhile, over at the border, children continue to be starved, women continue to drink out of toilet bowls, and men continue to be held in standing-room-only conditions. The Trump administration is now contemplating mass video proceedings held over video.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Third, Trump’s tax returns. Last Tuesday, almost exactly six months after Democrats won control of the House, they finally took the president of the United States to court to try and force disclosure of his financial records. Trump administration officials and Trump’s army of personal lawyers have offered a range of excuses for refusing to release these records — and for defying congressional subpoenas in the process. But as Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern has noted, one in particular stands out from the rest.

On June 10, in an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Trump’s lawyers contested the claim that the House’s impeachment power could justify subpoenaing the president’s financial records while gleefully pointing out to the judge that impeachment is not even on the table. They wrote in their brief:

Speaker Pelosi has steadfastly denied that the House’s investigations are in any way related to impeachment. In March, she unequivocally told the Washington Post, ‘I’m not for impeachment.’ In late May, the Speaker reiterated that ‘any suggestion that Democrats are planning to pursue impeachment ‘simply isn’t the truth.’” After she received the district court’s ruling in this case, the Speaker boasted that the Committee had prevailed despite “the fact the House Democratic caucus is not on a path to impeachment.” Just four days ago, the Speaker again told senior Democratic leaders that “she isn’t open to the idea” of impeachment, and Chairman Cummings “sided with Pelosi.”

Is it not a source of shame for rank-and-file Democrats, whether on the left or in the “center,” that Trump lawyers are citing Pelosi’s refusal to impeach him as their defense in court? As their justification for ignoring congressional subpoenas?

Meanwhile, Pelosi herself continues to duck and dodge the arguments in favor of impeachment — even when she happens to be the one making them. “The thing is that, he every day practically self-impeaches by obstructing justice and ignoring the subpoenas,” she told the Times.

Sorry, what is she on about? I may not be a U.S. citizen yet, or speaker of the House of Representatives for that matter, but I have read the U.S. Constitution from beginning to end and I have yet to come across the clause that refers to “self-impeachment.”

So forget the “you-go-girl memes for literally clapping back at Trump” that Dowd fawns over in her interview with the speaker. It is time for liberals and leftists who lambast Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to admit to themselves that the hippie-punching Pelosi has become a Trump enabler too.

Email This Page your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+42 # RLF 2019-07-08 09:42
WTF California!!! Wake the hell up and get rid of this DINO. She does more for Israel than for you!
+43 # hectormaria 2019-07-08 09:45
In the up-coming election, what really matters to me is that we select a person who cares about the treatment of the lower classes. A person who is: humane; is a REAL Christian- who is not a fake one like Trump, Republicrites and Democrite Blue Dogs. Our Dem leadership is falling into the same trap they have built for themselves- which is: we have have to be centrists, appeal to Conservative moderates; and, by so doing, they are screwing the base. The status quo stays in place and all the social ills that afflict the poor gets institutionaliz ed to a greater extent (reason why I do not trust any of them). Nancy, get it through your head: beating Trump and throwing a bone to the base is not enough any more: we need to humanize this country: stop pulling (a la Nancy in Peanuts) the 'impeachment ball' from the Dems and fight for us in the base.
+11 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-07-08 09:54
Yes, I think the thesis here is correct: the insurgent progressive or democratic socialists in the Demo party are a much greater threat than Trump presents. The Demo party leadership will fight them all the way, even if that means sending Trump back for a second term. We should be outraged and in shock.

This was all layed out nearly a year by Gareth Porter::

The Establishment’s Bi-Partisan Fear of Popular Revolt
By Gareth Porter
September 8, 2018

Porter reports on two lengthy studies done in concert by the Center for American Progress (Demo party) and the American Enterprise Institute (Rep party) on the rise of populism and progressivism. They assert that preserving the established economic and military policies should be the central project of both parties and their affiliated think tanks and elite media.

The protectors of American oligarchy in the Center for American Progress and the American Enterprise Institute have given marching order to people like Pelosi.

Gareth Porter's article is probably the most important study written in the last year. It tells us what will happen to Bernie Sanders and tells us who is planning it.
+37 # DongiC 2019-07-08 10:15
To understand why Pelosi delays on the impeachment business, just check her assets and those of her husband. Then, you will understand where her loyalties lie and that money and property is more important than political affiliation. The establishment wins again as the planet continues to heat up. Even the super rich won't be able to save themselves. So sad!
+33 # wrknight 2019-07-08 10:17
Is Pelosi a Republican in sheep's clothing?
+5 # chapdrum 2019-07-08 22:26
Like Biden is.
+8 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-07-09 07:18
wrk -- "Is Pelosi a Republican in sheep's clothing?"

No, she is a democrat. Both the democratic party and the republican party serve the interests of the American oligarchs and their business interests in banks, weapons makers, war, and so on. The job of the democratic party is to manage the liberal segment of US society while the republicans manage the conservative sector.

We are trying to free the democratic party from its subservience to the oligarchs. AOC and the new progressives in congress along with Sanders and others are making themselves enemies of Pelosi and her oligarch bosses.
0 # jimallyn 2019-07-10 17:45
Quoting wrknight:
Is Pelosi a Republican in sheep's clothing?

No, she's just a Republican. No sheep's clothing.
-29 # revhen 2019-07-08 10:21
Disagree. Politics has been called "the art of the possible." It's what Pelosi practices.
+32 # tedrey 2019-07-08 11:37
# revhen: In other words, for Nancy Pelosi, when Democratic measures and the principles she was elected to further "aren't possible", then Republican ones will do. I'm not impressed.
+12 # wrknight 2019-07-08 10:30
or a Republican mole.
+9 # Robbee 2019-07-08 10:36
Ocasio-Cortez Hits Back at Pelosi After She Knocked Progressives for Voting Against Spending Package
Aris Folley, The Hill
07 July 19

- as robbee always says "fuck moderate dems, if they can't take a joke!"

of all the horrors of dickhead nation? moderate dems have made common, homeland security, cause with dickhead, and now co-own his humanitarian crimes!

yes, congress woulda missed a day of their 4th of july recess flights?

was that not worth dealing with a humanitarian crisis as a humanitarian crisis?

repukes had alot to lose! - they had a dog in the hunt! - without a deal, homeland security funds were about to run out and repukes were more worried about i c e being able to deport outstayed visa holders than humanizing detention conditions!

heretofore nancy had bargained successfully with repukes - this was an unforced, avoidable error! - when repukes' risk was even bigger, and more desperate, than ours!

until nancy sees the wizard, and dems resume winning their share, we bop from dickhead-create d crisis to dickhead-create d crisis - no exit!

shame on nancy!

ps - the beating hearts of "my dem party" are bernie, elizabeth, alexandria, tulsi, and nina! - to get on the side of workers, against corporations! who have establishment dems by the purse-strings! is! and will be! too much of a chore for those whose careers depend on corporate campaign bribery!
+12 # Art947 2019-07-08 10:40
There are so many things wrong with this opinion piece that one almost doesn't know where to start criticizing it.

1. Yes, impeachment is "off the table" at this time. What is the point of preparing articles of impeachment hem? Is the object to provide another "win" for the orange-tinted imbecile? While I believe there are many grounds to impeach this illegitimate president, there are probably even more to indict him and create a permanent jail cell for him and his minions. Note that the tide of public opinion about impeachment is turning and it will only be a matter of time before this action is taken.

2. There are many House committees that have issued subpoena demanding documents and appearances. Unfortunately, the wheels of justice grind slowly and enforcing this subpoena are not going as fast as many of us would like. (Do we forget how long the Nixon impeachment process took?)

3. Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Tlaib, and Pressley may only be four articulate voices at this time, however, in only 6 months they have changed the direction of the Democrat primary debates and put many issues front and center in the national media. It may be that Speaker Pelosi has a strategy for making these views even stronger by downplaying them. By not ignoring them, she has helped make them household names and their ideas are the starting point for further discussion of solutions.

4. Forget tRump's lawyers. They continue to lose the argument in support of his positions every day.
+35 # Salus Populi 2019-07-08 10:58
Pelosi has been a force for the status quo ever since she ascended to speakership.

The first thing she said in 2006 was that impeaching Bush for crimes against humanity, including legalizing torture in the face of the pact that Reagan signed -- which, as an international treaty has, under Article VIII of the Constitution the status of the "highest law of the land" that the president swears to uphold in his oath of office -- was "off the table."

Last I checked, she was the second or third wealthiest member of Congress, a multi-multi-millionaire.

She should just go ahead and change her party affiliation to Republican, except then of course, she'd lose the speakership and be unable to carry water for the corporate/billi onaire class, the only reason she is useful enough to gain huge amounts of campaign swag from them.
+35 # AlexG 2019-07-08 11:40
Horrid proto-fascist Trump is secretly delighted to have such milquetoast opposition as he finds in Pelosi and Schumer.
For him, it's like having no congressional opposition at all.
+12 # bobsandyd 2019-07-08 12:32
The reason nothing gets done is that we have middle of the road Democratic leaders like Pelosi, Hoyer and Schumer. They are more interested in satisfying their corporate sponsors than working for the people. They don't believe in democracy they believe in autocracy (can you say DNC). Until we dump them and get more progressive leadership we are doomed to being dominated by morally bankrupt Republicans.
+8 # Carol R 2019-07-08 12:41
Trump’s base is too small to re-elect him. We have enough facts to warrant impeachment. Many more facts would be uncovered…as in what IS inside Trump’s tax returns? Why have those who know of misdeeds been successfully blocked from testifying?

What about Trump’s telling Border Patrol officers to disobey the courts in turning back asylum seekers? Can he continue to act in ways that prove he believes he is above the law?

Trump has demonstrated many abuses of power. Democrats’ job is to inform and educate the public. Impeachment would give the Democrats a chance to influence what is being published and broadcast in the media. If done properly, the Senate will find that it’s refusal to hold Trump accountable for his many abuses would not supported by a large portion of the public.

Adam Jentleson in a GQ article, “The Political Costs of Not Impeaching Trump”states: “The decision not to impeach is not a decision to focus on other things, it is a decision to cede power, control, and legitimacy to Trump. Trump is not a master chess player, he just bluffs his opponents into forfeiting their moves — and that is exactly what he is doing to House Democrats.”

Sitting back and doing nothing should not be the direction the House takes. Pelosi could do more if she had the political will.
+11 # Lgfoot 2019-07-08 13:33
The Dems' spineless approach to dealing with Republican war crimes and treason go back to the Reagan era, with Iran Contra and Iraq being the most glaring examples. Americans hate cowards, which is why they continue to vote against policies they favor by electing Republicans. The Democrats need to stand up for principle and take government back from the oligarchs, or our Republic will be doomed.
+6 # PABLO DIABLO 2019-07-08 13:33
Vote Progressive in 2020. Take back "our" government.
+4 # lorenbliss 2019-07-08 14:14
Pelosi? Merely another closet fascist serving in the Republican Fifth Column -- that is, the Democratic (sic) Party.

How many times must it be said?
+6 # 2019-07-08 14:32
Mehdi Hasan , as usual, is right on. But there is a fourth reason why Pelosi's leadership of the House is AWOL: silence in regard to the effort to plant a citizenship question in the 2020 census. Under the Constitution (Art. I, Sec. 2, par. 3), the primary purpose of taking the census every 10 years is to keep the prescribed balance of apportionment of House seats, and to apportion direct taxes among the States. Article I is, after all, the part of the Constitution that declares the powers vested in the Congress, so the power (and duty) to take the census are conferred on Congress, and, since seats in the Senate do not vary from State to State, the census authority belongs primarily to the House. Clearly, the proponents of the citizenship question understood and intended it would distort the apportionment of seats during the next decade in favor of Republicans yet Pelosi has offered no meaningful leadership in opposition and in support of the manifest intent of the Constitution itself.
-1 # chapdrum 2019-07-09 10:27
There is the possibility (however remote from here) that if Trump AND Pence (miraculously) go down, she's the next in d that may not be her fondest wish.
+9 # chapdrum 2019-07-08 21:48
Poor conflicted people like Nancy: Her husband is reputedly worth $100 million. Why rock the boat? Who needs the aggravation? The wealth of these people unites them far more than any of their "deeply felt" beliefs divide them.
+12 # PaJay 2019-07-09 05:09
Republicans are playing hardball. Democrats like Pelosi are playing in the sandbox.
+12 # David Starr 2019-07-09 07:53
"Impeachment is off the table." This is what Pelosi said about George W. Bush Jr. Now she does it again, this time with Trump. Along with calling her a corporate/neoli beral Democrat, Pelosi sounds like she's a Republican enabler.

When it comes down to it, the corporate/neoli beral Democrats will side with the Republicans over the left-wing of the Democratic party. What a mess.
0 # Mountain Man 2019-07-09 12:41
Yeah. It is a Mess, all right. And it all began the day the Blue Wave were sworn into the House. The DNC & House Leadership Immediately began pushing back against the Progressives. Then came the Black List against ANYONE who primaried a Democrat incumbent, i.e. an incumbent who always voted with the Republican Nazi Party.

(The Republicans are even worse than the original Nazi Party, in that the Real Nazis NEVER de-funded or criminalized the poor & lesser advantaged Germans. And the horrors of our Southern Border illustrate that the Border Patrol treatment of their prisoners is even more brutal than that of the SS. Whoever thought anybody could outdo than the SS)

Bottom line? An article a week or so ago pointed out that the Big Donors of the DNC are getting antsy about all this progressive stuff. Their complaints have
obviously hit the mark. Speaker Pelosi's attacks against 'the Squad' began within
this time frame. After all, it's not only the Republican Nazi Party who must keep
their billionaires happy. It's all about the Benjamins.
+1 # crispy 2019-07-09 21:55
A commenter in the NY times said - speaking of democrats- "What a bunch of cowards! Worse than pathetic. A disgrace to this nation."
I'll add that not upholding your oath of office, and oversight duty under the Constitution, are impeachable offenses! WHO will have the courage to say it? At the minimum start an internal debate to replace Nancy as speaker or impeach her.
The senate will convict for sure!
0 # DongiC 2019-07-10 05:17
Mountain Man: your aim is true. Keep shooting. The Big Boys are getting antsy, they have to get Pelosi and Schumer moving -- to the right as always.
+3 # johnescher 2019-07-10 16:22
Pelosi and Schumer are gutless wonders. Opponents of impeachment in these discussion boards are worse than gutless. They are perverse. They first of all don't believe the Founders knew what they were doing when they came up with the idea of impeachment. This has to be true. For there has never been a president more deserving of impeachment than the one we have right now. These armchair bandits just think impeachment is circus/infotain ment. Nope. It's a serious effort to get the country back on the highway.
+4 # jimallyn 2019-07-10 17:58
I just called Nancy Pelosi's office to let her know what I think of her. You should call her, too.

Washington, DC Office
phone: (202) 225-4965

San Francisco District Office
phone: (415) 556-4862

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.