It's hard not to get scared when you read media comments on Nancy Pelosi. She isn't even in power yet, but she has already destroyed her chances of ever getting anything done. Somehow she has proven herself to be a failure before the races have begun, you see. And how, exactly, has she turned out to be such a disaster?
Here are some clippings telling us all the bad news:
On the November 19 edition of CNN's Late Edition, Blitzer said to Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), the incoming majority whip:
BLITZER: But don't you think if she was going to -- if she was going to support Congressman Murtha and make a big fight out of this, instead of quietly asking him to step aside, she should have had a better count and know that she was going to win. Because by losing, and losing decisively, it sort of underscored her inability to get the job done, as one of her first major missions.
In a November 16 Slate column, Noah wrote of Pelosi: "I think her party should give serious thought to dumping her." Noah concluded:
Here's what I propose. Let Pelosi remain speaker for now. But let her know that, before the new Congress even begins, she has placed herself on probation. If she chooses Hastings to chair House intelligence, that's two strikes. One more strike -- even a minor misstep -- and House Democrats will demonstrate that they, unlike Speaker-elect Pelosi and President Bush, know how to correct their mistakes.
An article in the November 27 edition of Time, titled "Did Nancy Pelosi Get the Message?" reported that there are "a lot of new questions about Pelosi herself -- about her judgment, her political instincts and her real ideology." According to Time:
Was her endorsement of longtime ally John Murtha over Hoyer a testament to her loyalty or proof that she is incapable of letting go of old grudges? Was putting her muscle behind the hero of the party's antiwar wing a sign that she would steer her fractious and fragile coalition over the guardrails on the left? Did her support for a man who is notorious for slipping special-interest earmarks into spending bills prove that she didn't really mean all that talk about cleaning up Congress? In other words, was Nancy Pelosi really up to the job?
Mmm. Scary stuff. And this isn't all that Pelosi has to face as the Speaker-Elect. Some pundits see the total mess she has created before she has even begun a sign of a general problem to do with her being a person with a vagina:
From the noon ET hour of the November 18 edition of MSNBC News Live:
BREWER: The battle on Capitol Hill is just beginning, and Democrats, in the House, really aren't -- they're not off to the best start here. How a defeat in her very first test as incoming speaker could hurt Nancy Pelosi and her party when they officially take power in January.
BREWER: All right, well, so she was chosen speaker but, still, there are two months left before she takes over that position, officially. Do you think, Debbie, at this point, the Democrats might revisit the issue because, certainly, there is a difference between picking the leader of your minority party and picking the leader of your majority party.
BREWER: Being speaker of the House.
DINGELL: They are not going to revisit this issue. The election occurred in the caucus on Thursday. They know who the leader was that brought them to where -- the point they are. There is a very, very strong leadership team in Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi and in Majority Leader-to be, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. They know it's a winning team. They know it's a winning team that got them to where they are now, and it's a winning team that's going to be elected in January.
BREWER: All right, then, let me ask you both about this. I know that there's a rivalry between her and Steny Hoyer. They seem to have come out in this news conference that you're seeing now and made nice. There are some personality clashes between her and Representative Jane Harman [D-CA], who's on the Intelligence Committee. She's in line to become the chairperson there, and there's some talk that maybe Pelosi won't name Harman to that chair position. Are her personal feelings getting in the way of effective leadership, do you think, Debbie?
DINGELL: I think she's going to be a strong leader. I think she's got some strong feelings. I don't know what's going to happen in that particular race, but I think she got Democrats to where she's going to be. And I think she wants to retain that Democratic majority, and she's a smart, tough cookie and is going to make the decisions she needs to do to keep Democrats in the majority more than two years.
BREWER: And -- and, Brad, do you see that there is a difference between the men-run leadership posts? I mean, are they more capable of taking personality clashes, setting them aside, and saying, "In order for me to get to point A -- from point A to point B, I've got to set aside my personal feelings towards this guy"?
BLAKEMAN: There's no difference between the leadership that a man or a woman would take in this -- in this position. I think the key to Nancy Pelosi's success in the future is going to be the ability to lead her party, the ability to forget her personal views, and do what's in the best interest of her party and the Congress as a whole. And, if she's able to do that -- because, look, the Democrats had a great victory a week ago Tuesday, but the message is that there are a lot of conservative Democrats who were elected, and she's going to have to deal with that. It's a party that not necessarily believes in what Pelosi believes in, so she's going to have to forget her personal beliefs and do what's in the best interest of the -- of her party.
From the 2 p.m. ET hour of the November 18 edition of MSNBC Live:
BREWER: I want to ask another question about Nancy Pelosi, and I want you guys not to be politically correct for a minute. I want you to be honest about how you really feel. Nancy Pelosi won the leadership position when the Democrats were in the minority. Now, she -- in this role, it's a completely different -- number one, it's historic, because it puts a woman third in line now to the president after the vice president. I remember interviewing Gerald Ford a few years ago, and I asked him: "Did you ever dream of being a president?" He said, "No, it was purely by accident. When I got named to Spiro Agnew's position as vice president, even then I had no idea I was going to be the president." When you have a position that comes upon you accidentally, does it change the way people view you in that leadership position, especially because you're a woman in line for the presidency? Mark, what do you think?
Well, the whole treatment smells of sexism to me. Do you want to know why? I'm gonna tell you anyway: It's because the insinuations in all this are that Pelosi is not up to the task. That she is too weak and emotional to lead. And all the time we are talking about a career politician who has been leading for a very long time, not about some teenager we picked off the schoolyard. But that is the impression an alien from outer space would get from just reading these clippings.