In the process of genteelly begging soon-to-be-ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi to not run for House Minority Leader, Joan Vennochi issued the usual flatteries about her: that Pelosi had fortitude, that the way the country turned against her was unfair, that Pelosi demonstrated a good grasp of how to wield power, and so forth. This is a remarkably common theme among the Left, these days: and I suppose that if I was required to deal with the uncomfortable fact that the Speaker-for-now managed to mirror-flip the House in a single election then I'd be grasping at whatever straws that I could, too.
But let's try to make our analysis of REPRESENTATIVE Pelosi's job performance reality-based, shall we?
First off: when the 111th Congress first convened in 2009 it had 256 Democrats and 178 Republicans in the House. Democrats also had a majority in the Senate and controlled the White House; which meant that Nancy Pelosi had a comfortable majority (35 to 38 votes, depending on the date) with which to pass legislation. All she needed to do was accommodate the right wing of her own party (which was distinctly different from the right wing of the other party, and even noticeably different from the left wing of the other party), and she could quickly pass anything that she liked. Easy, right? Well, let's look at the consequential House legislation:
- Stimulus. Negatives: pork-laden 787 billion dollar monstrosity that shoved unemployment up from a projected 8% in 2009/2010 to roughly 10%. Positives: revitalized the conservative movement. Final vote: 244-188 (no Republican votes).
- Cap-and-trade. Negatives: threatened to throw Appalachia and the Midwest out of work. Positives: never made it past the Senate; demonstrated to Appalachia and the Midwest that the Democrats were prepared to throw them out of work. Final vote: 219-212 (8 Republican votes).
- Obamacare. Negatives: blatantly unconstitutional bill seemingly designed to reinforce every appalling election-year stereotype ever made about Democrats, from the insanely slipshod way it was hacked together, to the dirty deals designed to stitch together and keep together a majority, with the utterly contemptuous elitism and disgust for the American voter that was demonstrated by its supporters added on. Positives: ...see previous sentence; this law killed Democratic careers from coast to coast. Final vote: 219-212 (no Republican votes).
- The 2011 budget. This was the 0nly one on the list that she was obligated to do. It is also, interestingly enough, something that she did not do.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but Nancy Pelosi has been a miserable failure as Speaker of the House. A competent Speaker would have noted the remarkable reaction that the American voting public had towards the 'stimulus' and recalibrated accordingly for later bills; instead, she threw her own caucus under the bus in order to get energy rationing and health care rationing passed. Seeing as the former died upon arrival in the Senate and the latter is one USSC decision from being totally overthrown (keyword: severability), one wonders why the Left keeps deluding itself about this... wait, wait! She also got the Lily Ledbetter Act passed!
No, I can never remember the details of that one, either.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: Nancy Pelosi for House Minority Leader. Please. Please.