March 27, 2020

THE SHEPHERD VS THE CROOK:

How Nancy Pelosi became the most powerful female member of Congress ever (Chris Cillizza, March 26, 2020, CNN)

On her 80th birthday, Pelosi finds herself in a now-familiar position: Shepherding a critical piece of legislation -- in this case the $2 trillion stimulus package aimed at keeping the economy running during the coronavirus pandemic -- to passage under a tight deadline. [...]

Pelosi, who described herself in a recent interview with The Washington Post's Karen Tumulty as "a troublemaker with a gavel," counts the Affordable Care Act, Dodd-Frank financial reform, repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as just some of the major legislative accomplishments during her time as speaker.

And that's not even counting her decision to (eventually) spearhead the effort that led to the impeachment of President Donald Trump, only the third time in American history a president has been impeached by the House. (Like Andrew Jackson and Bill Clinton before him, Trump was not convicted and removed from office by the Senate.)

How you interpret that legislative legacy very likely depends on which side of the partisan political aisle you call home. Republicans have long villainized Pelosi as an out-of-touch San Francisco liberal who believes more government and higher taxes are the answer to every problem facing the country. And even some Democrats -- especially younger liberals over the last few years -- have criticized Pelosi for her allegedly too-politically-calculating approach to legislating and running the House.

But what no one -- from Pelosi's most ardent supporters to her most vitriolic critics -- can deny is the power that she wields. "Total assassin. She's an assassin," former Trump White House political adviser Steve Bannon allegedly remarked while watching an early back-and-forth between the speaker and the President.

What Bannon grasped -- and what many Republicans, not to mention many of Pelosi's one-time challengers within her own party, have failed to -- is that the California Democrat is an unapologetic and unflinching political genius.



Posted by at March 27, 2020 8:04 AM

  

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