Thursday, April 05, 2007

Pelosi's Shadow Presidency

If you remember, back in October I wondered whether or not talk of impeaching Bush and Cheney was political in the sense of trying to turn potential Speaker Nancy Pelosi into President Pelosi. Most of you disagreed with my hypothetical (not that I firmly believed it).

Turns out she isn't waiting for the impeachments.

Here's a Washington Post editorial criticizing Pelosi for attempting to establish a "shadow Presidency" based on both the recent "war appropriations"/peanut storage bill and her trip to Syria.

Hey, at least someone else out there thinks it's plausible.

(Hat tip: Ace)


-Murphy said...

Is "most of you" me?

I don't understand what on earth Pelosi's doing in Syria, really. I don't think that the Administration's policy of silence is the best route, but the Speaker can't just go around that. She's got to find some way to work with the Administration.

That said, the point of your post in October wasn't directed as Speaker Pelosi, but at the Democratic Party as a whole. The only post that wasn't you and Steve yelling at each other was one in which I pointed out that I don't think it's very likely that the President and VP will be impeached, and that if they were, it would be a naked power grab, and asked whether you were cool with the Republicans doing that during the Clinton administration.

If it happened, I would be strongly against it, as I was when the Republicans tried to do the same.

Her recent actions are apart from (and criticized within) the Democratic Party, and so I think we need to be careful about referring to them seperately. They're not impeachments, which I think are just about useless now anyway even as a naked power grab. The Democrats control the House, tentatively control the Senate depending on how Lieberman's feeling on any given day, and the support numbers for the President (specifically on the war) are phenomenally bad. The Attorney General's getting criticized by Republican leaders for the attorney scandal. There's just really no point in impeachment as a form of power grab, and I think Pelosi's actions are, if anything, a detriment to her party. With the election still over a year away, the Democrats can't count on the current Administration's support slipping far enough to give them a victory, and things like this are going to hurt them. As Tony Blankley pointed out on a recent episode of KCRW's Left, Right, and Center, right around this point in Reagan's presidency was the emergence of the Iran-Contra scandal. The Democrats should not be looking at 2008 as a lock if they want to win, and they need to be very careful about having the Speaker running around everywhere playing President.

-Murphy said...

Actually, it appears that Republican leaders have been doing what Pelosi was doing without being criticized. So I don't know. Is it cool when they do it?

Hal said...

To be honest, I couldn't remember what the conversation was when I wrote that post. I just remembered that it generated conversation.

As far as Pelosi's actions go, part of the problem is that when Nancy was out there talking about diplomacy, she's apparently been voicing opinions that are directly contradictory to what the White House (and Israeli) positions were. How that compares to Republican politicians travelling abroad, I don't know, but there it is.

Spiegel isn't shy about its opinion, so I take their analysis with a grain of salt (although I guess I'd prefer that honesty over the faux "objectivity" in our own media).