Whoop-de-doo, Pelosi Has No Regrets
On her last day as Speaker, Nancy Pelosi said she had no regrets. That she doesn't says so much.
We say it all the time, but it bears repeating. Obama is a conservative corporatist. He was always going to betray those who elected him, but he never would have accomplished so much of his conservative agenda without the active support and connivance of every Democrat in Congress, and most especially the Democratic leadership there.
Probably most of us went through a phase when we thought the Democrats were spineless cowards. I know I did. But just as with Obama we learned to look past the cheap lies so it is with the Congressional Democrats. Harry Reid may come across as a mealymouthed jellyfish afraid of his own shadow, but there was a reason Senate Democrats voted him their leader. He was every bit as conservative and anti-progressive as they were. He never caved to the Republicans. He collaborated with them as did every other member of the Democratic caucus.
I still remember how he went out of his way before the November 2006 elections to make sure the Military Commissions Act got passed. That was the bill that immunized torturers and set up kangaroo courts in Guantanamo. Republican Majority Leader Bill Frist wanted a vote before the Senate adjourned for the election. Harry Reid and the Democrats obliged. On September 25, 2006, Reid responded on the floor of the Senate:
When we start late in the session like this, any one Senator weighs about 1,000 pounds because any Senator can stop anything they want. So we have to make sure we can get to this.
Look at Reid's record since. The Reid of 2006 is the Reid we have had every year since. It is the Reid we have now. Reid is not weak. He's conservative.
And "No regrets" Pelosi? The meme that Pelosi is a liberal because she represents a district in San Francisco has always irritated me. For me, the quintessential Pelosi was summed up in her dismissive 2007 response to progressive criticism of her:
"They are advocates," she said. "We are leaders."
With leaders like her, who needs enemies? Of course, she has no regrets. Just like Obama, Reid, and every other Democrat in Washington, she wasn't weak or vacillating. She and they never meant to reject the Bush years, with their corporatism and wars. She never played hardball with the Blue Dogs because all Democrats are Blue Dogs. If you want to know why the Democrats never forced a showdown on the Iraq war, there's your reason. Where was Pelosi on healthcare? Exactly. The day Obama announced his intention of putting together the Social Security slashing and taxes on the rich cutting Cat Food commission, the same day the Democrats were losing Ted Kennedy's Senate seat in Massachusetts, Pelosi and Reid were at the White House lending their support to the effort.
Democrats aren't weak. They are conservative. A liberal at this point might be in despair, but a conservative looking at the last two years would have nothing to regret.