Monday, November 8, 2010

Nancy Pelosi And The Journey Back

I was stunned when Rep. Eric Cantor, the Republicans' new leader in the House of Representatives, had the effrontery to attack current--and hopefully future-- Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who wants to continue serving as Democratic leader in that chamber.
And to that idea I say, "Why not?" And even, "Hurrah!"
Rep. Pelosi played a key role in making the Democrats the majority in the House in the first place. It would seem to be the party's natural role, since for all its lapses it is by far more representative of the needs and hopes of America's diverse peoples than Cantor's Republicans. What's more, against almost insuperable odds, she played a vital role in pushing through key items of President Obama's forward-looking agenda, including the much-maligned Health Care Reform Act.
If that is the case--readers may be asking--why is Pelosi the most hated woman in America? Why did the Democrats endure such a thrashing in the recent election? Why does everyone seem to hate Health Care Reform? Why is "Democrat"--the party label of great leaders from Jefferson to Franklin Roosevelt and beyond--now a pejorative term?
Well, I'll tell you. It's because of a propaganda barrage of unbelievable intensity and dishonesty, courtesy of Fox News? Network and the "giants" of conservative talk radio--not to forget their backers, the Kochs (by whatever name) and the corporations and the Chamber of Commerce. The Supreme Court decision known as Citizens United decided that corporations were persons, and could give as much money as they liked for political purposes--with almost no accountability. This led to a flood of tainted money, in which many worthy candidates and aspirants--Senator Russ Feingold, Rep. Alan Grayson, and Pennsylvania's Joe Sestak--were swept away. The propaganda filled people with such rage that few were able to take in what the Health Care Reform Act really said, what candidates really stood for, and--oh, yes, what Nancy Pelosi herself really stands for. (Not to mention President Obama, who right now must be America's hated and willfully misunderstood man.)
In short, large portions of the electorate acted more like a mob than like thoughtful voters on November 2. It was not their fault. The effect of the propaganda tsunami was to take away their capacity for thought. I suspect, once they realize they've been tricked into voting against themselves, they will be eager to change their votes next time. And I believe Congresswoman Pelosi will play a key role in winning back a House majority which was lost through no fault of her own.
As to Cantor, he is entitled to his opinions--as long as he keeps them to himself. He does not vote in the Democratic Caucus--luckily for all of us--and should have no public opinion as to how it votes.
So why does he? Is he, perhaps, afraid of Nancy Pelosi?

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