When President Trump told us it would be a sad day for the Republican Party were Nancy Pelosi to resign as House minority leader, he was kidding. When I tell you – from my political perch to the right of Trump – that Pelosi deserves our compassion and not our ridicule, I’m not kidding. I’m stomp-down serious about it.
Open your heart, please, to this unfortunate woman’s plight, and maintain your humanitarian credentials.
First, let’s admit that Americans are bad and getting worse about saying goodbye. I don’t mean the over-talkative neighbor or the ne’er-do-well brother-in-law. I mean people who’ve had praiseworthy careers and can’t muster the moral strength to call it quits.
Example: Let’s go back four years before Nancy was born. In 1936, a magazine named “Literary Digest” took a poll and predicted Alf Landon of Kansas would beat Franklin Delano Roosevelt for president. There was an old joke that “As Maine goes, so goes the nation!” Landon carried exactly two states, Maine and Vermont. The new joke became “As Maine goes, so goes Vermont!”
The “Literary Digest” did what was considered the honorable thing and went out of business. Today, a PR firm would get the editors on all the cable TV talk shows, explaining that the problem was that it was a telephone poll and too many people in the lower pay grades – Roosevelt voters who liked the New Deal – didn’t have telephones in 1936. A few self-deprecatory anecdotes, a few laughs, and it’d be business as usual again.
Pelosi’s breathtaking hubris, arrogance and plain old self-destructive sore-loser trash talk following the Democrats’ double-header defeat in last Tuesday’s special elections in Georgia and South Carolina was taken as politics. It wasn’t politics. It was pain. What happens when you suddenly take away 100 percent of a drug addict’s supply? The answer is “nothing,” at least compared to what happens when you cut off the power of an ambitious competitor who’s held real political power literally all of her life (so far).
Little Nancy was the only daughter among the six children of Thomas “Big Tommy” D’Alesandro Jr., legendary and long-time mayor of Baltimore. When Nancy reached the age of political maturity, which in Baltimore is 8 years old, her father appointed her to take the phone calls of favor-seekers. “Oh,” Little Nancy would say, “You want a construction permit to build inside Druid Hill Park? OK, here’s what you have to do for us.” And Little Nancy was good at it. She grew up to become the fundraising superstar of the Democratic Party.
Little Nancy’s brother was a member of the House of Representatives and later also mayor of Baltimore. She never knew an un-powerful moment in her life. In the early days, that power was municipal in scope, but Baltimore is a municipality larger and richer than a lot of countries! And we were all watching after the midterm election of 2002 when, as history’s caddy, President George W. Bush handed the speaker’s gavel over to the new – and the first female – House majority leader and speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.
If you believe punishments should fit crimes, and if you believe 15 years at hard labor (which morphed into a death sentence) is too severe for stealing a propaganda poster from a North Korean hotel, then you don’t want to laugh it up at Nancy’s come-down. Her trashy insults aimed at President Trump and her inexcusable rants against those of us who admire and support him are a lot more than ancillary little crime-lets. They’re all symptoms of great and increasing pain. Probably the first she’s ever known.
In high-school football we wanted to “fake the enemy out of his jockstrap,” but not watch him carried off the field on a stretcher.
This beloved America of ours has had a terribly close brush with a fate worse than Hillary, indeed a fate a Hillary victory would likely have led us to. I believe Trump has already successfully weathered the big stuff and the bad stuff, and our flirtation with truly dreadful government has been hustled off the front pages to cower between the covers of Bernie Sanders’ scrapbook. Moments like right now in America call for prayers of gratitude and not vindictive ridicule. So we’re not going to become Venezuela after all. They tell us President Trump is the most unpopular ever at this stage in his presidency. Believe that if it makes you feel better. Just try to choose friends too well-mannered to ask you how this anti-Trump firestorm of manufactured unpopularity results in four out of four victories in special elections!
I implore you to be just in all your dealings – except when it comes to Nancy Pelosi. Please don’t try to give her what she deserves. She’s already feeling it too deeply inside. And worse!
As Napoleon once said to a glum prisoner-of-war, “Cheer up, Mon Frere! It’s no disgrace to lose to my army!” Nancy and the Democrats are simply outgunned by Trump. Nancy’s had enough of the likes of you and me. As FDR said when Mussolini piled on an already defeated France, “It doesn’t take a very brave dog to bark at the bones of a lion!”
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