Following Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Chester Nimitz toured the damage. Despite the carnage and air of defeat among survivors, Nimitz was upbeat.
He noted three tactical blunders the Japanese made: 1) Attacking on Sunday morning, the death toll was lower since nine of every 10 ship crewmembers were ashore on leave; 2) focused on destroying our battleships, Japanese pilots left our drydocks undamaged, allowing salvageable ships to be repaired at Pearl Harbor rather than having to tow them to the mainland; and 3) every drop of our fuel in the Pacific theater was stored in above-ground tanks five miles away from Pearl Harbor, also left intact.
With these three observations, Nimitz re-instilled hope among survivors – doing what good leaders always do when a cloud of adversity hangs overhead: look for a silver lining.
Ever since President Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory, one leader refusing to seek out a silver lining is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Despite a thriving U.S. economy, record low unemployment for minorities and several other Trump accomplishments, Pelosi ignores the positive. Absolutely nothing Trump accomplishes generates her respect for positively impacting the state of our union.
At a time Pelosi should be providing a sense of comfort to all Americans, whether ideologically aligned with her or not, she fans the flames of discord. For two years, until the Mueller report found no evidence of Trump/Russia collusion, she pontificated that Trump’s impeachment was imminent.
After the Mueller report extinguished that hope for Democrats, rather than getting on with the country’s business, Pelosi called for impeaching those around Trump, such as Attorney General William Barr and ex-White House attorney Don McGhan, the latter for refusing to appear at a House hearing although already having testified in front of Mueller for 30 hours.
Downplaying Trump’s impeachment as a losing issue, Pelosi now is losing control of her party, evidenced by her being shouted down recently at a California Democratic Party convention. She self-promotes herself, chastising the public for not being smart enough to understand the impeachment process, while one critic counts all the things she gets wrong about that process.
Under Pelosi’s leadership, her party is a rudderless ship, going in circles, promoting an anti-Trump agenda rather than one benefiting voters. Blowing hot air, Pelosi has filled the sails of that ship with unsupportable impeachment claims, false claims of voter suppression in the 2018 Georgia and Florida elections and erroneous claims racism increased under Trump. One need only compare fundraising efforts by Democrats and Republicans to recognize her course direction claims have donors jumping ship. In April, Republicans raised almost $16 million, more than doubling Democrats’ fundraising.
Meanwhile, failing to demand civility from her troops in the House, Pelosi tacitly encourages incivility, dismissing hateful rhetoric by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., or Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. Despite these hateful voices revealing an anti-Semitism fire burning in Congress, she fails to put it out. Ironically, while not doing so, she promotes the Equality Act – the passage of which would make her failure to act against anti-Semitism hypocritical.
Recently, Pelosi was presented with the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for her crusade to expand health care. Ignored, however, was the irony of her selection. Ideologically, the Democratic Party Pelosi leads today is far to the left of the one led by that award’s namesake. Presenting it, Caroline Kennedy praised Pelosi for, “consistently acting in service of our highest principles and our most vulnerable citizens.” Such verbiage was ironic in view of Pelosi’s failure to recognize a national emergency exists at our southern border that demands funding for a wall to protect our most “vulnerable citizens” there. She, instead, acts on behalf of non-citizen illegal immigrants.
Pelosi tweeted she was left “speechless” by the award–a comment her critics see as the “silver lining,” albeit only a fleeting one.
Questions about Pelosi’s mental health also arise due to numerous incidents of discombobulation at public events, evidenced by her repeated gaffes, brain freezes, stuttering, confusion, incorrect dates, etc. Capitol Hill’s personal pharmacist revealed in 2017 that several congressional members take medication for Alzheimer – this at a time we desperately need alert and stable congressional leadership at the helm. If Pelosi is medicated, we need to know whether she is off her meds or if they are insufficient – an issue far more important than Trump’s tax returns.
During her political career, Pelosi historically has embraced an “it’s-all-about-me” attitude, much to the detriment of our national security and the American public. During her first term as speaker, despite enormous time demands, she managed to write a book, in 2009, about her legacy rather than read one impacting on our security – the Quran – detailing Muslim priorities. (Two plus centuries earlier Thomas Jefferson read the Quran to better understand its demands, expressing concern over Islam’s call for global domination.) Nor should we forget Pelosi’s 2007 misjudgment, ignoring President George W. Bush’s request not to visit Syrian President Bashar Assad, later outrageously claiming Assad represented “the road to peace.” Since then, that road has been paved with the bones of half a million Syrians.
At a time our politicians should be looking to build bridges to resolve issues, Pelosi rejects them. When White House counselor Kellyanne Conway respectfully sought recently to discuss infrastructure issues with her, “I-am-a-legend-in-my-own-mind” Pelosi curtly responded, “I talk to the president; I don’t talk to staff.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders raised an important point recently saying, “Democrats have to decide if they love our country more than they hate this president. …” It is clear Pelosi prefers the latter.
Having lost touch with both her party and the public, Pelosi now needs to be put out to pasture. Perhaps there, looking skyward, she can discover some clouds really do come with a silver lining.