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Take Pelosi Off the Table (As House Speaker)

By       Message Joyce Lynn     Permalink
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When the 111th Congress convenes in January, it is time for a change--a change of the Speaker of the House. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca) in her two years as Speaker has enabled a pro-Bush, pro-corporate agenda almost as facilely and frequently as Republican presidential nominee John McCain.

In November, 2006, voters put Democrats in the majority in Congress to end the Iraq occupation and hold Bush responsible for the war. But before she became Speaker, Pelosi took impeachment off the table, giving Bush a blank check to wage the Iraq war for two more years.

Showing disdain for those opposed to the war, Pelosi snubbed peace demonstrators outside her San Francisco home, morphing into Bush, who refused to meet Cindy Sheehan and peace protesters outside his Crawford, Texas compound.

Under Pelosi's leadership, Congress gave Bush a ½ trillion dollars for the Iraq war Pelosi said she wanted to stop. More than 1,200 U.S. soldiers and thousands of Iraqi men, women, and children have died since Pelosi became Speaker.

Pelosi has refused to sanction hearings to collect evidence about impeachable offenses, and she quashed other House members' impeachment efforts. By last June, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) had compiled at least 35 articles of impeachment for G.W. Bush. The first 16 articles relate to the Iraq war: for secret propaganda; deception about 9/11; weapons of mass destruction, and illegal spending in an unauthorized and undeclared war.

Pelosi also enabled legislation legalizing warrantless wiretapping and granting immunity not only for telecommunications company executives, but also for Bush, Dick Cheney, and other administration officials. The law obliterated our Fourth Amendment protections against illegal search and seizure.

Pelosi looked the other way as Bush politicized the Justice Department, using federal Attorneys General to corrupt the voting process and wage political vendettas against Democrats. Former Alabama Governor Donald Siegelman spent time in Federal prison after Karl Rove's political associates trumped up charges against him . Pelosi has let White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolton, Counsel Harriet Meirs, and Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove defy Congressional subpoenas.

In September, Pelosi joined with Bush to plunder even more of the Treasury for their corporate cronies under the guise of a $700 billion Wall Street bailout. Pelosi with other Congressional Democrats stood at the microphones, salivating at the prospect of helping Bush loot the U.S. Treasury. The scene was sickeningly reminiscent of Congressional Democratic leaders Tom Daschle and Richard Gephardt, with presidential ambitions on their sleeves, rush to the White House six years earlier embracing Bush and his illegal and immoral preemptive attack on the people of Iraq.

Instead of educating and leading and representing, Pelosi and her Democratic cohorts quiver at the thought they might be blamed for a terrorist attack or financial collapse if they deny Bush what he wants.

Are Pelosi's repeated capitulations to Bush due to complicity -- knowing inside information about 9/11, torture, and wiretapping? If she were compromised, Pelosi could have refused the speaker's position. If she were afraid of political retaliation like that against Siegelman, she could have stepped down.

If Bush et al had threatened another 9/11 or martial law if the Democrats voted against his corporate agenda, the smart, powerful, proactive politician would hold a press conference surrounded with other vulnerable officials and tell the American public the truth.

But instead, Pelosi appears a willing tool. She has used her position to enrich herself and her family. The first female Speaker of the House is part of a cabal, one which, unfortunately, includes other Congressional women dressed in Democratic cloth coats by day and power suits by night. Through their positions in Congress, Pelosi along with, most notably, Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) and Senators Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) are enriching their family financial coffers and building family dynasties. (Feinstein, Harmon, and Clinton voted for the Iraq resolution.)

Sheehan, who challenged Pelosi in November for California's 8th Congressional District, the San Francisco seat Pelosi has held since 1987, issued a campaign-like manifesto in May 2008: "Blood is being poured into the bank accounts of the ruling elite while it is being drained out of our soldiers, families, and communities..."

Pelosi has confused politics with Constitutional responsibility. Protesters shouted, "Know your power, Nancy. Impeach, impeach," interrupting a San Francisco event in August for her book ironically titled "Know Your Power." Pelosi cavalierly told them to take their passion and ... vote for Barack Obama.

Pelosi has amassed a power base in Congress during her 20 years as a House member and two years as Speaker. According to the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Pelosi has doled out millions from her political action committee to help elect other Congressional Democrats--ensuring their votes on the war, economy, and Constitutional matters and their indebtedness to her reelection as Speaker.

A corporate media blackout of Sheehan's challenge and the acquiesce of progressive talk show hosts, bloggers, and magazine editors and reporters further entrench Pelosi's power.

Pelosi sided with President-elect Obama late in the Democratic primaries against Sen. Clinton and has built bridges to his transition team. However, other members of Congress could serve with distinction as Speaker, while forging a legislative agenda to benefit America and the people of America. It is time for a politically astute leader, who possesses courage, morals, and ethics, perhaps someone like Rep. John Lewis (D-GA). (Pelosi called the civil rights leader "the conscience of the U.S. Congress.")

Under Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), public approval of Congress sunk in July to 9%, an all time low. Rather than be fooled again, it is time for the Democrats to elect a Speaker who knows how to use power.

 

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Joyce Lynn is a journalist, including eight years as a political reporter in Washington, D.C. She writes about the intersection of intuition, information, and imagination at Plum Dreams Journal, http://www.plumdreams.com.

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