Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Has anybody noticed how the Republicans have hijacked the debate over the stimulus package? Well, I have. And Rachel Madow has. But Pelosi and Reid? Not so much.

Now, Reid's being MIA isn't so hard to understand. He's a Democratic Senator from the Republican state of Nevada and he's up for reelection in two years. And, oh yes, Tom Daschle, the former Democratic Majority Leader of the Senate and another Democrat in a Republican state (South Dakota) lost his reelection. So Reid doesn't want to upset his Republican voters. (Why Democrats would elect as Majority Leader a man beholden to Republican voters is a matter only a political shrink could explain.)

But Pelosi's inability or unwillingness to fight Republicans is harder to understand. She comes from a liberal district in one of the most liberal cities in the country, San Francisco. Yet, since she became Majority Leader, bipartisanship (read: appease the Republicans at all costs) has for her, as for Obama, been a mantra. She apparently believes, even after an overwhelming Democratic win in Nov. 2008, that the Republicans and Independents who switched parties really still believe in Republican policies. Republicans play to their base. Pelosi not only ignores hers, she is so unsure, apparently, of the rightness of Democratic ideas, that she believes she can't sell them to the very people who voted for them.

What did we ordinary voting Democrats ever do to deserve two such lily-livered Congressional leaders?

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