Nancy "the Hammer" Pelosi twists arms to extend the war for perpetuity
Applying the undemocratic pressure tactics of former Speaker "the Hammer" Tom Delay, Nancy Pelosi threatens other Democrats, to defraud the American people of their opportunity to have Congress express the will of the electorate in the last election - ending the war.
Faced with the possibility of losing the first really big vote since taking majority control in the November elections, Pelosi is talking tough to wavering lawmakers and isolating those opposed to the bill.
Democrats picked up some undecided lawmakers yesterday as they edged closer to the 218 votes they need to pass the bill when it reaches the House floor tomorrow or Friday. Pelosi is spending 90 percent of her time trying to sway the 10 percent of the caucus that is either undecided or opposed to the bill, according to a senior lawmaker and a leadership aide.
She has been hardest on members of the Appropriations Committee and her fellow Californians who oppose the measure. The Speaker pointedly reminded Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), a leading opponent of the bill, that she had appointed her to the Appropriations Committee, three Democratic lawmakers said.
The message was simple, the lawmakers said: Pelosi could also remove Lee from the panel.
During a meeting last week with appropriators, Pelosi reminded them that serving on the panel was a privilege, admonishing lawmakers from safe districts who feel they have the luxury to vote how they want without consequences — as opposed to Democrats elected in swing districts who do not, a Democratic appropriator said.
“The meeting with appropriators was a frank and open discussion where the Speaker addressed the magnitude of the vote in committee and the need to hold the Bush administration and Iraqis accountable and bring our troops home,” Pelosi’s spokesman, Nadeam Elshami, said. “It shouldn’t be interpreted in any other manner.”
Lee was the only Democratic appropriator to oppose the bill last week when it passed on a largely party-line vote, the only lawmaker to oppose going to war in Afghanistan in 2001, and was appointed to the Appropriations Committee this year.
Lee declined to comment for this story.
Pelosi also has met with members of the Progressive Caucus several times in the past two weeks. A lawmaker said the tension between Pelosi and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), a chief deputy whip and a founder of the Out of Iraq Caucus, was noticeable. The two Californians sat at opposite ends of a long table in Pelosi’s office as Waters, her arms crossed, listened to Pelosi make her case for the bill.
[Jonathan E. Kaplan, The Hill]
Nancy Pelosi should step down as a representative, not just Speaker of the House. She won't - just like Alberto Gonzalez is not going to resign. Hopefully Pelosi will face a strong challenge from a progressive from our party, and loose, in a primary before the next election, otherwise this crap totally validates the Green Party and Bolivarian position. Really. Like anyone in San Francisco really backs the idea of endless war, outside of that fancy glass tower occupied by Chevron Texaco. But they moved didn't they? Is San Ramon in Pelosi's district? No!
Call your Representative now, and encourage them to vote NO! on the Iraq War Supplemental. Ask them instead to seperate the porkbarrel incentives from funding of the war. Tell them Katrina relief could pass on its own merits. Ask them to consider fully funding immediate withdrawal. Ask them to fully fund veteran's benefis ina seperate bill, and in the regular appropriations process, in the budget that still remains to be passed from last year. Tell them no funds for a war on Iran!
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