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The new face of the Democrats

By Gregory J. Hand
web posted October 15, 2001

House Democrats have chosen California Representative Nancy Pelosi, 61, as their new minority whip, giving her a 118 to 95 victory over her only opposition, 11-term Maryland Representative Steny Hoyer. The whip is the position second in command to House minority leader Dick Gephardt, and is the person responsible for rounding up the needed votes to pass legislation. In January she will replace outgoing whip David Bonior, the "Pit Yorkie" as Rush Limbaugh refers to him, who is stepping down to run for the governorship of Michigan.

Pelosi with a whip on October 10. Yes, this picture disturbs us as well
Pelosi with a whip on October 10. Yes, this picture disturbs us as well

This is supposedly important, or so we are told, because this is the highest position to be held by a woman in Congress, ever. Big deal. The gender of the minority whip is about as significant as hair color, ethnic background, religious affiliation, or sexual orientation, for that matter. Leave it to the left, however, to highlight such irrelevancy, if only to perpetuate the victim status of women, yet another in a long line of sufferers from those vicious, evil, heterosexual, Christian white men.

"This is difficult turf to win on, for anyone, but for a woman breaking ground here it was a tough battle and ... we made history," Pelosi said after the vote, doing her part to dramatize her ‘struggle' against oppression. But how "difficult," as she put it, could it really be? We are relentlessly told how tolerant, how progressive, how diverse the Democrats are. This is, after all, a political party that has extremely strict quotas at its televised conventions lest anyone think they do not care about minorities. For such enlightened people to elect a woman should be about as newsworthy as Bill Clinton with an intern.

Pelosi also said she was not seeking support because she hoped to add a female face to her party's House leadership, which is just nonsensical, but added, "There's a great deal of excitement across the country about it." There is? Perhaps a little bit, but only at the Pelosi household, Democratic Party regional offices, and feminist hangouts like NOW's headquarters and abortion clinics.

In all honesty this was all about her being a woman, because anything different would go against the reality that liberals are obsessed with such things. She won because she was a woman, because the Democratic House caucus votes primarily along those symbolic lines. Had Representative Hoyer been flamboyantly gay, or had a member of the Congressional Black Caucus also run, the House Democrats would have all but imploded in angst over which particular minority to choose.

Outside of leftist enclaves Pelosi is probably not that well known, despite her assertions that the nation is riveted over her election, so to those that are not familiar she is a rabid leftist, one of the many mean faced, man hating, abortion obsessed feminists who make up the Democratic caucus. There are others, such as Rosa DeLauro, Nita Lowey, Louise Slaughter and Lynn Woolsey in the House, or Barbara Boxer and Hillary Clinton in the Senate, soul sisters with their perpetual sneers and unending whining.

The daughter of former Baltimore mayor and Congressman Thomas D'Alessandro, Jr., she represents California's 8th District, most of the city of San Francisco, and usually captures somewhere around 85 per cent of the vote in this predominantly liberal cesspool. According to the Los Angeles Times, she is also the fourth wealthiest member of the California House Caucus, her net worth having been pegged between $16.2 and $58.0 million. This, of course, reveals two things: The first is that Pelosi is yet another multimillionaire limousine liberal, which in California are a dime a dozen. The second is that campaign finance laws which permit people to disclose such a ridiculous margin of net worth are worthless. Of what use, besides showing millionaire status, is giving such a wide disparity?

Speaking of money, Pelosi is fanatical on campaign finance reform, almost as much as she is on abortion. For example, in a 1998 press release complaining about how Republicans were holding up passage of the Meehan-Shays bill, since "the Republican leadership wants to keep the status quo," she lamented that:

"Women in America cannot afford for the current system of big money politics to go on. According to a recently released study by the Joyce Foundation of Chicago, 81 per cent of all individual congressional campaign donors who gave $200 or more to one or more congressional candidates in the 1996 elections were men. How does a single mother justify a five or ten dollar contribution, when Tobacco or other industry giants can funnel tens of thousands of dollars into a campaign? Individual donors cannot compete with soft money."

How campaign finance became a battle for gender equity is something of a stretch, not to mention an absurd argument to advance that cause. Also, who is disturbed enough to bother breaking down such statistics, and how is that sexist? What Pelosi does not bother to explain is to whom those men gave their money; were they strictly donating to other men?; or why she would assume that the status quo is poor, helpless single mothers versus evil, male industry giants. Then again, the shtick about helpless women is the domain of feminists like Pelosi, not to mention the Lifetime Television Network.

If anyone knows about big money donors, however, it would certainly be Nancy Pelosi. In the 1999-2000 election cycle, Pelosi raised approximately four hundred and ten thousand dollars, 68.5 per cent of which came from PACS. The ‘industry giant' that supports Pelosi is not big tobacco, but big labor. Her largest PAC contributor was the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, followed by the Machinists/Aerospace Workers Union, the Teamsters Union and the United Auto Workers. Breaking down her contributors by industry, the top four were, in order, Transportation Unions, Industrial Unions, Building Trade Unions, and Public Sector Unions. Big tobacco should be so generous, especially if they can confiscate other people's money to use like labor unions do.

Clearly then, she does not have much use for the ‘single mother,' or any other contributor who does not give a lot of money. During that same election cycle, only 2.7 per cent of the money she raised came from those who gave less than two hundred dollars. Doing a little better with the wealthier set, 25.1 per cent was raised by individual contributions above two hundred. To paraphrase Pelosi, how does a single mother justify a five or ten dollar contribution when all those big labor organizations, or her rich friends, can funnel tens of thousands of dollars into her campaign?

Up with campaign finance reform, as previously stated, Pelosi is an abortion fanatic. "American women have a constitutionally protected right to choose," she announced in 1999, pulling yet another hidden text of the Constitution out of thin air, a nasty habit liberals are predisposed to have.

When George W. Bush signed an executive order ending United States aid to foreign family planning groups that provide abortions, she remarked that the order "will punish the poorest women in the world to satisfy an extreme right-wing constituency." It is absurd to think that a refusal by the United States government to fund abortions across the globe is somehow a punishment, as these women have other alternatives, the first of which is to not get pregnant in the first place. It is not the responsibility of the United States to provide abortions to poor women in other parts of the world, and if it is so important to women like Pelosi, perhaps she should take some of her many millions and pay for them herself.

Regarding the infanticide known as partial birth abortions, Pelosi stated that "all abortions taking place in the third trimester are for reasons of serious fetal abnormality or risk the life of the mother," which, to be extremely kind, is not the truth. For those not persuaded, among the bountiful testimony showing the ‘ignorance' of Pelosi's statement are these two: Nancy Romer, FACOG, Chairman, Dept. of Ob/Gyn for Miami Valley Hospital in Ohio, remarked, "People deserve to know that the partial-birth abortion is never medically indicated either to save the health of a woman or preserve her future fertility," adding, "This procedure is currently not an accepted medical procedure." Dr. Martin Haskell told the American Medical News, a publication of the American Medical Association, in a tape-recorded interview that eighty percent of partial birth abortions are purely elective, and about twenty percent are done for genetic reasons.

Returning to Pelosi's recent election, which apparently gripped the nation, lawmakers voted by secret ballot, with some refusing to identify their favorite candidate even after casting their vote. "Nobody knows where I am," said Representative Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.), after leaving the Cannon Caucus Room where the election was held.

While it would seem strange that Pomeroy would not choose to disclose who he did or did not support, it would not be all that irrational for him to fear retribution from Pelosi should he not do as she requested. There is the precedent of Representative Ellen Tauscher, who like Pelosi is a California Democrat.

Tauscher represents part of northern California east of Oakland, and also had the misfortune of publicly announcing her support for Hoyer in his race against Pelosi for House minority whip, and of also being the only member of the California House caucus to not support Pelosi. Apparently there is an unwritten rule that Californians should stick together.

It was not long after voicing her support for Hoyer that Tauscher went public over growing rumors that state Senator John Burton (D-San Francisco), a close political ally of Pelosi's, planned to weaken Democratic support in her Bay Area district as a payback. "I think these threats [of political reprisal] are inappropriate and they ought to be stopped," Tauscher complained, "Considering the close relationship between Nancy and John Burton, I think she could have them stopped." Like Pelosi would want to.

Pelosi dismissed the allegations as "a waste of my time," especially since her time is better spent fund raising or demanding that U.S. taxpayers underwrite abortion clinics across the globe. "First of all, there are no threats," she added, "Those of us who attend the meetings regularly know our thrust is to bring all 32 [Democratic House] members back, to add some members and to improve difficult seats."

Pelosi also said Tauscher, whom she helped win a close first election in 1996, never came to her with any of the concerns Tauscher now has publicized. At the time the accusations were leveled, Pelosi said she believed the charges ultimately not affect her campaign for the whip position, stating, "I'm going to win this race." She then accused her opponent of evildoing, stating, "I think this is a tactic on the part of [Hoyer's] campaign to introduce an element of discord." That's it, blame the man.

John Burton was also not happy about Tauscher's claims, stating that she was "full of beans," adding, "That tells you how dumb she is." Well, she is a Democrat. Furthermore, he rhetorically asked, "Why would anyone who is a Democrat want to see a Republican [in a House seat] instead of her? Our whole game is to preserve the Democratic majority and try to gain at least one seat." Given that they have the entire state of California with which to tinker, eliminating her seat and making it up somewhere else would not be a very difficult task.

No one is accusing Ellen Tauscher of being the most intelligent person on Capitol Hill, but then again no one has said that she is paranoid or delusional, either. If anyone would know how vindictive and spiteful Democrats would be, it would certainly be a fellow Democrat. Not that trivial retribution of this sort is exclusively the domain of the Democratic Party, but there is certainly adequate precedent to take Tauscher's accusations more seriously than not. Just looking at Pelosi brings to mind the phrase, "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."

The primary reasons for choosing Pelosi was her fundraising prowess, despite her supposed antipathy towards money in politics, and that she was a woman, especially since the Republicans have a black man in their leadership, J.C. Watts, and there needs to be some sort of equality on the leadership diversity front. Besides, given her fondness for petty retaliation, it should not be a difficult task for her to scare her delegation into voting as she and Gephardt want.

Outside of Washington and the liberal strongholds of California and the northeast, Pelosi will not come across very well. She and her followers will naturally complain, as does Hillary, that people are just afraid of strong women. What she, just like Hillary, will fail to see is that hostile, angry feminists do not generally endear themselves to most people. There are plenty of strong women out there who garner respect and admiration from both men and women, Margaret Thatcher, Jean Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth Dole and Kay Bailey Hutchinson among them.

Feminists such as Pelosi are just not likeable women except to the most rabid of the ideologues whose only concern is to advance an agenda, regardless of who is at the helm. People generally do not like, or trust for that matter, Hillary Clinton. But she is a consistent liberal and a very strong advocate and influential spokesperson for the positions she tries to advance. To many people the ends justify the means, which explains how many people could not stand Bill Clinton while he was in office, but supported him nonetheless.

Republicans should be thanking the Democrats that Pelosi was elected to her leadership position. If this embittered feminist is the face of the Democratic Party, in addition to Tom "Tweedle Dee" Daschle and Dick "Tweedle Dumb" Gephardt, Republicans should have an easy time convincing the nation how vacuous and radical the Democrat's positions are. Pelosi's ascension will give the Democrats a couple of public relations points in the short term, but it will only backfire as America becomes more familiar with her and the militant ideas she brings to the table. But who's complaining?

Gregory J. Hand is a political and social commentator whose weekly columns disclose his personal passion for conservative issues. His columns appear regularly at NewsCorridor, OpinioNet, and Ether Zone, and he is also a contributing writer with Enter Stage Right. He has a B.A. in Economics from Wofford College. You can view the complete catalog of all of his works on GregoryHand.com, and can reach him at ghand@gregoryhand.com.

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