Over time, I’ve noticed that liberals have four common tactics they use again and again and again. I’ve labeled these tactics as Demonstrate, Legislate, Adjudicate, and Steamroll. They don’t have to be tried in any particular order, but they do seem to pop up regularly. So let’s look at each one.

Demonstrate. This is the liberal cry of “I (don’t) want” as expressed by the masses of sign-holders or Occupy Wall Street squatters. In the first case, the union didn’t want non-union workers at the port, and in the second case the Occupy crowd wanted other people’s money. The tactic is pretty simple: browbeat verbally (or physically beat) your opposition into doing whatever you want.

Legislate. Liberals love democracy — as long as the vote goes their way. When the vote doesn’t go their way, they will bring the issue up again and again, but once it passes, however narrowly, the liberals will declare that the people have spoken and there should never be another vote on the matter ever again. To be fair, conservatives will bring an issue up for a vote multiple times, too. But conservatives usually understand that an issue voted on and passed one year can be voted on and repealed another. Once passed, laws are not set in stone for conservatives the way they are for liberals. Well, assuming that the liberal was pushing for the law in the first place.

Adjudicate. A common next step for liberals, after failing to get an issue passed by the people or representatives, is to go to the courts and force it through there. Since proponents of gay marriage were having problems getting the majority of voters to agree with them, their alternative tactic was to make it legal through judicial fiat. That’s how it worked in California, Connecticut, and Iowa. So if you can’t get 50% + 1 vote from the people or the legislature to pass what you want, then there’s always the option of having someone in black robes do the heavy lifting for you.

Steamroll. If all else fails, Liberals simply try doing what they want anyway, ignoring both votes and courts to proceed in their desired direction. Recently, Pres. Obama appointed three members to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), doing so by exercising his ability to appoint people to positions that require Senate ratification when the Senate isn’t in session. But the Senate considered itself to still be meeting in “pro forma” meetings. Senator Harry Reid started the process in 2007 of holding “pro forma” sessions to prevent then-President Bush from making these recess appointments. In January 2012, Pres. Obama used the “steamroll” tactic to recess-appoint four nominees, as the New York Times put it, “effectively calling the pro forma Senate session illegitimate.” A year later, the D.C. court of appeals ruled that Pres. Obama was wrong to do so. In response to this ruling, the NLRB chairman, Mark Pearce said that the NLRB “respectfully disagrees with today’s decision and believes that the president’s position in the matter will ultimately be upheld.” That’s a classic “steamroll” response. “Courts? Pfft. I’m gonna roll on. After all, who’s gonna stop me?”

Liberals seem to believe they should use any tactic necessary to get what they want. As Nancy Pelosi put it, “We’ll go through the gate. If the gate is closed, we’ll go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we’ll pole vault in. If that doesn’t work, we’ll parachute in, but we’re going to get health care reform passed for the American people.” And if they can’t get it to work with Demonstrate, Legislate, Adjudicate, and Steamroll, liberals will just pick one of the four tactics and try again.

Cross-posted at Rotten Chestnuts.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave herself an “A” for effort, grading her performance in office. In a “This Week” interview, Speaker Pelosi told ABC’s Elizabeth Vargas, “I think I get an A for effort. And in the House of Representatives, my mark is the mark of our members. We have passed every piece of legislation that is part of the Obama agenda.”

Asked why nearly 300 bills passed by the House are stalled in the Senate, Pelosi blamed the “delaying tactics of the Republicans in the Senate.” [source]

I can’t answer for you, but I’m guessing the last time I was recognized for my effort and not for my results was probably back in grade school. In the real world that I live in, results matter. I don’t care that the postman has to work through all sorts of weather; I just want my mail. A hungry man doesn’t care that the baker started his day before dawn; he just wants his bread. Olympic judges don’t care how hard the weightlifter works at it; they just want to see the successful clean and jerk.

Isn’t “I tried real hard” almost always followed up with “but I didn’t make it”? Isn’t it just an excuse to explain why the job isn’t done?

But Speaker Pelosi has an answer for that: it’s the evil Republicans who are blocking everything. But that’s just another excuse. Until Senator Scott Brown was sworn in the beginning of February this year, the Democrats had held a 60-seat majority in the Senate. That was sufficient to stop any filibuster attempt by the Republicans. If the Democrats failed to pass anything in the Senate, they failed because they were not united behind the bill. You can’t blame the Republicans when the Democrats could have done it without them.

Well, obviously you can blame the Republicans. Speaker Pelosi gets an A for her efforts to do so.

There is no argument that life brings crises, and it follows that we have to handle each crisis as it comes. As I see it, there are four ways of responding to a crisis:

  1. Run away! The plan here is to run far enough away that the crisis won’t affect you. This works for avoiding incoming ICBMs, if you’re very fast.
  2. Do nothing! The hope is that if you ignore the crisis long enough, it will go away on its own. Often used by junior Senators from Illinois who commonly vote “present.”
  3. Fix it! Roll up your sleeves and just get the problem fixed. This is arguably the most difficult of the four options.
  4. Backstab! Why not take the opportunity to shiv an enemy in the back while the others are distracted?

Drop me a note if you can identify another way to respond to a crisis. There are, of course, combinations of the above responses. For Heinlein fans, “When in danger or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout” is doing nothing while appearing to be working hard.

Regardless of what people say, you can determine how seriously people view a crisis by their actions in response to it. Imagine if someone had to rush to the hospital to get some insulin for a co-worker in danger of slipping into a diabetic coma. If that person rushed to the hospital, grabbed the insulin and raced back, you would know that person was serious about fixing the problem. But imagine if the would-be rescuer took the scenic route to the hospital, picked up the insulin, then swung by the local 7-Eleven for a drink and a hot dog, and afterward drove through the car wash for some auto TLC. Regardless of what he might say to excuse his actions, you would know that either he doesn’t care about his co-worker’s well-being or he doesn’t take the crisis all that seriously.

So we come to our current financial crisis. We could try to run from it, but if the American economy tanks, the effect will ripple out to areas all over the world–so much for hiding. We could do nothing and hope that it will all just work out, but we have too many people in government and the media talking about how this crisis is as bad as, if not worse than, the Great Depression. Self-fulfilling prophecies are created this way.

I’m convinced that there are people in both political parties who really want to fix this crisis, but they are handicapped by having to work with some of the same people who were instrumental in creating the crisis or who turned a blind eye as the problems grew worse. I’m not sure that a fix can come out of Washington soon enough, as the stock market continues to tank day after day after day.

I say I don’t think Congress will be able to fix the crisis because there are too many people who see this whole mess as a great time to shiv their political opponents in the back. Just so I’m not mistaken, I’m speaking here of the leadership of the Democrat party, including Senator Barack Obama. The bitter partisan bickering by Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks volumes about how seriously she takes the crisis. Her actions in the past week show a remarkable similarity to the co-worker who dawdles with critically needed insulin. Each bit of pork added to the bailout bill is a little more proof that the author cares less about the nation than he does about his own pet project. The more I read Pelosi’s address to the House before the bailout vote, the more I’m convinced that she wanted it to fail. And I’m not the only person who saw it this way.

But I’m afraid there’s more to this partisan squabbling than the misguided idea that a financial crisis now will ensure Democrat victories in November. I believe we may be seeing the results of a deliberate act of sabotage. Jim Simpson of The American Thinker has an excellent article about the possible motivations of the Democrat leadership in Washington D.C. and around the nation. It is frightening how well Simpson connects the dots to reveal a group of people who hate this nation and want to see its downfall. According to his article, they seek a catastrophic failure of American government so that they can be well-placed in the totalitarian state that forms from its ashes:

Before the 1994 Republican takeover, Democrats had sixty years of virtually unbroken power in Congress – with substantial majorities most of the time. Can a group of smart people, studying issue after issue for years on end, with virtually unlimited resources at their command, not come up with a single policy that works? Why are they chronically incapable?

Why?

One of two things must be true. Either the Democrats are unfathomable idiots, who ignorantly pursue ever more destructive policies despite decades of contrary evidence, or they understand the consequences of their actions and relentlessly carry on anyway because they somehow benefit.

I submit to you they understand the consequences. For many it is simply a practical matter of eliciting votes from a targeted constituency at taxpayer expense; we lose a little, they gain a lot, and the politician keeps his job. But for others, the goal is more malevolent – the failure is deliberate. Don’t laugh. This method not only has its proponents, it has a name: the Cloward-Piven Strategy. It describes their agenda, tactics, and long-term strategy.

You need to know what the Cloward-Piven strategy is, and what it will mean for the future of our nation. Read the whole thing. Then tell a friend. This nation needs to know the methods and goals of people like Saul Alinsky, William Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn, Frank Marshall Davis, and Senator Barack Obama:

As a young attorney in the 1990s, Barack Obama represented ACORN in Washington in their successful efforts to expand Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) authority. In addition to making it easier for ACORN groups to force banks into making risky loans, this also paved the way for banks like Superior to package mortgages as investments, and for the Government Sponsored Enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to underwrite them. These changes created the conditions that ultimately lead [sic] to the current financial crisis.

Did they not know this would occur? Were these smart people, led by a Harvard graduate, unaware of the Econ 101 concept of moral hazard that would result from the government making implicit guarantees to underwrite private sector financial risk? They should have known that freeing the high-risk mortgage market of risk, calamity was sure to ensue. I think they did.

And I believe they did, too. When people plan the overthrow of our nation in order to put their own pet Marxist ideas into practice, then yes, I do question their patriotism. In the parable of the tares, Christ talks about a man who planted wheat in his field, but while he slept, another came and planted tares in the same field. He identified the source of the tares in words that I see echoing in our current crisis: “An enemy hath done this.”

An enemy, indeed, in our time of crisis.

Here is a lovely gem of a press release from the Democrat Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi:

“The President knows, as his own Administration has stated, that the impact of any new drilling will be insignificant – promising savings of only pennies per gallon many years down the road. Americans know that thanks to the two oilmen in the White House, consumers are now paying $4 a gallon for gas. But what Americans should realize is that what the President is calling for is drilling as close as three miles off of America’s pristine beaches and in other protected areas.

“The President has failed in his economic policy, and now he wants to say, ‘but for drilling in protected areas offshore, our economy would be thriving and the price of gas would be lower.’ That hoax is unworthy of the serious debate we must have to relieve the pain of consumers at the pump and to promote energy independence.

“Today, the New Direction Congress will vote on legislation to bring down gas prices by taking crucial steps to curb excessive speculation in the energy futures market. The President himself could lower prices by drawing down a small portion of our government oil stockpile, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The New Direction Congress will continue to bring forth responsible proposals to increase supply, reduce prices, protect consumers, and transition America to a clean, renewable energy independent future.”

Let’s take a look at Her Speakership’s wisdom.

“[T]he impact of any new drilling will be insignificant – promising savings of only pennies per gallon many years down the road.” The impact of new drilling will be more oil. That can’t be insignificant, based on her later comments. Besides, I thought long-term planning was a good thing.

“[T]hanks to the two oilmen in the White House, consumers are now paying $4 a gallon for gas.” Nice dig there. “Bush and Cheney are oilmen! Evil! EVIL!” *cue the ominous roll of thunder* If they really had such a huge influence over the oil industry, don’t you think President Bush and Vice President Cheney would have pulled every string they had to get Evil Big Oil to reduce the consumer price of oil and gas?

“[W]hat the President is calling for is drilling as close as three miles off of America’s pristine beaches and in other protected areas.” I’ve been to some of those “pristine” beaches, and they ain’t all that pristine. Besides, would you rather pump oil from areas close to the U.S., or ship it via monstrously huge supertankers like the Exxon Valdez? A broken pipeline can be shut down much faster than a supertanker run aground can be fixed. But Speaker Pelosi really doesn’t care about protected areas like the Arctic National Mosquito Refuge in Alaska as much as she cares about catering to her “Drill Nothing Never” constituents.

“The President has failed in his economic policy, and now he wants to say, ‘but for drilling in protected areas offshore, our economy would be thriving and the price of gas would be lower.’” Democrats often complain that drilling will take 10 years or more before producing any oil. The unspoken ending to that phrase is, “so why bother drilling?” Well, if we had started drilling in ANWR back in 1998, we’d have ANWR oil bringing down gas prices right now. If everyone had the same short-sighted mindset, why would people bother to work on a college degree, which takes years before producing any work benefits? Why have children, when it will take decades before they become self-sufficient? But here’s what’s interesting: liberals are more than happy to hold off doing anything with proven oil technology that will take a known quantity of time to obtain–the “decade” they keep chanting about–but they are willing to wait indefinitely for some new, unproven energy alternative to sweep us off our feet and carry us into a glorious future. I like to daydream about swan-diving into Scrooge McDuck’s bank vault, too, but then I wake up and go to work. My daydream won’t pay today’s bills or put food on the table.

“the New Direction Congress” Oops, looks like the website got that wrong. She really meant to say “the No Drilling Congress.” There, that’s fixed.

“Today, the No Drilling Congress will vote on legislation to bring down gas prices by taking crucial steps to curb excessive speculation in the energy futures market.” Oil futures are already heavily regulated. There is no need to regulate the market further, but as always with liberals, capitalism makes a good scapegoat to beat while chanting the “Drill Nothing Never” mantra.

“The President himself could lower prices by drawing down a small portion of our government oil stockpile, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.” Here’s a clue for Madam Speaker: the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is for emergencies like making sure there is sufficient oil for the military and critical operations if a war or natural disaster were to disrupt supplies. By the way, did you notice the logical inconsistency here? Speaker Pelosi claims that a small draw-down of oil from the SPR would result in a drop in consumer oil prices, while at the same time maintaining that drilling for oil won’t do so. She can’t have it both ways. But she, and the rest of the Democrats in Congress, are doing whatever they can to keep the price of oil high, primarily by blocking any attempt to increase domestic oil supply, in the hopes that the people will begin to clamor for the magic pixie dust of unknown and unproven energy technology. A one-time pump of a few million barrels of oil from the SPR might temporarily lower the price of gas, but that doesn’t compare to having oil fields consistently pumping out millions of barrels of oil each and every day.

“The No Drilling Congress will continue to bring forth responsible proposals to increase supply…” Really? How about letting America drill for its own oil? Oh, right, the key word is “responsible” proposals, and that means only what she considers responsible. In other words, no oil men need apply, only those with daydream technology.

“… reduce prices …” You can reduce prices by increasing supplies, reducing demand, or doing both. Apparently the strategy of increasing supplies is off the table to Madam “Ain’t Drilling Here” Speaker.

“… protect consumers …” Protect consumers from what? Higher oil and gas prices? *snort* Liberals love being the Nanny State, telling the childish voters what they can and can’t do.

“… transition America to a clean, renewable energy independent future.” These are inspiring-sounding words and they probably felt great rolling off Speaker Pelosi’s tongue, but until that magic “renewable” energy moment happens, how about we drill like crazy to get all the energy we need from our current resources? We could be successful in reaching a “clean, energy independent future” if we had enough energy to power the technology that will presumably make renewable energy possible.

Speaker Pelosi wants the high price of oil to cut both ways. She denies that drilling for a consistent source of oil would bring down prices, but she calls for a one-time release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to, um, bring down prices. Of course, the real reason why Democrats are so adamant about not allowing Americans to use their own energy reserves is that they believe Americans will only act to find cleaner, more environmentally friendly energy when the high price of gas has them so mired down that they can’t function any more. When that happens, of course, they’ll look to the Democrats to save them from themselves–and the Democrats, as always, will act in their best interests. OK, my tongue’s out of my cheek now. I have to assume Speaker Pelosi doesn’t expect to see a major change in the oil futures market with a one-time pull of oil from the SPR, but she can point to the temporarily lowered price of gas and say to the voters, “Look, the Democrats made that happen.” Then she can use that leverage to push her own plan of championing “clean” and “responsible” energy ideas, as the price of oil is pushed steadily upward again.

I’d like to have Speaker Pelosi come water my front yard, and then see what she would do when I deliberately put a kink in the hose. I imagine she’d demand that I stop deliberately shutting off the water so she could finish the job. Then I’d lecture at her that water is a precious, limited resource, and even if I unkinked the hose it would take a good long while for the water to reach her. Instead we should work together to find some better, cleaner, more responsible way to get the job done. Think she’d buy it?

Once again top Democrats are giving the finger to our troops. Today Senate Majority leader Harry Reid and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi aided and abetted our enemies by flatly telling President Bush that the troop surge has failed.

“As many had forseen, the escalation has failed to produce the intended results,” the two leaders wrote.

“The increase in US forces has had little impact in curbing the violence or fostering political reconciliation.

“It has not enhanced Americas national security. The unsettling reality is that instances of violence against Iraqis remain high and attacks on US forces have increased.

“In fact, the last two months of the war were the deadliest to date for US troops.”

Yep, that there surge sure has failed. Of course, the full complement of troops have yet to fully surge into the field, but these Dems are telling us it has already failed. Violence is up, so the U.S. troops suck. Just listen to the Dems.

And people are listening to the Democrats. Al-Qaeda is listening, and the murderous thugs killing our soldiers and Iraqi civilians are listening. The message they are hearing is “Hold on, terrorists! And keep killing Americans. Just a few more deaths, and we’ll wave the white flag and run.”

It’s no surprise that Senator Reid is ready to wave the white flag and claim the surge has failed. He waved the white flag and gave up in April when he said, “this war is lost.” Way to show backbone, Senator Reid!

With friends like the Democrats, the troops don’t need enemies.

Speaker Pelosi is in the news again — this time, she is in Greenland with other members of Congress looking at climate change. If you haven’t noticed already, more and more people and reports are switching to the term “climate change” from “global warming.” This term is much more flexible and useful; whether temperatures go up or down, they can thus claim to have predicted it. Using the “climate change” method, I predict that stocks will go up and down over time. I like to call it “stock change.” Of course, I have to wonder who promised people that stocks and the climate would never change during their lifetimes.

But that’s not what caught my eye. I was reading a news article reporting Speaker Pelosi’s trip to Greenland when I noticed an error. See if you can spot the error in the following two paragraphs:

Her trip comes ahead of next week’s Group of Eight summit and a climate change meeting next month involving the leading industrialized nations and during a time of increased debate over what should succeed the Kyoto Protocol, a 1997 international treaty that caps the amount of carbon dioxide that can be emitted from power plants and factories in industrialized countries. It expires in 2012.

President Bush rejected that accord, saying it would harm the U.S. economy and unfair excludes developing countries like China and India from its obligations. Pelosi, who strongly disagrees with that decision and many other of Bush’s environmental policies, said Friday she said she wants to work with the administration rather than provoke it.

Based on what I read here, President Bush rejected the Kyoto Protocol. But that is completely and utterly wrong! I have to wonder whether the reporter, Geir Moulson, was too lazy to actually research the facts, or if he just sought to beat on President Bush for political brownie points. So, lazy or lying? It’s a tough call.

Here’s the facts: the U.S. is a signatory of the Kyoto Protocol, but even though the Protocol was signed, it does not take effect until ratified by the Senate. In 1997, the Senate voted 95-0 on a resolution not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. Pray tell, Geir, what was President Bush’s role in rejecting the Kyoto Protocol in 1997? Here’s a hint: President Bush took office in 2001.

While President Bush is not a fan of the Kyoto Protocol, that is not the same as saying he “rejected that accord.” The Kyoto Protocol was rejected more than 40 months before President Bush even took office. So I must repeat my question: is Geir guilty of being too lazy to research the facts, or was it a deliberate attempt to mislead?

Lazy or lying? It’s your call.

UPDATE (5/29/2007 12:12:52 PM): Hehe. I see that Ed Morrissey of Captain’s Quarters spotted this same reporting error earlier today.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is making headlines with her visit to Syria. I’ll ignore the headscarf nonsense that has some people all hot and bothered; and I’ll ignore the fact that she’s meeting with the leaders of Syria, a puppet-state of our dear friends in the Islamic Republic of Iran; and I’ll even ignore the fact that President Bush objected to her visit. Instead, I’m going to focus on a matter I believe is more important: just what the hell is she doing over there?

Let me back up a bit. The U.S. government is made up of three branches — Judicial, Executive, and Legislative. Madam Speaker is a leading member of the Legislative body. This simply means it is her responsibility to write the laws that the Executive will enforce. But what authority does the Legislature have in negotiating with a foreign nation? Here’s a quick refresher course in Constitutional limits on the powers of Congress:

Section 8 – Powers of Congress

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

That’s a fair number of things for Congress to do. So did you notice the part empowering Congress to negotiate with foreign dictators? Yeah, neither did I. Basically, visiting foreign countries and heads of state is not part of Speaker Pelosi’s job. But far worse than just going beyond the bounds of her job, Speaker Pelosi is actively undermining the President. Whether you like him or not, President Bush is responsible for representing the nation to others–not Speaker Pelosi, even if she believes she can do a better job.

To make the actions of Speaker Pelosi easier to understand, let’s think of an example closer to home. Consider a teenager who has come home way past his curfew for the third time in a week. His dad is reading him the riot act and reminding him that the agreed-upon punishment is being grounded for a full week. His mom can choose to stand with his dad, supporting him, or she can undermine his authority by playing “good cop” to the dad’s “bad cop.” If she chooses the latter course of action, the teenager comes to realize that Mom is a pushover, and all he needs to do is work on her to get out of any problem he happens to be in. This is a recipe for disaster.

And a disaster is exactly what Speaker Pelosi is asking for when she undermines the President. But what else would you expect from the party of defeat?

 Madam Neville Pelosi

Thank you, Madam Neville Pelosi. In addition to the comic above, Cox and Forkum nicely sum up Speaker Pelosi’s ineffectual discussions with Syria: “It’s impossible to have a “dialogue” about peace with an intransigent and bloody state sponsor of two groups who openly want to destroy the free state of Israel. This is the mess that Pelosi and her ilk refuse to see.”

UPDATE (4/5/2007 9:29:58 AM): More people are recognizing how Madam Speaker inserted her foot deeply in her mouth with her visit to Syria. What is the problem? The Washington Post explains the Speaker’s failure here:

After a meeting with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, Ms. Pelosi announced that she had delivered a message from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that “Israel was ready to engage in peace talks” with Syria. What’s more, she added, Mr. Assad was ready to “resume the peace process” as well. Having announced this seeming diplomatic breakthrough, Ms. Pelosi suggested that her Kissingerian shuttle diplomacy was just getting started. “We expressed our interest in using our good offices in promoting peace between Israel and Syria,” she said.

Only one problem: The Israeli prime minister entrusted Ms. Pelosi with no such message. “What was communicated to the U.S. House Speaker does not contain any change in the policies of Israel,” said a statement quickly issued by the prime minister’s office. In fact, Mr. Olmert told Ms. Pelosi that “a number of Senate and House members who recently visited Damascus received the impression that despite the declarations of Bashar Assad, there is no change in the position of his country regarding a possible peace process with Israel.” In other words, Ms. Pelosi not only misrepresented Israel’s position but was virtually alone in failing to discern that Mr. Assad’s words were mere propaganda.

We have a Secretary of State for a reason — so buttinskies like Speaker Pelosi don’t blunder through mistakes like this gaff with the consummate skill of a head-scarfed cow in a china shop. Captain Ed of Captain’s Quarters summed up Madam Speaker’s gaff in this manner:

Pelosi somehow forgot the part about ending support for terrorism when she met with Assad. She told the Syrian dictator that Israel was ready to meet with Assad on a peace proposal, which only told part of the story. In delivering only part of the message, Pelosi not only arrogated to herself the role of American foreign policy director — which Condoleezza Rice has as Secretary of State — she did the same with Israel’s foreign policy as well.

Not a bad night’s work for an incompetent.

When diplomats meet with enemies, they make sure to get their positions coordinated with their allies and execute strict message discipline. They do not “wing it” — they check with their elected governments when any questions arise about the directions of talks. Only someone with an ego in inverse proportion to her talent would start making stuff up as she goes when dealing with the Syrian-Israeli relationship, one of the most explosive in the world.

Are you as tired as I am of hearing news stories about how wonderful life is now that a woman is Speaker of the House? Yes, Nancy Pelosi is the first woman to be Speaker of the House. Did you know she is a woman? Aren’t you impressed at how we, as a nation, have become so progressive as to have a female Speaker of the House? Oh, and she is a woman.

I believe that our nation will have reached a state of true gender equity when we don’t focus on the gender of the person holding a position of power. Frankly, I believe the mainstream media are more enamored with Speaker Pelosi because she is a Democrat, not because she is a woman. When Condoleezza Rice became the Secretary of State, her particular first was not lauded like Speaker Pelosi’s has because Secretary Rice is a Republican. Apparently it’s OK to call her an “Oreo,” “Aunt Jemima,” or to caricature her in a derogatory — dare I say racist — way. It’s all right for the media to do this because they are only “speaking truth to power” against those evil Republicans.

At this point, when it comes to Speaker Pelosi, I’m like Mr. Waturi in Joe Versus the Volcano: “I know she can get the job, but can she do the job?” That is the question. Here’s Cox and Forkum’s take on Speaker Pelosi taking up the gavel:

Madame Speaker

Today Rep. Nancy Pelosi made history by becoming the first female Speaker of the House. Yesterday

[S]he alluded to one of the reasons women have been slow to climb the political ladder, saying federal policy has never recognized women’s need for child care. “This Congress is going to be about children,” she said.

In other words, congress is going to be about expanding socialistic entitlements, and children will be used as the rationalization.

And hey, did you know she’s a woman?

Several news items have recently burbled to the top like shrimp rolling about in a bubbling pot of gumbo — surfacing long enough to be seen, then sinking slowly back into the pot. Or, depending on how fast the gumbo is bubbling, the “shrimp cycle” may bring it back to the surface again and again, or it may stay at the top for a spell.

OK, now I’m hungry for some yummy Cajun food.

President Bush has nominated Judge John G. Roberts, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Rumors flew that Judge Edith Brown Clement was the President’s pick to fill Justice O’Connor’s vacancy, and the liberals instantly mounted an attack about the President’s poor choice. Once Roberts became the official pick, the contrary liberal voices apparently crossed out Clement’s name and wrote in Roberts’. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, since the Washington Post pointed out that the Democrats had the same battle plans in place for whomever the President nominated:

Democrats signaled that whoever the nominee is, their three likely lines of attack will be to assert the White House did not consult them sufficiently, then paint the nominee as ideologically extreme and finally assert that the Senate had not received sufficient documents about the candidate. But Senate Democratic aides said they will focus for now on bipartisan consultation and not publicly prejudge the nominee.

Cox and Forkum do a great job of lampooning this Democrat attitude.

Liberal Dems attack any choice

I have already written about Senator Dick Durbin and his claim that Guantanamo Bay is equivalent to the Nazi concentration camps or the Soviet gulag. While that story boiled fast and furiously for days, this recent story on Senator Durbin rolled to the top and just as quickly sank out of sight. According to Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, Senator Durbin confronted President Bush’s Supreme Court nominee John Roberts and asked him what he would do if the law would require a ruling that would be against his Catholic beliefs. Senator Durbin says he didn’t ask Roberts that question, but Turley stands fast. “Did!” “Did not!” Although I don’t know Turley and can’t vouch for his honesty, I’d be inclined to believe his side of the story over anything Senator Dick “It’s a gulag!” Durbin has said.

So assuming this line of questioning was accurately represented, it shows that Senator Durbin views Roberts’ religion as pivotal to his confirmation. There is just one problem with asking a judicial nominee about his religion — it violates Article VI of the Constitution:

…no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

This is why you won’t normally hear Senators asking a nominee about his religion; instead, the Senators will ask about the nominee’s “strongly-held personal beliefs.” Just once I’d love to hear a nominee retort by asking the Senators to define what that phrase means, exactly, and watch the Senators attempt to spin their religious test as anything but a religious test.

Speaking of nominations, President Bush’s nomination for ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, was installed by President Bush as a recess appointment. This action prompted the standard condemnation by the Left — so standard, in fact, that it was described as predictable. In his response to the President’s appointment, Senator Ted Kennedy stated the following:

It’s bad enough that the administration stonewalled the Senate by refusing to disclose documents highly relevant to the Bolton nomination. It’s even worse for the administration to abuse the recess appointment power by making the appointment while Congress is in this five-week recess. It’s a devious maneuver that evades the constitutional requirement of Senate consent and only further darkens the cloud over Mr. Bolton’s credibility at the U.N.

This so-called “evading” came because the liberal Senators wouldn’t allow Bolton to have an up-or-down confirmation vote, and President Bush acted completely within his power, appointing Bolton once the Senate recessed as specified in the Constitution: “The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.” Senator Kennedy describes this completely Constitutional act as “devious,” but he seems to like it well enough when it is used in his party’s favor. He was quoted in the Washington Times in 1999, saying the following about recess appointments:

I have long urged recess appointments to break this logjam — this irresponsible, unconstitutional Republican leadership position which fails to give people their due and fails to meet the constitutional standard.

Matthew Hoy points out that the Democrats caused this logjam themselves by not allowing the vote for Bill Lann Lee to take place; the majority Republicans were not going to vote Bill Lann Lee into the Department of Justice. There were enough votes to pass Bolton, but not enough for Lee. But in both cases it was the Democrats who chose to dig in their heels. Predictable.

And finally, Rep. Nancy Pelosi exposed her ignorance of the Supreme Court. When she was asked about the recent decision on eminent domain, she responded:

It is a decision of the Supreme Court. If Congress wants to change it, it will require legislation of a level of a constitutional amendment. So this is almost as if God has spoken. It’s an elementary discussion now. They have made the decision. [emphasis mine - CM]

Oh really? These nine robed Justices speak with the voice of God in their decisions? In that case, what does the esteemed Rep. Pelosi think of other Supreme Court decisions like the Dred Scott decision of 1857 — the one that declared blacks not to be American citizens, and decided black slaves could be legally handed back to their owners even if they had escaped to free states? Or what about the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson case that said it was OK for the nation to be “separate but equal,” giving the green light to “Colored Only” drinking fountains and other egregious cases of societal racism and segregation? It took the “voice of God” almost 60 years to reverse the Plessy case sanctioning segregation with the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case.

Forgive me if I don’t consider Supreme Court decisions to be equivalent to holy writ.

In the spirit of honesty and accuracy, I must acknowledge that Nancy Pelosi is the Democratic Leader of the House of Representatives, not the Senate. But her wacky comments rank right up there with the rest of the Democrat Senators.