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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Nancy Pelosi Should Act First, Criticize Later

Although Nancy Pelosi is not a member of the Senate, she decided to pipe up and discipline Russ Feingold for daring to challenge the hegemony of the GOP:
"I think that things are going well for the Democrats right now," Pelosi told reporters Thursday, alluding to recent data showing that a plurality of poll respondents would prefer a Democratic-controlled House.

So why, she implied, should Democrats risk spoiling the mood?

She rebuffed the call by Sen. Russ Feingold, D- Wisc., to censure Bush for ordering National Security Agency surveillance of al Qaida contacts with persons in the United States without seeking warrants from a court.

"I have no idea why anybody would censure someone before they have an investigation,"” she said.
This would be the same Nancy Pelosi who, as Pach noted, sits in the same House of Representatives with some of the most corrupt Republicans who have ever climbed out of the primordial slime and attempted to walk erect, yet she actively discourages Democrats who want to file ethics complaints against them.

Ari Berman, writing in the Nation:
Meanwhile, Democratic leaders cry out for investigations--but only in their public statements. "The House Ethics Committee must get to work immediately to investigate ethics and corruption cases in the House, including those involving members with ties to Jack Abramoff," House minority leader Nancy Pelosi declared recently, naming DeLay, Ney, John Doolittle and Richard Pombo as deserving of inquiry. Yet according to Bell, Sloan and lawmakers who asked not to be named, Pelosi has specifically told House members not to file complaints. Pelosi, who said through a spokesperson that she has never been a party to any ethics truce, spent six years on the Ethics Committee during the turbulent Gingrich era ("serving my time," she jokingly calls it). Bell suspects that she's worried about retaliatory complaints being filed against Democrats. "There are some members who want to act, and when they bring it up with the leadership they're told to wait a while," says Bell. Congress, he says, "is a self-preservation institution. Members realize that if they rock the boat they endanger their self-preservation. And you can't file an ethics complaint without rocking the boat."
Pombo and Doolittle are facing tough re-election campaigns this November, and the only reason not to do their jobs and wave big, fat red flags around their flagrant ethics violations is incumbency protection. You don't challenge us, we don't challenge you. Their responsibilty to the people who actually elected them is considered not at all.

Pelosi claims there is no truce in place. Which means what, she doesn't know what Pombo and Dolittle have done? I guess that's what she has claimed, though one has to wonder what exactly she hopes to achieve in acknowledging ignorance about something about which the rest of the country is only too well aware.

It's the same frigid recalcitrance that paralyzes the rest of the Democratic establishment -- Feingold's resolution rocks the boat. It makes them all uncomfortale.

Too bad. Pelosi should STFU about Russ Feingold and do her damn job.