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In Which Way Backward for the Democratic Party?

July 29, 2005

Pelosi: "GOP Competence Disgraces America"

The Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) will now become law, having just passed the House 217-215. It squeaked through on the good graces of the "CAFTA 15" of House Democrats who voted for it. This will, of course, come as no surprise to readers of ReverseVoteSwap.org, who generally Know What Time It Is, but it is causing a lot of shock among people who Don't. This has apparently spurred House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to issue a strong statement condemning...the Republicans! In politics this is known as the Springer Strategem, named after the phenomenon wherein a woman throws a chair at a third party with whom her husband has been sleeping while leaving the gentleman untouched. We reprint Rep. Pelosi's fascinating letter below.

Open Letter to House Republican Leadership:
"Once Again, Your Competence and Discipline Have Disgraced America"

Dear Colleagues:

As House Democratic Leader, I must convey to you my outrage at your Party's actions with respect to yesterday's vote on CAFTA. With great force and skill you have manipulated the interests of your members, applied sharp political pressure to the key points, and played on their individual contradictions of their positions to your Party's general advantage. By acting as a competent, well-managed parliamentary fraction, you have disgaced America and trampled on our democratic traditions.

Yesterday I told the New York Times that "the floor of the House of Representatives resembled the set of 'Let's Make a Deal.'" Ordinary Americans are beginning, for the first time in history, to see the Congress as a place where people make deals. Will you allow yourselves to be responsible for undermining the high confidence with which the average citizen currently regards his elected officials?

Here on the Democratic side of the aisle, I, as Leader, would never allow the higher interests of Party and Country to interfere with the absolute right of a elected official to cast his vote based on whatever narrow, cretinistic concern seems to him to be most important at the time. Only by letting in every snout can we ensure the rich diversity of the trough. I would never countenance applying political pressure to our members just to win elections, secure our funding, satisfy our constituents, uphold the basic planks of our political platform, or prevent myself from looking weak and stupid. That may be how things are done in France or Europe--but not here.

As a troop-supporting American freedom-loving patriot, I call on you guys to seriously quit it.

Regards,
Rep. Nancy Pelosi
House Minority Leader

Posted by convener at July 29, 2005 12:01 PM