Thursday, February 08, 2007

Welcome To The Freak Show Madame Speaker

Maybe H.R. 508, sponsored by Representative Lynn Woolsey, has a better shot at House passage than we originally thought.

We have always believed that H.R. 508, which cuts off funding for the Iraq War and re-deploys all American troops out of Iraq within six months, was dead on arrival in the U.S. House of Representatives.

We've argued that under no circumstances would the Democratic Leadership allow a bill cutting off funding for the whole war reach the House floor.

"Speaker Pelosi has her eyes on the '08 prize," we'd confidently proclaim, draining yet another Irish Car Bomb at Manchester, New Hampshire's Strange Brew Pub. "She knows that you don't win a Presidential election in '08 being known as the Party that cut off funding for the Iraq War."

And then, before we burped, "Of course, we think she's wrong. And so does John Edwards, Chris Dodd and Bill Richardson."

(Diarist Note: We support the troop surge but we think the Iraq War might very well sink any '08 candidate who doesn't favor an immediate troop withdrawal right now)

But Grandmother Pelosi doesn't care what I think. Or what Edwards, Dodd and Richardson think. Or even what her newly elected anti-Iraq Democratic House members think (who I refer to as the "Anti-War Establishment" and Dick Morris refers to as the "New Left").

Speaker Pelosi thinks what she thinks and that's it.

And, as House Madame of the House of Representatives, she will nut cut anyone who crosses her.

As we've said before, you don't become the first female Speaker in the history of our Republic by loving your grandchildren and smelling really, really nice.

Which is why the Anti-War Establishment has been so timid in actually taking her on. Even though we believe (and they do to) that their very re-election depends on passing strong anti-Iraq War legislation.

But that was then.

Now we think we see some of the Speaker's blood in the water. And, even if it's just a little bit, we bet the Anti-War Establishment smells it.

We are of course talking about the moronic air travel flap that has been dogging the Speaker for over a week.

If you care to dignify stupidity you may read the ABC News story here. Or the LA Times story here.

While we are not fans of Speaker Pelosi, the substance of this story (what little there is) shows that at worst the Speaker is a little tone deaf.

We believe this flap to be nothing more than a tempest in a teapot.

But the "Freak Show", what Mark Halperin describes as a unholy conveyor belt of blogs, talk radio, Drudge and 24-hour cable news, doesn't often stop to consider substance. Especially when it's dealing with a Democratic Speaker of the House.

So the Freak Show is doing what it does - it's freaking.

But the Freak Show isn't the real problem in this example.

The real problem is that Speaker Pelosi lost control of her public image so easily. The real problem is that his foolish story has been hanging around for a week. The real problem is that this story was allowed to work its way out into the Old Media in the first place.

Speaker Pelosi looks weak and she looks foolish.

And with her House taking up the Iraq War debate next week she cannot afford to look weak and foolish if she intends to keep her own caucus in line. Let alone handle the Republicans.

Like we said earlier, maybe Woolsey's bill has a chance after all.