If there was any doubt before, which there wasn't, it's gone now. Watching Nancy Pelosi on The View yesterday morning provided the final proof that the backbone of the House is only as strong as its speaker. Her body language said it all. There she sat in the center of the table, sandwiched between Elizabeth Hasselbeck and the "Is the world flat? I don't know" lady, looking anxious and devoid of stately confidence. She could barely look in the eyes of America's Favorite True Believer on her left, who immediately smelled fear and pounced on her prey. "If the violence in Iraq had gone up," she started in (I'm paraphrasing), "you would be insisting that the surge was a failure. Now that the reports say it's gone down drastically, aren't you willing to admit that the surge is a success?" So what does Pelosi do? Does she make like Bill Clinton versus Chris Wallace, lean into her face and retort "young lady, don't try that little conservative hit job on me. You obviously don't know fudged numbers when you see them"? No. Instead she looks somewhere in Hasselbeck's general direction and squeaks meekly, "But that's still a lot of deaths." (I'm not paraphrasing). She then quickly changes the subject as she spends the rest of the interview leaning away from Hasselbeck and focusing on the three women on her right, wishing to God they had sat her down beside Whoopi.
But that wouldn't have been any more comforting. Whoopi was on her ass, too, about how she and her fellow Dems had failed to stop President Bush's war effort or at least elevate the level of discourse and control the debate on, uh, anything. Pelosi was a nervous wreck by then, desperately trying to tape together an impression of some sort of goal Congress had reached, and offered nothing that had actually made its way into law.
Watching those uncomfortable minutes tick by, I couldn't help thinking, "Man, if this lady can't hold her own at a table full of gossiping hens who care more about the future of Britney's babies then that of their country, no wonder impeachment is off the goddamn table!"
Barbara Walters mercifully ended the proceedings, tidily wrapping up the interview with something like "Well, Democrat or Republican, it's not important. What matters is that you're the first woman speaker of the House, and that means a lot!"
Um, no it doesn't, sorry. It doesn't mean dick when we're gonna spend a generation cleaning up after a disastrous eight-year siege of our country that no one in power has the guts to end. Madame Speaker is no different than her Senate counterpart. Reid and Pelosi are two distinguished minority leaders promoted to their level of incompetence by a frustrated electorate. Neither of them is yet able to energize their parties into accomplishing anything they were elected to do, hence their dismal poll numbers and an unfazed president who will smirk and coast his way to blissful retirement.