I watched Nancy Pelosi on Sunday morning, and I was stunned to discover that she and I seem to have had the same haircut this week. It was a mistake for us both, in my opinion. How Nancy Pelosi had time to get her hair cut I don't know, but I know how I did: I went to have my annual mammogram, and it was (as usual) so painful and horrible that I emerged completely deranged onto Madison Avenue, bought three pairs of shoes and wandered into my hairdresser's, hoping she was free. She was, and as a result, my hair is too short. So is Nancy's.
I have had a lot of haircuts that were too short in my life, and I know that eventually, in a couple of weeks, it will grow in and I will feel better. In the meantime, though, a bad haircut takes a toll. It's depressing. It makes you feel powerless. It makes you a kind of muted version of yourself. So I like to think that that's why Nancy seemed so powerless, depressed and muted on Face the Nation Sunday, especially when she said that President Bush was going to have to justify himself in order for Congress to consider his impending request to send 20,000 more troops to Iraq.
Here's the deal, Nancy, there's no justification for sending 20,000 more troops to Iraq. No matter what President Bush says. There's no justification at all. The President is sending 20,000 more troops so that he can't be accused of not sending more troops. The President is sending 20,000 more troops because the other option didn't work, but this one isn't going to either. The President is sending 20,000 more troops so that he can postpone coming to terms with reality, which is that this war is a catastrophe. No matter how the President justifies this escalation - with add-ons like job training and buzz words like "metrics" and "benchmarks" - there's no justification for it; the only possible outcome is that more troops will be killed and wounded as patsies for an unjustifiable war.
Bob Schieffer asked Nancy Pelosi if she thought that she would be held to a higher standard as the first woman Speaker of the House; he asked whether she thought that if she failed, it might hurt other woman candidates. "I'm not going to fail," Pelosi replied. I liked that answer, it was spunky, spunkier than anything else Pelosi said, and I applaud her for overcoming her haircut and having a spunky moment. But there's no question that women are judged more harshly than men, and not just by men. I mean, look at me. I am actually blaming the disappointing behavior of the first woman Speaker of the House on her haircut. This is worse than inexcusable, it's unjustifiable.
I will be better in a couple of weeks, and I hope Nancy will be too.