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Pelosi Confronts That Age-Old Question

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In Washington's corridors, hallways of power,
It takes just one question afloat in the breeze,
One question to call ev'ry ear to attention,
To bring some Invincible down to her knees:

"What did you know,
And when did you know it?"
The pressure starts building,
But try not to show it,
You swear that you're innocent,
Out of the loop,
Go swear all you want to,
You're still in the soup.

On Capitol Hill -- in the House, in the Senate --
There's nothing like scandal (or even a whiff),
And nothing screams "Scandal!" like one classic query
That suddenly points you right over the cliff:

"What did you know,
And when did you know it?"
Come clean! Tell us ev'rything!
Don't to-and-fro it!
The other side's grinning,
They've got you hemmed in,
They're waiting to hear
Your original sin.

In newsrooms and studios, hearts are a-twitter,
The sharks begin circling, they've spotted their prey,
There's sweat on your forehead, there's blood in the water,
They're ready to rip into each word you say.

"What did you know,
And when did you know it?"
The cameras are rolling,
You'd better not blow it,
You didn't know anything --
That's what you claim --
Now where do you go
To get back your good name?

So be on your guard when you labor in Washington,
Watch for the question that tells you you're through,
Or maybe you'll choose to go on the offensive,
And stick it to them 'fore they stick it to you.

"What did you know,
And when did you know it?"
Just locate their belt
And then aim right below it,
You'll prove you're still kicking,
You've still got the juice --
What's good for the gander
Is good for the goose.

Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist. You can write to him at