I probably shouldn't even delicately ascribe her recent bizarre verbal attacks upon "The Squad" of four newly elected progressive women to run-of-the-mill derangement. Because since reading the Maureen Dowd column in Sunday's New York Times and other accounts, in which Pelosi characterizes both Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Donald Trump as harmless "glasses of water" I keep getting a mental picture of Pelosi as the Wicked Witch of the West, melting down into a sorry puddle after getting deservedly doused with that same glass of water.
Actually, the putrid puddle image that I can't get out of my head vies with the equally ugly picture that the Dowd column conjured up: the stiletto heel of Pelosi's expensively shod (Manolo purple pump, retail $995) right foot stomping on and grinding progressive policies into a pulp, while her weaker left appendage flirtatiously but ineffectually plays footsie with Donald Trump and the Republicans under the table.
That Pelosi is more attuned to the Republican side of the Duopoly, and that she despises progressive Democrats with every fiber of her being is also becoming more painfully obvious by the day. In fact, she is beginning to sound a lot like the authoritarian Trump himself, with her strident demands to her caucus for loyalty to party over loyalty to constituents and country.
As a carefully leaked, anonymously sourced piece in Politico described it,
Speaker Nancy Pelosi chided progressives in a closed-door meeting Wednesday, calling on them to address their intraparty grievances privately rather than blasting their centrist colleagues on Twitter. Pelos's comments, which were described as stern, came during the first full caucus meeting since a major blowup over emergency border funding last month between progressive and moderate lawmakers as well as a recent spat with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and her freshman allies.Harrumph. This from the same politician who went to the New York Times and complained so peevishly and publicly about The Squad, and thought it would be O.K. and that her progressive targets would not in their own turn react publicly and very negatively to her clumsy gaslighting attempt.
"So, again, you got a complaint? You come and talk to me about it," Pelosi told Democrats, according to a source in the room. "But do not tweet about our members and expect us to think that that is just OK."
Of course, this whole "Ballad of the Cat-fight Cafe" narrative was from the very beginning the joint project of the corporate Democratic Party and the Times. All Dowd had to do was pick up and expand upon the contrived propaganda narrative ("The Mighty Moderates Vs. AOC") written the previous week by her colleague Julie Hirschfeld Davis, a piece which I critiqued here. This anti-progressive narrative was in its own turn a companion piece to the longer-running blockbuster series called "The Ruling Class Vs. Bernie Sanders," which is now on temporary hiatus thanks to his slight fall in the polls. But as soon as he becomes a clear threat or when he openly attacks Joe Biden, the Times will be back on the offensive. For the time being, it's the dangerously popular AOC who serves as the convenient proxy in the Class War of the rich vs. the rest of us.
But now there's a glitch in their offensive. AOC noticed and vocalized the inconvenient fact that the "Squad" which Pelosi denigrates is all comprised of women of color, and they have received death threats. The "race card" is being played in the Mighty Moderates vs. AOC game, and the Democrats and the corporate media are beginning to panic. There is a clear and present danger that the identity politics which the liberal class has long used as a diversionary tactic is in danger of collapse from the now racially charged intraparty angst. Without identity politics to divert attention from the corporate Democrats' lack of attention to the economic woes of the electorate, they have nothing.
It looks even worse for Madam Speaker and her "lieutenants." To prove his own devotion to the Game of Bipartisan Footsie in service to the rich, Donald Trump himself has gallantly come to Nancy Pelosi's defense in a cynical attempt to justify the GOP's own racist attacks on AOC and the other three women. "I'll tell you something about Nancy Pelosi that you know better than I do. She is not a racist!" he told the media as he made preparations to rip apart up to 2,000 more immigrant families via ICE deportation raids this weekend.
So the personality politics-driven Family Feud Franchise which the Times itself instigated at the behest of Pelosi and the Democratic leadership is backfiring right in their faces. But rather than admit their own complicity, the same media outlets that over-hyped the Narrative all week are now criticizing their own story without taking responsibility for it. It apparently sprang fully formed from the ether without any assistance from them at all.
|The TrumPelosi Minuet|
As the Atlantic now reports, the whole Pelosi-AOC Catfight Narrative was pretty much a fraud from the get-go, because the Democrats have always been united, and so enough with the Narrative already. It is certainly not the Media's fault, writes David A. Graham:
There’s no reason to blame the media for simply reporting shots that the two sides are taking at each other. Insofar as there’s a “Democrats in disarray” narrative in place, it’s because the Democrats are shouting at one another from the rooftops.They're trying to put the toothpaste that they themselves just squeezed out in big fat globs back into the tube.
Yet the rhetorical sparring does obscure a broader Democratic unity. The border-funding vote aside, there’s barely any daylight between Democrats on matters actually before the House. The Squad has broken with Pelosi on just two votes so far, according to ProPublica’s tracker. The gap between the party’s moderate and left wings is relatively small, too. Ocasio-Cortez and Representative Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, a co-chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, have parted ways on just 13 percent of votes; Omar and Representative Max Rose, who’s more pragmatic than ideological, on 7 percent of votes.
They're trying to mop up the toxic Pelosi puddle and and wring it back into the glass and call it pure sparkling water.
But it's still sludge. And there's still a sharp, mean, nasty designer stiletto heel lurking just beneath the surface, ready to stomp and screw even mildly progressive policy ideas at a moment's notice.
Meanwhile, all that Nancy Pelosi can tell the two thousand terrorized immigrant families who are the targets of Trump's upcoming deportation sweep is to simply not answer their doors when the ICE troops come politely knocking, crowbars and guns at the ready.
She sounds like Nancy Reagan telling people to Just Say No to drugs at the very same time that her husband's CIA was filling poor neighborhoods with crack cocaine and millions of people started getting swept up and jailed in the Duopoly's racist war on drugs.
Meanwhile, the corporate media mostly ignored the large immigrant protest at Joe Biden's Philadelphia campaign headquarters on Wednesday, the very same day Pelosi was warning her caucus to shut up. Six people were arrested for staging a sit-in and demanding that the former vice president apologize for the Obama administration's record deportations of 3 million immigrants. Biden has thus far preferred not to, remaining behind locked doors at some undisclosed location.
How does the screw turn? Let us count the ways.
So forget about locking our doors. We need to show up at their doors, right where they hide and they cower, starting in the hallowed halls of Congress, and wherever centrist candidates set up shop.
**Update, 7/13: The protesters caught up with Biden in New Hampshire on Friday afternoon, when he discovered to his great chagrin that uttering the word "Barack" doesn't necessarily elicit cheers of adulation and/or moans of nostalgia. Literally stuck between the protesters and a river (also containing kayaking protesters) Biden had no choice but to mutter sorry for deporting millions of innocent people, not sorry for deporting a relative handful of people with felony records. The confrontation pointed to one of the few positive aspects of this interminable campaign season - it has greatly extended the period of time in which regular people are allowed to afflict the office-seeking powerful and comfortable.