The predicament that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi finds herself in as a result of trying to play both sides of the EIT issue is a delicious spectacle for Republicans that have been on the receiving end of the Democrat’s demagoguery of the last several years. Whether it was their ranting “against” the war in Iraq while simultaneously voting to fund it or the president’s recent flip flopping on holding Gitmo detainees, the role of military tribunals and the recent reversal on release of the “torture photos”, one thing has become abundantly clear. The Democrats have shown no indication that they can make the transition from campaigning to leading.
No better evidence of such was Pelosi’s “tortured performance yesterday in what has to be the worst press conference in recent memory. Even historically faithful defenders like The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank cringed at the episode:
ABC’s Jonathan Karl wanted to make sure he’d heard right. “You’re accusing the CIA of lying to you?”
“Yes, misleading the Congress of the United States,” Pelosi repeated. As she answered, she held a fist up, waved her index finger, formed her hand into an O, pushed her hair back, then resumed leading the orchestra. She appeared to have developed a case of dry mouth and was swallowing hard.
Now questions were being shouted from all around the room; Pelosi chose one from the back. Did she wish she had done more to object? “No, no, no, no, no, no,” Pelosi said. “As I say in my statement,” she repeated, looking down at her papers again.
….It was then that the speaker tried to crab-walk out of the session, and CNN’s Bash stopped her in her tracks, demanding to know why Pelosi said last month that she hadn’t known waterboarding was being used.
“I meant ‘we,’ we in that — in that — meeting,” she attempted to answer.
The Washington Post’s Dan Balz (no friend of Republicans) made the following observation:
Pelosi’s performance in the Capitol was either a calculated escalation of a long-running feud with the Bush administration or a reckless act by a politician whose word had been called into question. Perhaps it was both.
Pelosi has put the establishment liberal media in the uncomfortable position of having to report that which cannot be denied and the tenor of the reporter’s columns can essentially be distilled to this thought: there’s nothing we can do for you Madam Speaker….you’re on your own now. Dick Cheney probably got a good chuckle out of Pelosi’s performance yesterday. I can’t remember a recent former Vice President that has so easily dominated a political debate, but this is the first time in a long time that facts have intruded on the Democrat’s talking points regarding national security.