Saturday, February 08, 2014

Today In "Both Sides Do It"

Remember House Speaker Nancy Pelosi?  The Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives immediately before John of Orange took the gavel and handed his balls over to Ted Cruz and Louis Gohmert?

Got more shit done than any Speaker in decades?  Ring any bells?
Nancy Pelosi: The Most Effective Speaker of the House in History

As Nancy Pelosi hands off the Speaker’s gavel to John Boehner today, she also hands him a tough act to follow. Despite insistent attempts to malign her during her four years as Speaker of the House, the California congresswoman turns out to have been arguably the most effective person in that post in U.S. history. And it’s not just rah-rah Democrats saying so.

“We’re looking at an extraordinary set of accomplishments over a brief period of time,” said Norman Ornstein, resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. “She ranks with the most consequential speakers, certainly in the last 75 years.”

Pelosi faced a House so divided along party lines that she couldn’t count on a single Republican vote for legislation–which means that she had to wrangle fellow Democrats to demonstrate a discipline and unity they have not been famous for. Out of that unity emerged a record of public policy triumphs unmatched since the Great Society legislation of the 1960s, according to University of Oklahoma political science professor Cindy Simon Rosenthal. “And much of it is because of her,” says Rosenthal.

Health-care reform. Financial reform. Ethics reform.

A $787 billion stimulus.

The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. A minimum wage increase. Student aid. Extending health coverage to 11 million children.

The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
I sure remember her.  I bet you do too.

You know who doesn't remember Speaker Pelosi?

David Brooks.

David Brooks doesn't remember Nancy Pelosi's years as Speaker at all because Speaker Pelosi's record does not comport with Mr. Brooks' ongoing project to bowdlerize (look it up) modern American political history until it fits into his little "Both Sides Do It" box.

Which is why -- like all inconvenient facts -- he just wished Speaker Pelosi's entire record into the cornfield  (original PBS transcript with emphasis added):
DAVID BROOKS: What happened was, [John Boehner] didn't have his members. And that says a lot about where parties are in general these days, not only the Republican Party.

Parties have trouble being led from the top. And the authority in parties is no longer with the speaker, with the leaders. It’s all dispersed. And there are a lot of reasons for that. Some of it has to do with no earmarks. The leaders can’t give out favors, so nobody listens to them. That’s not the only reason, but that’s a little piece of it.

And so they can’t control their party. And so the national leadership of the Republican Party understands what Mark just said, that they need this to get an entree into the immigration reform.


Automatts said...

Driftglass. Your writing is lovely and incisive here, as ever, but it's simply tiresome to celebrate your vocabulary to such an extent that you interrupt a thought to command us to look up bowdlerize. Silly, self-inflating, and ultimately self defeating to engage in such stuff. Venal sin at most, but beneath you nonetheless.

hawiken said...

David Brooks Is Still An Asshole

I ask you- how is this news?

Yastreblyansky said...

Seems like you're agreeing with Brooks on one thing here, since you say Boehner surrendered his balls and Brooks says he "didn't have his members". Oh wait, no, he's just a really bad writer.

Deering said...

Come on--you were expecting Brooks to give a mere woman her just due?

marindenver said...

Dammit I had to stop reading and look up "venal". ;-)

Patricia said...

It's true, much to David's dismay, the party can't be controlled, On NPR, on Friday he had this to say; "This is the problem with democracy. If we had a party run by elites, which it should be, they would be far-seeing, they would know what's in the long-term interest of their party" Right. Thanks for that David, Who would these elites be? Boehner? He's done a stellar job. Exactly who are these worthy elites Brooks approves of?
Have a listen to the obnoxious Mr. Brooks, if you can stomach it.

Marie Burns said...

Excellent catch: I would add that Brooks has never heard of Minority Leader Pelosi or Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Anonymous said...

Automatts- I don't think Driftglass feels a need to "celebrate" his vocabulary; when the right word is the right word, you use it.

marindenver- when you looked up "venal" I hope you noted the fact that Automatts used it incorrectly. He/she likely meant "venial".