Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Never-ending Hypocrisy of Nancy Pelosi

The consummate politician (and I mean that in the worst possible context of the phrase), former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sat down with Bob Schieffer on CBS’s Sunday talk show, Face the Nation,  a week and a half ago and once again proved that she and her Democratic colleagues should be held to a different standard than those that the "evil" Republicans are.  See the video for the particular moment that illustrates this "fact" so precisely.  Following is part of the transcript of that discussion:

Bob Schieffer:  You were talking in kind of a different way when unemployment went to 5% under George Bush.  What you said then,  ‘Americans are struggling with skyrocketing energy prices’ (gas was only $3/gallon then) and you said this morning… this is January 4th 2008, ‘This morning’s jobs report confirms what most Americans already knew- President Bush’s economic policies have failed our country’s middle class.’

Aren’t Republicans entitled to say you know, if you got gas was 3 dollars and unemployment was 5% and the president has failed the American people, don’t they have a right to say that this president has failed the American people?

Nancy Pelosi: Well if you want to go into the past, we can talk about the past all you want.  The public wants to know about the future.  What are you going to do to create jobs- good paying jobs-

Bob Schieffer: Well what are you going to do?

Nancy Pelosi: Well as I said, what the president has done has improved the situation from where it may have been.

Bob Schieffer: But the fact is that the congress has been in session since January and has done basically nothing.

Nancy Pelosi: Well you  can talk to Mr. Boehner about that.

Bob Schieffer:  So it’s all the their fault?  It’s not your fault?

So let me get this straight, Ms. Pelosi- 5% unemployment and $3/gallon gas under Bush equals a failed economic policy; however, 9.1% unemployment and $4/gallon gas under Obama equals "he kept it from being even worse" and "nobody cares about the past"?  In that amazingly audacious exchange in a long career of such hypocritical moments of yours, that one really is near the top of the heap.
One wonders what happened to the “fact” spouted by President Obama that his egregious and asinine spending was critically necessary in order to hold down unemployment below 8%.  I think America would today breathe a sigh of relief if the actual REAL unemployment rate were only 8%.  As for keeping energy prices low, Obama’s executive order to halt offshore drilling in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has only served to further increase our dependence on foreign sources of energy.

Ms. Pelosi is quick to claim that they inherited a huge deficit from Bush, and indeed they did; however, Obama and Pelosi’s Democratically-controlled 111th congress have since added another $1.6 TRILLION to that deficit, while doing absolutely nothing to cut spending or create sustainable jobs anywhere in the country.  Indeed the signature piece of legislation passed by Pelosi and Reid along strictly partisan lines and then signed into unconstitutional law by President Obama has been estimated by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office to actually kill 800,000 jobs in the course of the coming years.  The fact that the law further doesn’t reduce health care costs, despite all of the Democratic rhetoric and promises that it would to the contrary, only further exacerbates the problem.

Once again, it would seem that being a Democratic elected official means that one can expect to be held to a different standard than that of their colleagues across the political aisle.  It means that only the vile and dastardly Republicans should be held to account for their statements and their actions.  Sorry Ms. Pelosi, but you are selling make-believe, and we don't buy that here.

Note: the section of the video for the transcript above is at 2:42 into it.  The entire video is good though in showing the dissembling, deception, and hypocrisy of the former Speaker of the House.


Dave Dubya said...

a different standard than that of their colleagues across the political aisle

Like Weiner and Vitter? At least Pelosi told Weiner it was time to go. The GOP is helping Vitter raise money. Larry "Wide Stance" got to finish his term with his committee chairs restored. GOP "Values" at work. Ask Newt. No shame at all.

S.W. Anderson said...

Here's the answer Pelosi should have given:

"Bob, your question is very misleading on its face because you posit a level playing field for Bush and Obama. Bush came to the presidency inheriting a $600 billion surplus, the first in nearly four decades. Obama inherited a $1.2 trillion deficit and the first horrendous economic collapse in 80 years — like the Great Depression, caused by reckless deregulation, lack of proper oversight and the runaway greed of the financial industry and other big-money interests.

S.W. Anderson said...

Bush mismanaged the economy from the start, pursuing policies that made matters worse. Obama has had to clean up the mess Bush and 14 years of Republican-controlled congresses and the rapacious financial industry created.

Given that context, the 5 percent unemployment and $3 gas in Bush's time, neither of which was effectively addressed by the administration, are one thing. The 9 percent unemployment and $3.80 gas we have today, in the context of the current situation, is another.

One more thing about current unemployment. Republicans held 14 million jobless Americans' need for a lifeline hostage last November, to ensure their rich backers' tax cuts would be extended. Republicans have opposed every action and legislative measure the administration has tried for to create more jobs and stimulate the economy. The business community has largely refused to help in any way.

Republicans, meanwhile, haven't come up with a single measure to add jobs or help the unemployed. They and big business, Wall Street especially, want Obama to be a failed, one-term president, and they're only too happy to hurt millions of Americans to achieve that end. That's they're agenda and so they kill every effort to help restore the economy.

That's the difference, Bob, and the truth about what's going on.

T. Paine said...

Dubya, let’s compare apples to apples, say like in the case of Mark Foley who made suggestive inappropriate text comments and was asked by the Republican leadership to resign, while Nancy Pelosi specifically pointed Foley out and her promise to “drain the swamp” of such unethical behavior. The result is Massa “tickle-fests” with staffers to Weiner’s wonderland. Most Democrats at first wanted Wiener to stay because of his effective bombastic attitude. They only wanted his resignation when overwhelming public opinion was against the idiot.

Anderson, Pelosi really should put you on her payroll. That was a brilliant answer. It would seem to give a plausible explanation for a public that is not paying attention and fails to understand the truth of these matters. The fact of the matter is what you stated was nothing more than ideological falsehoods in defense of Democratic abject failure.

You stated that Bush inherited a surplus. Indeed he did. He also inherited an economy that was already in recession at the time. Remember Al Gore screaming and whining about how the Republicans were talking down the economy before the election in order to make his chances of winning less likely? Further, there was that little incident eight months into Bush’s first term called September 11th. That threw the US and indeed the global economy into a tail spin. While I admit that Bush did a lot of foolish things with his stewardship of the economy, I am frankly surprised that it didn’t get even worse than it did. His tax cuts were one of the few smart things he did to help the economy rebound, and it did. And contrary to leftist rhetoric, those tax cuts helped the middle class greatly. The increase in the tax deduction per dependent was particularly helpful.

I will agree that there was a definite lack of congressional oversight, particularly when it came to overseeing certain members of congress. Let’s take Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd’s egregious lack of PROPER oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as a prime example. Despite those buffoons statements to the contrary, Fannie and Freddie became unsustainable in making their bad loans and thus collapsed and took the housing market with it. Indeed this was the catalyst for the recent economic mess we are in now.

T. Paine said...

Next, you decry the runaway greed of the financial industry and big money interests. I also agree with you here. Evidently Obama and the Democrats fixed this problem too though. They bailed out these reckless financial institutions with tax payer dollars and then the Obama administration hired many of the big players, especially with the corrupt Goldman Sachs, to come be a part of his administration.

As for the greed of the big money interests, well the Obama administration rewarded the horrible mismanagement of GM and Chrysler, not by making them follow the law and go through bankruptcy, but by bailing them out by federalizing the companies and then giving the assets to the unions instead of the investors and debt holders. I guess that union greed is acceptable though, because they are Democrats.

Next, you laughably acknowledge that the business community has failed to help Obama. Well, hell yeah! He has made the business climate so toxic that many businesses have had to declare bankruptcy and go out of business. Just the uncertainty with his EPA and the job-killing measures of Obamacare are enough to seriously harm many smaller businesses. Even the director of the CBO admitted that Obamacare would cause the loss of 800,000 jobs in the following years. Further, it does nothing to cut health care costs for businesses or consumers. The Republicans’ attempts to defund and eventually repeal this unconstitutional law will be the biggest boon for the economy and creation of jobs seen in many decades.

Getting rid of UNNECESSARY restrictions, asinine energy policies, and this egregious health care law is the Republicans’ plan to create jobs. It is called getting the interfering government out of the way and allowing business to do what they do best without having to worry about the uncertainty of when they are going to get hit with new taxes or costly regulations. And do you know what? It will work and restore jobs and the economy. You will see it come to fruition when Obama is replaced next year.

Dave Dubya said...

I was comparing politicians to politicians. You still have it wrong. In a CNN interview House Speaker Dennis Hastert claimed that he did "not recall" any conversation about Foley's emails prior to the story breaking. This, of course, contradicts the recollections of other GOP leaders, including Tom Reynolds and John Boehner, who have said they told Hastert about the emails the previous winter.

Pelosi did no such squirming for Weiner. Although I agree that Pelosi is part of our problem, not because she’s a socialist, but an enabling political spouse of member of the financial industrial complex. They are elite insiders like Republicans. She’s no community organizer.

I’ll let SW respond to your narrative with holes big enough to drive a truck through. As much as you want to blame Obama for the Wall Street bailouts, Bush was in the White House, remember? Republicans led on the bailout. The economy crashed on Bush’s watch, remember? The tsunami of an economic crisis and steady job losses rolled in before Obama took office. How was he going to fix it all with a GOP and their corporate Blue Dogs intent on insuring his failure so they could regain power? I’ve never seen such a massive betrayal of the American people.

At least the auto bailouts saved countless American jobs, except a notable one or two you note that were horrible “mismanagement”. By the way, unions do not own GM and Chrysler. Even if they did, could they manage them any worse?

Such faith you have! Returning to allow insurance companies’ profiteering by denying benefits will be “the biggest boon for the economy and creation of jobs seen in many decades”. Just like before the Affordable Care Act, eh? Just like those tax cuts for the rich gave everybody a job, eh?

And they call progressives “starry eyed”...

S.W. Anderson said...

Paine, you're a hopeless case. Bush was justified in calling for a tax cut. One tax cut, $250 billion, no more. That tax cut should've directed most of the relief to those at the bottom of the income scale — people who would spend the money here, promptly, and stimulate the economy.

Instead, Bush and his Republican order takers in Congress passed three much larger tax cuts. They were out to curry favor with their rich backers including big corporations. They also wanted to create a budget crisis so they could justify to the public big cuts in government and in spending on programs to help the people as a whole. Each of Bush's tax cuts was irresponsibly large and directed mostly to the wealthy.

The wealthy and corporations used their tax cuts to export more jobs and industries faster. They invested more to create jobs and businesses, too, but nearly all those jobs and businesses were in places like China and India, not in the U.S.

Get a clue, Paine, you're being used and abused, and you're cheering on the greedy bastards who are doing it.

As for the unions owning GM and Chrysler, no they didn't and they don't. Your notions about the whole automakers' bailout, the reasons for it and the good it has done i is absolutely perverse. Your prescription makes as much sense as saying if someone just had a heart attack, he should eat a rich, fattening meal, have a cigar and go bowling instead of see a doctor.

The GM and Chrysler bailout is a success. It went a long way toward keeping the bottom from falling out of the economy completely, saved taxpayers an incalculable amount of money, more than a million jobs, 10,000 related businesses or more — and the companies are doing well, turning a profit and have paid the money back. That's good news, try to get over it.

S.W. Anderson said...

Paine, you're on the verge of telling us all Obama has done nothing for the economy but make it worse. It's on the tip of your tongue, it's got your fingers itching to type it into posts here and comments at Oh!pinion.

Please, before you do, read this. It's not long, and well worth a couple minutes of your time.

The Heathen Republican said...

All very interesting, I guess, but this is what I expect when people like Pelosi open their mouths. SW's answer is sooooo much better than hers. Wrong, but better.

Isn't the bigger story how Schieffer fails to follow-up? Tim Russert made a career off replaying seemingly contradictory clips and quotes and then hounding Republicans into responding. Schieffer simply moves on? Lazy journalism.

But I know, liberal media bias is all in my head.

Dave Dubya said...

You make a great point. It is lazy journalism, not "liberal media". Media is corporate, and they know in order to have access to politicians they treat them with kid gloves. Mix Corporate politicians and corporate media and what do you expect? Mush for the masses while politicians dodge issues and corporate media sees good ratings while scooping up campaign cash.

They are partners. There is no longer a pervasive journalistic free press to shine a light and check on power.

We have softball interviews, lurid distractions, and narrow two-sided shoutfests in the guise of journalism. Even Russert was a media puppet in Cheney's hands when he spewed his pre-Iraq war lies on Meet The Press.

S.W. Anderson said...

Liberal media bias?

That's so 1970's.

T. Paine said...

First, the auto-bailouts were NOT the roaring success that Obama and the Democrats proclaim it to be. In fact we taxpayers are still on the hook for at least $14 Billion at best.

Second, I suppose I should have been more precise. The unions don't technically own GM and Chrysler, however, the government-"modified bankruptcy" rules they went through gave huge amounts of stock to the unions instead of other debt holders that were higher on the list for legally being recompensed. In that regard they received unfairly a much larger share of ownership than they warranted. See the link:

Lastly, Anderson states, "Liberal media bias?

That's so 1970's."

Yep, It was indeed alive in the 70's and the 80's, 90's, and still to this day.

The things this administration does and nobody even hears about would be broadcasted from the mountain tops with calls for impeachment if a Republican were in office.

I give you the ATF's "Fast and Furious" selling of weapons to Mexican drug dealers in Arizona as a prime example. Still waiting for Brian Williams or the New York times to do a lead off story on this.

Dave Dubya said...

If tens, or hundreds, of thousands more jobless auto workers is what would make you happy...

Show me, please, where all the jobs are those tax cuts for the rich provided. I'll wait...

To the radical Right, all journalism, by its very nature, is "liberal bias". Period. Always has been. Since FOX(R) is not journalism; the "Pravda" of the GOP is the only corporate media exemption.

The Right has always been hostile to any entity, any voice, that challenges or questions the power of the economic elites. They are always hostile to any voice that advocates for the vast majority of Americans. Always. This makes the radical Right the enemy of democracy. The radical Right is dedicated, by any means, to the failure of a democratically elected president, no matter the cost to our people and the country.

This is the absolute irrefutable bottom line. The radical Right is the enemy of democracy. Always has been, always will be.

T. Paine said...

Dubya, it is not my desire for any jobs to be lost. The fact of the matter is that what the government did was basically prop up GM and Chrysler (while benefitting their Democratic union constituents in the process) without fixing the systemic problems that created their collapse in the first place.

Read the attached article I had sent previously.

No one is wanting to buy GM stock, because they know that the government still has millions and millions of tax-payer owned shares that they need to sell. I am not going to spend my cash on their stock only to see the government liquidate theirs and watch my share price fall. This means GM will get no new investors and will be stalemated into its current position. It will not be able to grow with any sustainability.

GM's death has only been post-poned; not stopped, accordingly.

If GM and Chrysler had been allowed to go through the normal bankruptcy process, they could have shed most of their debt and union legacy costs which made the companies unsustainable. They could have had a fresh start and a reasonable chance to succeed if managed properly.

As for media bias, like Heathen pointed out, Russert was great at using politicians own words against them, particularly on the right wing. That is fine and I respected Russert accordingly for calling people out on their inconsistencies. Unfortunately no body does this anymore, and certainly not on the left side of the political aisle.

As for the rest of your rant, you are beginning to worry me, friend. You better start heading back towards shore because you are wading too deeply into that fever swamp, sir.

Dave Dubya said...

It's good that you sense some reason to worry, old buddy. The real reason to worry is what I say is not opinion, but demonstrable, documented and experienced truth.

I worry for you if you fail to see truth or wisdom in these words that are more than mere opinions.

“The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the People versus the Banks.” - Lord Acton

“There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” - Warren Buffett

"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis (1856-1941)