The Democrat minority in the U.S. House of Representatives just elected Nancy Pelosi, (D- CA) as its Minority Leader. This would not normally be surprising news in an electoral vacuum. But the recent drubbing the House Democrats took would have made many conclude that when the team has a losing season, it’s time to fire the coach. Not so!
Let’s review. Having been elected the first female Speaker of the House in U.S. history, this same Representative announced to the world in 2006 that she would be presiding over the most ethical House in history. In the intervening months, she demanded a dedicated 757 jet to fly her home to San Francisco every weekend nonstop at a cost to taxpayers of $60,000 per round trip. Previous Speakers of the House had traveled commercial or via smaller transport.
During the debate over the increased minimum wage, she was able to secure a waiver for the biggest employer in her district exempting them from the legislation. The House Ethics committee has spent the majority of the past four years looking the other way when members were openly breaking House Ethics Rules and slow-walking the procedures necessary to deal with them. Some House members have been prosecuted and sentenced by the courts prior to being considered by this committee. After the 2010 elections, this Democrat-controlled committee finally got around to busting up 20-term Democrat Charlie Rangel who, though as chair of the House Ways and Means Committee tasked with writing tax law, could not manage to properly report his own taxes. Her own issues were, of course, overlooked.
The Speaker shepherded the most intrusive and abusive legislation in history through the House when the majority of the American people were attending Town Hall meetings, writing their Representatives, emailing their opinions, showing up at rallies by the millions to stand against her, and initiating and populating the most impressive grassroots political group in history, The Tea Party Movement. She donned the earplugs and plowed ahead, leaving conservative and moderate House members to fend for themselves.
The result? The U.S. House saw the Republicans win (at this writing) 62 House Seats, 7 U.S. Senate Seats, more than 650 State Assembly Seats, gained 12 Governor’s offices, and gained control over 19 State Legislatures. These gains were unprecedented in U.S. history. Many thought Ms. Pelosi would be on the ropes and may even resign her seat in Congress and return to the Left Coast to continue her activism, leaving the Congress at the pinnacle of her power.
Not so fast. In a surprise move, she announced that she would stand for election as House Minority Leader. One of the remaining “moderates”, former NFL and University of Tennessee quarterback Heath Shuler, made an attempt to rally the rest of the 7th Cavalry around him, but to no avail. The Democrats in the House had decided to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic and elected her to the post. Certainly something to be Thankful for and an early Christmas present for the Conservative cause.
Now the best part. In her acceptance speech, she announced that she intended to fight for “jobs, reducing the deficit, and for the middle class”. If she is as accurate on this as she was in her 2006 pronouncement of ethics, we are doomed. Fortunately, the incoming House Republican majority, additional GOP Senators, returning Democrat Senators up for re-election in 2012 and already reading the writing on the wall, Republican Governors unwilling to accept any more unfunded federal mandates and excited about getting rid of the ones that currently bust their state budgets, and the new 650+ State Assembly members will make Ms. Pelosi’s words come true. But not before she fights them tooth and nail to keep these good things from happening to the American people.
I am anxiously awaiting the final number of current Democrat U.S. Congressmen who will defect to the GOP will be in double figures. Who says I can’t have two big Christmas presents?
And finally. Watching these legislators will be the current and growing numbers of active and informed citizens to see if they deliver on what they have promised. They will have one year to make good on their word. Thanks to the Founders, you see, death and taxes are not the only “for sure” things in a representative republic.