With the historic mid-term elections just three weeks ago, Republicans were having a good month. But this week, thanks to their massive egos and thirst for the limelight, Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Charles Rangel made it a great month for the GOP.
Wednesday's announcement that Democrats in the House again elected Pelosi as their leader had Republican political strategists doing cartwheels about prospects in the 2012 elections – and they haven't had to spend a dime!
To have Pelosi, along with Sen. Harry Reid and President Obama, remain as the face of the party for two more years must have Democratic strategists in a quandary.
No one provided more ammunition for Republicans in the mid-term election than Pelosi. As the main standard-bearer for Obama's health care and stimulus plans, her face was linked to nearly every Republican campaign ad. GOP strategists made sure voters knew which congressional candidates voted in lockstep with the policies of Obama and Pelosi.
Scores of congressional incumbents fell on their swords for Pelosi in the last election, as the Republicans won 61 House seats. President Obama's analysis, which Pelosi quickly adopted and parroted in front of the press, was that the administration's message was delivered hastily – to avoid a meltdown in the economy – and therefore, voters were somehow confused on the issues. If Democrats really believe that the election wasn't a referendum on Obama's policies, then they truly are in denial.
The other Democratic headliner suffering public embarrassment is Charles Rangel, the 40-year New York congressman convicted earlier this week by a panel of his peers on 11 ethics violations, including failing to report hundreds of thousands of dollars of income on disclosure forms, and using his position to raise money for the Rangel Center at City College of New York.
When Rangel saw that his peers on the U.S. House Ethics Committee would not bend to his attempts last Monday to prolong the commission, he walked out of the room, complaining that he was being treated "unfairly."
Faced with the prospect of becoming only the 23rd congressman to face censure and oral rebuke in front of his colleagues, Rangel was much less boastful and even apologetic yesterday.
Even before the spending frenzy and many other missteps by this administration, voters were growing tired of the same old excuses and shenanigans in Washington. They're also disgusted with the arrogance they see in the leaders they elect and are supposedly working for us. Remember when Speaker Pelosi taunted the opponents of Obamacare last March, emerging from a caucus on health care wielding a sledgehammer-sized gavel?
Rep. Heath Shuler of North Carolina reminded his colleagues during his challenge to Pelosi for minority leadership in the House this week that the Democrats suffered the largest mid-term election loss in almost a century with Pelosi at the helm. Still, she mustered enough liberal supporters to beat back Shuler's leadership challenge in a secret vote.
After the mid-term election, we saw an editorial cartoon showing Pelosi barking orders while leading Democratic troops to the edge of a cliff where they blindly jumped off. It appears that many House Democrats are still in denial and haven't gotten the message that voters sent earlier this month.
The country needs a course correction from the Obama-Pelosi agenda.
By Jim Zbick