What a Beautiful Sight: Nancy Pelosi in Full Campaign Mode

After having spent a year forcing her members to take tough vote after tough vote on unpopular measures, Nancy Pelosi is promising not to do that any more. Or at least until the 2010 election is over. She repeated several times to reporters what her approach to being Speaker next year was all about.

Hours before completing work for 2009 and sending her members home until January, Pelosi (D-Calif.) called reporters to her Capitol Hill office to declare that, with an election year looming, she has transitioned from legislator in chief to campaigner in chief.

“As I told the members this morning,” she said, “I’m in campaign mode … I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’m in campaign mode.”

Ah, that’s nice. She forced her members to vote for the $787 billion stimulus which is increasingly unpopular. She forced them to vote for a pork-filled budget for this year. She forced them to vote for a health care bill with a public option which has now been stripped out by the Senate because it’s so unpopular. And she forced them to vote for cap and trade when she knew that it wouldn’t pass the Senate because, repeat after me, it’s so unpopular. So with that quatrofecta of ugly votes in the bag, now she is promising them that they won’t have to vote for anything else that the American people dislike for about 10 months.

Pelosi began telling members privately last week that she would not bring controversial bills, such as immigration reform and “card-check,” to the House floor unless they have already passed the Senate. This is a clear early indication that her legislative plan for 2010 will be far less ambitious than the one she just completed. On Wednesday she reiterated that message publicly.

Well, except for the health care bill vote that will, if the Democrats can get Harry Reid’s bill through the Senate, will come early next year. They’ll have to vote on a bill that conservatives and independents don’t like and which liberals don’t like because it lacks a public option. The only people who seem to like it are the Democratic politicians and their flunkies who seem to believe that passing anything that they can call health care reform is part of their historic task.

Of course, those promises for next year didn’t include yesterday when she forced her members to vote for a jobs bill. We haven’t spent even one-half of the money from the original stimulus bill and she wants more. What could be a better admission that they know that the first stimulus wasn’t doing squat to decrease unemployment?

Democrats facing tough re-election fights found themselves trying to determine if voters are angrier about 10 percent unemployment or trillions in deficits.

“My staff is looking at it,” said a newly elected Democratic member from a conservative district as the clock ticked down. “If I can’t make a good case that a lot of money is coming back to my district, I can’t support it. I wish we had more time.”

He voted “no.”

What a choice. What if his constituents are angry about both unemployment and the trillions in deficits? Isn’t that rather likely? Of course, there was no need for such a rush. This bill will sit around for weeks in the Senate before they get around to it. They’ve got a health care monstrosity to muddle past the cloture line. But Nancy Pelosi was determined to get that vote yesterday. She was going to get those votes no matter what.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) stalked the floor with a tally sheet in hand, stomping into the row of seats traditionally occupied by centrist Blue Dog Democrats to find Reps. Dennis Cardoza and Jim Costa, fellow California Democrats, who she’d won over on healthcare.

Cardoza and Costa hadn’t voted, but Pelosi won them over. Cardoza turned and put his card in to vote yes.

The only reason that they were able to pass this bill was because one Blue Dog, Brian Baird of Washington State, who just announced that he was retiring, voted for the bill. So when they don’t have to worry about reelection, we can see what the Blue Dogs really believe in.

Pelosi and Steny Hoyer are promising that they’ll spend next year on jobs bills and deficit reduction. Once again, their entire policy seems based on the hope that the voters are so dang stupid that they will forget this entire past year and all the unpopular votes that the House Democrats have made. And that people will be so dazzled by their attempts to address jobs and the deficit now that we’ll forget how they didn’t do anything to substantively address employment in 2009. And they better hope that people don’t notice what they’ve done to the deficit.

Ah, Nancy Pelosi in full campaign mode – what a beautiful sight.

Cross-posted at Betsy’s Page.

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