Tag Archives: Nancy Pelosi

This Week in 2012

HOWARD MEGDAL: Herman Cain’s presidential nomination chances aren’t dead yet. I know, I’m as surprised as you are.

But take a closer look at what has ended the other bubbles, and it doesn’t become so strange after all.

CHRIS PUMMER: If the right wing of the Republican party is still casting for an alternative to Mitt Romney — and I’m not so sure it is more than halfheartedly at this point — Rick Perry is still the only real alternative.
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The W. Book Tour

AKIE BERMISS: Its too soon for George W. Bush to be back in the media.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: I should probably not be surprised that George W. Bush has already written a book about his presidency, even though his presidency was by many standards extremely recent. Continue reading

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The Decision to Keep Pelosi

AKIE BERMISS: I won’t attempt to wax poetic about all the things that make Nancy Pelosi a great leader. Its all be said and said again. Even Pelosi herself said last week that they reason the GOP hates her so much is because she’s effective. That wasn’t her tooting her own horn. That was just solid fact. Pelosi has been one of the most effective Speakers of the House in years. Certainly the most effective in my generation. I really think both parties would hard pressed to find a better Speaker than Pelosi. Whether you agree with her policies or not — she does her job better than anyone else.

JESSICA BADER: I’m pretty much on board with every point that Akie is making here. It’s not exactly surprising that someone like me, a proud liberal who believes in taking what you can get but only after fighting for as much of “what you can get” as you can, deeply admires and looks up to Nancy Pelosi. What is surprising is one of the arguments made by some who wanted Pelosi to step down. Continue reading

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Bigger Speaker Worries: Pelosi or Boehner?

HOWARD MEGDAL: Sure, the Tea Partiers could turn on John Boehner. But Nancy Pelosi has faced the far more sustained attacks this election season, and faces significant problems with holding on to the Speaker’s gavel next January. Continue reading

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HOWARD MEGDAL: So we’ve established that the guru of COIN, Stanley McChrystal, couldn’t sell it to his own troops, let alone to the Afghans. It is stated by our own CIA Director that there are “maybe 50-100″ al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Getting military cooperation from would-be allies is proving to be impossible due to the belief that the United States will begin to withdraw next year- which, given the lack of political will for this war, we almost certainly will be.

So I must say, I come away from this feeling like for all of his successes, the decision to re-double efforts in Afghanistan has to rank among Obama’s failures so far. And by delaying exit until July 2011 or beyond, rather than acknowledging that the circumstances have changed and beginning the withdrawal process immediately, he is only exacerbating this failure.

AKIE BERMISS: I never really felt one way or another about General McChrystal but I have been extremely skeptical about the whole COIN conceptology. I am slightly less dubious about Obama’s intentions regarding the war in Afghanistan… but I am still very conflicted about it. I understand, however, that withdrawal is a delicate operation. If Obama had taken office and just said, “Ok — war’s over. Let’s go.” He’d never have recovered from the perceived weakness and lack of gravitas it would have bred. And so that leaves us with two certains: 1. we need to get the hell out of Afghanistan and 2. we can’t just up and leave. The trouble is that the strategies for leaving have often sounded like strategies for trying to rush a win now that the clock is running out.. Like its sudden death, or something. Continue reading

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Health Care: Calling All Sidecars

HOWARD MEGDAL: From a political perspective, President Obama’s Health Care Summit is absolutely perfect.

JESSICA BADER: I generally agree with Howard on the political implications of the upcoming healthcare reform summit (although I think an all-HCR version of the GOP retreat showdown is more likely than the empty-chairs scenario, despite the current posturing from John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and Mitch McConnell). As much as Obama is often accused by some of his liberal critics of fetishizing bipartisanship at the expense of watering down his policies, that accusation is far more true of moderate and conservative Congressional Democrats (especially those in the Senate). Without a public demonstration of both the Republican-friendly ideas already incorporated into HCR legislation and the GOP’s unwillingness to negotiate in good faith, the right flank of the Democratic Party is likely to keep insisting on letting Lucy hold the football one more time. Continue reading

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State of the Union Reactions

HOWARD MEGDAL: There is much that President Obama did well in tonight’s speech, though how much the speech succeeded will ultimately be determined by legislative action and the voters in 2010. But the most vital part of President Obama’s speech Wednesday night was placing the Democratic Party on the side of regulating Wall Street.

JESSICA BADER: The thing that struck me the most about Barack Obama’s first official State of the Union address was how comfortable, how in his element, he seemed while giving it. Even knowing what a gifted speaker the President is and the sense of calm he projects even when the going gets tough, I would have expected some amount of nervousness to seep through as he delivered this speech that will supposedly determine the fate of his presidency (at least until the pundits determine another pivotal moment to fixate on). Instead, he was witty and self-deprecating, not afraid to riff off of the reactions of the audience immediately in front of him even as he was explaining his agenda to the audience watching on a screen.

Like Obama has done throughout his time in the national spotlight, he found the right words, delivered them the right way and at just the right time. Continue reading

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