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Blog

    Pelosi and Power

    11/19/2010

    Democracy and Power 112:  Conflicts of interest

    A professional politician is a professionally dishonorable man.  In order to get any where near high office has to make so many compromises and submit to so many humiliations that he becomes indistinguishable from a streetwalker.   H.L. Menchen

     The politician seeks a position of power, which requires the votes of his constituents.  However to be a power elite, the politician must be a loyal member of a party.  Often, the interest of the politician’s constituents and loyalty to the party are in conflict.

     

    Pelosi and Power

    Politico has several articles about Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic House Caucus.  In an intense meeting defeated Rep. Allen Boyd (D-Fla.) stated Pelosi is: “the face of our defeat.” He told his soon-to-be-former colleagues that “we need new leadership.”

    Obviously, Boyd was hurt and angry.  Actually, he was humiliated.  Why?  He was a complicit team player that caused his own demise.  Or as Menchen wrote many Administrations and Congresses ago:  In order to get any where near high office (a politician) has to make so many compromises and submit to so many humiliations….  

    Boyd’s ultimate humiliation:  Initially in two preliminary votes he voted against ObamaCare, but caving to Pelosi’s demands he voted for the final bill.  Consequently, Boyd, a conservative, Blue Dog Democrat, infuriated friends and constituents.  Kimberley Strassel of the Wall Street Journal, said a common sign seen in his district was "Blue Dog=Lap Dog."

    Why did Boyd play the game?  To be a power elite, the politician must be a loyal member of a party.  What bribes or punishments did Pelosi wield over Boyd?  Unless Boyd reveals and confesses his complicity, the world will never know.  In Politico, Jonathan Allen and John Harris give their observations of Pelosi’s power:

    The fear factor

    Pelosi has wielded such power in the House that every Democrat with an influential position, a decent committee assignment, reasonable office space or an extra staff member has the speaker's good graces to thank for it.

    If there's any question that she likes to use reward and punishment as incentives to keep people in line, just look… her successful bid to replace John Dingell as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee with ally Henry Waxman.


    And then there is Pelosi’s ability to raise money.  Again, as quoted in Politico:

    She's got game

    Say what you want about the outgoing speaker, but she's as skillful a player as there is in the Democratic Party when it comes to raising money, rallying the base and devising legislative strategy. Democrats are $20 million in debt, and her camp is making the argument that she's the only one who can pull them out.

    … But Pelosi's mastery of big-dollar liberal donors has been, and remains, unparalleled within the party.

    This is the ugly state of American politics.  Nancy Pelosi manipulated her power, and forced a vote on ObamaCare.  Members, similar to Representative Boyd, betrayed their independent consideration of the legislation.  Worse, he likely had no knowledge of the content.  Resultantly, Boyd was punished by his friends and neighbors.  Worse, because of the cowardice and complicity of Boyd and many others, America is ensnared with ObamaCare.  Deservedly, he has been humiliated.

    Today, Boyd and the Democrats are examples the conflict between being power elites and honorable elected officials.  When in power, Hastert, DeLay and the Republicans played the same power game to pass prescription drug benefits for seniors just prior to 2004 elections.  Again, America has been burdened with a very expensive vote buying scheme. 

     Menchen was correct:  A professional politician is a professionally dishonorable man.  Since Menchen wrote, women rightfully have equal opportunities to obtain positions of power.  Alas, Boyd and Pelosi prove that the human quest for power is constant.  

     Only an informed electorate can stop this corruption, which is endemic to the political process.  Today in America, the activist-independent voter is the most important person for freedom.