Nancy Pelosi has been declared “the most powerful woman in America” by the New York Times, The Economist, her hometown San Francisco Chronicle, CBS and dozens of other media outlets. Mrs. Pelosi has read, viewed, been seduced by her fawning press coverage and reached some faulty conclusions.
For one, Pelosi is on record as having made the equally ignorant and arrogant claim that “the Constitution” considers her to be an American president’s “equal.”
Really? Let’s review:
Mrs. Pelosi, a member of the U.S. House – a body constituting one-half of one-third of the government – has never been popularly-elected as anything more significant than the representative from, arguably, America’s most liberal congressional district. 434 other members, a few more than half of whom made Pelosi Speaker, were similarly elected.
The president oversees the entire Executive Branch of government – where, incidentally, Pelosi has never served – and is commander-in-chief of America’s military. The U.S. Vice President, Attorney General and cabinet secretaries, including Defense, State, Treasury, Labor, and Commerce, among others, all report to the president.
In contrast, Pelosi, alone, cannot even command the U.S. Capitol Police force. But one can be certain that, if the late Iranian terror-master, Qasem Soleimani, were known to be planning an attack there, Pelosi would demand that the American military wipe him out – pronto.
Our military did deal with Soleimani, only in Iraq where he had already organized an assault on the U.S. Embassy and was plotting more deadly violence there and elsewhere. So how did Mrs. Pelosi react? She called Soleimani’s demise “provocative and disproportionate,” and complained that the action “was taken without the consultation of the Congress.”
Speaker Pelosi ignored that, under an authorization of military force (AUMF) passed by Congress in 2001, “the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”
Members of Congress, including the Speaker, are not in the military chain of command, nonetheless, Pelosi’s delusions of grandeur allowed her to think she is – or should be.
Mrs. Pelosi imagined her power concerning presidential impeachment to be greater than her actual power, too.
After weeks of delay intended to coerce Senate leadership into letting her dictate how the Senate would conduct a trial, Pelosi finally agreed to send the hyper-partisan House-passed articles of impeachment to the Senate, but only after being schooled by its Majority Leader on the Senate’s role.
Her delay stopped the House’s “momentum” and destroyed its claim of “urgency,” even for sectarian zealots who take impeachment seriously.
Mrs. Pelosi’s impeachment psychodrama was ridiculous from the outset. Withholding the articles and then caving made her look silly and weak.
The “most powerful woman in America” may not be all that powerful after all, and, next year, she may not be Speaker, either.