January 2, 2007

"Pelosi-palooza."

Some Democrats people aren't too pleased with the way Nancy Pelosi is celebrating herself:
In a three-day stretch of whirlwind events beginning on Wednesday, Mrs. Pelosi will celebrate her heritage (at the Italian Embassy), her faith (in a Roman Catholic Mass), her education (at Trinity College), her childhood (in Baltimore) and her current home (in a tribute by the singer Tony Bennett, of “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” fame)....

Supporters of Mrs. Pelosi said she had every right — an obligation, even — to underscore her new role, given the historic nature of her rise to power. Thus the week is planned to project much more than an ordinary handoff of power in Congress. It is intended to leave a firm imprint of the new House leader’s style and substance on the national consciousness....
And that style would be....? Preening narcissism?

It must be really annoying to have the Ford funeral soaking up the national attention. But is anyone really tuning in for that?

47 comments:

MadisonMan said...

Near as I can tell from the article, only Republicans aren't pleased with Ms. Pelosi's approach. And I imagine there are some Republicans who would complain if Ms. Pelosi stopped in the hall to tie her shoe. So which are the Democrats that aren't too pleased?

SteveR said...

Ford's funeral gets me an extra day off to extend my Christmas er Holiday er Winter break. She needs to think about what to do with Conyers.

Anonymous said...

What Democrats aren't too pleased? I didn't see any listed.

Ah, Anne Kornblut. Nevermind.

ASX said...

Not satisfied with criticizing Pelosi on the basis of facts in evidence, you offer us your own wild theory that Pelosi is resentful of the attention Ford is getting. There is no evidence that Pelosi resents the attention, so the fact that you would make such an accusation tells us more about you than it does about Pelosi.

Ann Althouse said...

MM: You're right. I had the impression that Democrats were complaining, because otherwise, why write the article, why have all these "supporters" defending her? Who cares if some Republicans bitch about it? There had to be Democrats. But it's not in the article! It must be that some House Democrats are pissed that it isn't more about the whole party.

stephenb said...

You're kidding right? Tell me you made this up. Please, tell me she hasn't created a three-day tour to commemorate...herself. This sort of thing is typically reserved for the end of something--most often a life. And this sort of thing is not typically scheduled by the subject. Personally, I find it all a little...well, tacky.

MrBuddwing said...

OK, so it's Not All About Her, or at least it shouldn't be, but Nancy Pelosi is hardly the first politician - Democratic or Republican - to toot her own horn, so to speak. Let her have her fun, and then we'll see what happens after that.

Maxine Weiss said...

It's still Christmas.

The Holidays are still in full swing!

Ann, did you take any kind of Vacation, and Holiday break from the politics?

Everyone is still in Holiday mode, the decorations are still up.

No political discussions until at least the middle, if not the end of January, if that.

Happy New Year,
Maxine

tjl said...

"I had the impression that Democrats were complaining, because otherwise, why write the article."

Ann's conclusions surely are correct. Since the NYT is written and edited BY Democrats FOR Democrats, the story would never have run if the impetus hadn't come from sources within the party. But those same sources are probably reluctant to go on record as critical of Pelosi's personality cult at the precise moment Pelosi takes over. They remember what happened to Jane Harman.

Maxine Weiss said...

Everyone I know is still celebrating the Holidays. We are all recovering from our New Years reveling.

It's a quite inopportune time to hold a funeral.

Who has their funeral on January 2 ???

Bad planning; although Betty Ford was never a Mrs. Reagan.

Mrs. Reagan knew how to do things right, and the essence of timing.

Nobody feels like a funeral today.

Peace, Maxine

Mortimer Brezny said...

There is the implication in the article that the Senate isn't doing the same thing because it's needless, tacky, and diverts attention from what counts: integrating freshmen into the process. Schumer says it isn't a problem, but Schumer isn't a House Democrat, and it sounds like he's doing damage control, because no one can stop her, anyway. This is the problem with Pelosi: she has a national position, but she hasn't been, nor could she be, nationally-elected. She thinks she has some sort of mandate; it's gone to her head. The next 2 years will indeed become Hillary's worst nightmare if Pelosi turns out to be the worst caricature of a frivolous person, because the connection to "femininity" will be made and we'll be treated to endless style articles about her shoes and shoulder-pad wearing habits. It will just make it worse for Hillary once she announces, because their styles of leadership (read: choice of lipstick) will be compared. Pelosi is the exact opposite of Hillary, which is what makes it hilarious -- Hillary wants to downplay her gender and femininity; Pelosi wants to show it off. The stark difference just invites the comparison.

Mortimer Brezny said...

But those same sources are probably reluctant to go on record as critical of Pelosi's personality cult at the precise moment Pelosi takes over. They remember what happened to Jane Harman.

Meow!

Ann Althouse said...

Hey, Maxine's back! LOL.

ASX said..."Not satisfied with criticizing Pelosi on the basis of facts in evidence, you offer us your own wild theory that..."

At least give me credit for saying the Ford celebration is boring!

the.femocrat said...

Ann, the article clearly says that naby Democrats think that Pelosi is obligated to make this into an event. I agree, and believe that many conservative women are excited to finally have a woman as the Speaker of the House. This is the highest position in government that a woman has risen.

Nonpartisan groups, which contain democrats and republicans, are touting Pelosi's success. From the White House Project page: "Marie Wilson, President of The White House Project and leading women’s advocate, thinks that this is a positive indicator of things to come. Wilson says, “1992 was the year of the woman, but 2006 is the beginning of the new women’s political movement. There’s greater acceptance of women as leaders in politics than ever before, and I think that this could be a predictor of gains to come for women on the road to the White House in 2008.”"

This is an historic moment for women! It's okay to be happy about it.

Maxine Weiss said...

When is the most appropriate time to hold a funeral?

Would you throw a funeral on Superbowl Sunday?

How about Academy Awards night? ---Is that the best time to invite people to your funeral?

April Fools Day?

Of all the days to hold a funeral, Betty Ford thinks today is a good day.

What was she thinking?

Peace, Maxine

AJ Lynch said...

Ann said "preening narcissism".

That's a good one Annn and appropriate. Now your phrase will now come to my mind every time I see Ms. Speaker.

I'd also like to see someone validate how middle class Peolosi's upbringing was as her dad was Baltimre mayor.

Palladian said...

"I agree, and believe that many conservative women are excited to finally have a woman as the Speaker of the House."

Conservative women, for all their faults, don't tend to "celebrate" people on the basis of their gender or race. I'm sick of all the laurels being heaped on Pelosi because she's a woman. I'd like the focus to be on what she believes and stands for, which in my opinion doesn't deserve celebration. So she's a woman? Congratulations on winning that game of genetic dice all those years ago. Now, can we get on with the liberal version of "how much can we f**k up the country"? Nancy will have a tough time beating the outgoing congress at that game. But I know she's up to the challenge.

Anonymous said...

This is an historic moment for women! It's okay to be happy about it.

I'm tired of people telling me that I should be excited about women just because they're women. I'm a woman, and I don't care whether women attain various positions or not, only that the best people do.

PatCA said...

I hope the high rolling donors aren't too hung over at the mass "in remembrance of the children of Katrina and Darfur." I myself felt like barfing when I read that. The service honoring our military is only slightly less crass and cynical.

I say, have your big party. Leave real people and real children out of it. And stop making such a fuss about any woman who achieves success. Honestly, we're not victims any more... are we?

Todd and in Charge said...

I see nothing unusual or inappropriate about this at all. But is there some feeling here that this is "frivolous" or self-absorbed because Pelosi is a woman? Thank God Gingrich was such a self-effacing, modest wallflower....

Last I checked most national pols are pretty self-absorbed, and probably need to be to be successful.

tom faranda said...

Catholics will really appreciate the fact that Pelosi, an enthusiastic promoter of abortion as the ethical equivalent of cutting your toenails, is celebrating with a Mass.

Old Dad said...

Politics as normal--lot's of dollars and favors will be exchanged, tickets punched, backs scratched. It sounds tedious as hell to me, but politicos and major donors like to, ummm, wet on each others' legs.

I am surprised that the tone of the Times piece was not completely fawning.

Hastert might have done it, but he couldn't pull off the public spectacle. He seems more like a smoky back room pol. Same game, different venue.

AJ Lynch said...

I don't care what the standard is or has been for new speaker's coronation. Because the more I think about this 4-day (!) gala, it shouts the pols are are still way out of frigging touch with the little guys (me and youse).

And I don't care if she is a topnotch piano-playing black, single, childless woman who has a doctorate.

hdhouse said...

As opposed to Denny Hastert who spent a decade building highways to nowhere, basking on the beach of his favorite florida representative (foleyland) and generally acting as foghorn on the ship of fools?

Pardon me but who was the prior first woman to be speaker of the house? just a question all you strawdog neo-cons need to consider.

Ron said...

Why haven't they turned the whole thing into a reality show? That way Althouse would not have to hold her nose about blogging about politics! Instead of something like "The Alito hearings", you could have Survivor: SCOTUS! I mean, who wouldn't vote Harriet Meiers (sp) off the island?

Let's change all congressional votes into something like "Deal or No Deal."

Pelosi just won "The Prez ISN'T right!"
C-SPAN would become the #1 network!

stephenb said...

I was watching the coverage of President Ford's funeral today and saw the camera focus in on the Hillary Clinton chatting to Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter. I know this is awful, but I couldn't help but think I wonder what's she's [Hillary] cooking up now.

ASX said...

It may simply be good political strategy for Pelosi to draw attention to herself.

I know that when we dislike someone, it's fun to ascribe bad motives to them. It's fun to call them names. And in Blog World, I guess this is par for the course.

But personally, I think if someone is going to question Pelosi's integrity and blame her for bad motives, it should have a factual basis. That is, it should have a connection to reality, instead of fantasy.

It's just like the "Lonely Kerry" photo. No one who saw that photo knew for sure why some of the seats were empty. And no honest person would pretend that they can explain it.

But that's not what matters. What matters is that a lot of conservatives don't like Kerry, so they will make stuff up to paint a damaging picture that makes them feel good.

This preaching to the choir is probably a lot of fun; I don't know. But no one with a 3rd grade education or higher is going to be duped by such deceptive blogging. It's obvious that there could be any number of perfectly reasonable explanations for why Kerry was sitting alone. And it's obvious that there are perfectly legitimate reasons for Pelosi to be celebrating her rise to the Speaker's seat -- including purely political motives.(E.g, activating and inspiring the base.)

I think it's important to recognize that when we level baseless charges against other people, two things happen:

(1) Like-minded partisans tingle from head to toe with delight.

(2) Everyone else sees a blogger playing fast and loose with the facts.

If stroking your partisans is worth underming your credibility, then by all means, proceed.

I can handle fair criticisms of Kerry, Pelosi, or anyone else. But I hate to watch people make stuff up.

Captain Ned said...

If Nancy's parish priest would do his job, there'd be no celebratory masses. Instead, she'd be excommunicated for her failure to comply with Catholic doctrine.

Freder Frederson said...

Conservative women, for all their faults, don't tend to "celebrate" people on the basis of their gender or race.

No, conservative women never (cough--Condi Rice, twoferone--cough) ever do that.

Anonymous said...

Catholics will really appreciate the fact that Pelosi, an enthusiastic promoter of abortion as the ethical equivalent of cutting your toenails, is celebrating with a Mass.

Right-o, Tom. What I'd really appreciate enthusiastically is Pelosi being refused Communion.

This bit
the departing mayor of Baltimore and governor-elect of Maryland, Martin O’Malley, will dedicate a city street to Mrs. Pelosi
struck me as a somewhat perilous tribute. Shouldn't we wait to name things after famous people until after they've died? What if they do something horrendous before they retire? Pelosi will have plenty of opportunity to screw up. I'd have held off the street-renaming until she was well out of office -- and even that's not exactly a guarantee against future embarassments. Look at Jimmy Carter's post-presidential career, for example.

The Drill SGT said...

tjl said...
Since the NYT is written and edited BY Democrats FOR Democrats, the story would never have run if the impetus hadn't come from sources within the party.


TJL had it right hours before I got here.


That NYT story wasn't put there by the White House. If a GOP operative had said any of that, the NYT would have written a story about sore losers.

Palladian said...

"But that's not what matters. What matters is that a lot of conservatives don't like Kerry, so they will make stuff up to paint a damaging picture that makes them feel good."

Conservatives don't like Kerry? No one likes Kerry!

And heaven forfend that we aim sharp little personal jibes at poor little rich boy Kerry or Nancy "tautface" Pelosi. Certainly no one on the left ever, ever says mean little exaggerated, unfounded things about Bush, Cheney or the rest of the Republicans.

It's politics, honey. In the words of the last of the great Democratic presidents, "if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."

Simon said...

MadisonMan said...
"Near as I can tell from the article, only Republicans aren't pleased with Ms. Pelosi's approach. And I imagine there are some Republicans who would complain if Ms. Pelosi stopped in the hall to tie her shoe. So which are the Democrats that aren't too pleased?"

According to the WaPo, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), the new chairman of the DCCC, and Rep. Allen Boyd Jr. (D-Fla.), chair of the Blue Dogs, to name but two.

I'm more interested in the substance of what Pelosi is planning to do when Congress opens than her vapid burnishing of her own image. As the WaPo makes clear, when she finishes preening, Pelosi intends to run the House precisely as it was run by the GOP; presumably Edward isn't around any more for me to gloat a little: remember that talk about how, less than two months ago, "Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi [was] wisely talking about making life for the new Republican minority fairer and more bearable than life ever was for the Democrats over the past 12 years"? Remember how "[t]here [could] be no doubt that Pelosi will carry out this agenda of more bipartisanship in the operation of the House"? Remember that? No, Pelosi neither. As I said at the time, Pelosi "will go back on that promise so fast that it'll make your head spin. If the Democrats are still running the House in ten years, I guarantee you that they will be running it the way the Republicans are doing so now."

And I don't bemoan that, MM, because as I said in the same comment linked above, "the Democrats won. They now have the prerogative to run the House in whatever fashion they so choose, because that is the traditional right of the majority in the House. One of my heroes, Thomas Bracket Reed, once remarked that 'the best system is to have one party govern and the other party watch'; historically, that has generally been how the House has operated ... [and] I see little reason to imagine that the Democrats will not continue their habit of carving out sub silentio exceptions to their fundamental hostility to longstanding American traditions when and where it suits their purpose ... Go to Washington in January, and do what you were elected to do - govern."

Simon said...

Joan said...
"What I'd really appreciate enthusiastically is Pelosi being refused Communion."

"In April [2004], the Vatican's leading prelate on the Sacraments, Cardinal Francis Arinze, declared unequivocally that unambiguously pro-abortion politicians should be denied Holy Communion ... [Moreover,] Cardinal Ratzinger [subsequently Pope Benedict XVI] ... told U.S. bishops in a letter that pro-abortion politicians, who will not alter their stand or abstain from communion ... 'must' be refused communion."

Reasonable people can take different positions on abortion, but it seems to me that if you're a Catholic, your position on abortion has been decided for you by your religion.

tjl said...

Thanks, Drill Sgt.

But think of how much more interesting the NYT piece would have been if Kornblut had included a frank commentary from Jane Harman, from the vantage point of her new seat on the Subcommittee for Oversight of the Mohair Subsidy.

Harkonnendog said...

Pelosi can preen however much she likes as long as she keeps denying the most powerful positions to the most corrupt dems. She's surprised and pleased me so far...

MadisonMan said...

Simon, the WaPo article on the Democrats' Legislative Agenda is discussing something quite different than the NYTimes article on Ms. Pelosi celebrating her glorious ascent to power. The latter is what I was commenting on.

hdhouse said...

tlj and drill sarge...re: nytimes...written by dems for dems.

that is so funny. gotta hand it to you guys for the 5 words of true wisdom.

ohhhhh incidently, what paper do you prefer? washington times? ohmygod. you do don't you.

sooo much fun. you guys are soooooo easy.

Cedarford said...

I watched a little bit of Ford's funeral - but it all seemed a bit much for a guy in office 2 1/2 years who did a caretaker role with one and only one decision that was a hit - in hindsight - the Pardon.

I think the full production fit Reagan, even Eisenhower, the Allied Supreme Commander in Europe.

But not Ford. If FDR, Truman, and Nixon thought it was too overblown and elitist for the Presidents they saw themselves as...not Ford.

Nor Dubya, Carter in the future.

But I confess I agree with what Lou Dobbs said - that the overly elaborate funerals, lifetime retinues of government security and fetchers for each 1st Lady (6 taking Roslynn Carter to her hair salon in 2004), and 400 million dollar libraries are helping recast the Presidency as a version of European of Pharonic royalty.

Nancy Botoxi's lavish 4-day long celebration "About me!" is also over the top. A time when she gets the tribute she demands from her own enormously wealthy corporate and individual fatcat element of the Ruling Elite not sworn to Republican fealty but playing both sides...while hoping for defections of other fatcats in return for their caskets of gold for the new Queen. Narcisstic? Of course, but Speaker Botoxi's just due...as she rewards or punishes the henchmen who got her there.

Same with the 800 million blown on inauguration parties by Fatcats celebrating their 2-legged business investment winning.

And the tens of thousands of Courtiers that descend on DC to schmooze, spread money and trinkets around...hope that million played on "America's democratic leaders" translates into 100s of millions in government favors and pork tossed to their clients. Some CEOs have publicly said no investment return in America is potentially greater than the right money or right favor directed at the right people in DC.

More and more, regular Americans are beginning to see Washington DC as the Imperial City, in the hands of two factions of the Ruling Elites, but not them. A Capital where nepotism is ubiquitous, where multimillionaire supplicants wait in Royal halls with their hired and corrupted Courtier to seek the royal they might succor favor with.

Back in 1999, observors were started to learn audiences of the movie "Independence Day" were cheering as Congress and the White House were blasted and plasmacized by alien ray guns. They attributed it to Newt being mean and Clinton's runaway penis. In the years since then, I think they were wrong. It was a desire to clean house the public was thinking....clean it good...and that would be a good thing.

In the years since then as the possiblity of a Muslim nuke - while still quite remote - is now less than absurd. In conversations of "what if DC is nuked" the concerns tend to be who would run the country and regret at the loss of all the museums and monuments. And the residents. Not about SCOTUS, Congress, K-Street Princlings of power and corporate lawyers. Even Bush now.

The sentiment is that if the whole bunch was wiped out, maybe a new government would come in accountable to the people and able to do a better job than the SCOTUS, Congress, President and power broker cabals.

Anonymous said...

I am a conservative and I say she won she gets to decide how to celebrate. I do not trust myself to not see the whole event with sour grapes, so I figure it is not my business.

Treu

Anonymous said...

She's entitled to do anything she wants, but I'm surprised how few see the comparison to Gingrich and media treatment of Gingrich in 1994.

Mini-inauguration indeed.

hdhouse said...

Love this country. A now minority but the rich minority thinks it is some sort of libertarian right to do whatever you want in your own interests unless of course you are a democrat then you have to do what the republicans want.

life is so fair and balanced isn't it masser?

Anonymous said...

She can have her party(s), but for all the bitching Dems do about us not sacrificing enough in time of war, not to mention the cattiness they displayed over Bush's inauguration, it does have the taint of hypocrisy. Not that she doesn't wear hypocrisy well, mind you. Like a fish to water, so to speak.

Bissage said...

Palladian referred to Nancy "tautface" Pelosi and that made me laugh out loud.

It also made me think of a Family Guy style cutaway. Stewie and Brian are watching television and on the screen we Nancy "tautface" Pelosi. Brian says, “You know, she looks pretty good for 83.”

Cutaway to an unconscious Nancy Pelosi lying on the operating table and the cosmetic surgeon has just finished up. He’s boasting to the operating room staff about what a fine job he’s just done.

SURGEON: Magnificent job. Magnificent. Why, I’ll bet you could bounce a quarter off it!

(Produces a quarter and bounces it off Pelosi’s face. Quarter makes a drum sound.)

SURGEON: Why, it’s as tight as a drum!

(Produces drumsticks and plays a quick drum solo.)

Back to Stewie and Brian, and Stewie says, “What do you suppose they do with all that leftover skin?” Both of them look at the pork rinds in horror.

tom faranda said...

I'm glad a few people apprreciate the absurdity of Pelosi taking communion at a Catholic Mass.

tjl said...

"the rich minority thinks it is some sort of libertarian right to do whatever you want in your own interests unless of course you are a democrat."

Hdhouse, you seem to have overlooked the fact that the rich minority clearly includes Pelosi and her clique of limousine-liberal supporters.

If Pelosi weren't rich, she'd hardly have been able to afford all that expensive (but futile) plastic surgery.

The Exalted said...

Back in 1999, observors were started to learn audiences of the movie "Independence Day" were cheering as Congress and the White House were blasted and plasmacized by alien ray guns.

cedarford, your nuttery never ceases to amaze. in my theater, the audience cheered when the aliens were killed.