WaPo: You know, Pelosi may have a credibility problem

posted at 9:29 am on May 15, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

I don’t want to pick on Dan Balz for this report on the Nancy Pelosi-CIA follies, because in this case, he does his best to stay objective on a story where the obvious exceeds the limits of journalism.  Balz does his best to stay within the non-judgmental vocabulary to describe Pelosi’s latest story on her complicity in the enhanced interrogation techniques used by the CIA, but how does one objectively describe how someone has taken their credibility onto a dais and beaten it to death with a microphone?  Balz gives it the old college try:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s extraordinary accusation that the Bush administration lied to Congress about the use of harsh interrogation techniques dramatically raised the stakes in the growing debate over the Bush administration’s anti-terrorism policies even as it raised some questions about the speaker’s credibility.

Pelosi’s performance in the Capitol was either a calculated escalation of a long-running feud with the Bush administration or a reckless act by a politician whose word had been called into question. Perhaps it was both.

For the first time, Pelosi (D-Calif.) acknowledged that in 2003 she was informed by an aide that the CIA had told others in Congress that officials had used waterboarding during interrogations. But she insisted, contrary to CIA accounts, that she was not told about waterboarding during a September 2002 briefing by agency officials. Asked whether she was accusing the CIA of lying, she replied, “Yes, misleading the Congress of the United States.”

Balz waits until the end of the article to write what everyone already knows:

Pelosi is not out of the woods. She could have saved herself some trouble by admitting earlier that she had been informed that the CIA was using waterboarding. By doing what she did yesterday, she has assured that she will remain a central character in the political fight that is raging. But whether by design or accident, she also succeeded in enlarging a controversy that is no longer a sideshow.

In other words, Balz could easily have led with this: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi threw gasoline on a fire yesterday and blamed George Bush for the fire damage.”

Dana Milbank has more fun with the story:

Nancy Pelosi is a woman of many talents. Yesterday, she performed the delicate art of backtracking while walking sideways.

The speaker of the House had just read a statement accusing the CIA of lying and was trying to beat a hasty retreat from her news conference before reporters could point out contradictions between her current position and her previous statements.

“Thank you!” an aide called out to signal an end to the session. Pelosi walked, sideways, away from the lectern and, still sidling in a sort of crab walk, was halfway to the door when a yell from CNN’s Dana Bash, rising above the rest of the shouting, froze her in the aisle. …

Over the next few minutes of shouted questions — “They lied to you? Were you justified? When were you first told? Did you protest? Why didn’t you tell us?” — the speaker attempted the crab-walk retreat again, returned to the lectern again and then finally skittered out of the room.

Milbank actually gets to the heart of Pelosi’s performance yesterday.  She has created so many self-serving narratives on this topic that crab-walking is all she has left.  Even Balz can’t help from pointing that out in the news report, and Milbank has a field day with it.

Will Democrats insist that she step down from the Speaker’s seat?  Like Allahpundit, I’m not sure what Pelosi gets them in a Democratic administration, especially one that wants to pose as a post-partisan White House.  Pelosi may be an attack dog, but they don’t need one any more, not with a 78-vote margin.  Steny Hoyer would make a better Speaker for this period, one that has a track record of bipartisan engagement — and one that has his credibility intact.  Had this never come up, no one would have thought replacing Pelosi worth the trouble, but she’s kneecapped herself and made it extraordinarily difficult for her party to press forward with a review of interrogations on their own terms.

I wouldn’t predict her ouster, but it wouldn’t surprise me, either.


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Would anyone even buy a toaster from a saleswoman who squirmed, lied, had to read the warranty or marketing material and blamed a competitor so much?

Odie1941 on May 15, 2009 at 10:43 AM

Looks like the HuffPos and the Daily Kos Kooks are sitting this one out. Crickets are chirping….

Dire Straits on May 15, 2009 at 10:43 AM

WaPo: You know, Pelosi may have a credibility problem

Yeah, they saw her lips move…

Romeo13 on May 15, 2009 at 10:47 AM

Scrappleface has the funniest headline up: Pelosi First Learned of 911 Attacks in Late 2003.

BigD on May 15, 2009 at 10:49 AM

Scrappleface has the funniest headline up: Pelosi First Learned of 911 Attacks in Late 2003.

BigD on May 15, 2009 at 10:49 AM

ROFLMAO!

When you start getting ridicule like that, you know the end is near.

TheBigOldDog on May 15, 2009 at 10:53 AM

Yeah, they saw her surgically enhanced lips move…

Romeo13 on May 15, 2009 at 10:47 AM

TheBigOldDog on May 15, 2009 at 10:53 AM

Looks like the HuffPos and the Daily Kos Kooks are sitting this one out. Crickets are chirping….

Dire Straits on May 15, 2009 at 10:43 AM

I read DailyKos every day (HuffPo not so much) and it’s weird over there right now and could explain part of the lack of trolls around here and AoS. They are upset with Obama over all of the perceived (and real) flip-flops and they’re figuratively eating their own. It reminds me of one of the last thing I read by DeathToMediaHacks, who said he had campaigned hard for Obama only to realize now that he was no different than any of the others.

LastRick on May 15, 2009 at 10:58 AM

Intelligence Community versus Not So Intelligent Political Whore.

And the winner is ………….

fogw on May 15, 2009 at 10:59 AM

So tell us Ms.Pelosi. What’s it like walking yourself off of a cliff like you did?

capejasmine on May 15, 2009 at 11:01 AM

I must admit when I saw “Scrappleface” mentioned above the first thing that came to mind wasn’t web sites.

viking01 on May 15, 2009 at 11:06 AM

If the democrats live with this obvious liar as Speaker of the House, then the credibility of Congress should cease to exist.

2010-Time To Take Out The Trash

volsense on May 15, 2009 at 11:11 AM

The XX zygote factor is probably why the Democrats are so reluctant to dump Nancy. Major high-profile Democratic Party fundraisers like the ladies of Emily’s List put such a premium on gender politics, that the people on the Hill who see Hoyer as a much better (and effective) choice as speaker have to worry about the identity politics backlash it would cause if Pelosi departed in the same sort of ignominy as Jim Wright, when he was forced out over his fraudulent book royalty deal.

jon1979 on May 15, 2009 at 10:05 AM

I’ve always said that women will not achieve true equality until the incompetent and corrupt female politicians get crucified just as badly as the incompetent and corrupt male politicians do.

Nancy Pelosi, to her credit, has never sought any special treatment or favors because of her gender. She fought her way up the ranks the old-fashioned way. She has been as brazen and brutal about it as any man has ever been, and as tough a political opponent and supporter as any man. For her or her party to suddenly hide behind her skirt to save her now would be the worst sort of sexism!

rockmom on May 15, 2009 at 11:25 AM

That Pelosi’s “sidewalk and backtrack” is one of the funniest things I have read in a while! Coming from a Caribbean island, I can certainly relate and brought back memories of crabs, or “jueyes” (pronounced HOO-AY-S in Spanish).

As kids, many enjoyed carrying traps with our parents and at night, dunk the traps at the bottom of the ocean; and in the traps they crawled, after putting inside some bread or any other type of junk leftover food.

Crabs get in cages very easily. When you least expect it, you may have 1/2 dozen or a dozen, enough for a hearty family meal

This is one of the best opportunities us Conservatives have of grabbing more of that bread, because Pelosi is in the crab cage already. More are to come in, because it seems that because of the pack mentality the Dems have. Me thinks VP Cheney is, right at the edge of the bridge, holding the string and a bucket beside him. Won-der-ful!

If it was up to me, I’d cut the crap of the listening tour and really grab ‘em cages with rope and food, and fish ‘em in. I’d attempt to be in the face of TV everyday all over the place, like O does (which drives me INSANE) and call it game over!

Time to unite all of us that support either Palin, Romney, Huckster, Jindal, etc. and speak, BUT SPEAK NOW! Media?FB, Twitter, Fox, op eds, Republican and Conservative organizations, bloggers, we got so many tools! Ed and Allah are doing a wonderful job, along with the boss who goes on TV and calls it as she sees it.

Conservatives/Republicans are smart, good looking, but at the same time we are s t u b b o r n. I smell a good dinner in ’10 and ’12; it only depends on how hungry we are, and how much time are we willing to be on the edge of that bridge, fishing away for crab, red snapper and some oysters!

Hugs to all (reporting from a hotel inside the swimming pool section) Yours truly, PPF. I may not see many replies, but I hope I can influence and change some minds.

ProudPalinFan on May 15, 2009 at 11:25 AM

I read DailyKos every day (HuffPo not so much) and it’s weird over there right now and could explain part of the lack of trolls around here and AoS. They are upset with Obama over all of the perceived (and real) flip-flops and they’re figuratively eating their own. It reminds me of one of the last thing I read by DeathToMediaHacks, who said he had campaigned hard for Obama only to realize now that he was no different than any of the others.

LastRick on May 15, 2009 at 10:58 AM

Well, now they know what we all went through when we realized George W. Bush was not a conservative.

rockmom on May 15, 2009 at 11:26 AM

Pelosi could have avoided this whole problem by saying that water-boarding was necessary in 2002, when we needed information from terrorists to prevent future attacks, but then she reversed herself when she started fearing that enemies might use the same tactics on captured Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Democrats can get away with flip-flopping–after all, look at the Flip-Flopper-in-Chief, where “Change You Can Believe In” means change from yesterday’s policy, as he has “always said”.

But accusing the CIA of lying is a slippery slope, because the CIA is in the business of gathering and keeping information in secret, and there may be lots of classified documents that prove that Pelosi is lying.

On Greta Van Susteren’s show last night, Dick Morris predicted that Pelosi would lose her gavel in a week. Pelosi might end up where the rubber meets the road–under the bus.

Steve Z on May 15, 2009 at 11:29 AM

Here, play “Catch a Crab”…

http://www.ugoplayer.com/games/catchacrab2.html

ProudPalinFan on May 15, 2009 at 11:36 AM

Keep Nancy in her thrown! Her increasing loathsomeness is a plus for our side.

moxie_neanderthal on May 15, 2009 at 11:36 AM

If the democrats live with this obvious liar as Speaker of the House, then the credibility of Congress should cease to exist.

volsense on May 15, 2009 at 11:11 AM

Exactly, and I wonder if this is a struggle for them, at this point in time? Do they rally around her, and support her, to show that Democrats stand by their own, or do they cut her loose, and show that, perhaps, there was some ineptness, at choosing her in the first place?

I don’t believe all Democrats are bad, and want the path Obama seems intent on leading us, but I do believe, that an awful lot of intimidations are used, to keep the appearance of solidarity among their ranks.

capejasmine on May 15, 2009 at 11:49 AM

On Greta Van Susteren’s show last night, Dick Morris predicted that Pelosi would lose her gavel in a week. Pelosi might end up where the rubber meets the road–under the bus.

Steve Z on May 15, 2009 at 11:29 AM

Dick Morris also stated that after the charges were dropped against suspected Al Qaeda bomber Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri of the USS Cole, was released into the public and was now walking free on BOR the previous night.

BOR had to retract the statement last night because it wasn’t true.

For what it’s worth…….

Knucklehead on May 15, 2009 at 11:52 AM

You really have to screw up as a Democrat for Dana Milbank to go after you. All the more reason to hope she sticks around.

Jim Treacher on May 15, 2009 at 11:55 AM

Balz still finds a way to pose this mess as “Pelosi vs. the Bush Administration” twice in the first two paragraphs.

The Bush Administration?! Anyone who thinks Bush ever had any control over CIA whatsoever is a complete fool.

Jaibones on May 15, 2009 at 11:55 AM

If the democrats live with this obvious liar as Speaker of the House, then the credibility of Congress should cease to exist.

How can a negative value get any more negative?

We should keep Congress around for the increasingly funny gaffes and jokes they keep producing.

But enough about the legislation, let’s talk about the Congresstitutes themselves.

SeniorD on May 15, 2009 at 11:58 AM

Jim Treacher on May 15, 2009 at 11:55 AM

Indeed. Dana Milbank leaves the Democrat plantation about as often as Mark Knoller, Wolfie Blitzer and Anne Compton.

viking01 on May 15, 2009 at 11:59 AM

If the democrats live with this obvious liar as Speaker of the House, then the credibility of Congress should cease to exist.

2010-Time To Take Out The Trash

volsense on May 15, 2009 at 11:11 AM

They have got credibility?

Johan Klaus on May 15, 2009 at 11:59 AM

If the democrats live with this obvious liar as Speaker of the House, then the credibility of Congress should cease to exist.

How can a negative value get any more negative?

We should keep Congress around for the increasingly funny gaffes and jokes they keep producing.

But enough about the legislation, let’s talk about the Congresstitutes themselves.

SeniorD on May 15, 2009 at 11:59 AM

Jim Treacher on May 15, 2009 at 11:55 AM

Indeed. Dana Milbank leaves the Democrat plantation about as often as Mark Knoller, Wolfie Blitzer and Anne Compton.

viking01 on May 15, 2009 at 12:00 PM

Jim Treacher on May 15, 2009 at 11:55 AM

Indeed. Dana Milbank leaves the Democrat plantation about as often as Mark Knoller, Wolfie Blitzer and Anne Compton.

viking01 on May 15, 2009 at 12:01 PM

It reminds me of one of the last thing I read by DeathToMediaHacks, who said he had campaigned hard for Obama only to realize now that he was no different than any of the others.

LastRick on May 15, 2009 at 10:58 AM

OT: Whatever happened to DTMH? I’m guessing not banned, since he seemed to have some self-control.

DarkCurrent on May 15, 2009 at 12:03 PM

WaPo: You know, Pelosi may have a credibility problem

NO, TELL US IT AIN’T SO NANCY, PUHLEEEZ! /Sarcasm

byteshredder on May 15, 2009 at 12:10 PM

OT: Whatever happened to DTMH? I’m guessing not banned, since he seemed to have some self-control.

DarkCurrent on May 15, 2009 at 12:03 PM

Staying OT: His (?) posts really slowed up after late-March, a few in April but yeah, I haven’t seen him in a while. I always defended his presence here b/c one, dissenting opinions are welcome and two, I didn’t think he was the typically troll — when I found out he was a Nader backer, it made sense. So I’m pretty sure he didn’t get banned like getalife.

LastRick on May 15, 2009 at 12:14 PM

OT: Whatever happened to DTMH? I’m guessing not banned, since he seemed to have some self-control.

DarkCurrent on May 15, 2009 at 12:03 PM

I think he might have gotten the boot. He put up a post with a bunch of profanities in it and few minutes later Michelle, the boss posted and asked him if he ate with that mouth or something like that.

That was last time I saw him.

Knucklehead on May 15, 2009 at 12:23 PM

WaPo: You know, Pelosi may have a credibility problem

Really? After all this time, she might have a credibility problem… You don’t say.

Maybe we should ask Perez Hilton. He seems to know about non-government employee’s credibility, so it should be no biggy for him to give us his opinion of his Senator…

Upstater85 on May 15, 2009 at 12:38 PM

I think he might have gotten the boot. He put up a post with a bunch of profanities in it and few minutes later Michelle, the boss posted and asked him if he ate with that mouth or something like that.

That was last time I saw him.

Knucklehead on May 15, 2009 at 12:23 PM

I missed that, but sounds like a banning scenario. I guess I was wrong in thinking he had enough self-control to avoid it.

DarkCurrent on May 15, 2009 at 12:43 PM

From the newmajority.com – Pelosi attended only one of the 40 CIA briefings offered by the agency.

Apparently, the other 39 meetings conflicted with her Botox injections.

Bush lied. The CIA lied. The only thing lying to this broad is the camera with the soft lens.

mr1216 on May 15, 2009 at 12:47 PM

La Pelosi Schifosa!!!!

wildweasel on May 15, 2009 at 12:47 PM

In my opinion, Pelosi’s America will only regain credibility in the eyes of the Muslim world when she goes on the Burqa Apology Tour… ///s

Upstater85 on May 15, 2009 at 12:50 PM

Medea Benjamin must certainly be camped outside Pelosi’s door by now, yes?

Bishop on May 15, 2009 at 9:35 AM

Naw, ahe and her fellow Sea Hags are still following Rummy around.

Del Dolemonte on May 15, 2009 at 12:53 PM

…he does his best to stay objective on a story where the obvious exceeds the limits of journalism. Balz does his best to stay within the non-judgmental vocabulary to describe Pelosi’s latest story on her complicity in the enhanced interrogation techniques used by the CIA, but how does one objectively describe how someone has taken their credibility onto a dais and beaten it to death with a microphone?

I don’t know what (if anything) they teach in Journalism School, but none of this makes any sense. You are confusing objectivity with relativism. And the two concepts could not possibly be more different.

Of course it’s entirely possible to objectively determine and relate the fact that someone is lying. In fact that’s the ONLY way to do it.

logis on May 15, 2009 at 1:00 PM

Keep Nancy in her thrown! Her increasing loathsomeness is a plus for our side.
moxie_neanderthal on May 15, 2009

I understand your thought here, but I think allowing Nancy to keep her speakership will show the left that lying and playing petty politics with national security has no consequences. I say punish her to the full extent of your ability, including jail time if that were possible.

Goodeye_Closed on May 15, 2009 at 1:11 PM

From the newmajority.com – Pelosi attended only one of the 40 CIA briefings offered by the agency.
mr1216 on May 15, 2009 at 12:47 PM

I guess that’s what all the jabbering was about where she kept saying: “I wasn’t briefed; I was, the briefing was, told to me about the briefing…” came from.

This lady isn’t some kind of secret Communist mastermind. She’s nothing but an abject airhead. And the media are only figuring this out now – after twenty years, with half of that as the LEADER of the House Democrats!

And during that whole time, they kept telling us over and over and over again that Reagan, Bush, Palin, and pretty much all Republicans are the ones who are jibbering idiots!

logis on May 15, 2009 at 1:11 PM

We should lose the phrase “liberal” as what and who we are talking about are NOT liberals. They are, as Mark Levin insists, “Statists” as in anti-constitutional supporters of state control over lives and property.

Goodeye_Closed on May 15, 2009 at 1:20 PM

Will Democrats insist that she step down from the Speaker’s seat?

What? throw out the FIRST WOMAN (D) to that position. I dont think democrats want that written in history.

Greed on May 15, 2009 at 1:29 PM

WaPo: You know, Pelosi may have a credibility problem

As if anyone who has really paid attention
to what she’s all about has found her to be
credible in the first place.

elderberry on May 15, 2009 at 1:57 PM

“…but how does one objectively describe how someone has taken their credibility onto a dais and beaten it to death with a microphone?”

Holy creative writing Batman. THIS is why I have enjoyed reading you over the years, Ed. Bravo.

brainy435 on May 15, 2009 at 2:14 PM

Would anyone even buy a toaster from a saleswoman who squirmed, lied, had to read the warranty or marketing material and blamed a competitor so much?

Odie1941 on May 15, 2009 at 10:43 AM

Do you run Microsoft Windows or IBM OS/2?

unclesmrgol on May 15, 2009 at 2:45 PM

What did the Speaker know, and when did she know it?

This whole thing is becoming, shall I say, “Nixonian.” Leon Panetta is saying that the Speaker is ‘mistaken.’ In other words, the White House is saying the Speaker did not remember the facts correctly. Unkind people might call it a case of lying.

This is no longer just politics as usual. The speaker needs to be placed under oath. Names need to be named.

Or maybe, just maybe, the Speaker needs to send her resignation from both the Speakership and her house seat to Gewn Ifill, the resident PBS flack, and get it on the Friday evening announcements.

Orson Buggeigh on May 15, 2009 at 4:31 PM

Please come over and vote in our poll about what Pelosi is up to.

http://sarah-palin-2012.blogspot.com/2009/05/liar-liar-pants-suit-on-fire.html

History Chaser on May 15, 2009 at 5:24 PM

I can’t wait until tomorrow’s press briefing:

Pelosi: “I have absolute proof that I knew nothing about waterboarding!”

Press: “Where is it?”

Pelosi: “By mistake I unfortunately left it in an Hawaiian time-locked vault. And I’m told it won’t open for eight years.”

Press: “What were you doing poking around in an Hawaiian vault?”

Pelosi: “I was checking out Obama’s birth certificate.”

Press” “Did you see it?”

Pelosi: “Yes, I did. No, I didn’t. I’m not sure. Someone apparently said ‘George Bush’ and that’s all I remember.”

Press: “Madam Speaker, please. . . that story is awfully hard to swallow.”

Pelsoi: “How dare you question me? My reputation for honesty and integrity is unquestioned!”

Press: “What proof do you have?”

Pelosi: “Just ask John Murtha.”

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on May 15, 2009 at 8:08 PM

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