At its height in 2009, then Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) presided over 257-member Democratic majority in the lower chamber of Congress. By January of this year, the Democratic caucus in the House will consist of fewer than 190 members. Despite this record of failure, House Democrats reelected 74-year-old congresswoman on Tuesday to serve another term as her party’s minority leader.
“Pelosi was unopposed in the election and earned broad support from the Democratic Caucus despite grumbling from some lawmakers that Democrats needed a new message to excite voters after a devastating Election Day loss,” Politico reported.
It is interesting to learn that the party which has staked much of its reputation on the fictitious “War on Women” has not done much “grumbling” over the way in which their freshly legitimized leader treated one of their own members.
During caucus meetings last week, Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), a heavily pregnant double amputee who lost both legs serving her country overseas, asked to be allowed to vote in leadership and ranking member elections via a proxy vote. She claimed that her condition prevented her from traveling from Illinois to Washington D.C.
“The caucus chose not to allow me to vote via proxy,” a deflated Duckworth said in a statement. “I respect the process and very much appreciated my colleagues who made sure my request was considered.”
In comments which would have set the collective hair of the nation’s eternally aggrieved gender warriors alight had they been uttered by a man, Pelosi said she did not fully understand what “all the fuss” was about.
“You’re going to establish a situation where you’re going to determine who has a note from the doctor that’s valid,” Pelosi said, “it’s really a place we shouldn’t go down.”
Pelosi added that her decision to refuse Duckworth a proxy vote “shouldn’t be confused with not having family and medical leave,” but her decision shouldn’t be confused with the proper observance of process either. As Politico reported, the minority leader’s move was more likely a power play aimed at silencing an opponent of one of her political allies.
But the decision was quickly criticized as political because of a contentious ranking member race. Duckworth backs Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) in his race against Rep. Anna Eshoo for the top Democratic spot on the Energy and Commerce Committee. Pelosi is Eshoo’s highest profile supporter and the race is expected to be close.
Where are all the garment-rending gender studies majors, many of whom had fits over a space scientist’s shirt last week, when a true national hero and a member of Congress is denied her rights as a working woman in order to advance one of Nancy Pelosi’s many petty political grievances? The answer to this question is so painfully obvious that it is no wonder Time Magazine found that a majority of the public would like to bury the word “feminist” for all time (an unpleasant discovery for which they were made to apologize by the small but influential minority of those who disagreed).
“It is time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a Mad Men episode,” President Barack Obama insisted in this year’s State of the Union address. Apparently, his fellow Democrats didn’t get the message.