Forget the war of words between Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump. What about the war of words between Pelosi and Kellyanne Conway? After Pelosi made a dismissive remark to the president’s senior political adviser, Conway has gone on the warpath. The New York Times reported this morning what happened after Trump walked out on the infrastructure meeting with Pelosi and Chuck Schumer yesterday:
After Mr. Trump walked out, Ms. Pelosi turned to other Democrats there and recounted a story about how Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt had each brought people together to solve infrastructure problems.
“I knew he was looking for a way out,” Ms. Pelosi concluded. “We were expecting this.”
Kellyanne Conway, the counselor to the president, was in the room. “Respectfully, Madam Speaker,” she asked, “do you have a direct response to the president?”
Ms. Pelosi said she was responding to the president, not members of his staff.
“Really great,” Ms. Conway replied sarcastically. “That’s really pro-woman of you.”
As some observed, Conway has a habit of turning slights from Democrats into issues over her gender. This morning, she escalated it on Fox News into a class warfare argument. Pelosi, Conway accused, treated her like one of the many servants this uber-wealthy member of Congress must have:
Conway says Pelosi treats her like she's "her maid or her driver or her pilot or her makeup artist driver" pic.twitter.com/6UbtaDpS99
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) May 23, 2019
“She treats everybody like they’re her staff,” Conway said. “She treats me like I’m either her maid or her driver or her pilot or her makeup artist driver, and I’m not.”
Conway added that the House speaker is “not very pro-woman. She’s pro-some women.”
Later, during her weekly presser, Pelosi told reporters, “I’m not going to respond to her.” Instead, Pelosi aimed her barbs at Trump’s family and other staff, asking them to stage an intervention with the president — “for the good of the country”:
A day after President Trump had what she described as a “temper tantrum” in a White House meeting on infrastructure that lasted less than five minutes, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday called on his aides to step in.
“I pray for him. I wish his family or his administration staff would have an intervention for the good of the country,” Pelosi told reporters during her weekly press conference on Capitol Hill. “Maybe he wants to take a leave of absence.”
As entertaining as all of this may be, perhaps Pelosi should take her own advice. Even better, maybe everyone involved should take a chill pill or two and get back to their actual jobs. Neither end of Pennsylvania Avenue seems interested in governance as much as they are in elections that won’t take place for another seventeen months, and in grandstanding in front of cameras more than focusing on pressing policy issues. Most of us really don’t care how Pelosi treats Conway, or Trump treats Pelosi, or which side’s stunts have been stunt-ier. Everyone’s making a mockery of their positions at this point, and everyone is working to undermine trust in the institutions of self-governance.
For “the good of the country,” how about putting aside partisan and personal sniping and setting aside three months or so to work on policy alone? Or does anyone in Washington DC remember how to do that?