We may have our disagreements on strategy and tactics, but I think we can all agree on a mid-afternoon Pelosi palate cleanser, right? (Or perhaps more than one.) This one comes to us from The Weekly Standard’s Jeryl Bier, who waded through a speech Nancy Pelosi gave last week to find the former Speaker of the House confused between our two founding documents — the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Appearing at a Center for American Progress event, Pelosi spoke about an 1848 suffragette conference in Seneca Falls:
“And so, it was 165 years ago, 165 years ago. Imagine the courage it took for those women to go to Seneca Falls and do what they did there, to even leave home without their husband’s permission, or father’s, or whoever it was. To go to Seneca Falls, and to paraphrase what our founders said in the Constitution of the United States: they said the truths that are self-evident, that every man and woman, that men and women were created equal and that we must go forward in recognition of that.”
It is of course the Declaration of Independence and not the Constitution that contains the reference to self-evident truths:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
It’s not uncommon for people to confuse points between the two. In fact, the film The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance makes the same mistake in its classroom scene. It’s still a little disconcerting to see a high-ranking government official fail to correctly distinguish between the two documents, especially in a prepared speech.
What’s more significant in this speech is the agenda that the leader of the House Democratic Caucus stakes out in her speech, according to Jeryl:
Pelosi went on to name three priorities that she and those in her audience at CAP want Congress and the president to address: paycheck fairness, including raising the minimum wage; paid leave to care for sick family members via the Healthy Families Act; and universal child care.
Most Americans have the economy and job creation as their greatest concerns. Two of the issues Pelosi puts as a priority have nothing to do with the concerns of most Americans, and the first one would actually make the job situation and economy worse. Talk about not being on the same page …
On the other hand, Pelosi’s remarks did make for a great hashtag game on Twitter.