The short version is that Nancy Pelosi suffered from a toxic case of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Remember, this is the Speaker of the House who made a show of tearing up her copy of the State of the Union speech in front of a joint session of Congress while the president stood a few feet away and millions watched on television. This is the Speaker who called COVID-19, a worldwide pandemic, the “Trump virus.” This is the Speaker who suffered a meltdown in a White House meeting with Trump, standing up, pointing her finger at the president, and storming out of the room. This is the Speaker who suffered another meltdown when a reporter asked if she hated Trump. (“Don’t mess with me,” she warned.) This is the Speaker who announced an impeachment inquiry of the president — solely on her own authority — before seeing the evidence on which she would seek to remove him from office. This is the Speaker who pronounced herself “heartbroken” and “prayerful” even as her top House lieutenants, acting under her guidance, raced toward impeachment. This is the Speaker, in other words, who became obsessed with resisting the president.

That is the same Nancy Pelosi who was stonewalling virus relief efforts. In an election year, when a relief bill would help millions of Americans but might also, as an ancillary effect, boost Trump’s re-election bid, she would not act. When the election was over and Trump lost, she would. “I am somewhat concerned that she is afraid that any deal would be good for the president,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who spent hours and hours negotiating with Pelosi, said in September. No kidding.