Speaker Pelosi spoke at Northeastern University’s “Women Who Empower Summit” event Monday in conjunction with International Women’s Day. The speaker was celebrating women but only liberal women. The event was supposed to be a non-political event, acknowledged by Pelosi at one point but that didn’t stop her from speaking solely in political terms for much of her time. She looked at the moderator and said, “You asked a political question so what do you expect?”
She began her remarks by declaring that “Civilization as we know it is at stake.” There’s nothing subtle with that statement. As she touted the work of Rep. Katherine Clark, a Congresswoman from the area, Pelosi made clear that she appoints Democrat congresswomen to important committee leadership positions so that women don’t just have a seat at the table, but sit at the head of the table.
The speaker gave four criticisms of President Trump and his administration. First, she said, is disloyalty to the constitution. Next came her assertation that the Trump administration denigrates “newcomers” (code for illegal immigrants), Republicans degrade the environment, and lastly, she said, “Our values are being devalued by the current attitude in D.C.” See, she wasn’t bold enough to specifically say President Trump’s name out loud among all of the word salad she was serving up to the audience, so she referenced “attitude” in an odd way. Civilization as we know it is at stake because Trump is killing it, or something.
After rattling off the ways in which the nameless bad Orange Man is killing civilization, she had the chutzpah to claim that if Democrats win the election they can focus on “coming together, unifying, not dividing.” She said they would repair and heal the country. Self-awareness is not her strong suit. She said that any of “their” candidates would be better than Trump in the 2020 election because he has set such “a low threshold” when she was asked which presidential candidate she will endorse. Then she said, “I usually always cast my vote for a woman.” Well, she won’t in the presidential race because her party’s voters are choosing two old white men instead of the remaining woman left in the race. The DNC won’t even allow Tulsi on the debate stage. Later, as she spoke about the upcoming tenth anniversary of the passage of the ACA legislation, she made it clear she is no fan of Medicare for All, so clearly she’ll throw her support to Joe Biden, whether she does so publicly or not.
Perhaps the most absurd thing she said was when asked about the possibility that a Republican woman may be the first woman president, not a Democrat, and would she be ok with that. She said, “That’s ok.” Yeah, right. More honestly, though, she said that “By and large we don’t have that much in common” with Republican women. She took a shot at Sarah Palin, whom she referred to as the first Republican woman to be on a presidential ticket, again without actually saying her name.
The irony of listening to Speaker Pelosi blast Trump for acting in crude or uncivil ways is not lost on any of us. She sat right behind him during the State of the Union address, as the most powerful woman in America, and made a production of ripping up Trump’s speech for the camera. She regularly trashes him to the press and then turns around and calls for civility.
After the speech, she was asked by a local reporter about the stock market and she blamed the fall in the market to a lack of confidence in the federal government in its response to the COVID-19 epidemic. This is a shallow, easy answer to a broader question. Today, Monday, in particular, the market is falling because of the battle between Saudi Arabia and Russia over the price of a barrel of oil. After OPEC met last week, Russia decided to not go along with the other countries to slow or reduce oil production in order to increase the price of crude. Russia decided to go it alone and take the opportunity to disrupt shale gas drilling in the U.S., in particular so that European countries would be more dependent on Russia. None of this had anything to do with the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus. The coronavirus, however, has a strong hand in the falling stock market numbers. Pelosi may or may not understand any of this. She certainly should be called out for politicizing the situation but she won’t be.
She uses the opportunity to lay out her agenda – the coronavirus epidemic is an excuse to move some pet projects to the forefront. While she was blaming President Trump for not being consistent with coordinating his messaging with public health experts, she said more than the spending bill signed by the president last week must be done. She cited paid sick leave for all workers, no co-pays, and no deductibles for COVID-19 testing. House lawmakers will begin working on all of that this evening, she said. It always boils down to more government control and more government spending to magically fix everything, even a flu-like virus.
It’s no wonder that President Trump has declined an invitation to St. Patrick’s Day luncheon on The Hill. Pelosi is the host for the annual bipartisan event. Trump’s in re-election mode. Why should he place himself in that situation? It’s ridiculous at this point to pretend there is any level of bi-partisanship on The Hill.
“Since the speaker has chosen to tear this nation apart with her actions and her rhetoric, the president will not participate in moments where she so often chooses to drive discord and disunity,” spokesman Judd Deere said in an emailed statement.
President Trump will celebrate the friendship of the United States and Ireland with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar at the White House on Thursday.