This column may contain strong language, sexual content, adult humor, and other themes that may not be suitable for minors. Parental guidance is strongly advised.
What better way to start 2019 than with Nancy Pelosi being sworn in as Speaker of the US House of Representatives?
Her taking the gavel is historic in more ways than one. She takes office exactly 100 years since women won the right to vote. She was the pioneering woman Speaker of the House, first assuming the position from 2007 to 2011. And now, she is the first person in 60 years to have become Speaker twice. The only other person who could claim that was Sam Rayburn of Texas, a Democrat, who was Speaker from 1940 to 1947; 1949 to 1953; and 1955 to 1961.
She’s also third in line to the presidency, which makes her second runner-up. Think of it this way: If this were a beauty pageant and if for some reason the Miss Universe is unable to fulfill her duties, the first runner-up shall take over. Considering that Donald Trump is a delusional crybaby who has no f*cking clue how to govern as president, fixated as he is on that idiotic wall, plus he has the double-pointed sword of indictment and impeachment hanging over his head, and his vice-president Mike Pence is a religious sycophantic whack job who almost certainly conspired with the Russians, too, the second runner-up’s prospects are looking pretty damn good.
Nancy Pelosi may be 78, but her return to the leadership of the House is laden with significance. She will be presiding over a House that is the most diverse ever, in age, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation. This, in effect, signals a real shift in American politics, reflecting not just how American society has embraced values that are more representative of the majority: multiculturalism, the empowerment of women, tolerance and openness, fairness and equality, and true democracy, but simultaneously how out of touch the Republican Party is, whose elected representatives to the House are mostly white, mostly aging, mostly rigid, mostly stuck in an idea of an America that no longer exists, and was never really grounded in liberty and justice for all.
Nancy Pelosi is the first female Speaker of the House in the world; other nations have elected women to rule at the helm of their governments, after all, including the Philippines, although the legitimacy of the second such election is still questionable. That the same woman, who essentially won the presidency by usurpation, is now Speaker of the House is quite a spectacular coup–not in service of democracy, but in service of power and glory. Which does nothing for the empowerment of women in this country, if you ask me; rather, it magnifies political wiliness spurred on by greed. It’s admirable only for its naked cravenness.
Nancy Pelosi’s return matters a great deal also because in a Washington, D.C. filled with spineless GOP men licking Donald Trump’s ass while privately referring to him as a moron, yet unable to tell him his wall, like “Fetch,” is never going to happen, this woman has shown that she has more balls and more common sense than any of the lawmakers from the Republican Party.
Why does it often have to take a woman to knock some sense into men who are so chained to their own egos and limited intellects? The debacle over the wall and the ensuing government shutdown clearly demonstrated Nancy Pelosi’s mettle. After being sworn in, she wasted no time in giving Trump and his namby-pamby minions a dignified, face-saving way out of the shutdown, but they refuse to accept it, like spoilt little brats. She also called the wall an immorality, and pointed out a truth that Republicans would rather not admit: that all this focus on the wall is really an attempt at diversion on the part of Trump, to direct attention away from the cuts he wants to make to Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security, not to mention environmental regulations: “This is not a wall between Mexico and the United States that the president is creating here. It’s a wall between reality and his constituents.”
In case that didn’t get through, she told reporters one more time, “We’re not doing a wall. Does anybody have any doubt? We’re not doing a wall. So that’s that.”
Read my lips, she said, in other words. Ain’t. Happening.
That spine of steel and the lack of false modesty are among the reasons I’m fangirling so much over Nancy Pelosi. She knows she is the scourge of the Republican Party; she knows they hate her and fear her at the same time. And she is also aware that she’s effective, otherwise these angry, misogynistic men wouldn’t go apoplectic at the mention of her name.
As Ari Melber of MSNBC’s The Beat noted today, Pelosi could very well be the Drake of the Democratic Party: “Back to back like I’m on the cover of Lethal Weapon / Back to back like I’m Jordan ’96, ’97.” Melber adds that, “as Drake will tell you, sometimes all those haters are a sign that you’re effective,” and Nancy Pelosi sure knows she’s effective.
She sat down for an interview with NBC on the eve of the opening of Congress, and noted that “Republicans have spent over $100 million dollars … 137,000 ads had my name in it in the last election. And they’re against me because I’m effective. I’m effective as a legislator.”
Gotta love a soft-spoken but determined–and chic–grandmother of 78 who makes the balls of grown men shrivel up even more.
What Donald Trump and the rest of his pusillanimous lackeys don’t realize–or perhaps they do realize, only too well–is that, as another MSNBC host, Joy Reid, pointed out, she is “a master-vote counter, she has done this job before, and who knows government,” while Trump, on the other hand “has ignored the rudiments of government.” Nancy Pelosi understands the power of her position, and she intends to wield it.
Damn, she’s fierce.
B. Wiser is the author of Making Love in Spanish, a novel published by Anvil Publishing and available in National Book Store and Powerbooks, as well as online. When not assuming her Sasha Fierce alter-ego, she takes on the role of serious journalist and media consultant.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Preen.ph, or any other entity of the Inquirer Group of Companies.