Monday, October 6, 2008

“For six years, Pelosi served on the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct (the Ethics Committee).”

Six years later, what do we have? Indicted Louisiana Democratic Rep. William Jefferson, who maintains his House seat in the middle of a corruption trial, without so much as a reprimand from Mrs. Pelosi. Neither did she issue a single admonition to Rep. Charles Rangel, New York Democrat and Ways and Means Committee chairman, for his apparent failure to pay income taxes. This, from the lawmaker who lambasted corrupt Republican members and promised to run the most ethical Congress in history (even as she was funneling PAC money into her husband’s company).

Despite Mrs. Pelosi’s grandiose claims of consensus-building, her actions have time and again created partisanship and gridlock. Her Web site biography states: “Building consensus across the aisle and within the diverse House Democratic Caucus, Speaker Pelosi has proved to be a strong, pragmatic, and effective leader.” Yet, even as Americans learned about the speaker and “PAC-gate” last week, she managed to embroil the House in a partisan tug-of-war over the financial bailout bill - railing against President Bush for everything Congress has failed to do over the past two years and denouncing the president and Republicans as fiscally irresponsible and reckless. Excuse us, but what was the Democrat-controlled Congress (under the leadership of Mrs. Pelosi) doing during these years of recklessness? In the middle of an economic meltdown, where presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama called a temporary truce in order to “get something done,” Mrs. Pelosi took it upon herself to hurl partisan insults instead of working on a bipartisan solution she claimed to favor.

It is no wonder that on the heels of the House’s first vote on the bill, only 26 percent of those polled by Rasmussen thought Congress would actually get something passed. One week ago, Mrs. Pelosi didn’t even have a handle on how her colleagues would vote and looked foolish when they didn’t deliver what she expected. Early this summer Mrs. Pelosi referred to the president of the United States as “a total failure.” She should check the glass mirrors in her own house.

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