Pelosi, not Trump, holds America hostage
Pelosi, not Trump, holds America hostage
There are times when I wonder if I live in some kind of weird, alternate universe where the media only reports on one side of the news, where politicians care only about power and face and the concerns and needs of their constituents are long-forgotten memories. Then I wake up and realize that it is no alternate universe but the world in which we live. How else do you explain Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi declaring she will not agree to anything President Trump says—before he says it? How else do you explain media outlets like The Atlantic proudly trumpeting that the President is trapped by his own devices and is doomed to failure? How else do you explain a government shut-down that is now almost a month old?
My co-bloggers, Marta and Deanna, wrote about President Trump’s speech Saturday and Speaker Pelosi’s response. Except, to be technical about it, how could it be a response when she issued her statement before she even knew what Trump would propose? Hmmm, inquiring minds want to know.
But it is this “Idea” from The Atlantic that caught my eye and demanded a response.
Before we get to the article itself, let’s take a look at its author, David Frum. A staff writer for The Atlantic, his bias is clear when you look at a list of his stories. They range from being anti-Trump to telling the Republican Party it should embrace liberalism to suggesting collusion is worse than a crime. The only good thing I can say at this point is that his “The President’s Hostage Attempt Is Going Miserably Wrong” is posted in the “Ideas” section, a fancy way of saying editorial or opinion, instead of being reported as “news”.
But what exactly does he say and is there any truth in it? I’ll give you a hint. There is a little truth there but you need a shovel to dig through the bias and posturing to get to it.
President Donald Trump is trapped. . . caught in the trap he supposed he had set for his opponents.”
I guess you might be able to argue that. If you tilt your head and squint your eyes. To start, the trap works both ways. Yes, Trump could be said to have set it by shutting down the government. Except he didn’t do that on his own. It took Pelosi and company refusing to sit down and negotiate in good faith. Both sides have acted like kids on the playground, neither willing to give up being king of the hill. Trump wants it his way and Pelosi, along with Chuck Schumer, want it any way but his because TRUMP!
Forgotten in all this are the federal employees and their families who are now going into yet another pay period without a check. Forgotten are members of the service industry who are being impacted because federal employees aren’t utilizing their services. Forgotten are the researchers and their projects that have been shut down. Forgotten are so many more because Trump and Pelosi/Schumer want to get into a pissing contest to see whose dick is bigger.
In an attempt to prove Trump is in an unwinnable situation, Frum cites a poll conducted by Quinnipiac University after the President’s January 8thspeech. According to the poll, Trump swayed only 2% of those surveyed when it came to building the wall, the shutdown, etc. This, to Frum, is enough to claim Trump’s support is waning and he doesn’t have a chance in Hell of winning out against Pelosi and company.
But, as with any poll, it is only as good as the questions asked, the way they were asked, who was polled, sample section, etc., According to Quinnipiac University, 1,209 voters nationwide were surveyed. Data from the poll results includes the following language:
The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts gold standard surveys using random digit dialing with live interviewers calling landlines and cell phones. The Quinnipiac University Poll conducts nationwide surveys and polls in more than a dozen states on national and statewide elections, as well as public policy issues.”
Do you see the problem? Or should I say problems? First, this was a phone survey. How do they know they reached registered voters? This was “random digit dialing”. Oh, but they asked if they were speaking with a registered voter. And everyone is going to answer honestly, not only about being a registered voter but about their opinions on the issues. I don’t know about you, but I know a number of people who just love to screw with polls because we know how easy they are to manipulate.
Then there’s the second problem. Frum uses data from a previous speech to try to prove his point about Saturday’s presidential address. In doing so, he buries the real problem in DC—the fact that both sides are dug in and the Dems are not going to give in because Trump.
Frum calls the President’s suggestions on Saturday “even more harebrained” than before. Why? Because Trump spoke to the nation on Saturday afternoon instead of waiting to do so on primetime. Can you imagine the howls of outrage had he waited until today to make his speech? He would have been accused of trying to take attention away from MLK Day and all of Dr. King’s achievements.
Frankly, it was a smart move to do the speech Saturday. Not only did he not interfere with the NFL playoff games on Sunday, or take away from the importance of today, but he started off the news cycle with his speech. Sure, the media is doing its best to spin the speech into an epic fail but I’ll ask you this, who really failed? Trump or Pelosi? I say it’s pretty much a toss-up right now. One thing is certain, the real losers are the American public, especially our federal workers.
Frum goes on to say the President’s plan “intended to shift a critical mass of backbench Democrats to break with their leadership and deal directly with him”
Wait, what? A President wanting to get things done, even if it meant going around a Speaker who refused to even consider what he said? How dare he! And here I thought our elected representatives were sent to Washington to represent us, their constituents, not their party leadership. Silly me.
But wait, it gets better.
The Democratic majority is newly elected and highly cohesive. . . .”
Pardon me while I laugh hysterically. First of all, the only Democratic majority is in the House. Second, if it is so cohesive, why did Pelosi have to fight as hard as she did to regain her Speakership? Remember, she finally had to agree to limit her role as Speaker to four years. Why are the newest members of the House balking at talk of impeaching the President? But we’re supposed to nod and agree that the Dems are united.
Trump could not even get moderate Democrats to come have lunch with him at the White House this week. How could he imagine that a TV talk would entice them to break ranks and destroy their own political future within their party?
Once again, Frum seems to forget who these Democrats represent. Unfortunately, too many of the old guard on both sides of the aisle have forgotten as well. These men and women are there to represent the best interests of their constituents. Not the ideals of their Party. Not the whims of the Speaker. How quickly the Democrats have forgotten why Hillary Clinton lost the election. It wasn’t because Trump was a better politician than she. It was because the people of this country, those outside a few liberal zones on the East and West Coast, had finally gotten tired of being ignored by those in office. That is a lesson every politician would do well to remember. Party loyalty is one thing but the most important is loyalty to those who elected you.
What is glaringly missing in this condemnation of the President’s proposals is one simple and very telling fact: Pelosi announced before the speech, before she knew what the president was going to say, that she would not consider anything he offered. But it is Trump being unreasonable. Riiiight.
No, Mr. Frum, Trump isn’t the one trapped, nor is he holding us hostage. The only one holding our nation hostage right now is Pelosi. She and Schumer started all this by saying they wouldn’t consider anything if the border wall was included. Then she “suggested” the President not make the State of the Union speech while the government was shut down, citing security reasons among others. But she wasn’t concerned about spending taxpayer dollars or worried about security when she and other Democratic members of Congress were set to fly overseas at taxpayer expense—and be gone when our federal workers would miss yet another paycheck. But she’s the reasonable one in Frum’s eyes.
The simple fact is that the President made an offer and Pelosi turned it down without knowing what it was. As Marta wrote earlier, that one action proved Pelosi doesn’t care about the federal workers and their families. She cares only about doing everything she can to thwart Trump and damn the consequences. Journalists, and I use that term loosely, like Frum are her puppets, playing along and dancing to her tune.
It is time we stand up and let our voices be heard. This impasse is dangerous for our country on so many different levels. If the newest members of the House want to be taken seriously, let them stand up and tell the Old Guard, especially Queen Bee Pelosi to sit down, shut up and listen for once. If not, then our only hope is to survive until the next election and let our votes speak for us.
God help us all until then.
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