The Pelosi Uncertainty Principle

Rep. Nancy Pelosi is continuing the Democrats losing tradition of constant attempts to back away from their own position on the war. Now she’s saying that the official Democratic position is no position at all:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said yesterday that Democrats should not seek a unified position on an exit strategy in Iraq, calling the war a matter of individual conscience and saying differing positions within the caucus are a source of strength for the party.

Pelosi said Democrats will produce an issue agenda for the 2006 elections but it will not include a position on Iraq. There is consensus within the party that President Bush has mismanaged the war and that a new course is needed, but House Democrats should be free to take individual positions, she sad.

“There is no one Democratic voice . . . and there is no one Democratic position,” Pelosi said in an interview with Washington Post reporters and editors.

Pelosi recently endorsed the proposal by Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) for a swift redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq over a period of six months, but no other party leader followed, and House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) publicly opposed her.

She said her support for Murtha was not intended to forge a Democratic position on the war, adding that she blocked an effort by some of her colleagues to put the Democrats on record backing Murtha.

Her comments ruling out a caucus position appeared to put Pelosi at odds with some other party officials. Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean recently said Democrats were beginning to coalesce around a strategy that would pull out all troops over the next two years. Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said on the day Murtha offered his plan, “As for Iraq policy, at the right time, we’ll have a position.”

The Democrats keep spinning that their complete and utter inability to have a cogent position on Iraq is somehow a plus to their party – an assertion which is pure spin. The Democratic left certainly has a position – that the world would be better off with Saddam Hussein in power in Iraq and the US not doing anything without Kofi Annan’s stamp of approval. But the Democrats also know to actually reveal what they think is political suicide. The American people don’t cut and run, especially when there are such visible signs of progress.

The Democrats have tried to have it both ways in the last two election cycles – trying to say that they are not the party of weakness in terms of national security, but also trying to play to their increasingly radicalized wing of their base. And that position has caused them to constantly tap-dance around the most key issue of our time.

The Democrats can’t have a cogent strategy for victory because that would require them to actually take a position on the war. And as long as they are going to put political concerns ahead of the war, they’re going to rightly be accused of weakness on national security. You can’t argue against the very idea of a cogent national security position and then say that you’re the party of strength on national security issues.

Of course, the Democrats are caught in a nasty Catch-22. If they take a position, they alienate their base and the people who are providing them with the majority of their fundraising. If they don’t take a position, they further cement the idea that they’re a party that is utterly feckless on national security – and deservedly so.

It appears that the House Democrats have discovered the Pelosi uncertainty principle – we know that the Democrats are constantly spinning, but we can never know what their position actually is.

7 thoughts on “The Pelosi Uncertainty Principle

  1. Pelosi is right. We already have one political party full of unthinking automatons uniformally chanting “Stay the course! Stay the course!” with empty, zombie eyes while walking off the dock into the ocean one by one. Why do we need another? And what purpose would it serve for the Democrats to coalesce around a single exit strategy when, even if they were to gain the majority in Congress, they’d be in no position to influence the policy of the Commander in Chief? Perhaps in time, a clear strategy will emerge as the best course to take. Until that time comes, the best approach is to accumulate as many ideas as possible. The party that should be most scared is the party that insists it has all the answers despite a three-year track record of getting everything wrong.

  2. Put down the kool aide Mark, its called a split in the party, not a good policy position ! Pelosi is the gift that keeps on giving !!

  3. Ray, in a system where only two major parties exist, it’s not realistic for party-line allegiance on every issue. The Republicans now appear to have a major split on immigration and the Patriot Act. How can Americans ever trust a party that doesn’t think as a group on these issues? It’s a sign of extreme weakness and their indecision that every Republican in Congress doesn’t think alike on these major issues. How will the republic survive?

  4. While it’s easy to snipe at the “other” party, I think kudos are in order for both sides of the aisle of the Senate for recognizing the dangerous infringements to civil rights that the “Patriot Act” imposes.

    We’ve lost a lot of spine in this country with regard to preserving our freedoms here at home. It’s refreshing to see some of our leaders at least making an effort to protect them.

  5. Mark I didn’t think that an issue like victory was something that couldn’t split a party. Maybe if it was tax policy or social security, maybe but whether we win or lose. I’d like them to have at least a facade of solidarity, waters edge and all that.
    Bob, the Senate concerned with preserving our freedoms at home, I have to let that sink in.

  6. ‘The Democratic left certainly has a position – that the world would be better off with Saddam Hussein in power in Iraq and the US not doing anything without Kofi Annan’s stamp of approval.’

    Here’s the secret of conservative ‘success’.

    They _deliberately_ misreport what they understand the liberal position to be.

    Of course, down at these levels, the Republican populace, it is just repetition of lies provided from above.

    Thereby these lower-level Republicans can repeat lies to their heart’s content, and hide behind their attachment to their leaders.

    Pelosi’s statement is typical Democrat multi-truth talk. Trying to make everyone feel like their voice is heard.

    A great principle, generally, but when dealing with mass genocide performed by proud fascists, its not going to work.

    The Republicans will go down for 911.

    Then Iraq will go away.

    That’s the line Dems need to take.

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