Since when is Pelosi’s use of “un-American” news?


Nancy Pelosi espouses history without reflecting on it, just as she does in her uninspired opinion piece that appears in USA Today. You have to appreciate a writer who needs a spotter, and in this case it’s Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland), house Majority Leader, who should have an easy time out-shining the previous majority leader John Murtha.

Pelosi (D-Mars) wishes to invoke the name of Theodore Roosevelt for pushing for health care reform. This was back when polio, influenza, and typhoid was plaguing the United States. The influenza epidemic of 1918 alone reduced the lifespan of the average American by twelve years and killed fifty million people worldwide. What’s the major health epidemic today? Too much food? What is her major motivator for pushing this?

Roosevelt was shot, contracted malaria, lost a wife and mother to illness, and diagnosed at an early age with heart problems. Is it any surprise that he thought that health was in constant crisis? (I have a tendency to psychoanalyze my political subjects, but I’ll make the exception for Pelosi because her mind is not a safe subject.) What is Pelosi’s rapport with Roosevelt that she feels qualified to invoke his name to get health insurance reform passed? Check out Roosevelt’s feelings on national identity:

There is no place for the hyphen in our citizenship… We are a nation, not a hodge-podge of foreign nationalities. We are a people, and not a polyglot boarding house.

If she ever makes a reference to “African-Americans” again, nail her with this quote.

Pelosi has a lot of “never again” qualifiers for this House program. Never again lose your coverage, never again be denied based on pre-existing problems. So instead of insurers being allowed to screen out risky clients, they will be strong-armed into taking on people guaranteed to make them lose money. This is the assurance that you will maintain “choice” in your health system. Where is the choice of the private industries? Go ahead and hate them all you want, but the private companies are striving to provide better care at cheaper rates at all times. Can the government really claim the same?

By whatever magical concoction of events, Americans actually did wind up with a true innovator in the health system. According to Wikipedia, this entry on research and development, the critical part of health care, is second to none in the world:

The United States is a leader in medical innovation. In 2004, the health care industry spent three times as much as Europe per capita on biomedical research. Companies provide medical products such as pharmaceuticals and medical devices. In 2006, the United States accounted for three quarters of the world’s biotechnology revenues and 82% of world R&D spending in biotechnology. The amount of financing by private industry has increased 102% from 1994 to 2003. Governmental research institutes such as the National Institutes of Health are key in funding basic research.

The top five U.S. hospitals carry out more clinical trials than all the hospitals in any other country. Between 1975 and 2008, the Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology has gone to U.S. residents more often than recipients from all other countries combined. In 29 of the 34 years between 1975 and 2008, a scientist living in the U.S. either won or shared in the prize.

(All bold was mine.)

None of the protestors that Pelosi decided to malign are calling for the CDC or NIH to be dismantled. They just want the status quo preserved. Pelosi should be the one to make the case to change the most innovative and fastest in response to health concerns.

The quote getting Pelosi her latest attention is this:

These disruptions are occurring because opponents are afraid not just of differing views — but of the facts themselves. Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American. Drowning out the facts is how we failed at this task for decades.

Really, Ms. Pelosi? How about dispatching union members in “high priority districts” to suppress debate and inflate the pro-government insurance numbers? How about the Service Employees International Union stomping down a black American-American and uttering racial slurs at him, as well as injuring him to the point he had to be taken into emergency care? (Hat tip to Paul Mulshine.) I guess that’s the SEIU’s definition of health reform–vote our way or your health is in danger.

Pelosi has done this for most of her career. While liberals were complaining about being called un-American when opposing the war in Iraq or opposing drilling for oil, yet never being able to come up with a serious figure in politics or the media who had actually said it, we have plenty of Democrats doing it now. Pelosi alone derided the un-American or un-patriotic actions of ICE agents deporting illegal immigrants or racial profiling or Republicans attending a meeting to which they were not invited or Bush budgets. She has also referred to former President Bush as “the emperor” (as in the unclothed variety). Good enough for me but not for thee.

Politicians should be entitled to a few perquisites on the job, and certainly Congress is not being shy in indulging themselves, or else people would never run for this lousy job. One of the privileges should explicitly not be expressing what is or isn’t American; the voters get that role. It doesn’t matter that the Speaker of the House and Congress are in dismal approval ratings; Pelosi is still enjoying over 50% approval back in her home district, and that is all she will be worried about in 2010. Her own district in San Francisco is a weird heterogeneity of American life: whites are in the minority, Americans of Asian decent form a huge cross-section, and her district is home to the gay Castro district. Maybe there are pockets here and there of uniform right-wing white Christian districts across America. However, these places don’t seem to produce politicians that appear to demand a conformity that will get you called “un-American”, and certainly none that ascend to Speaker of the House. Would Ms. Pelosi call anyone in her own district in any way “un-American”?

Of course not, not if she ever wants to get re-elected. Facing mass rejection from all of America, she is acting in a manner that Americans would recognize as possibly San Franciscan–fractured, guarded, territorial, and dismissive. She has hunkered down in a district where is is only now mildly popular, and hoping that the polity that made her popular in San Francisco would work across the country as well. When they rejected her, she lashed back. The health insurance reform is a smaller component of the failed package known as Nancy Pelosi. Hey, I did get to psychoanalyze her after all!

Go home and tell your Asian-American, your African-American, and your gay-American constituents the real story of Theodore Roosevelt. Ask them to drop the modifiers on their nationality and see what they think of you then. Are they real Americans? Are you?

7 Responses to “Since when is Pelosi’s use of “un-American” news?”

  1. mare Says:

    This health care issue had me really off kilter. I would like to blame my preoccupation with this issue as the reason my comments have been boring and unfunny. Can I go ahead and also blame my preoccupation with this issue for my fatness?

    Oh, and great post.

  2. Chris Says:

    She speaks as if we didn’t have The Mayor’s near-death experience getting his appendectomy as an example of the wonders of socialized medicine.

  3. Rocky Says:

    Thanks, mare! I think you’re being hard on yourself.

    Excellent point, Chris. Every successful operation or procedure to be had in Canada almost seems to be in spite of the system we have in place. Obama was also careful to say that the system we have here would not be a good match for Americans. So…why is it good for Canadians, then?

  4. nancy Says:

    I’m listening, Rocky, but I’m speechless. The absurdity of everything that has came down the pipe, starting with electing a President with communist sympathies, has reduced me to insane-like laughter at every new headline.

  5. Sisyphus Says:

    Atleast you can laugh at it, Nancy. I don’t know how much more I can take of this President.

  6. Mr Fnortner Says:

    I love the pic of her in her babushka. Very communist. Very appropriate. A harbinger of our future, perhaps?

  7. Rocky Says:

    The headscarf was actually part of her tour in Syria some time ago. Even a Speaker of the House has to submit to the whims of Islam when travelling abroad. Communism might not be the future of the US, but something else could be.

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