Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Pelosi Chokes Up, Recalling Milk Assassination

By Paul Kane
In a rare display of public emotion, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) choked up Thursday morning recalling the anti-gay rhetoric in the late 1970s in San Francisco, which culminated in the assassinations of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay S.F. Board of Supervisors member, and Mayor George Moscone.

Pelosi, responding to a question about whether anti-government rhetoric posed a threat of domestic violence, said that protesters on all sides had the right to voice their opposition to legislative proposals in a heated fashion. But then Pelosi -- whose weekly press conferences are legendary for their highly scripted nature and her rote recitation of Democratic message points -- paused and took a deep breath as she recounted the tone of some protests in her hometown.

"I saw this myself in the late '70s in San Francisco," she said, a reference to the antigay laws and protests as that city became the flashpoint of the civil rights movement for gays and lesbians. "It created an environment in which violence took place."

Pelosi appeared to fight back tears, staring down at the podium.

Pelosi did not say that such an environment had returned thanks to the conservative activists who have been holding rallies in opposition to President Obama's health-care reform proposals, as well as the government takeover of troubled firms in the financial and the auto industries. But she added that protesters on all sides had to "take responsibility" for their words and actions.

Pelosi, a Baltimore native, moved to San Francisco in the late 1960s with her husband, Paul, a native of the city, and she became active in Democratic Party politics. By 1977 -- as Milk was on the verge of winning his Board of Supervisors seat -- Pelosi became the state's Democratic chairman for Northern California. On Nov. 27, 1978, Milk and Moscone were assassinated by former San Francisco Supervisor Dan White.

Last November, on the eve of the cinematic release of "Milk", the bio-epic for which Sean Penn won the Best Actor Academy Award, Pelosi dedicated a bust to Milk as part of a municipal building dedication in Milk's honor (see video, below).

"Thirty years ago, when we were all at his funeral, we were standing there, with the weather similar to today, in total and complete disbelief. Just stunned to see these two men being eulogized on the steps of City Hall," Pelosi said then.

By Web Politics Editor  |  September 17, 2009; 12:01 PM ET
Categories:  Dem. Leaders  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Today on the Hill
Next: House Votes to End Federal Funding for ACORN

Comments

Nancy Pelosi has practiced the art of indignation for so long it comes very naturally to her. But on this one, I would ask anyone listening to her complaint about the nature of the debates going on to ask if the tone and content of what these right wing crazies are doing is really any different from what Cindy Sheehan and her follwers were doing a couple years ago?

Dissent is not pleasant and sometimes it can be ugly; but it is as ugly from the left as from the right and Ms. Pelosi's protestations seem a bit contrived and one sided to me.

I am a moderate Republican who believes many of those protesting in tea parties have legitimate concern about the scope and direction of our government; some in the crowd are racist and some are there because they will complain about anything coming out of Washington. But they have every right to do so, just as Ms. Sheehan did and Ms. Pelosi is ill advised to stifle such speech only when the content and direction is opposed to her own political views and agenda.

Funny I didn't see Nancy get all choked up when the protesters were from the left. Selective memory maybe? Or just another hack politician who cleans up well.

Posted by: bobfbell | September 17, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Nancy Pelosi has practiced the art of indignation for so long it comes very naturally to her. But on this one, I would ask anyone listening to her complaint about the nature of the debates going on to ask if the tone and content of what these right wing crazies are doing is really any different from what Cindy Sheehan and her follwers were doing a couple years ago?

Dissent is not pleasant and sometimes it can be ugly; but it is as ugly from the left as from the right and Ms. Pelosi's protestations seem a bit contrived and one sided to me.

I am a moderate Republican who believes many of those protesting in tea parties have legitimate concern about the scope and direction of our government; some in the crowd are racist and some are there because they will complain about anything coming out of Washington. But they have every right to do so, just as Ms. Sheehan did and Ms. Pelosi is ill advised to stifle such speech only when the content and direction is opposed to her own political views and agenda.

Funny I didn't see Nancy get all choked up when the protesters were from the left. Selective memory maybe? Or just another hack politician who cleans up well.

Posted by: bobfbell | September 17, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

What a joke she is. Nancy, get a life and grow up. No one is using language to incite a riot except you. You get so many peoples' blood pressure to the breaking point. Do you ever think before you speak?? You are a total disgrace to the office that you hold and I can't wait until you are out of this position. Thank you.

Posted by: nancycrichton | September 17, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

O boo hoo. O boo hoo hoo.

What violence are we talking about here Mrs. Pelosi? Said violence exists only in your feverish imagination.

Posted by: member8 | September 17, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Well well, San Fran Madam - having second thoughts about the wisdom of the "get in their face" and "counter punch" and "hit back" comments? Or the wisdom of "calling us out?" Or maybe the McVeigh accusations - or the nazi remarks?

Or maybe the wisdom of turning your union thugs loose on town hall meetings?

Funny how the sight of a couple of firearms in the hands of would be victims turned that little stunt upside down.

It is humorous. These people huff and puff and incited violence and then suddenly it dawns on them that they are not spitting in the face of weak little nitwits like themselves - and then oh, boy.

This botoxed idiot reminds me of the fool who throws a gallon of gas on a fire and then runs around screaming for help because her hair is on fire.

Posted by: VirginiaConservative | September 17, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I think her comment is in reference to the screaming, biting of fingers and carrying of guns to protests. I agree, there are extremist on the left (e.g. morphed photos of hitler and bush, Reid calling Bush a liar) but I can't think of Iraq War protest where protesters brought guns or got physically violent?

Posted by: marker_43 | September 17, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Ok - even though i totally disagree with everything Pelosi stands for - i must admit that she is a MUCH MUCH MUCH better dresser than the annointed first lady. Pelosi is always dressed like a First Lady. Brava!

Posted by: sudsa | September 17, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

It's really too bad that not more democrats have the commitment to see the right thing gets done like Nancy Polosi. She has been behind public option/single payor from the beginning. Many people, especially men, see Ms. Polosi as threatening, and thus feel inclined to call her names and put down her accomplishments as Speaker. There are many of us though, who are very happy that she is on the side of the American people. You can't say that about many members of Congress. Perhaps with the Speaker behind our president, we will have true healthcare reform.

Posted by: liberalwesterngirl | September 17, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

This woman will stop at nothing to try and win, even though most americans do not approve of the path the legislature is going down.

Didn't she and her young paramour Mr. Obama just encourage their base to get out and get in the opposition's face?

Didn't these same fools encourage the union thugs to go attend the town halls?

Who is she trying to fool? Are her followers so dim they can't put 2 plus 2 together to see the Hypocrisy from this Liar?

Posted by: grcac | September 17, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Kane, please put your Springsteen records and failed attempts at punditry/celebrity and quit verbally pleasuring these so-called leaders long enough to challenge these people. A couple of raucous town-hall meetings not held in San Francisco or Northern Virgina are hardly comprable to an act of violence carried out by a mentally ill man. It's time to fix the Senator's mussed up coat tails and start doing your job. Kane, you are afraid to ask the hard questions for fear of losing access to these clowns. Whatever happened to the Fourth Estate? You're a disgrace. If Watergate happened today, you'd lose interest the moment it interfered with your Politics Chat at noon. "Watergate, Waterwhat? Whatever. Anybody got some good Springsteen questions?" Get real.

Posted by: johburke | September 17, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Pelosi is a consumate actress and a career politican. The American people should question every scripted word that she utters.

She is one of the many poster children on why we need TERM LIMITS on all federal appointed/elected offices of no more than 12 years at any level and mandatory retirement at age 67!

Posted by: meadmkr | September 17, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Nancy, please get your facts straight.
Harvey Milk was killed by a Democrat.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Milk

Please spare us the indignation dance and get back to work, or whatever it is you do up on the hill.

Posted by: inflight | September 17, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Hey Botoxface!
Harvey Milk & Mayor Moscone were murdered by a DEMOCRAT nut who was angry that his do-nothing hack job was cut.

Kind of like your AFSCME and SEIU pals.

Posted by: John1 | September 17, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Great job, leftist for getting this mentally deranged woman into such a position of power.

Maybe next time, SHE will think twice before calling 60% of American "Nazis".

Unfortunately, Pelosi represents some of America's stupidest and most American-hating voters in the country, so she will not be sent packing to one of her communist "paradises".

Posted by: LogicalSC | September 17, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Silly me. I assumed the violence in Frisco she was referring to was the 1970s Zebra Murders, in which black, leftist radicals murdered about 2 dozen whites in the name of political and racial hatred. No doubt spurred on by all the demonization of whites going on at the time.

Posted by: RVZ555 | September 17, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Milk's murder was due to a personal rift with a man (White) who Milk help block from getting his job back on the SF Board of Supervisors, after White resigned and changed his mind.

ALSO, Milk was killed AFTER White killed Mayor Moscone(sp) -- the prime target -- who turned White down -- as an "after thought" since Milk lobbied Moscone(sp) to keep White out of the SF B.O.S.

The Milk/Moscone murders were PERSONAL, crimes of passion, and had nothing to do with political agenda's (both were democrats) or even Gay issues.

Posted by: JackB4 | September 17, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Who started calling who names, beating up on others at town hall meetings and biting off fingers?

Posted by: 45upnorth | September 17, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

I am sorely greived by the naivette of the DEMS over these racist protesters mostly from the myopic and ignorant red states.

How come the protesters are 99.99% white?
DEMS should fight back. False-news, GOP-loonies, Palin and McCain started this violent atmosphere of hysteria, lies, division and intolerance during their failed campaign and it did not work.

In the 1960s when JFK was changing the civil right laws and the racist south, they resisted and killed him in the racist red state of Texas.

It is my prayer that the secret service folks become aware that racist Republicans are creating the same violent racial tensed atmosphere that led to the killing of a great president of this nation. We must not allow a repeat of this ugly history.

Obama should be wearing bullet proof and stop appearing in open-air events because there are too many crazy people doing this so called protesting. Majority of them have never voted for a democrate in their lifetime let alone a black man and are bent on destroying Obama's presidency. We must not allow this to happen. Please, please please ss people take these lunatics protesters very very serious.

About 68 million Americans voted for this Obama, lunatics that did not vote for him must not be allowed to overthrow him by creating obstructions, confusion, tension and anarchy. If any secret service personal is reading this as they are supposed to, I plead that they double their efforts, racist people do not accept change lying down. GOP have not seen a single initiative from Obama they like.

Obama won the 2008 Presidential election fair and sqaure. It was not stolen like in 2000 and it was not rigged like in 2004. We are a civilized nation and must not overturn a free and fair election through mayhem and anarchy. Enough of these lunatics. If this nation is like other nations, it will be a security threat to allow fox news to remain on the air inciting disdain for our presidency and government of the people. These murderous protesters should not be allowed on the street or in the town halls disrupting a civic proceding and obstructing legitimate public debate. Our freedom must not be abused or used to the detriment of our democracy or public interest. The tyranny of this racist minority must not prevail.

During Bush regime, war protesters were marginalized, arrested, restricted, infiltrated, investigated, spied on and eventually nuetralized. I have not heard any of that happening to these murderous racist lunatics from red states. I hope there is not conspiracy going on here.

Posted by: dressypink | September 17, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Funny how Pelosi and the Dems conveniently forget that blasks in California played a BIG role in defeating the gay marriage proposition. How come no Dems accused them all of homophobia and instead blamed it all on the Mormons?

Posted by: RVZ555 | September 17, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

How twisted some of these GOP bloggers can be? It does not matter if the killer is a saint, democrate or republican, political assasinations must not happen in United States. We are not a bananan republic, we are a civilized nation where all are supposed to be equal.

Using meyhem and anarchy to obstuct, impede and end public debate is a form of terrorism and must not be allowed in any democracy.

Using the airways like the fox news is doing to demonize our president and inscite hatred, violence and division is tantamount to treason and definitely not journalism.

For a racist minority to run rampage, threatening our president and our elected leaders simply because they are from another party, should not be tolerated in this country.

If you do not like a policy, do not prevent others from participating in our democracy, you change that government by going to the polls and not by brutal tuggry, intimidation, lies and division.

Posted by: dressypink | September 17, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

During Bush regime, war protesters were marginalized, arrested, restricted, infiltrated, investigated, spied on and eventually nuetralized. I have not heard any of that happening to these murderous racist lunatics from red states. I hope there is no conspiracy going on here.

Posted by: dressypink | September 17, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Are you F*cking kidding me liberalwesterngirl?, or haven't you had enough of this fraudulent administration and their attempts to bring our country to it's knees?
We are on the verge of a collapse, yet because Nancy is behind Obama all is right with your world.
You had better wake up and realize just exactly what Obama and his gang of thieves are doing to this country. Soon, when you are finished praising The One and start stating an opposing viewpoint, Obama will be able to curb your freedom of speech because he doesnt like what you have to say.
I suppose you agree with Obama and Cass Sunstein too right?
Sometimes I think we need to educate ourselves a bit more about what is really going on in this administration. Their vain attempts at calling those who use their freedom of speech to protest, Nazi's, (thanks Nancy) and trying to associate those who do protest with violent murderers is laughable.
Nice acting job Nancy, whats next an acceptance speech at the Emmy's?

Posted by: DaddysDarlin | September 17, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Pelosi looked like she was having a delusional, paranoid, nervous break down yesterday. Would someone please check to see if Pelosi’s HC insurance policy covers Psych hospital visits? For all of America, sure hope it does. She is a danger to self and others and definitely needs to be put away for a while.

Posted by: annlawler26 | September 18, 2009 4:05 AM | Report abuse

This administration is a cross between us being punked and a comic book. Never seen so much freaking drama in my life. Everyday Pelosi and her people pass a bill that is bad news and centered around socialism. Pelosi reminds me of the anti - christ.

Posted by: annlawler26 | September 18, 2009 4:14 AM | Report abuse

""It's really too bad that not more democrats have the commitment to see the right thing gets done like Nancy Polosi. She has been behind public option/single payor from the beginning. Many people, especially men, see Ms. Polosi as threatening, and thus feel inclined to call her names and put down her accomplishments as Speaker. There are many of us though, who are very happy that she is on the side of the American people. You can't say that about many members of Congress. Perhaps with the Speaker behind our president, we will have true healthcare reform. Posted by: liberalwesterngirl""
----------------
Come on Nancy, like really don't know this is you!

Posted by: annlawler26 | September 18, 2009 4:28 AM | Report abuse

These Dems are so full of themselves they actually can't see that they are the problem. When you stop listening to the very people who put you in this office and not appreciate that you position in one of an elected official, then you have lost track of why you're there and really have been there way too long. Pelosi and the House and Senate have lost touch with the American people. They need to go!

Posted by: Best2ME | September 18, 2009 5:42 AM | Report abuse

The true American viewpoint is not found in San Francisco politics. Boy is she out of touch!

Posted by: Best2ME | September 18, 2009 5:45 AM | Report abuse

Pelosi, you need to step down and go away!

Posted by: Rezz909 | September 18, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Not one gram of simple respect from the Right Wing Republicans for Nancy Pelosi's position as Speaker of the House. She's a heartbeat away from the Presidency. You may not like Pelosi for her Politics, but show an amazing lack of talent to have a civil debate about her position without profane and crude remarks about her appearance? Please, please, please stop the Rush,Beck and Fox News madness and post one orignal thought that will enlighten everyone.

Posted by: nofearrockstar | September 18, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

annlawler26, how can you liken Pelosi to "the anti-Christ!" Words have meanings!
Your holier-than-thou rhetoric makes me sick and confirms the need for a change of mentality in America. Pelosi, Obama, hold firm!

Posted by: pmloizeau | September 18, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

First- Dressypink, you need to take a vacation because you are mentally unstable. I am amazed at the selective viewing that Democrats enjoy. They have decided to overlook and not hear their party's outburst, name calling, etc. Hypocrit, nothing but. Typical Democrat, you want your cake and eat it too.

Second, maybe Pelosi is slightly shaken at the realization the Country knows about here continued vetos on providing water to the Fresno area farmers, all in the name of a tiny sardine. You can thank her for the higher prices for produce. The fields are barren, dry and are being compared to the dust bowl days. The Calif Gov has requested Obama turn on the water, but he has not responded. The unemployment rate there is over 40%. This part of Calif grows several items of produce including tomatoes. To make up the loss in produce, the US plans on importing food from China. Are you kidding me? For God's sake people, wake up and start writing, calling and emailing and demand we get our Country back. Obama has the power to turn the water on in California. Please demand your Senators and Reps contact Obama and demand this happen or we are going to be in such dire need for food, it could get ugly. For all of you hard core liberal Democrats who can't understand what's going on with the Republicans....listen to what they are saying. Think about it and get past your resentment. Obama is setting our Country to be attacked and to bring down our economy. Get off your butt and do some research. It's ok if you read books and emails from Republicans. If you want the truth, watch Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity. Our Government is one big house and Senate of corruption. Don't believe me, just wait and see what happens.

Posted by: Republichic | September 18, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

pmloizeau - it's called freedom of speech.

Posted by: annlawler26 | September 19, 2009 5:08 AM | Report abuse

OH and pmloizeau, I could give a crapp what you think. Pelosi needs to learn your very words ---"Words have meanings." And BTW America is sick and tired of Pelosi's projection, spin, bullying, name calling, fear mongoring, threats, deception, lies and oh, yes - PARANOIA!!! She needs mental help.

If Pelosi really cared about her own CA people, why did she block those 6 bills that would have helped her CA farmers get water? All in the name of a 3 inch fish, too. Sounds pretty evil and scary to me. Over 40% of the population are out of work in this CA county, because of Pelosi - do you care about these people? Pelosi and Obama don't. SO, DO NOT ever, give me this poor Pelosi bit.

Anymore questions?

Posted by: annlawler26 | September 19, 2009 5:27 AM | Report abuse

"""Not one gram of simple respect from the Right Wing Republicans for Nancy Pelosi's position as Speaker of the House. She's a heartbeat away from the Presidency. You may not like Pelosi for her Politics, but show an amazing lack of talent to have a civil debate about her position without profane and crude remarks about her appearance? Please, please, please stop the Rush,Beck and Fox News madness and post one orignal thought that will enlighten everyone.""""
=================
HaHaHa!!! Are you freaking kidding me? SIMPLE!!!! You have to show and give respect in order to receive respect. BTW, you sure think you are high and mighty = advicing all of America who to watch on TV. Just take care of yourself.

Posted by: annlawler26 | September 19, 2009 5:35 AM | Report abuse

It's really strange when people who post here try to compare Cindy Sheehan's protests against what in fact turned out to be an illegal war (in Iraq), based on secret lies in meetings between Bush and Britain's Tony Blair, and protests against even the idea of having a county supervisor who just happened to be gay.

If anything, the difference is that Bush, based on the British Government's leaked documents known as the "Downing Street Memo's," knew all along that he was planning on war with Iraq, "with or without UN banned weapons of mass destruction." Milk was shot while holding a political rally.

The idea that one coming from the "right" (what a strange misnomer, by the way), and one coming from the "left" (as though there was something bad about the direction referred to as "left,") shows the complete absurdity of those on the self-righteous "right."

PS. Those of us old enough to remember the warnings from the Dallas, Texas FBI "note" that was obviously delivered there by "Lee Oswald," who had delivered a "hand-written note" about a violent group of revolutionaries who planned to kill President Kennedy, (warning note message was in newspapers and on radio/TV news.

Oswald had infiltrated the "group" for his employer, the FBI), recall the hate message in brochures that were passed out on the streets of Dallas, before Kennedy's motorcade on Nov. 22, 1963.

The rightwing did it then, see "FBI's Milteer File" in a search engine online.
He was a rightwing racist from Quitman, Georgia who was secretly recorded by Miami, Florida police informants, telling an undercover police informant about the plot to shoot President Kennedy, a week and a half before the assassination happened in another city. The Miami plot failed. The one in Dallas did not.

Posted by: rldmls | September 21, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

This debate here shows how much hatred the Right has been able to create in this country. This kind of hatred has produced Fascism, has killed among many others John Kennedy and Mahatma Gandhi and made civil debate impossible. I know there are a lot of decent people on all sites, but it is time for them to stand up and speak out.

Posted by: ellenwest | September 22, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company