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Posted at 1:24 PM ET, 03/ 1/2011

Nancy Pelosi learns the appeal of 'no'

By Stephen Stromberg

The White House and House Speaker John Boehner (R) are arguing over just how long to temporarily keep the government running while they negotiate a final budget for 2011. President Obama and Senate Democrats want the stop-gap continuing resolution to last a month. Boehner prefers two weeks. No one seems to disagree too much on the scale of spending cuts -- $4 billion in the two-week version.

Except, that is, for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D), who blasted those $4 billion in cuts on Monday, even as she acknowledged that Democrats and Republicans should work together to prevent a government shutdown.

Reid, Obama and Pelosi are very different political personalities. But the biggest difference between them now is structural: While Reid is still majority leader and Obama is still president, Pelosi doesn't have to govern.

Situational ethics are often the only kind in Washington, and Pelosi, I bet, sees little reason to cooperate with Republicans in her chamber. Even when she was speaker, she was left of other Democratic leaders; now, her caucus, stripped of so many centrists in 2010, is far more liberal. She couldn't influence the GOP majority in the House, anyway. If Senate Democrats reach a deal with Republicans, which they can easily do without her help, then the Democrats still look like they compromised. So in the meantime, she's probably calculating, she can satisfy the base with her opposition to GOP spending cuts. And no one can blame her for anything happening -- or not happening -- in the real world.

This won't be the last time Pelosi displays consequence-free stridency, that only convenience of being in the minority. Speaking from the left, Pelosi will probably disagree more often with Reid and Obama, and Republicans will develop some narrative about how the Democrats are in disarray. Pelosi won't rehabilitate her "San Francisco liberal" image this way, but the "professional left" might be more satisfied by its representation in government. Of course, the House will remain sharply partisan, with a conservative majority mostly uninterested in genuine participation by the Democrats and Democrats rediscovering the charms of being the Party of No.

By Stephen Stromberg  | March 1, 2011; 1:24 PM ET
Categories:  Stromberg  | Tags:  Stephen Stromberg  
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Comments

Well, it certainly is refreshing not hearing what this shrew, says or believes on anything. What a despicable, arrogant piece of excrement. Get lost BIT@H

Posted by: nomobarry | March 1, 2011 1:56 PM | Report abuse

At least there's one person in Washington who has a conscience. These cuts are going to be a disaster for people who do not have the incomes of those who are decimating the budget. Pelosi speaks for the rest of us.

Posted by: mthand111 | March 1, 2011 2:15 PM | Report abuse

As long as Republicans cow tow to the extreme wealthy and Wall Street banks, they have no leg to stand on when it comes to complaining about shortfalls in revenue. Greed caused our great economic disaster, and the wealthy should be the ones who have to take big losses. Repubs argue that the wealthy are the job creators. BULLCRAP! Where, then, are the jobs?

Posted by: jeffersontao | March 1, 2011 2:37 PM | Report abuse

pelosi and her lefties think the wealthy should be punished for their satisfaction.they believe success is wrong.a country of losers is their style.there are plenty of loser countries to choose from,why don't all of you pick one and go there? or do you believe successful businesses were put here for you to live off of?

Posted by: alamodefender | March 1, 2011 3:04 PM | Report abuse

@ mthand111:

Some conscience has Pelosi. These cuts would not be possible in FY2011 if she had done her job and seen to it the a 2011 budget was voted on and passed before the November election. But her conscience told her that to avoid a budget vote might just save her the speaker's chair.

Posted by: GnirJ | March 1, 2011 3:10 PM | Report abuse

jeffersontao, you're a moron! The lying liberal leftist yellow belly cowardly flea baggers had 2 years to create jobs. They did exactly that.. IN CHINA!
So since the republicans took in ofice JANUARY 1, 2011 you're looking for jobs?
First we need to stop the spending and break the backs of liberals. Then we can focus on jobs for everyone else.
Oh Yes! The wealthy do create the jobs.
How many jobs did Bill Gates create, How many jobs did Dell, HP, Apple and Goggle create.. You have to go to school,graduate and then you can get a job. So get going and learn something.

Posted by: dbonade | March 1, 2011 3:13 PM | Report abuse

It was confirmed there are Hundreds of Duplicate programs in our government, costing us $$ Billions of dollars.
If they eliminate all thed duplicate programs immediately -- we may not have to
raise the debt ceiling!
Eliminating these duplicate programs should be a national emergency, right?
(Or, are these duplicate programs in place so that democrats can continue to grow the public sector?)
employee sector?

Posted by: ohioan | March 1, 2011 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Pelosi's reign in the house leadership resulted in Paul Kanjorki loosing his seat. The fact that Pelosi is still in her seat and Mr. Kanjorski is not speaks volumes about what the democratic party has come to represent. Only Pelosi-clones. Damn!!

Posted by: macv73 | March 1, 2011 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: mthand111 | March 1, 2011 2:15 PM | Report abuse
At least there's one person in Washington who has a conscience. These cuts are going to be a disaster for people who do not have the incomes of those who are decimating the budget. Pelosi speaks for the rest of us.

LOL Ignorance is bliss...

Posted by: epmurphy | March 1, 2011 3:38 PM | Report abuse

American families have been cutting back for at least three years now. The government needs to cut and are late to the party as usual.

As for the creation of jobs, if a bunch of thugs (dems) sit outside of your business threatening to take it away from you, you tend to stay inside. Forget expanding! Remove the gangsters, then lets venture outside and work on growing business (JOBS).

Posted by: airjarvis | March 1, 2011 3:59 PM | Report abuse

She doesn't have to govern?????? What the hell is she there for? To serve as a piece of sand in our collective eye? WTF?

Posted by: davidsaxe | March 1, 2011 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Gee, just like Senator McConnell. LOL

Posted by: papawsteve3 | March 1, 2011 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Three cheers for Nancy Pelosi! She's continuing the good fight as head of the minority. She has the spirit and guts of the great liberal Phil Burton, whose seat she is doing justice to in spite of being in the minority. May she prevail and return to the speaker's chair soon!

Posted by: RSorge | March 1, 2011 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like Pelosi is heading down the path of teaching people to ignore her.

Good luck.

Posted by: Clyde4 | March 1, 2011 11:40 PM | Report abuse

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