August 6, 2009

Did You Actually Need Evidence That Nancy Pelosi Is An Asshole?

Just because you disagree with the Democrats' proposal about health care reform does not make you a Nazi. No one is wearing swastikas to town hall meetings, Madam Speaker. Reductio ad Hitlerum does not sit on you very well. The real purpose of this tactic by Speaker Pelosi is to force her political opponents to silence their political opinions and let those already in power have their way unimpeded.

It's tempting to analogize the use of vicious lies to unfairly characterize powerless whipping boys to gain political capital as a tactic resorted to by the Nazis, at the expense of German Jews, during the waning days of the Weimar Republic. But this too would violate Godwin's Law.

Nevertheless it is a remarkably distasteful thing to have said. But why should she care? Pelosi is a politician who arrogantly disregards the fact that what she is doing with her power is wildly unpopular. So I can call her an asshole on this blog all I want and even on the off chance she actually reads it, she won't care.

Ultimately, again, this comes back to gerrymandering -- her district is entirely within the City and County of San Francisco, which means that she will never again in her life face any serious political challenge that requires her to actually justify her behavior to the voters. She is a modern-day mandarin, whose behavior is effectively beyond the ability of democracy to control. And she has been given a great deal of power to use from that unassailable position. You may recall a phrase coined back in Victorian times about the manner in which possession of power like this affects one's behavior. Pelosi is a good example of that, and her nasty rhetoric demonstrates it. She's an asshole, and she deserves to be called on it, but unfortunately I don't think it will do anyone any good that I've done it.Stumble Upon Toolbar


Michael Reynolds said...

Photos tonight of protesters carrying swastikas and using SS typestyle in attacking Obama. Limbaugh explicitly compares Obama to Hitler.

Transplanted Lawyer said...

Oh, don't get me wrong: reductio ad Hilterum is not good if Republicans do it, either. Everybody needs to just freaking calm down already.