Pelosi sabotaging Obama?

Me, in google chat yesterday:

Pelosi is trying to sabotage the process, to show that she is important to Obama

Obama wants to be an independent center of graviity — his talk of ‘bipartisanship’ really means ‘I should be free to do what I want, without being hostage to any one group”

Speaker the House naturally doesn’t like that

Before FDR, the Speaker was indespitably more powerful than the President

and every now and again the Speaker and the President tussle, whether hwen they are in opposite parties (Clinton-Gingrich) or the same party (Say, during Carter)

it’s a power play

showing him that she has power to cause a lot of problems for him

And in the news, today:

The Weekly Standard
Rep. Jim Cooper, a conservative Democrat from Tennessee, told a liberal radio network that the Obama White House encouraged him to pick a fight with Nancy Pelosi on the stimulus bill. According to Glenn Thrush at Politico, Cooper said: “Well, I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but I actually got some quiet encouragement from the Obama folks for what I’m doing.” Thrush notes that Cooper has signed a letter criticizing Pelosi for her handling of the rules on the stimulus.
Cooper then teed off on Pelosi and his party’s leadership in Congress: “They know its a messy bill and they wanted a clean bill. Now, I got in terrible trouble with our leadership because they don’t care what’s in the bill, they just want it pass and they want it to be unanimous. They don’t mind the partisan fighting cause that’s what they are used to. In fact, they’re really good at it. And they’re a little bit worried about what a post-partisan future might look like. If members actually had to read the bills and figure out whether they are any good or not. We’re just told how to vote. We’re treated like mushrooms most of the time.”

The idea of Speaker of the House Pelosi trying to sabotage President Obama’s administration makes the ugly stimulus bill make more sense: the bill that passed the House of Representatives seems to have been crafted to be as ugly as possible and still receive Obama’s support: a one-party, pork-filled, non-green collection of pork.

3 thoughts on “Pelosi sabotaging Obama?”

  1. I always figured Obama was going to give her and Harry Reid enough rope to hang themselves. They were utterly incompetent in the 110th Congress, indeed, the only landmark legislation they passed of real import (the Webb-Warner GI Bill) was largely the result of John Warner spending all of his remaining political capital and calling in all his favors in the Senate.

    Notice the difference between how reasonable the Senate version is shaping up to be (and I agree with the increase (now defeated) of rail spending) and how outrageous the California bill (excuse me, the Pelosi team bill) was in the House.

    The Blue Dogs are still the most important legislators, and Obama will be on their side on most of the issues simply because that’s generally where the consensus is to get maximum votes for passage of bills every time.

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