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 shouldnâ€™t tell you this, but I actually got some quiet encouragement from the Obama folks for what Iâ€™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 donâ€™t care whatâ€™s in the bill, they just want it pass and they want it to be unanimous. They donâ€™t mind the partisan fighting cause thatâ€™s what they are used to. In fact, theyâ€™re really good at it. And theyâ€™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. Weâ€™re just told how to vote. Weâ€™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.