Pelosi stirs up Democrats for election push

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Stephanie, Sep 29, 2006.

  1. Stephanie

    Stephanie Diamond Member Supporting Member

    Jul 11, 2004
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    The new Democrat phrase of the month---Rubber Stamp....

    Edward Epstein, Chronicle Washington Bureau

    Friday, September 29, 2006

    (09-29) 04:00 PDT Washington -- Thus saith Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday, 40 days before an election in which hungry members of her minority party sense they finally will savor a feast: Remember the biblical significance of the number 40, and don't forget that a tough, relentless campaign lies ahead.

    "Forty is a number fraught with meaning in the Bible, whether it is the Jews and the Gaza, Noah and his wife and the ark, or Christ in the desert,'' Pelosi said she reminded the House Democratic caucus.

    "I said we must not be tempted to be overconfident, and we must understand that we will have a barrage of negative ads poured upon us, and the Republicans will not be constrained by money, by truth or by sense of decency.

    "But we will not be constrained in our optimism for the future, our enthusiasm for moving forward in a new direction and our determination to win,'' added Pelosi, who unlike many of her colleagues refuses to publicly predict what will happen in the upcoming elections. The San Francisco congresswoman probably would become the first female House speaker if Democrats picked up a net 15 seats on Nov. 7. :smoke:
    Pelosi delivered her message to fellow House Democrats, who have been out of power since 1994, as Congress tried to blitz through legislation and leave town for the five-week sprint to election day.

    Democrats, playing off President Bush's slide in popularity this year, have tagged the Republican Congress as a do-nothing lap dog. The majority Republicans, who label the Democrats as tax raisers who are soft on national security and led by a dangerous San Francisco liberal, concede that the 2006 midterm election presents them with a "challenging environment'' in which they might lose House and Senate seats, though not their majorities in either body.

    In the rush to get out of town, each party has sought to manage expectations, boost turnout among their parties' backers and gain an advantage they can carry into November.

    "We have had a very successful two years in the United States Congress,'' Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., told reporters this week. "We've been able to go a long way in securing America's homeland and securing America's prosperity and securing America's values.''

    As evidence of Republican effectiveness, Frist points to tax cuts, a growing economy, an energy bill, improvements in border security and legislation establishing military tribunals to try terrorism suspects. Frist, who is giving up his seat as he prepares for the possibility of running for president in 2008, also talked up Senate confirmation of two "common-sense judges,'' Chief Justice John Roberts and associate Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.

    Democrats scoff at such talk. Pelosi's deputy, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., calls the 109th Congress the "do-less-than-nothing Congress.'' He points out that the Republican Congress has not only failed to deal with issues such as the minimum wage, comprehensive immigration reform, the Medicare drug program, student aid and oversight of the war in Iraq, it has also spent less time in session than the 80th Congress that Democratic President Harry Truman labeled the original "do-nothing Congress.''

    Including today, the 109th Congress will have been in session 93 days this year. At a comparable date in 1948, the 80th had been in session 110 days.

    Republicans have their own zingers in response to the Democrats.

    "It may be a do-nothing Congress for Mr. Hoyer and the Democrats,'' said House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, "because by and large they stand on the sidelines and do nothing, but we have moved a big agenda.'' :eek2:

    Democrats, led by Pelosi and Hoyer, wrote to Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., this week trying to score political points by calling on him not to let the House leave this week without voting on a variety of issues they know the GOP leadership opposes, such as raising the minimum wage and repealing tax breaks for energy companies.

    Pelosi also appeared with the Democrats' Senate leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, to criticize the 109th as the "Republican Rubber Stamp Congress.'' They brought along Pelosi's favorite prop, a huge mockup of a rubber stamp.

    The Republicans, for their part, have been busy slamming the Democrats as soft in the fight against terrorism during debate on the legislation that would authorize military tribunals for captured suspects. Many Democrats, including Pelosi, opposed the bill, saying that by weakening protections against rough treatment for prisoners, the legislation could endanger captured Americans. They also objected to ending habeas corpus challenges by detainees.

    "Democrat Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and 159 of her Democrat colleagues voted today in favor of more rights for terrorists,'' Hastert charged Wednesday night after the bill passed. "So the same terrorists who plan to harm innocent Americans and their freedom worldwide would be coddled if we followed the Democrat plan.''

    Pelosi fired back Thursday in unusually blunt words. :D

    "I think the speaker is a desperate man,'' said Pelosi, pointing out that her objections to the bill mirrored those offered by Bush's former secretary of state, Colin Powell.

    I feel sad for the speaker that he would have to stoop to that level. And, quite frankly, if he had said it on the floor, I would have taken his words down,'' she added, referring to a way of disciplining a House member for unacceptable language. :p:

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