In those ubiquitous YouTube videos riffing on that famous scene from “Downfall,” Hitler flies off the handle when he learns that all is lost and there has been something of a cottage industry of adapting that scene to the every perceived political “downfall.” I happened to obtain a transcript of another delusional leader, Nancy Pelosi, after she had a similar reaction upon learning that the Republican tax bill was passed into law.
Nancy Pelosi is seated at a desk at the front of the room. Standing directly in front of Pelosi is House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. The rest of the group consists of deeply concerned Senators and Representatives.
Schumer places a large poster on her desk. It’s a list of the GOP tax bill highlights.
SCHUMER (pointing out the various items): Here it shows that a typical family of four earning the median family income will receive a tax cut of $2,059. And see how they’ve lowered the tax rates for everyone, from zero to 37 percent. They say people will be able to keep more of their hard-earned money. As if that was a good thing. It also significantly increases the standard deduction. And, of course, they lowered the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent.
Pelosi looks it over and manages a wry smile.
PELOSI: Well, it’ll never pass the Senate. Corker, Flake, Murkowski. Now even Rubio doesn’t like it. And Collins. She really did a number on them when she voted against the Obamacare repeal bill. Naturally, I called her courageous. She had to love that. I’ll come up with something even better this time around.
HOYER (nervously): Nancy…
PELOSI (annoyed, interrupts him): Call me Leader instead of Nancy. It’s just a thing. I worked so hard to get that title.
HOYER (even more nervous): Leader Pelosi, Collins…
Hoyer freezes. Schumer continues.
SCHUMER: Collins voted for the bill. So did Rubio. They all did. The bill passed the Senate. Trump will sign it into law.
Pelosi is visibly shaken. She slowly removes her glasses, and speaks without looking up
PELOSI: All staffers leave the room. Only elected Representatives and Senators should remain.
Many people file out of the room.
PELOSI (screaming): How could they get 60 votes? Who betrayed us? I’ll bet it was Manchin and Heitkamp. (Looking right at Senators Manchin and Heitkamp.) You were so afraid you’d lose in 2018 because Trump won your states big time. So what? Where’s your loyalty?
SCHUMER: They didn’t vote for it. I did my job. I kept my people in check. It was only the Republicans who voted for it. They got 51 votes.
PELOSI: What? You mean to tell me they eliminated the filibuster. I knew it! That damn Harry Reid. He fiddled with it just to get judges, and now they got rid of the whole thing.
SCHUMER: We couldn’t filibuster. They used reconciliation. They only needed 51 votes.
Pelosi is enraged. She stands up and erupts further.
PELOSI: Reconciliation! For something as important as this. How did you let that happen?
SCHUMER: That’s exactly how we passed Obamacare. And let’s face it. We completely violated the rules to get Obamacare passed with just reconciliation.
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee suddenly yells out.
LEE: Hey, that’s racist!
PELOSI (losing it completely): You know health care is life and death. But this is the end of the world!
WARREN: So you know this wasn’t just a tax bill?
Pelosi turns to Hoyer.
PELOSI: What is she saying?
HOYER (sheepishly): My Leader…now that they passed it, we can see what’s in it.
PELOSI: That’s the stupidest thing I ever heard.
WARREN: He means the Republicans got rid of the individual mandate in Obamacare.
LEE: Those racists!
Pelosi, astonished and appalled, sweeps everything off of her desk and begins to rant.
PELOSI: This is Armageddon. You know how hard it was to get that in there? Obama had to lie through his teeth: If you like your plan, if you like your doctor. Blah, blah, blah.
LEE: That is so racist.
WARREN: Just remember, they have the smallest of majorities. We’ll get it back.
PELOSI: And how is that supposed to happen Little Bull Sitter? Just because you can pow wow in Massachusetts doesn’t mean your act will play in Peoria. And you know that. Or else you would have challenged a pathetic candidate like Hillary.
SANDERS: I’m telling you, we will win in 2018. This bill raises taxes on 86 million middle-class households, and hands 83 percent of its benefits to the wealthiest one percent of Americans.
MANCHIN: Come on, Bernie. You don’t really believe that fake Marxist crap. I know my people in West Virginia don’t believe it. Trump won my state by 40 points. Soon they’ll see more money in their paychecks. What was I thinking? I’m toast.
Towards the back of the room, we see two women, Senators McCaskill and Heitkamp. They are despondent and are crying.
HEITKAMP (wiping away her tears): I let Schumer intimidate me.
MCCASKILL: Hashtag MeToo.
HEITKAMP: He’s clueless. He doesn’t know a thing about North Dakota. To make matters worse, I gave this lame excuse about how it would increase the debt by $1.5 trillion. Like anyone cares. Anyway, everyone knows Obama increased the debt by 9 trillion. And still gave us the worst economy in decades.
Pelosi sits back down, stares at the ground, defeated.
HOYER (reassuringly): It’s not so bad. Your constituents love you.
PELOSI: Yes, San Francisco and the Bay Area. They’re great. Like Lincoln said: You can fool some of the people some of the time. But you can fool those people all of the time. And I don’t even have high cheekbones.
HEITKAMP: But what about us?
McCaskill, Manchin, and other Trump-state senators nod in agreement.
Pelosi looks up and brightens.
PELOSI: We’ll always have collusion.