“Do you hate Donald Trump?” a reporter asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) the other day. Her over-damp eyes flashed, and Sister Nancy Incarnacion charged the reporter.
“As a Catholic, I resent your using the word ‘hate’ in a sentence that addresses me. I don’t hate anyone,” she pronounced, the anger in her voice palpable.
“I was raised in a way that is a heart full of love, and always pray for the president,” she declared. “And I still pray for the president. I pray for the president all the time. So don’t mess with me when it comes to words like that,” she piously threatened.
People tend to repeat what has worked for them. Pelosi’s last great achievement was pushing the fundamentally lawless Affordable Care Act over the line, despite a lack of popular support. She did it by ruthlessly enforcing party lockstep, pushing many in her caucus to walk the plank. Her efforts straddled the disastrous special election in Massachusetts for the so-called Kennedy Seat, which Democrats lost. And she got what she wanted anyhow.
Pelosi believes that opinion follows these kinds of acts, not the other way around. That is what her experience tells her. In a battle of wills with the American public, she can win.
She is running the same play with impeachment. She doesn’t care that impeachment for all appearances, will fail in Senate. Opinion might change.
We have to impeach the president to find out what crimes are in him. Pelosi thinks the president campaigning under a cloud will help candidates who run for open Senate seats, and if it doesn’t, so what? The likelihood of beating Trump without a decent candidate is low anyhow.
And what’s more, Pelosi won’t be credited if Trump is beaten by Biden or Warren. Pelosi knows if she beats Trump, she will be credited. The honor will be hers, and it is the last honor she has a chance at given her advanced condition.
Honor is the driver here. One of the chief criteria for the ranking of the statesman and philosopher is on display. The top good of the statesman is honor. The top good of the philosopher is thought. Honor when shared gets smaller. “We few, we happy few . . . ” of Shakespeare’s Henry V revolves around the idea that the fewer English at Agincourt the greater the share in honor.
Honor when shared is diminished. Thought when shared is not diminished but multiplied.
Friendship for the philosopher is superior to friendship for the statesman because, in the end, friends and peers are rivals for honor.
Friends are necessary, and good for their own sake, but ultimately in tension with the fundamental psychology of the statesman.
So it is with Pelosi. She is torpedoing the slate of Democratic candidates for the chance that she, Sister Nancy Incarnacion, can play St. Michael against Trump’s dragon, which she hates.
Biden is off challenging overweight old men to push-up contests, while Sister Nancy eats his lunch. Warren is promising supporters free everything, while Pelosi is promising to end her candidacy.
And this highlights the weakness of the Democratic slate. That none of them has the Christmas nuts to see this and push this hog from their trough, speaks to their fundamental unsuitability for the office.