If you are a sinner, you should seriously consider leaving instructions that you be buried wearing thermal underwear because Hell has officially frozen over. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced on Nov. 17 that she will not seek the position of House minority leader in the 118th Congress. She will continue to represent the lucky, lucky people of San Francisco on Capitol Hill but her time leading the House Democrats is up. It felt as if the day would never come.
On the evening of Nov. 16, the Associated Press called the California District 27 race for Republican Rep. Mike Garcia. After a week of delays, Republicans finally had the 218 seats they needed to ensure they will control the House of Representatives in January. It has been a surprisingly strong showing by Democrats who, by most estimates and in line with historical trends, were on course to lose upwards of 30 House seats in the 2022 midterm elections. Nevertheless, Pelosi decided to call it a day and pass the leadership torch to someone new.
Nancy Pelosi Delivers Some Head-Scratchers
Speaking on the House floor Thursday, Pelosi bemoaned the threat to democracy posed, apparently, by electoral victories for her political opponents. The irony of it all was lost on her. She was also referring to the events of Jan. 6, 2021, of course – but that, too, was ironic, since members of her own party have in the past claimed that protesting in and of itself is both patriotic and an integral element of the democratic process.
Although her party’s political agenda is worlds away from what the Founding Fathers had in mind, the California representative had the audacity to talk about defending the Constitution and remaining true to the Founders’ ideals. Bolder still – and some might say insulting – were her references to Scripture. For someone under whose leadership the Democratic Party has almost entirely rejected Christian beliefs, broken down traditional family values, and promoted abortion without restriction, Nancy Pelosi’s portrayal of herself as God-fearing is quite bizarre, to say the least. It was an astonishing, if predictable, performance.
The speaker also squeezed in a deliberate snub of former President – and now 2024 candidate – Donald Trump. She described what an honor it had been to work with three presidents, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and now Joe Biden.
With more time on her hands next year, Pelosi will perhaps be able to visit San Francisco more frequently. She will no doubt enjoy tiptoeing through the garbage-strewn streets, and gracefully negotiating the homeless encampments. Once inside her apparently not at all secure home, she can pull some of that fabulously expensive ice cream from her even more fabulously expensive refrigerator and reflect upon what a marvelous job she has done for the City by the Bay.
Out with the Old, Etc.
Meanwhile, back in Washington, DC, the Democratic Party’s old guard will likely concede the top jobs to fresh faces. Current House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) will also step aside, he announced on Thursday. Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) doesn’t have his sights set on the leadership position either, according to Punchbowl News. The three main contenders for the job are Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) – who currently chairs the House Democratic Caucus – Jeffries’ Vice Chair Pete Aguilar (D-CA), and Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (D-MA).
Nancy Patricia Pelosi, 82, has been in the House of Representatives for knocking on four decades. She served as speaker from 2007 until 2011. Pelosi got the gavel again in 2019. Over the past few years, she has been mostly famous for tearing up then-President Trump’s State of the Union address in 2020, flouting COVID-19 restrictions, and failing to secure the Capitol building against angry Trump supporters. She has often appeared confused and disorientated, of late – some cynical observers would probably use the less clinical word “drunk.” During her Thursday farewell speech, she constantly let slip several somewhat unsettling giggles during moments of applause. House GOP leaders wisely chose to avoid the spectacle altogether. Perhaps they had decided, like at least half of the country, that they had already heard more than enough from Nancy Pelosi.
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