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Nancy Pelosi Does Not Like Folks with "Impeach Bush"-T-Shirts on "Her" Sidewalk

Large parts of the so-called Democratic "base" are angry with their Congressmen and women over the "failure to end the war in Iraq." Now, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi complains to reporters about protestors:

I had, for five months, people sitting outside my home, going into my garden in San Francisco, angering neighbors, hanging their clothes from trees, building all kinds of things -- Buddhas? I don't know what they were -- couches, sofas, chairs, permanent living facilities on my front sidewalk. (...)

If they were poor and they were sleeping on my sidewalk, they would be arrested for loitering, but because they have 'Impeach Bush' across their chest, it's the First Amendment.

This is so funny. And sad! Quotes are taken from the Washington Post.  Chris Jones at Redstate considers it "the funniest thing I've ever heard." Well, I would not got that far. I might be living in the supposedly humorless Germany, but I have heard funnier things.

JustOneMinute (via TMV) comments on this as well and quotes an article in the SF Chronicle about changing attitudes on homelessness in San Francisco, America's most liberal/progressive city and Nancy Pelosi's hometown. JustOneMinute concludes: "What's the old saying - a conservative is a liberal who has been thrown up on by reality?"

Hey, Nancy Pelosi was very supportive of Cindy Sheehan, when she camped close to Bush's ranch in Crawford... Now Pelosi and Sheehan seem to have different opinions about each other's tactics (camping and funding the Iraq war). According to an August article in the SF Chronicle Sheehan announced her intention to run against Pelosi in her SF district.

ENDNOTE: To balance the above criticism of the top Democrat in Congress, I would like to give big kudos to Senator Barack Obama for not wearing the American Flag pin like all (?) other ambitious politicians.

I like his reasoning that the pin has become a substitute for "true patriotism" and that he prefers to "try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testament to my patriotism." In Europe, especially in Germany, flags are not as prominently displayed as in the US. Very very few politicians wear (tiny) pins with the flag of their country.  

The Volokh Conspiracy does not buy Obama's explanation and assumes that the American people are like a wife, who expects her husband to constantly say "I love you!" Therefore presidential candidates need to walk around with the US flag in order to win elections. How sad. And it is even sadder that many US media outlets write so much about Obama's 'missing' flag pin. FAIR concludes: "Trivia again distracts media from issues voters care about."

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Pat Patterson on :

Not being a real fan of Speaker Pelosi I still sympathetic to her having some 10 to 20 activists masquerading as homeless on her lawn for five months. This just seems more like mob rule and intimidation not persuasion. Luckily most of the people who show up at these things get excited only during Democracy Now! broadcasts and fair trade Viagra capsules. Now if it had been a group of teamsters or firemen then that would be something!

Don S on :

Poor Nan. Just part of living in the US' weirdest and most beautiful city. Philadeplphia comes close in beautry, and Boston in weirdness - but neither is really a match for SF. I think she is allowing all the moaning to get to her. She needs to rediscover her sense of humor and maybe get a life.

Don S on :

Why make a big deal about Barack's flag pin, one way or the other? I doubt if candidates universally wear one of these things, so Barack making the lack of a pin as a differentiator between himself and the *other* candidates is a disappointingly trivial and transparent political ploy. If you don;t want to wear a pin don't wear it! I've come to expect better of him.

influx on :

Don S, I think you got it backwards. It wasn't Obama who brought the lapel "issue" up, it was the press. He was merely answering the questions asked.

David on :

It is the right-wing noise machine - starting with Fox News - that has been attacking Obama 24x7 as being "unpatriotic". The same folks were recently "reporting" that Obama attended a "terrorist Madrassa" in Indonesia as a child.

Don S on :

And the left-wing 'noise machine' which has been attacking Bush since the word go? It's part of the game, David. Learn to filter it out or go under. But you know that....

Elisabeth Bathory on :

Obama has been done for months. He is a neophyte and strange things emerge from his mouth when he is tired campaign trail. Guy is sharp, but not much of a politican. And not the politican he needs to be to beat the Clinton mob. This was obvious to everyone six months ago, unless you work at Newsweek or a foreigner fascinated by the concept of a non Caucasian male wielding power. I think Ron Paul or Tancredo should be next in our list of important and relevant American poltical personages. Why not Erika Steinbach?

Joerg - Atlantic Review on :

"Guy is sharp, but not much of a politican." Why not? He sounds more like politician than President Bush does. And Bush has won two elections. Obama is the most charismatic politician since Bill Clinton. "This was obvious to everyone six months ago, unless you work at Newsweek or a foreigner fascinated by the concept of a non Caucasian male wielding power." Hey! If I understand the first poll here [url]http://www.pollingreport.com/wh08gen.htm[/url] correctly, then Obama would beat all Republican candidates. Thus Americans have more trust in Obama than in the Republicans

Anonymous on :

Obama is vague and ambiguous in his policy proposals and those he does publicize seem ill-thought out and under-developed. Go to Youtube and watch 5 mintues of a democratic primary "debate". He is a foreign policy neophyte whose lets talk with Iran spiel lost him the democratic primary. "Obama is the most charismatic politician since Bill Clinton." One that is hardly a compliment. Obama is a not a disbarred, mendacious piece of white trash. I might even call him a gentleman, as far as I know. Two, it is not true. I like Obama, but he is too wonky and green. He is the mirror-image of Romney, who presents policy like it was an upper managerial meeting. Joerg: Dammit listen polls even intra-party polls are not reflective of anything until the primaries start and even then their importance derives from the imputation of substance the media and political establishment provides. Clinton v. Obama poll is marginally relevant presently since Clinton is twenty odd points ahead with a margin of error of twenty-odd points. Asking people to make hypothetical choices between two potential candidates before any really substantive policies are in place is sport, not politics. And a dorky sport as well.

Joerg - Atlantic Review on :

Yeah, I am not a fan of Obama's foreign policy statements either. See my comments below Davids guest blog post on Obama: [url]http://atlanticreview.org/archives/866-Barack-Obama-Restoring-Exemplarism-in-US-Foreign-Policy.html#c10517[/url] I am just saying that many Americans claim they would vote for Obama. Thus, to them it is not obvious what you and Elisabeth are saying about Obama. It is too early to dismiss Obama. Besides, President Bush did not show foreign policy expertise 13 months before the elections either. Hm, actually, Obama's talk about "exemplarism" (see above link) sounds similar to what Bush said in 2000: "It really depends upon how our nation conducts itself in foreign policy. If we're an arrogant nation, they'll resent us. If we're a humble nation, but strong, they'll welcome us. And it's -- our nation stands alone right now in the world in terms of power, and that's why we have to be humble. And yet project strength in a way that promotes freedom. So I don't think they ought to look at us in any way other than what we are. We're a freedom-loving nation and if we're an arrogant nation they'll view us that way, but if we're a humble nation they'll respect us." http://www.debates.org/pages/trans2000b.html Perhaps we could put the statements by presidential candidate Bush and presidential candidate Obama on the same level. Oooh, I am sure I have now pissed of both Democrats and Republicans among my readers... ;-) Usually, Americans don't elect presidents because of their foreign policy expertise anyway.

Anonymous on :

Wait did something happen between 2000 and our current day? HMMM..don't remember....something about Brit and Xtina....

Joerg - Atlantic Review on :

Why did candidate Bush say "If we're an arrogant nation, they'll resent us."??? Was he thinking about any particular US foreign policy decision? Perhaps Bush made that conclusion in 2000 based on the US policy in the prior seven years. Likewise, Obama's statements are the conclusions from the last seven years as well. Those seven years that you refer to in your comment. Candidate Bush was very much against miltiary interventions in 2000. He said (as you all know, of course) that the role of the US military was to win wars rather than do nation building. I know you think that 9/11 changed everything. Well, a) 9/11 did not change everything. b) My point is not about Bush's change of mind. Rather I would like to enquire why he said those things in 2000. Perhaps he did not like his father's and Clinton's adventures in Somalia. And Clinton's Balkan peacekeeping. Now Obama (and other Dems) seems to view to the US intervention in Iraq in a similar fashion. Europeans were concerned that Bush would withdraw US troops from the Balkans as he 'promised' in some campaign speech. Of course, Bush did not withdraw the troops from the Balkans after the elections.... Do you know what I am getting at? I am tired and can't do any better right now. Sorry.

Don S on :

I'd agree - except for one thing, Elisabeth. Strange things happen in politics. This time in 2003 Howard Dean looked like a sure thing and John Kerry was dragging badly. Hillary ain't Dean I'll grant you - but then Barack is far preferable to Kerry - in my book anyway. If you have to choose a do-nothing senator why not choose the younger and smarter one who isn't a bloody billionaire? 2004 shows why we actually hold elections and caucuses instead of letting the opinion pollsters choose for us. That lesson was driven in twice - when Kerry beat 'President' Dean and then when Bush beat 'President' Kerry....

Elisabeth on :

all very true, but Hilliary has the entire media establishment behind her and for many a dried-up hippie this is the last chance for NOW to have a say in national politics or a gender-influenced campaign to validate their gender posturing. the 'Swift boat' scandal does not look likely to happen to Hilliary, unless the tone of the media changes drastically. Kerry oozed into the frontrunner position because the media made a decision about the 'Dean Scream' and basically followed the Republican line. Dean was always an outsider with a brillant campaign strategist; not an inside the beltway Kerry-type. Dean's a blue-blood: St. George's and Yale--not some schmuck on the make.

Reid of America on :

An old saying applies to Nancy Pelosi. Lay down with dogs and you wake up with fleas. I have a case of authentic German-style schaudenfraud. Nader or some other radical will run for President. Splitting the left and paving the way for a moderate-centrist Republican Guilliani adminstration.

Anonymous on :

Joerg: first any correspondence you could fabricate between Obama and Bush’s foreign policy bromides is a false comparison due to its reliance on wildly different prior political histories. We are talking about political expediency, not a candidate’s interpretation of current events or historical developments. Bush’s comment was about the Kosovo, Somalia, Haiti and B-H excursions—voluntary, unnecessary and small---, Albright’s ‘indespensible nation’ shtick; and signing the Kyoto treaty when the Senate had already rejected its ratification 95-0. Remember, the humble foreign policy of candidate Bush was an indespensible part of his ‘bring honor back to the white house’ campaign strategy; it worked, barely…. . . Obama’s bromide is silly b/c it does not satisfy anyone. The far-left wants a withdrawal date from Iraq. The centrist democrats want demonstrative reassurance that their potential candidate is conversant with the complexities of foreign policy and strong enough to stand up, if needed and the tiny Lieberman/Scoop Jackson part of the democratic party wants a pledge to stay and fight. Bush II did not change at all. The politics changed. Obama's speech is great politics for 2000 not for 2007. P.S: People are unhappy with Obama not wearing his tacky little England America pin because it draws attention to his 'otherness' as the kids say and is just a sloppy oversight. So please "Senator Barack Hussein Obama, tell me why you hate America?" No one needed to ask that question. All Senator B. Hussein Obama had to was wear a stupid pin.

Joerg - Atlantic Review on :

Well, okay, point taken. Still, I see some similarities between the examples from the 90s that you mention and the Iraq war. The Bush admin thought that they could bring democracy to Iraq and the rest of the Middle East without all that much effort/work/planning. The same optimism/arrogance got you into Somalia and Haiti and explains the failures there. "Bush’s comment was about the Kosovo, Somalia, Haiti and B-H excursions—voluntary, unnecessary and small---" Iraq was a war of choice as well, i.e. voluntary, and in hindsight unnecessary. Besides, the Iraq war was supposed to be small as well. If Bush did not like these 90s small incursions, then Obama has every reason to dislike the current big incursion in Iraq. Just as Bush changed his opinion after the elections, Obama will change his current opinion, should he be elected president.

David on :

"P.S: People are unhappy with Obama not wearing his tacky little England America pin because it draws attention to his 'otherness' as the kids say and is just a sloppy oversight. So please "Senator Barack Hussein Obama, tell me why you hate America?" No one needed to ask that question. All Senator B. Hussein Obama had to was wear a stupid pin." The only "people" who are unhappy about this are the bigots who always hated Obama for his "otherness" and never would have voted for an African-American anyway. What gives me hope is that I truly believe that in 2007 this group now comprises a minority of Americans. (BTW, that is precisely part of the appeal of Giuliani to many Republicans - the perception that he "stuck it to the Blacks" in NY City.)

Don S on :

"the bigots who always hated Obama for his "otherness" and never would have voted for an African-American anyway. What gives me hope is that I truly believe that in 2007 this group now comprises a minority of Americans." These 'bigots' exist but have comprised a small minority of americans for many years, something some people refuse to accept because holding the illusion that there are many 'bigot's around gives tnem that warm feeling of superiority. Obama Barak will win this year if he manages the difficvult job of convincing a majority of Americans that he will be the best President of the alternatives available. Most Americans don't hate Barak for any reason. I didn't hate Gore or Kerry - I just didn't agree with them. I think one reason people seem to be obsessed with the small minority who 'hate' Obama (or Hillary for that matter: Hillary is hated by many more people than Obama is) is that a lot of the politics of the 2004 election was driven by hate - hatred of George Bush. But that is not the norm. I think Obama is the most talented Democrat to come along since Bill Clinton. Whether he is a telented enough politician to win remains to be seen. I think it's too early to elect him - but I'm open to being persuaded otherwise. He is as young as JFK or Teddy Roosevelt were, but does not seem to have the same depth of experience as either man did when they were elected, particularly TR.

Anonymous on :

Joerg: not to be unnecessairly combative, but I think you are conflating postive executive foreign policy decisions made absent any remarkable public support with those that had a majority of popular and legislative support. Somalia and Haiti, the examples you use, were not supported by the American people. The Somalia famine was a tradegy but I doubt that anyone really gave it much thought. Even after the debacle in Moog, it made the news for a week. Clinton was just bowing to UN pressure and the wishes of the international community to provide support and security for the relief operation. No one cared or does if Africans die. Its a shame, but their old colonial masters should help before we are required to. Haiti was even worse. The Black Congressional Caucus had a hissy-fit and demanded that Clinton invade. He obliged. We stuck around for a year, post-electing protected a government and then left. Haiti is still the wonderful place it always was. If I remember the old paleo-conservatives made quite a stink about this invasion and rightfully so; piece of bad domestic politics and banana republic policing. The Iraq war was approved by Congress and popular with the American people when launched. Whatever revisionist politicans say post fact about the absolute lack of planning for an extended occupation or political restructuring, the war itself was a popular one with the American people. That makes Clinton's wars and Bush II wars very different creatures.

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