I’m really grateful to all the pundits and bloggers who have explained to me so carefully what a turkey of a Speaker Nancy Pelosi is, being a gurrrrrrrlll and a San Franciscan to boot. Otherwise, I might have thought that picking five signature issues and getting them all through the House before the SOTU was pretty slick work.
Even more so, I might have been impressed by the actual votes: how Pelosi split the Republicans while holding her own caucus together beautifully. In each case, at least 24 Republicans voted for the Democratic bill, but except for college loans a majority of GOP members were on the unpopular side each time, making four clear partisan issues: protecting the country from terrorists, protecting seniors and the Treasury from Big Pharma, raising the pay of the working poor, and curing disease.
Party discipline among the famously fractious Democrats: near perfect. Other than stem cells, where 16 Democrats voted “no,” Democrats lined up just about perfectly; in the four other rollcalls, there were a total of four Democratic “nays,” all on the energy bill.
As I say, I might have been fooled into thinking to myself, “Mr. Sam would have been pretty happy with those rollcalls.”