Yesterday, the Washington Times ran a headline that probably caused a lot of Conservatives to laugh out loud: “Nancy Pelosi is outraged: ‘We did not treat President Bush this way’.”
Mrs. Pelosi argued that while Democrats opposed Mr. Bush on many issues, including the Iraq War and his efforts to privatize Social Security, they also worked together on many issues such as the Wall Street bailout and energy legislation.
“We did not treat President Bush this way,” she said. “We thought we had a responsibility to work with the president to get a job done for the American people and we did. This obstruction to President Obama is something quite stunning. It’s something quite different.”
The Democrats opposed the war on Iraq? It is true that Nancy Pelosi did, when her opposition could not thwart Bush’s plans because he had the help of other Democrats. That’s how candidate Obama in 2008, as one of the few Democrats who voted against the war, was able to differentiate himself from pro-war Hillary Clinton. The way he calmed the Democrat establishment, which was worried about his anti-war stance, was by picking Joe Biden, who was in charge of the Iraq hearings and directed them toward war.
Naturally, the Democrats criticized everything about Bush they could think of. And likewise, pro-war conservatives culled the worst statements from Democrats and publicized them to us, their audience, so we would be angered. But the Democrats in Congress are just as much responsible for the Iraq war. Even more telling, after being given control of Congress in 2006 by an electorate that was getting sick of war, the Democrats did virtually nothing to stop the President’s surge in Iraq. Pelosi said ending the war was her highest priority and an ethical mandate. But those were just words. She didn’t back them up with actions.
So, in a way, I’m agreeing with Pelosi. To a limited but significant extent, Democrats didn’t “treat Bush that way.” Despite constantly complaining about how he was using excessive and unconstitutional powers, they didn’t obstruct him like they could have in during those last two years of his presidency.
And we all know why.
The Democrats didn’t want a President who was limited by the Constitution. They wanted a massively powerful president. All that talk about constitutional limitations and civil rights was all just talk. They wanted a tyrant of their own. They didn’t resent Bush for exercising power. They resented him for not being a liberal Democrat who served their interests when he exercised power.
So now Pelosi is facing a substantial number in Congress who don’t want a dictator president for any party and it completely frustrates her.
She can’t stand it. Everyone who is rational and intelligent, in her view, should have no other ambition but to gain and maintain more power over others. Finding that people with any other disposition have won seats in Congress upsets her. All she can say is, “they’re anti-government, anti-science, and anti-Obama.”
I hope she’s right. In fact, if they are anti-government, then we don’t need to say that they are anti-Obama. That application follows naturally from the principle. Obama, like Pelosi, is in love with government. He thinks government power is for people rather than a robbery of the people’s power.
Pelosi may have hated Bush, but she loved his power. She expected to inherit it. She doesn’t know how to deal with people who actually hate unconstitutional power and don’t want it for their party.