OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Nancy Pelosi may be on her “last legs,” writes New York Post columnist Miranda Devine, who has been hammering Pelosi and other key members of Congress in her widely read newspaper column.
The NY Post columnist argues that Pelosi, who often blames former President Donald Trump for sowing political division, is more guilty of “busting norms, dividing Congress and causing mayhem,” adding that “If anyone is to blame for hyper-partisanship in Washington these days, it’s the spiteful House speaker.”
Devine says that Pelosi “behaves more like a Mafia don waging a gang war than a dignified, fair and honest presiding officer, which is what the speaker’s role requires,” and how the Speaker “abuses her power in ways that once were unthinkable,” made all the worse by her claim to be a “devout Catholic.”
To back up her points, Devine says that Pelosi’s performance in the last week show signs that the Speaker, a long-time fixture in Congress, has finally “worn out her welcome,” pointing to her gamesmanship over the selection of the Jan. 6 committee. Last week, Pelosi rejected the inclusion of two Republicans – Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jim Banks of Indiana – from a panel already stacked with Democrats.
Pelosi claimed that the veto was necessary for the sake of “integrity” because the two Republicans “made statements and taken actions that I think would impact the integrity of the committee.”
Pelosi is scared of Jordan and Banks, even though she has the majority. That’s the real reason. She is afraid they will bring to the committee, on behalf of the American people it is supposed to represent, the very reasonable question about her own culpability in the events of Jan. 6. Most obviously, what was her reason for leaving the Capitol Police outnumbered and unprotected?
Jordan and Banks wanted to ask why Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund’s request for the National Guard to buttress his troops was denied. Why were his repeated requests to the sergeant at arms — who answers directly to Pelosi — rebuffed?
We’re talking about repeated requests, from two days before the riots to hours after the Capitol was breached. Why did she blame Sund and force him to resign hours after the riot, and then lie the next day when she said he hadn’t bothered phoning her? It stinks.
“Nancy Pelosi is not interested in an investigation. She’s only interested in a narrative,” Banks said on Fox News.
“Once you go up to the top of the flagpole of who is in charge of the Capitol Police … Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, has more control and authority and responsibility over the leadership of the Capitol Police than anyone else in the United States Capitol. So, she doesn’t want us to ask these questions because at the end of the day, she is ultimately responsible for the breakdown of security at the Capitol that happened on January 6th,” he added.
Further points Devine highlighted against Pelosi would be the committee’s unwillingness to examine the fatal shooting of Ashli Babbitt by a Capitol police officer, or the reportedly inhumane treatment of the Jan. 6 suspects, many of whom have not been charged with violent offenses but have been in jail since January.
Some of the individuals have been placed in solitary confinement.
Rather than carry out balanced proceedings with the inclusion of popular Republicans like Jim Jordan and Jim Banks, Pelosi opted instead to appoint Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney to the committee, two pariahs in the GOP, as what Devine calls Pelosi’s “pet Republicans.”
The so-called Freedom Caucus has since demanded that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to advance a motion to vacate Nancy Pelosi’s chair and “end her reign as Speaker of the House.”
The other sign Devine highlights as an example of the loss of confidence in Pelosi is the pushback to her claims that she is a devout Catholic, which the columnist argues conflicts with Pelosi’s stance as an abortion supporter.
Pelosi has asserted that taxpayer-funded abortions ought to be a priority for the government because it is “an issue of fairness and justice for poorer women in our country.”
Devine quotes San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, “To use the smokescreen of abortion as an issue of health and fairness to poor women is the epitome of hypocrisy: What about the health of the baby being killed? What about giving poor women real choice, so they are supported in choosing life?”