Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is the Jennifer Lopez of congressional travel -- fickle, demanding and notoriously insensitive to the time, costs and energy needed to accommodate her endless demands. On Tuesday, the indispensable government watchdog Judicial Watch released a trove of public records through the Freedom of Information Act on Pelosi's travel arrangements with the U.S. military.
As speaker of the House, Pelosi is entitled to a reasonable level of military protection and transport. But it's the size of the planes, the frequency of requests and last-minute cancellations, and the political nature of many of her trips that scream out for accountability.
And, of course, it's the double-barreled hypocrisy. There's the eco-hypocrisy of the Democratic leader who wags her finger at the rest of us for our too-big carbon footprints, and crusades for massive taxes and regulation to reduce global warming. Then there's the Bay Area hypocrisy of the woman who represents one of the most anti-military areas of the country soaking up military resources to shuttle her (and her many family members) across the country almost every weekend.
Remember: Pelosi's San Francisco is notorious for banning the Marines' Silent Drill Platoon from filming a recruitment commercial on its streets; killing the JROTC program in the public schools; blocking the retired battleship U.S.S. Iowa from docking in its waters; and attacking the Navy's Blue Angels -- which left-wing activists have tried to banish from northern California skies for the past two years.
Apparently, those anti-war protesters have no problem with evil military jets currying Pelosi and her massive entourages to the funerals of the late Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones and Charlie Norwood; foreign junkets to Rome; and politicized stops to Iowa flood sites to bash the Bush administration. One exasperated Department of Defense official, besieged with itinerary changes and shuttle requests back and forth between San Francisco International Airport and Andrews Air Force Base for Pelosi, her daughter, son-in-law and grandchild, wrote in an e-mail:
"They have a history of canceling many of their past requests. Any chance of politely querying (Pelosi's team) if they really intend to do all of these or are they just picking every weekend? … (T)here's no need to block every weekend 'just in case.'"