I was flabbergasted as I watched House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi stumble through an interview about Iraq on "ABC This Week." She's just lucky George Stephanopoulos was interviewing her instead of George Will.
When you focus on what she actually said, coupled with the pathetic Democrat State of the Union response by Washington Governor Gary Locke, you will understand just how fortunate we are to have George Bush as president for such a time as this. I mean, with Pelosi we're talking about one of the premiere leaders of the Democratic Party. Her colleagues chose her -- a damning reflection on the whole lot of them.
Stephanopoulos asked Pelosi whether she was now prepared to support a military action against Iraq, having earlier opposed the authorizing resolution. Apparently, oblivious to the indispensability of decisiveness to leadership, she stammered around like a criminal suspect in a police interrogation room.
Midway through her gratuitous non-answer she said, "I think … we must exhaust every remedy … before we put our young people in harm's way." Perhaps she would prefer that we allow Saddam to mess us around for another decade while he perfects his means to kill us and has a better opportunity to deliver weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to his soulmates in al Qaeda.
Pelosi continued ticking off one excuse after another in a vain effort to legitimize her party's obstruction. Truly, it's as if she saw herself in a high school debate with no more at stake than how many points she could assert, irrespective of the real world implications and the important role she is supposed to be playing in it. She had the appearance of a detached robot programmed by the Democratic National Committee to interfere, but with no comprehension of the issues she was purporting to raise.
Let's go through it again, Nancy, and I'll help you with some short answers. "What is the prospect for military success? How long will that take? Would (the) new regime be committed to stopping the development of WMD if the neighboring countries are engaged in that development?" The prospects for success are even better than your chances for re-election in your socialist district, but without a crystal ball we aren't sure how long it will take nor whether the new regime would be committed to stopping WMDs, but you can be sure we'll attend to it.
"What is the cost to our economy … our budget?" President Bush has supplied estimates of the cost, but he can't be certain, because presidents aren't clairvoyant either. But you can be sure that unlike you and your colleagues, he places the national security above concerns about any temporary setbacks to the economy.
"What is the cost to the war on terrorism?" You naïve people need to quit compartmentalizing. Even your ally, New York Times Columnist Tom Friedman has identified this is a "bogus argument." This
is the war on terrorism, whether or not President Bush makes a direct connection between Saddam and Osama, as is being anticipated. Saddam is a terrorist thug who hates America and Israel, and would love nothing more than to arm al Qaeda with the means to decimate New York, Washington and Tel Aviv.
"What is the Pandora's box that we open … without this multilateral support?" The more allies we have on board the better, but we open no "Pandora's Box" without their unanimous participation.
Then, Pelosi asked the revealing question, "What is the case that has not been made to the allies that this war is necessary?" -- as if they have superior wisdom. Has it ever occurred to you, Nancy, that they don't care about the evidence -- that they just have a different philosophy about military action -- cockeyed and pacifist -- or have different motivations to stay on Saddam's good side? (The French have admitted that Iraq has WMDs, by the way.) Leadership requires that we make the decision with our own brains, doing our own evaluation.
But the most disturbing part of the interview was Pelosi's stated willingness to confer on the French, as a member of the U.N. Security Council, veto power over our decision. Earth to Nancy: We already secured the U.N.'s blessing anyway. And people wonder why conservatives worry about entrusting national security and sovereignty to the Democratic leadership?
Almost every time she finished a litany of questions, Pelosi caught herself, as if aware viewers might recognize her obstruction for what it is. Then, in vintage liberal-ese she uttered the non sequitur that Saddam ought to be shaking in his boots because we're having this debate and such freedom is what makes America strong. Yes, Nancy, I'm sure Saddam is terrified of our laser-guided debate microphones homing in on his presidential palace. Debate away -- and in the meantime, President Bush will tend to our national security.