By Brent Budowsky - 07/18/12 09:06 PM EDT
When Karl Rove, who should be investigated for potentially illegal collusion between his super-PAC and Mitt Romney, recently made strange and sexist comments about former Speaker and current House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), one thing became clear to me. Rove is worried that Democrats have a fighting chance to regain control of the House. He should be worried. They do. So let’s turn our attention to Nancy Pelosi, House Democrats and what is really at stake in 2012.
I was honored to work for House Democratic leaders under different Speakers, beginning with the incomparable Tip O’Neill, the gold standard for greatness in the modern Congress. Having observed from the inside the very best and worst of Washington, I have no doubt that Tip O’Neill would be prouder than hell of what Pelosi accomplished as Speaker. I am confident he would agree that she deserves a high place in the history of modern Speakers, from commentators today and historians tomorrow.
By contrast, her successor as Speaker is a good man but a prisoner of partisanship, extremism and intrigue from his No. 2. He has allowed the House to become a freak show in which large numbers of Democrats are called communists, subpoenas are abused, jobs programs are attacked, women are treated as second-class citizens, and proposals are offered to punish the poor in the name of the Church.
The “People’s House” of Pelosi has become the crony-capitalist home for Republicans.
If the legislation that passed the House and the proposals promoted by Speaker Pelosi and Democrats were fully enacted into law:
More Americans would have jobs and fewer Americans would have lost their homes. The cost of healthcare would be lower and the rate of economic growth would be higher. Our immigration law would be more effective and fair, and the poor blessed by the Lord would be better cared for and loved. Mother Earth would be better protected from the ravages of pollution. Mothers and fathers would be raising our sons and daughters in a land of greater opportunity and lesser injustice. Women would be paid more fairly. Fewer crooks would be laughing with their greed. Fewer babies would be crying from their hunger.
This is a fact: The proposals for jobs and change offered by President Obama, Reid and Pelosi were attacked by Senate Republican filibusters higher in number than under the racist senators of the old segregated South. I dare any Republican to deny this fact. I challenge all media to report it. And now:
There is a GOP attack against voting rights that attacks democracy itself. After Lloyd Bentsen returned home a war hero following the Second World War, he always said one of his proudest votes as a young House member was against the poll tax. Republicans have now invented a new version of the poll tax and Jim Crow politics that is anti-Hispanic, anti-black, anti-elderly, anti-youth, anti-poor, anti-freedom, anti-democracy and alien to core American values that will return to the People’s House if Nancy Pelosi is returned as Speaker.
You bet: Rove fears Pelosi. Financial crooks fear Elizabeth Warren as Dracula feared the cross. Republican strategists fear that Obama will run with Hillary Clinton.
I recently watched Charlie Rose interview the late and great novelist and statesman Carlos Fuentes. I knew Fuentes. He admired everything America can be. He dreamed the great dream for good and decent people everywhere. As Fuentes spoke of destiny and dreams, of Democrats and America, I thought:
Great dreams ultimately come true because of conviction politicians like Nancy Pelosi. Her mission lives on. Her work is far from done.
Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hill’s Pundits Blog and reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.