Now that the Pelosi plane flap has been grounded, if at least temporarily, it's worth noting that of all the cooks who stirred the stew last week it was not the Republicans but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her close friend Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) who gave her the worst PR of all.

Pelosi was smart to insist that she would be willing to fly commercial to San Francisco. She was smart to make sure that Bill Livingood, the House sergeant at arms, told the press he was the one raising the security concern and insisting she fly non-stop. "I regret that an issue that is exclusively considered and decided in a security context has evolved into a political issue," Livingood said.

Even the White House helped her out — "It is important for the Speaker to have this kind of protection and travel," said spokesman Tony Snow.

But instead of flying above it, Pelosi couldn't resist the temptation to accuse the Pentagon of political games. Sure, it was likely leaked by someone there, but isn't it more dignified to ignore that? She went even further, saying, "As a woman, as a woman Speaker of the House, I don't want any less of an opportunity than male Speakers when they have served here." Doesn't Pelosi know that the Woman Card is to be played sparingly because men stop listening the second they hear it? Does she want cartoonists lampooning women needing bigger planes for the makeup and blow dryers?

Murtha stepped in it too, warning the military they could see payback. "They're making a mistake when they leak it because she decides on allocations for them," he said, rather inappropriately.

Pelosi and Murtha have gone too far, just as they did using heavy-handed tactics in Murtha's unsuccessful challenge to Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) for the majority leader job he had already successfully sewn up. Fellow Democrats are happy to stand up on the House floor and take a Republican pounding for Pelosi on principle and substance, but they are not interested in sticking their necks out for pettiness.