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Bruce Bialosky

Goodbye Ms. Pelosi

As soon as the news broke, a cavalcade of plaudits started coming in from left-of-center politicians and journalists lauding the accomplishments of Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House and leader of her party. Ms. Pelosi had two four-year stints as Speaker. Let’s look at her years as leader of the House and second in line to the Presidency.

Ms. Pelosi is being heralded by her cronies and the Left-wing press as the most consequential Speaker in history. A large part of that is because of legislation passed during her terms. They seem to have forgotten Democrat Sam Rayburn who served for seventeen years between 1940 and 1961. He was the Speaker during two major wars and engineered the first civil rights legislation since Reconstruction. He worked with President Eisenhower with funding for and building of the national highway system. Unlike Speaker Pelosi, he worked with the opposition party and President. But Ms. Pelosi is the current darling.

Probably her most significant act of recent was traveling to Taiwan in the face of relentless pressure from the Chinese overlords. It was truly a shining moment, but we all get some things right. Probably her greatest skill was managing to get Blue Dog Democrats who pretended to be moderates to vote against their constituencies and their own self-interests which led to their ousting in the 2010 Democrat midterm bloodbath.

She expanded the regulatory state by promulgating lengthy and nearly incomprehensible legislation. As a person who spent almost her entire career in Congress she did as much as anyone in history to debase the power of the Congress, passing it off to the regulatory state. You didn’t hear her complain when President Obama said, “I have a pen and a phone.” She did nothing to stop President Biden from issuing 60 executive orders in his first 100 days. It could easily be said she encouraged the Presidency and the Supreme Court to take power from Congress to write legislation despite the Constitution giving that power to Congress and particularly the House of Representatives.

Then there is the corruption. To their credit some members of her caucus have wanted to put a stop to members of the House trading stocks. I am often fascinated by this. As a financial professional I have had a managed account for about 20 years. I could not tell you specifically what is in my portfolio. Yet members of Congress have the time to make multiple trades of specific stocks that they apparently have researched on their own, on their own time, and then invested in those stocks with no regulatory oversight of those transactions. It is blatant corruption, and she knows it. Yet she stopped any reform because somehow her husband, Paul, has made many genius investments and sales without the benefit of any information flowing his way from his powerful wife.

Ms. Pelosi should be principally remembered for destroying the Congress she oversaw. The committee system which had run the Congress throughout its history by generating bills through debate and discussion ended during her reign. Pelosi generated massive “back room” bills with her staff and cronies and then presented them to Congress as a fait accompli. She told the members they had just two days to brush up on these behemoths because the vote was imminent. Ms. Pelosi will also be remembered as the person to make “CR” a famous acronym (aka Continuing Resolution). Before her and even in between her two reigns the budget went through the various committees and was voted on by the members. Continuing Resolution became the rule of the day, making our country look like a banana republic because we could not properly run our finances and were always on the brink of disaster.

There is another unique aspect of her Speakership.  She was the first Speaker to ban members of the opposition party from participating on Congressional committees. Incoming Speaker McCarthy has vowed to respond in-kind.  This was so utterly unnecessary and destroys the idea of elections as all these representatives were duly seated by people in their district.

In my mind Pelosi will be remembered for two acts as Speaker. First, the most astounding statement by a leader in our history while speaking of the Affordable Care Act weighing in at stupefying 2,700 pages that promulgated 20,000 regulations. She stated, “We have to pass the bill to find out what is in it.” An amazingly stupid and dangerous comment coming from a backbencher, but it was delivered by the Speaker. The second was the most graceless act in the history of our government. In front of the entire nation after the president had delivered the State of the Union Address, she ripped up her printed copy in a petulant act. Both are black marks on our democracy.

Ms. Pelosi will be touted by the Left as the first woman Speaker. That is not a definition of what she did; that is a definition of how she was born. What she did was very harmful and mean-spirited destruction of the People’s house.