Nancy Pelosi has been owning Donald Trump ever since that fateful Oval Office meeting when Trump spontaneously invited reporters in to record as Pelosi secured her speakership while Trump laid his grave by declaring the pride he would take in shutting down the government.
Since then, Pelosi has peppered Trump with little insults, such as saying his wall-funding ultimatum was “like a manhood thing for him” and then mocking his retreat on the concrete barrier by suggesting he wanted “a beaded curtain or something.”
Pelosi’s latest piece of brilliance was to deprive Trump of the one thing he craves above all else: an audience. To the surprise of many in her caucus, she showed up for a meeting with her colleagues Wednesday morning with a letter she had just sent disinviting Trump from delivering the State of the Union speech later this month unless the government was reopened this week. The letter cited the extraordinary “security concerns” of gathering pretty close to the entire U.S. government under one roof at a time when the Secret Service and Department of Homeland Security haven’t been funded for 26 days.
But she’s got more where that came from. On Thursday, she added another rationale: fairness. “Let’s pay the employees,” Pelosi told reporters. “Maybe [Trump] thinks it is okay not to pay people who do work. I don’t. My caucus doesn’t either.” Put Democrats down for the risky proposition that federal employees shouldn’t be treated like indentured servants subject to the whims of a madman lording over them.
Look, Trump and his aides are frankly proving just how truly pathetic they are, now that they’ve gotten their first whiff of political pushback from Congress. They’re tanking in the polls like an unpowered submarine, and every day Pelosi throws a few more sandbags their way. And while congressional Republicans flop around like netted fish, the Democratic caucus is a vision of discipline.
As Josh Holmes, a former aide to Mitch McConnell, told the Washington Post of Pelosi, “She wields the knife.” She’s also so thoroughly destroying Trump that reporters are clearly working to drum up downsides for her. The Post writes:
But Pelosi’s challenge to Trump also comes with a degree of risk, for her and for Democrats. The more she becomes the face of Trump’s opposition, the more Republicans will probably use her unpopularity nationally to label vulnerable House Democrats as Pelosi clones — a potentially potent line of attack against sitting lawmakers who cast votes in lock-step with party leaders.
Surely they’re joking. Either that, or suffering from a degenerative brain disease, because Republicans threw basically everything they had at Pelosi last November and got ruined at the polls. The entire GOP election strategy was predicated on painting an exceedingly menacing portrait of America under Pelosi’s rule and the supposed flood of immigrants rushing U.S. borders. Yet Pelosi remained poised throughout, brushing aside the attacks with observations like, “[T]hey’re afraid of me because I outraise them in the political arena, I outsmart them at the negotiating table, and because I’m a woman who is going to be a seat at that table.”
Republicans had good reason to be afraid. Pelosi eviscerated them at the polls and now she’s shredding them at the Capitol. The notion that she is somehow a bigger drag on Democrats than Trump is on Republicans was as laughable last year as it is verifiably false now. In fact, 57 percent of voters just told NPR/PBS/Marist that they would definitely vote against Trump in 2020. The midterms spoke volumes, and there isn’t even a single data point in any shutdown poll suggesting voters have somehow changed their minds.