Earlier this week, Representative (and former Speaker) Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) ventured out of her protective radical leftist cocoon and went on to The Daily Show to chat with Jon Stewart. She probably thought it would be safe, but she forgot that every now and then Stewart suddenly has these urges to show he’s not 100% in the tank for the left. This time, he asked Pelosi a very simple question that she should have expected: why did the House, in her last two years of control, not even try to pass a federal budget?
Pelosi’s answer was so stunningly stupid and wrong, it needs to be scrutinized in depth. “Because the Republicans would have filibustered.”
Six simple words. Two of them are four-syllable words, but still a very simple sentence. And just how is it wrong?
1) Pelosi was the Speaker of a House controlled by the Democrats, who also held the Senate. They were the solid majority. But here Pelosi says that she was checked because a potential threat from the minority kept her from even trying. There was no filibuster, because no budget was ever introduced. There was not even a threat to filibuster (see below), but because she believed that there would be, she neglected what is arguably the single most important duty of the House — to craft and pass a budget for the federal government.
B) Remember how I said there was no threat to filibuster? That’s because it can’t happen. Under House and Senate rules, budget bills can not be filibustered. They must be brought to a vote, and pass on a simple majority. That’s a simple fact.
III) OK, now I feel like I’m just piling on, but I have to. Here’s another reason why I can say so authoritatively state that there was no threat to filibuster the budget in the House. And that’s because filibusters are forbidden in the House. Debate can be cut off at any time by a simple majority vote, and any bill — including budgets — are passed by the same simple majority vote. And Pelosi had a solid majority during her entire tenure (can you imagine Pelosi being elected anything besides bathroom monitor by a Republican majority?), so there was absolutely no excuse for her not having the House pass a budget.
The question posed here is about Pelosi: is she so stupid that she actually believes what she said to Stewart, or is she so arrogant that she thinks that if she simply pronounces something, no one will question her?
In Pelosi’s case, I find it incredibly easy to answer: both.
Remember, this is the woman who was, for four years, in charge of one half of an entire branch of the federal government and was second in line for the presidency. Further, she fully expects to resume that position should the House return to the Democrats.
Keep that in mind, folks. And remember that every vote for a Democratic Representative is a vote to put Nancy Pelosi back in as Speaker.
If you think we’re screwed now, you ain’t seen nothing yet.