As the world watches, a 5'5" 77-year-old woman emasculates a manipulative 6'2" 72-year-old con artist at every turn.
Nancy Pelosi is not one to be messed with.
The Pelosi-Trump dynamic was best elucidated with her words to the President when he self-consciously agreed, on camera, to take responsibility for the shutdown. Here is a partial transcript of that 12–11–18 meeting, which occurred scant weeks prior to the Democrats assuming control of the House:
TRUMP: And I don’t think we really disagree so much. I also know that, you know, Nancy is in a situation where it’s not easy for her to talk right now, and I understand that. And I fully understand that. We’re going to have a good discussion and we’re going to see what happens.
HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI: Mr. President —
THE PRESIDENT: But we have to have border security.
HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI: Mr. President, please don’t characterize the strength that I bring to this meeting as the Leader of the House Democrats who just won a big victory …
The rest is history. As I write this, the government shutdown is in its 21st day, tied for the longest-ever. Over 800,000 federal workers are receiving check stubs today that look like this (redacted, through cropping):
Among those left without checks are many who legitimately do protect our country from terrorism: TSA workers, Coast Guard employees, and others. Donald Trump’s political stunt to appease his followers — bowing to further pressure from Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity — has become a self-inflicted disaster.
For her part, Nancy Pelosi is standing firm. Along with Charles Schumer, she is not taking any part in Trump’s carny threats to declare a “national emergency” so he could receive $5 billion to build a wall. She has put forth several proposals to reopen the government so these employees could be paid, and Trump has turned her down.
Has the elected President taken into consideration how much it would cost for that wall to be maintained? Considerably more than his ask; that’s a certainty.
He doesn’t care at all; he needs the “win.” Mexico certainly isn’t paying for any of it.
Despite far-right hype, Pelosi and most Democrats agree that border security must always be state-of-the-art in its efficacy. Very, very few are arguing otherwise. But patronizing a manufactured “crisis,” which measures from the State Department and other entities have long disproven, remains a non-starter.
Is it poetic justice that Donald Trump has displayed so habitually an egregious disrespect of woman? Bullying and steamrolling tactics over his political opponents are now part and parcel of his “brand,” and his “grab ’em by the pussy” comment has become a generation’s metaphor for the art of 21st Century politics.
And yet the new (and again) Leader of the House, who stands in heels up to Trump’s chest at best, is immune to the bluster. This many-time grandmother knows how to say “no” to him, when just a month ago he was surrounded by sycophants — the majority of both the House and the Senate. As such, she is fast becoming the far more powerful and influential entity. The “politician” Donald Trump, as with the “businessman,” is not used to anyone telling him “no.” He appears lost, unknowing where to turn in the present chaos.
The Art of the Deal did not take any of this into consideration, apparently.
Nancy Patricia D’Alesandro Pelosi, you are a breath of fresh air. Welcome to the de facto Presidency of the United States.