In an interview on ABC News’ ‘This Week’ with correspondent Elizabeth Vargas, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi simultaneously claimed to share views with the Tea Party Movement while attacking the same for “astroturfing.”
“VARGAS: Is the Tea Party movement a force?
“PELOSI: No – No what I said at the time is, that they were — the Republican Party directs a lot of what the Tea Party does, but not everybody in the Tea Party takes direction from the Republican Party. And so there was a lot of, shall we say, Astroturf, as opposed to grassroots.
“But, you know, we share some of the views of the Tea Partiers in terms of the role of special interest in Washington, D.C., as — it just has to stop. And that’s why I’ve fought the special interest, whether it’s on energy, whether it’s on health insurance, whether it’s on pharmaceuticals and the rest.”
“Astroturfing” is a process of faking a grassroots movement, which is really secretly controlled by some central group. Nancy Pelosi is essentially saying that the Tea Party movement is secretly controlled by the Republicans.
And yet Nancy Pelosi is also saying that the Tea Party movement is a good thing because, like her-Nancy Pelosi-it is against special interests in Washington. That statement is remarkable on several levels.
First, the idea that Nancy Pelosi is opposed to special interests, considering the influence such has had on health care reform legislation for example, is akin to imagining how much opposed former President Bill Clinton is to promiscuity.
Second, while the Tea Partiers certainly look askance at special interests getting special favors in Washington, they tend to be even more alarmed at the remarkable increases in taxes, spending, the deficit, and the power of the State over the lives of individuals. These are all things that not so much alarms Nancy Pelosi as they make her feel warm inside.
Furthermore, as Noel Sheppard at Newsbusters reminds us, Nancy Pelosi did feel, at least at one time, alarmed about the Tea Party itself. “I have concerns about some of the language that is being used because I saw — I saw this myself in the late `70s in San Francisco. This kind of rhetoric was very frightening, and it gave — it created a climate in which we — violence took place.”
So, in Nancy Pelosi’s eyes, the Tea Party movement has evolved from a bunch of angry hate mongers inciting violence to a group of deluded souls, under the secret control of those rascals in the Republican Party, with whom she shares certain views. That, one might say, is progress. By the time she finds herself House Minority Leader again, if not back in the private sector, Nancy Pelosi might actually discover the virtues of limited government. Miracles can and do happen.
Sources: Pelosi and the Tea Party ‘Share Views’, ABC News, February 28th, 2010
ABC: ‘Pelosi Says She Has Much In Common With The Tea Party’, Noel Sheppard, Newsbusters, February 28th, 2010