Wednesday, August 13, 2008

An Open Letter to Nancy Pelosi

Dear Madam Speaker,

I have to start out by saying how disappointed I am in not just your approval rating as the first Democratic Congress in quite awhile, but in the changes of heart that have taken place during your tenure as Speaker of the House.

Let me start again. Aside from the President and the Vice-President, you are the ranking politician in all of Washington. Not a bad transition from former house wife. It's ironic that Cindy Sheehan, another former house wife, might be challenging you for your seat in the upcoming Senate election. However; you are a politician ma'am, same as everyone else in DC. What politicians are supposed to do, is to stand up and voice the concerns of their constituents. It is seemingly a plain and simple job. I'm not that naive, and I know that nuance usually doesn't go in the same sentence as either the words plain, or simple. I'm sure your job is a stressful one; a job that leaves you sleepless many of the nights you've held it.

The fact is that being the Speaker is your job. Considering your sex, you might be the most prominent Speaker of all time. I know it's unfair that you've probably had more of the spotlight on you than you deserve, but again, this is Washington.

Being the representative of your constituency is truly the description of your job. This open letter to you is written by a constituent who is quite unhappy with the fruits of your profession, and of your tenure.

I'll start by talking about the broken system in which you work. Times change, and at this point in American history, your party, the Democrats, are looked upon with general disdain, and are considered to be the "weaker" of the two major parties. This is because in politics, as they're played today, compromise and a willingness to change are viewed as not having concrete and sturdy values; it's viewed as being weak near the core. The party in which you represent is considered to be a party that has no values, no morals, and no backbone. I, a registered independent, didn't want to believe this. However, your actions as of the past few days have made me change my mind.

Like most people who might lean to the left, I was happy to see a Democratic majority in Congress. I took you at your word when you said you'd end the Iraq War. It's coming on 2 years since you made such a declaration. We are still at war. In fact, we're in a two headed war; other problems such as Iran and Russia cannot truly be addressed as they should, due to the amount of funding and attention paid to Iraq and Afghanistan (not that I think the war in Afghanistan is without reason). I have seen numerous bills come through Congress, having to do with time tables and plans for escape. I commend you on that. However, due to Bush's veto, you gave up and allowed the President to get the bill he wanted. What type of message does that send to your constituency ma'am? I shallow attempt to do what you said you would... a quick failure, and then you give in and fold? Republicans were in power for so long because that is exactly what they didn't do; Republicans have the knack for sticking to their guns... whether it helps them or damns them. People see that as strength. People see your quick willingness to give into political demands, and therefore see you as weak. Watching your back break which such rapidity hurt to see. "Compromising" the way you did, hurt your party, your public approval rating, and your credibility.

I see now, another opportunity to take a stand, and you are not taking advantage. The offshore drilling issue is one to champion. When first mentioned by your Republican counterparts, your attitude was one of stubbornness and one of conviction; you knew that no relief would truly come from it (for at least a few years anyway), and if any did... it'd be just a few cents. We all know (the informed of us anyway) that offshore drilling, or what it should truly be called, THE DRILLING OF ENVIRONMENTALLY PROTECTED LANDS, is unnecessary, and just like No Child Left Behind; it sounds great, but truly does nothing helpful. The oil companies have plenty of places to drill off the coast, it's not as if they have no drilling areas (as they'd have you believe). The companies want it all however, and we all know that the Republicans in Congress today have no problem helping out a Fortune 500 conglomerate.

Again, I applaud your desire not to waver, and not to allow the Republicans to misinform, and then call a vote on ill informed material. I read today however, that due to a Republican threat to "stop the government," you're willing to change YOUR POSITION, and allow them to get the ridiculous vote they request (I say it's ridiculous because they again, say things that just aren't true, or don't give all the details, and then request voting proceedings). I'm appalled. A request Ms. Pelosi; let them stop the government. It won't happen. It's a bluff. The only way to get respect ma'am, is to stick to your values, no matter what. Let's discuss them, that's fine. But to give in due to a threat from the opposing party is flat out ridiculous, saddening and a slap in the face to all that voted your party members into office in 2006. I truly hope that you DON'T rethink your position; that you stick to your convictions, for at least once during your term.

I appreciate your time, and thank you.

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