From time to time growing up I heard some adult say, "Don't get mad, get even.". I must admit I was never particularly good at following this piece of sage advice. It required a great deal more grit and determination than I could manage. But as I've grown up I've learned how to recognize those people in public life who have learned how to master this strategy for success. First and foremost among them is Nancy Pelosi.
Unlike so many of the liberal politicians of her day, Nancy Pelosi is not afraid to exercise real power. Her adept move in disinviting the President from making the State of the Union speech from the floor of the House of Representatives demonstrates this conclusively. Not only did it show that she is ready, willing and able to exercise the power of her office, it demonstrated a flair for the dramatic that surprised both the President and his White House staff. The fact that our twittering President has remained essentially silent on the subject only underscores this proposition.
Surely this ought to be a surprising development. After all, President Trump has long characterized himself as "The Master of the Deal" How could such a shrewd negotiator have so badly underestimated his political opposition? I think it's safe to say that he's been outflanked and outmaneuvered by Nancy Pelosi since she took over the Speakership. How could such a development be possible? I think I can answer that question with just one word, misogyny.
Oh, I suppose it's possible to find other explanations. The President could have looked at the history of Congressional Democrats and simply assumed that they'd collapse under pressure like a house of cards, thinking that the Democrats lacked the intestinal fortitude to face up to the power of the Presidency, especially since THIS President is as stubbornly resolute as any President in American history. It's possible, but I doubt it. From time to time even the most spineless of Democrats have exhibited a certain amount of sheer stubbornness. And then there's always the ideological explanation. The President could have regarded Nancy Pelosi as the San Francisco liberal Republicans have always labeled her to be. And we all know how squishy soft liberals can be when faced with implacable opposition. That COULD have been a factor in the President's thinking, but that gives Donald Trump too much credit for sophisticated reasoning. So then, there really is only one logical explanation for why President Trump has so regularly and consistently underestimated Nancy Pelosi. She's a woman!
When you think about it, Donald Trump looks at women from a distinctly 19th century perspective, with a strong dose of pure Victorianism thrown in. The simple fact is that he doesn't accept the fact that women are the equal of men. He sees them as weak, pliable and fuzzy-headed, certainly no match for the likes of a big, strong man such as himself. Therefore it's only logical that when he looks at Nancy Pelosi he doesn't see the political in-fighter who scratched and clawed her way up to her present position of great power and influence. No, he sees her as just another woman who he can either sweet talk with is boyish "charm" or intimidate with the force of his masculine personality.
In short, President Trump has run smack dab into a different kind of wall, one that has proven to be a lot stronger than he has anticipated, namely Nancy Pelosi. Hopefully the President learns from this confrontation and adapts his tactics and strategy accordingly because when you get right down to it, it's the only way we're going to get over the impasse over the government's shutdown. We should also keep in mind that this is only the first of many such confrontations Donald Trump will have with Nancy Pelosi. If he continues to visualize her as nothing more than a "mere" woman we will have many more such confrontations in our future. Nancy Pelosi is every bit as hard-nosed and determined as any man who has ever been Speaker of the House. What's more, she is an adept and agile thinker who is every bit as capable as any man. Unless and until the President accepts this fundamental reality he will be running into a solid brick wall of opposition from one of the most formidable political leaders in our history. This does not bode well for the future of the country.
Filed under: Politics