At last, the mask slips:
In a statement sure to rile Republicans, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Friday dismissed calls for bipartisanship as “process” arguments extraneous to passing a stimulus bill — and warned Senate Democrats against slashing proposed increases to education spending.
Pelosi — speaking to reporters on the second day of her retreat with House Democrats at a swank Williamsburg, Va., golf resort — was clearly annoyed with Senate attempts to slash up to $100 billion in spending from the $819 billion package the House passed last week.
At the same time, she urged the need for speed in passing the package — and stopped short of saying that she’d insist on her demands during upcoming conference negotiations with the Senate.
“Washington seems consumed in the process argument of bipartisanship, when the rest of the country says they need this bill,” the California Democrat said, seeming to sweep aside the Obama administration initial desire to have broad GOP support for the plan.
Translation: “Despite my claims to want to be bipartisan, I haven’t and never had any intention whatsoever of letting Republicans help craft the stimulus package.” Of course, the Speaker was as good as her word, shutting Republicans out of the process completely when the bill was being crafted and debated in the House.
And she, Harry Reid and the Obama Administration wonder why it is that the package did not get a single Republican vote in the House. And they have the nerve, as well, to complain about the lack of Republican votes.
In a way, of course, I am glad that the Speaker came out and said what she said. It will make it that much clearer to all that her promises of bipartisanship–which she made in both the 2006 midterm elections and in last year’s elections as well–were made in the most cynical and dishonest fashion.