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The Wright precedent

Posted by Richard on April 18, 2007

At least one Democrat has already called on his party to dump Nancy Pelosi for its own good. Jerry Zeifman served as House Judiciary Committee counsel for 17 years and was its chief of staff during the Nixon impeachment. He thinks Pelosi is bad for the country and bad for his party (emphasis added):

On April 6, a Washington Post editorial aptly described Mrs. Pelosi's trip to Demascus as a "pratfall," which the dictionary defines as "a fall in which one lands on the buttocks, often regarded as comical or humiliating."

In my view that word was a discrete understatement. As a lifelong Democrat and former congressional chief counsel I regard her conduct as an unconstitutional abuse of power that warrants her removal by our Democratic caucus.

As I previously noted in my NewsMax article of April 7, she persistently fosters what Thomas Jefferson denounced as "tyranny by the majority," and violates House rules that give her the duty to maintain order, civility, and decorum, and to foster "comity" (a word rarely used these days, meaning "mutual respect").

Her trip to Damascus was more than a blunder. In denying President Bush's request as well purporting falsely to Speak for Israel it was a usurpation of presidential power.

As a result of her defiance of the president, Democrat Leon Panetta, the former chief of staff to President Clinton, cautioned in the April 2 New York Times that if the Democrats "go into total confrontation mode on other than [domestic issues] . . . that's a recipe for losing seats in the next election."

Zeifman remembered another failed Democratic Speaker of the House:

The prior history of Democratic Speaker Jim Wright is now being repeated by Nancy Pelosi.

After Wright became speaker, five South American presidents had agreed on a peace plan which the Reagan administration vigorously opposed. Anti-Sandinistas and contra hardliners became incensed when they learned that Speaker Wright had secretly sat in on a meeting between Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and Cardinal Miguel Obando y Bravo the Catholic leader being asked to mediate the peace. Then House Minority Leader Newt Gingrich began filing numerous accusations in the Ethics Committee of malfeasance by Wright. In the end the House Democratic caucus determined that Wright had lost his effectiveness as speaker and compelled him to resign.

Zeifman may be right about Pelosi reprising the role of Wright. But who's going to play Gingrich's part?

Once again, the lack of real leadership among the Republican leadership is manifest. Decent Democrats like Zeifman have to step forward and take the stands that Republicans lack the courage, will, and sense of purpose to take. Pitiful.

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