NOVEMBER 5, 2009, 12:40 P.M. ET
The Madness of Queen Nancy
By JOHN FUND
It’s one thing to be serene under fire, it’s another to be delusional.
More than a few Democrats in Congress are perplexed and worried that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is insisting on ramming through a 1,900-page health care bill on Saturday, just days after her party took heavy losses in Tuesday’s elections. “It reminds me of Major Nicholson, the obsessed British major in the film ‘Bridge on the River Kwai,’” one Democrat told me. “She is fixated on finishing her health care bridge even as she’s lost sight of where it’s going and what damage it could cause to her own troops.”
Indeed, the Speaker’s take on Tuesday’s off-year elections struck some of her own members as delusive “happy talk.” “From our perspective, we won last night,” a cheerful Ms. Pelosi told reporters, citing her party’s pick-up of a single House seat in a New York special election and retention of another strongly Democratic seat in California.
That’s not how many of her own troops see it. Democratic Rep. Parker Griffith of Alabama told Politico.com that members are “very, very sensitive” to the fact that the agenda being pushed by party leaders has “the potential to cost some of our front-line members their seats”
On health care, added New Jersey Democrat Bill Pascrell: “People who had weak knees before are going to have weaker knees now.”
Ms. Pelosi, however, apparently thinks the moment is ripe to use sheer political muscle to pass legislation reordering one sixth of the economy, with zero Republican support. The right mixture of “incentives” and Rahm Emanuel-style pressure, she believes, will bring enough Democrats to heel to vote for the bill.