'Villainous': Nancy's Missed Chance

Nancy Pelosi: you made my day.

First, it was Candidate Obama, who told San Francisco Democrats what they wanted to hear, when he told a fundraiser in 2008 about “bitter clingers” and their guns and God. How we have loved to laugh at the snobbery of Obamians ever since.

Then it was Secretary Clinton in 2016 writing off half the Trump vote as “deplorables.” Immediately meme-makers were reworking Les Misérables posters into “Les Déplorables.”

Now Speaker Pelosi has placed her bet for immortality by saying that President Trump is “villainous” for daring the Dems to impeach him.

Yes, Nancy, I dare say that the president was twirling his evil moustachios even as he said it. But I fear you have been watching too many Basil Rathbone movies on the flight home to California.

I understand the Democrats’ problem, especially now I have read about the Millerites, who predicted the Second Coming in 1843. According to Festinger, Riecken, and Schachter in When Prophecy Fails, it took until 1845 for the Millerite movement to collapse.

And so today’s Muellerites are not about to give up their certain faith that Trump was colluding with the Russians and will soon depart this Earth so that the arc of history can get back to bending towards justice. Not yet.

Dear Speaker Pelosi: You could have stopped this stampede towards madness and ignominy if you had stepped up to your Manifest Destiny after the delivery of the Mueller report. You could have announced, from the Capitol Hill steps, with all the Democratic operatives with bylines assembled, that the Special Prosecutor had spoken and there was no collusion and we are all Americans, and now it was time to go back to politics as usual and pass a nice big beautiful infrastructure bill. And then, if the crazies in the House refused to go along, you could have won top prize as Drama Queen of the Decade, and resigned as Speaker of the House, saying that you could no longer lead a House that did not respect due process under law.

Yeah. Sometimes the honorable thing is to fall on your sword. It’s not as though Pelosi had not already obtained her place in history back in 2007 as the First Woman Speaker. And it’s not as though Pelosi were still a vigorous politician in the prime of life with a great political agenda ahead of her. She has already had her ObamaCare.

I already posted about the Muellerites and “villainous” on my blog last week, and a grand time was had by all.

But now I want to ask: why is it that we humans just love these collective stampedes, whether it is the prediction of the End of the World at Christ’s Second Coming or the End of the World in 12 years due to Climate Change Emergency, or refusing to accept the result of a normal change election?

I suppose it is related to the observable phenomenon that, in the wake of a hurricane or other disaster, humans forget their quarrels and their selfish pursuits and all pitch in together to save lives. And it has to be related to the Reign of Terror phase of revolution proposed by Crane Brinton in Anatomy of Revolution, where the revolutionaries try to save the failing revolution with one more Big Push to defeat the enemies of the revolution and bring on the heaven on earth that is surely coming.

All that is doubtless related to the temptation occasionally observed among humans to reproduce the ecstasy of sexual completion or glorious victory -- or to forget the agony of defeat -- by artificial, chemical means.

No doubt this is related to the scorn that Nietzsche in The Dawn pours on the notion of eternal love. Love is a Passion, he writes. I suppose he means that love, being a passion, is for use in an emergency, like hate and fear, and not for everyday uses.

Do you notice that in politics and religion there are always two things at work? At one extreme there is the demand that nothing shall change, that the sacred ritual be exactly repeated and the checks sent out, or else. At the other extreme is the demand for change, that we must break with the past and all act now, or else.

The secret of life is, of course, to acquire the wisdom to know when to keep things as they are, when to change them a little, and when to act now or lose everything.

But in the middle is the need for a leader with the courage and the conviction to know when to step up and say “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.” Even if it means the end of a glorious political career as everyone turns on the scapegoat.

What do you say to that, Nancy Pelosi?

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.

Nancy Pelosi: you made my day.

First, it was Candidate Obama, who told San Francisco Democrats what they wanted to hear, when he told a fundraiser in 2008 about “bitter clingers” and their guns and God. How we have loved to laugh at the snobbery of Obamians ever since.

Then it was Secretary Clinton in 2016 writing off half the Trump vote as “deplorables.” Immediately meme-makers were reworking Les Misérables posters into “Les Déplorables.”

Now Speaker Pelosi has placed her bet for immortality by saying that President Trump is “villainous” for daring the Dems to impeach him.

Yes, Nancy, I dare say that the president was twirling his evil moustachios even as he said it. But I fear you have been watching too many Basil Rathbone movies on the flight home to California.

I understand the Democrats’ problem, especially now I have read about the Millerites, who predicted the Second Coming in 1843. According to Festinger, Riecken, and Schachter in When Prophecy Fails, it took until 1845 for the Millerite movement to collapse.

And so today’s Muellerites are not about to give up their certain faith that Trump was colluding with the Russians and will soon depart this Earth so that the arc of history can get back to bending towards justice. Not yet.

Dear Speaker Pelosi: You could have stopped this stampede towards madness and ignominy if you had stepped up to your Manifest Destiny after the delivery of the Mueller report. You could have announced, from the Capitol Hill steps, with all the Democratic operatives with bylines assembled, that the Special Prosecutor had spoken and there was no collusion and we are all Americans, and now it was time to go back to politics as usual and pass a nice big beautiful infrastructure bill. And then, if the crazies in the House refused to go along, you could have won top prize as Drama Queen of the Decade, and resigned as Speaker of the House, saying that you could no longer lead a House that did not respect due process under law.

Yeah. Sometimes the honorable thing is to fall on your sword. It’s not as though Pelosi had not already obtained her place in history back in 2007 as the First Woman Speaker. And it’s not as though Pelosi were still a vigorous politician in the prime of life with a great political agenda ahead of her. She has already had her ObamaCare.

I already posted about the Muellerites and “villainous” on my blog last week, and a grand time was had by all.

But now I want to ask: why is it that we humans just love these collective stampedes, whether it is the prediction of the End of the World at Christ’s Second Coming or the End of the World in 12 years due to Climate Change Emergency, or refusing to accept the result of a normal change election?

I suppose it is related to the observable phenomenon that, in the wake of a hurricane or other disaster, humans forget their quarrels and their selfish pursuits and all pitch in together to save lives. And it has to be related to the Reign of Terror phase of revolution proposed by Crane Brinton in Anatomy of Revolution, where the revolutionaries try to save the failing revolution with one more Big Push to defeat the enemies of the revolution and bring on the heaven on earth that is surely coming.

All that is doubtless related to the temptation occasionally observed among humans to reproduce the ecstasy of sexual completion or glorious victory -- or to forget the agony of defeat -- by artificial, chemical means.

No doubt this is related to the scorn that Nietzsche in The Dawn pours on the notion of eternal love. Love is a Passion, he writes. I suppose he means that love, being a passion, is for use in an emergency, like hate and fear, and not for everyday uses.

Do you notice that in politics and religion there are always two things at work? At one extreme there is the demand that nothing shall change, that the sacred ritual be exactly repeated and the checks sent out, or else. At the other extreme is the demand for change, that we must break with the past and all act now, or else.

The secret of life is, of course, to acquire the wisdom to know when to keep things as they are, when to change them a little, and when to act now or lose everything.

But in the middle is the need for a leader with the courage and the conviction to know when to step up and say “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.” Even if it means the end of a glorious political career as everyone turns on the scapegoat.

What do you say to that, Nancy Pelosi?

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.