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Pelosi Talks About Impeachment and Her Do-Nothing Congress

The first female Speaker of the House has just released a book, Know Your Power: A Message to American Daughters, in which she encourages America women to make their voices heard. Making her voice heard on the new-book-media tour, Pelosi appeared on The View last week to explain that impeachment was off the table because there is no evidence that Bush committed a crime and in this week's Time, readers asked Pelosi ten questions. Here's what the eleven-term Congresswomen from San Francisco had to say about the topics on Americans' minds.

Why have you taken impeachment off the table as an option for President George W. Bush? I took it off the table a long time ago. You can't talk about impeachment unless you have the facts, and you can't have the facts unless you have cooperation from the Administration. I think the Republicans would like nothing better than for us to focus on impeachment and take our eye off the ball of a progressive economic agenda.

Why do the Democrats insist on blocking oil-drilling when we need the price of oil to drop? Even if they drilled every place [in America], it would not have any impact on the price of oil now. You can't increase domestic supply only by drilling. You have to invest in renewable-energy resources. That's all longer term.

To find out if Speaker Pelosi ever votes against her party, and what she thinks about challenger Cindy Sheehan and accusations that her party controls a "do-nothing" Congress,

.

How often do you vote to stick with your party against your better judgment? I always say to new members coming in: Follow the C's. We uphold the Constitution, we represent our constituents, and votes can be a matter of conscience. You have to weigh all of that.

The Democratic Congress is perceived by the public to have accomplished almost nothing. What do you say to this? We raised the minimum wage, made college more affordable with the biggest bill since the GI Bill was signed in 1944, passed a historic energy bill with emission standards. But we didn't end the war, and I think that's why people have a negative view of Congress.

What do you think of Cindy Sheehan's challenge to your congressional seat? I have the highest respect for Cindy. She lost her son in the Iraq war. What greater sacrifice could she make? She's won the right — well, every American has the right — to run for office. Come on in; the water's warm.

For more of her thoughts, including those on the economy and her political past, read the whole story.

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stephley stephley 7 years
I think we also have to understand and agree that there is a difference between partisan b*tc#h-slapping and valid disagreement and investigation. These days, if a congressperson is caught holding a smoking gun over a dead body their party screams 'witch hunt' if the other side calls the police.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
I think flip-flopping is such a divisive word because all we hear is the end result, the flip-flop. What we don't hear or understand is the reasoning that led to the flip on a particular decision. Yes I'll agree that some flipping is motivated by political survival instincts but I would gather that there is actually good reasoning behind most decision changes. The flow of information is constant and the flow of information is constantly changing. Why should I hold one accountable to a sign they read five miles up stream when the sign in front of them has current information seems a little silly.
Jillness Jillness 7 years
" If we can get past the partisan verbal b!+(# slapping and focus on that we'll be in much better shape. " People say they want something to get done, but when it comes to things like say, energy solutions, people WANT the partisan bickering that never gets anything done. When you reach across the isle, people say you have "flip flopped". :oy: Until we loose the flip flopped BS, we will have extreme partisan activity in Congress.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
I'm not too bothered by the label Do-Nothing Congress because if the shoe was on the other foot the Democrats would be saying the same thing about the Republican Congress and the Republican majority would be saying the Dems dragged their feet etc. etc. etc. Same old story different team. I will agree that although some good things got done there is still yet a lot to be done. If we can get past the partisan verbal b!+(# slapping and focus on that we'll be in much better shape. This is were I think independents come in handy because they don't have to be slave to any partisan agenda they can simply vote their conscience and not get called out for it.
raciccarone raciccarone 7 years
She is such a disappointment.
stephley stephley 7 years
There is plenty of evidence of wrong-doing that goes far beyond simple disagreements about policy. Presidents aren't afraid to have their staff testify over simple disagreements - they welcome the chance to educate the Congress and the country, especially when it's educate the Congress and the country versus defying subpeonas and court rulings.
True-Song True-Song 7 years
>Dave: I don't think the government would crumble, but I think a lot of voters would view impeachment proceedings as partisan sour grapes after the last two presidential elections. I suspect there would be a big backlash against Congressional Democrats, especially if they were perceived to have spent valuable time on impeachment while not dealing with the many more critical issues currently at hand. Weird. I totally agree.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 7 years
Dave: I don't think the government would crumble, but I think a lot of voters would view impeachment proceedings as partisan sour grapes after the last two presidential elections. I suspect there would be a big backlash against Congressional Democrats, especially if they were perceived to have spent valuable time on impeachment while not dealing with the many more critical issues currently at hand.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 7 years
Well, now we know why SanFranNan was in such a hurry to get out of DC on Friday. She has a book tour to conduct! "You can't talk about impeachment unless you have the facts...." Um, yes. And if there's no evidence of wrongdoing, what are the odds that there was no actual wrongdoing? Just because someone doesn't agree with you doesn't make them criminal. :shrug: "You can't increase domestic supply only by drilling." That's like saying if I go to the grocery store and spend $100 on edible items, I won't have any more food in the house. :?
chancleta chancleta 7 years
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stephley stephley 7 years
That's a bit extreme Dave, I hope. It might lead to a clean sweep and a firm reminder that we don't have kings here.
UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
I agree. I think there are enough skeletons in many closets on both sides of the aisle that impeachment proceedings would lead to mass chaos, and a crumbling of the government.
stephley stephley 7 years
Some states have had impeachment platforms but I don't think the national party did. Progressive democrats like Kucinich were talking about it, but I think the leadership has to fear people finding out how much some members of Congress knew from the very beginning.
UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
Ok. I was thinking I had heard several democrats (who also won) run on the "Let's get in, impach Bush, and get the government going again" platform. BTW, that's a paraphrase, not an exact quote.
stephley stephley 7 years
I don't think Pelosi ran on an impeachment platform Dave. I can find a quote in which she says you never know where an investigation would lead, but nothing that says she'd move on it.Members of Congress take an oath to support the Constitution. To me Torg, the problem with taking it off the table, as Pelosi did while members of Congress admitted they believe laws were broken on several issues, is that it sets a precedent. Why can't the next president ignore the Constitution as well? She called Bush and Cheney failures, but she enabled those failures.
stephley stephley 7 years
I don't think Pelosi ran on an impeachment platform Dave. I can find a quote in which she says you never know where an investigation would lead, but nothing that says she'd move on it. Members of Congress take an oath to support the Constitution. To me Torg, the problem with taking it off the table, as Pelosi did while members of Congress admitted they believe laws were broken on several issues, is that it sets a precedent. Why can't the next president ignore the Constitution as well? She called Bush and Cheney failures, but she enabled those failures.
True-Song True-Song 7 years
It was? I wasn't aware of that.
UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
But isn't impeachment one of the platforms Pelosi ran on this last election cycle?
True-Song True-Song 7 years
As much as I would have liked to see Bush be impeached, it's not gonna happen, and she is right to not let the very idea become a distraction for the party.
stephley stephley 7 years
"You can't talk about impeachment unless you have the facts, and you can't have the facts unless you have cooperation from the Administration" So I guess she has no idea how prosecutors or investigators work, or how the Nixon and Clinton investigations worked... unless George calls her to the White House and says 'here's how it went down', Nancy can't do anything. It wouldn't be so bad if keeping Congress' eye on a progressive economic agenda had done anyone any good.
stephley stephley 7 years
"You can't talk about impeachment unless you have the facts, and you can't have the facts unless you have cooperation from the Administration"So I guess she has no idea how prosecutors or investigators work, or how the Nixon and Clinton investigations worked... unless George calls her to the White House and says 'here's how it went down', Nancy can't do anything. It wouldn't be so bad if keeping Congress' eye on a progressive economic agenda had done anyone any good.
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