In my column today I note the Democratic Party’s turn towards paranoid conspiracist thinking over the last decade or so. The lawmaker most prone to imagining shadowy secret cabals influencing our politics is undoubtedly House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Here are her greatest hits in that regard (emphasis added in all instances):
On the Tea Party:
“What we want is a new direction. In fact, in the President’s initiative – in the Recovery and in the Budget – 95% of the American people get a tax cut. This is a tax cut for the great middle class. This initiative is funded by the high end – we call it Astroturf. It’s not really a grassroots movement. It’s astroturf by some of the wealthiest people in America to keep the focus on tax cuts for the rich instead of for the great middle class.” – April 15, 2009, during an interview on local San Francisco TV station KTUV.
On the Ground Zero Mosque controversy:
“There is no question there is a concerted effort to make this a political issue by some. And I join those who have called for looking into: How is this opposition to the Mosque thing funded? How is this being ginned up? Here we are talking about Treasure Island. Something we have been working on for decades. Something of great interest to our community as we go forward to an election about the future of our country. And two of the first three questions we get are about a zoning issue in New York City.” – Aug 17, 2010, interview on local San Francisco radio.
“I support the statement made by the Interfaith Alliance that: ‘We agree with the ADL that there is a need for transparency about who is funding the effort to build this Islamic center. At the same time, we should also ask who is funding the attacks against the construction of the center.’” – Aug. 18, 2010, statement from Pelosi’s office.
On the wealthy and taxes:
“I decided what it was about them is this, this is my theory. What more do they want? They have a number of homes, the bigger the yacht, da da da da da, the taller the mast, the whole thing. They have museum quality art. They want immortality. They want so much money that their names are all, for prestige they could never get any other way, they could buy with endless money. Because what else could you possibly want?” – Aug 21, 2011, remarks at a Democratic fundraiser.
“It was the first time the minimum wage was raised in eleven years. I bring that up for this reason, it wasn’t kept down because people just, you know, small businesses said ‘I can’t afford’, it was kept down for a purpose, it was kept down for the purpose that people would not be able to live on that, they’d have to borrow, against home equity loans, against their mortgages, there this and that, they’d have to live on credit cards, and what are they doing when they do that, they’re paying fees to the banks, they’re paying fees to them, so it’s a contrived dependence on private credit for millions, tens of millions of working people in our country.” – Aug 21, 2011, remarks at same Democratic fundraiser.
On Attorney General Eric Holder’s Contempt of Congress vote:
“It’s really important to note how this is connected with some of their other decisions. It is no accident. It is no coincidence that the Attorney General of the United States, the person responsible for making sure that voter suppression does not happen in our country, that issues that relate to the civil liberties of the American people are upheld. These very same people who are holding him in contempt are part of a nationwide scheme to suppress the vote. They are closely allied with those who are suffocating the system, unlimited special interest secret money, and they are poisoning the debate. They are poisoning the debate with that money.” – June 21, 2012, weekly press briefing.
“They’re going after Eric Holder because he is supporting measures to overturn these voter suppression initiatives in the states. This is no accident. It is no coincidence. It is a plan on the part of the Republicans.” – June 21, 2012, same weekly press briefing.
“It may just be a coincidence–I don’t know–that the Attorney General of the United States, the chief legal officer of our country, has a responsibility to fight voter suppression, which is going on in our country; has refused to defend the constitutionality of DOMA because he doesn’t believe it’s constitutional; or has some major disagreements on immigration, which fall under the enforcement of immigration law.” – June 28, 2012, remarks on House floor.
“It may just be a coincidence that those are part of his responsibilities, or maybe it isn’t. But the fact is that the chief legal officer of our country and his staff have to spend enormous psychic and intellectual energy and time dealing with this unprincipled effort on the part of the Republicans.” – June 28, 2012, same remarks on House floor.
On Romney’s NAACP Speech:
“I think it was a calculated move on his part to get booed at the NAACP convention.” – July 11, 2012, interview on Bloomberg TV.