Would-be Speaker Pelosi’s “No I Won’t” that means “Yes I Will” cut Soc. Security

A quick hits follow-up to the “Pelosi & Hoyer killing Social Security” story.

Yesterday, Russ Feingold called out once-and-would-be Speaker Pelosi for her new-found support of the Simpson-Bowles “Grannie’s New Diet” proposal (my emphases everywhere):

Russ Feingold … said in an email to supporters that Pelosi “has signaled a disturbing potential willingness to adopt a plan that could slash these benefits. And it follows a pattern: Too many House Democrats, including Steny Hoyer, are already on board.”

I think “potential willingness” is Feingold being polite, but that’s just me; I could well be wrong.

As you can imagine, the “Catfood Train” has a lot of hands on the wheel, none of whom are pleased. One of the displeased is Russell Berman writing at The Hill. Note, the following is in his own voice; it’s the writer speaking:

Feingold’s missive was striking for its harsh tone. The email included a photo of an angry-looking Pelosi similar to ones that conservatives have used to demonize the former Speaker in their fundraising efforts.

Feingold lost his bid for a fourth Senate term in 2010, but he remains a darling of the left. Pelosi supporters were apoplectic on Thursday and appeared taken aback by Feingold’s attack on a woman who is herself a favorite of liberals.

Or the reverse — Feingold is a “favorite of liberals” … and Pelosi is a “darling of the left.” Hm, somehow not the same.

See how this works, fans-of-prose? Well done, Mr. Berman; almost snuck it past us.

In addition, Would-be Speaker Pelosi had words herself. Guess what they were — you have three choices:

  • No, I won’t cut.
  • Yes, I will cut.
  • The No that means Yes — I’ll confuse you first, and then cut.

Ready? Mr. Berman writes:

In a Twitter message on Thursday, Pelosi responded … “ICYMI I’ve spent my career protecting Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid from GOP attacks — nothing’s changed, I will continue fighting,” she wrote.

See any mention of Simpson-Bowles? Anythng about protecting Social Security from Democratic attacks? Did the word “catfood” come up?

Beneath the fog, Pelosi just said Yes — she will vote for Simpson & Bowles’ Grannie-Tax proposal when next it rears its head.

Two notes:

■ We tried asking: We asked. We got an answer. Time to move on to something more forceful? How about billboards in her district? Pelosi & Hoyer, smiling & agreeing — the BFF approach.

■ Why is this happening? My Inner Occam says — Pelosi wants the Speaker’s gavel back. Obama has wanted to cut (“fix”) Social Security since at least 2006. They made a trade.

This, folks, is what Feingold may have meant by:

“Cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits … shouldn’t be put on the table by Democrats for any reason — including cynical, political ones.”

Or not — there are lots of cynical motives swirling in Democratic brains. Still, my money’s on Occam to win.

Oh, here’s that CREDO Action link again, just in case.

(By the way, I’m kinda liking that billboard-in-her-district idea. It’s good to see unity in the “fierce defender” caucus, and good to show it off. Nancy & Steny — wonder if that would get her attention…)


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Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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