Unpacking Pelosi

Here is a more complete account, with full text, of Speaker Pelosi’s “Let them be investigated” remark, by Daniel Foster at the Corner. In fact, she made two comments about the people who oppose the Ground Zero mosque. Initially, in a talk radio interview in her home district of San Francisco, she suggested that there was something sinister in the fact that two of the first three callers to the program talked about the mosque instead of a certain local issue that Pelosi thought the program would focus on (message: how dare people be interested in the subject that they’re interested in, rather than in the subject that I’m interested in?). This seems weirdly paranoid and off the planet as only Pelosi can be. After all, the president himself made the mosque a national issue, addressing the question no less than three times last weekend, so naturally people want to talk about it. Perhaps the president should be investigated for sparking interest in the mosque?

In a second, supposedly clarifying statement issued by her office the next day, Pelosi shifted ground and agreed with the hyper liberal Anti-Defamation League that the mosque developer’s sources of funding ought to be revealed, then she added that the mosque’s opponents’ sources of funding should be investigated too. This strikes me as a surrender disguising itself with a gesture of moral equivalency. That is, she was admitting that there are indeed valid reasons to be concerned about the mosque, but, to save face, she was intimating that the mosque opponents are equally suspect. My tentative impression is that Pelosi did not intend the idea of investigating the opponents to be taken as a serious proposal . Her initial statement, on the radio show, was an expression of irrational annoyance fueled by the standard left-wing paranoia about evil conservatives; her second statement, in which she agreed with the mosque opponents but then suggested an equivalency between the opponents and the developers, was an expression of female spite. Substantively, she was giving in to the other side, but she wanted to stick it to them even in the act of doing so.

Correction, 8/19, 10 a.m.

On reading Pelosi’s statements again, I see that the sentence in her second statement positing an equivalency between the developers and the opponents,

At the same time, we should also ask who is funding the attacks against the construction of the center,

was not by Pelosi, as I initially thought, but from the statement by the Interfaith Alliance that she was quoting and endorsing. So I take back my tentative observation that her call for investigating the opponents as well as the developers was merely a passing expression of personal spite or lunacy. It is more serious than that. It is an articulated position shared by the Interfaith Alliance and Pelosi, and perhaps by the ADL and other leftist groups as well. The next step is to find out more about the Interfaith Alliance.

Here is the text of Pelosi’s two statements.

First statement, on the KCBS radio program:

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 being funded. How is this being ginned up that here we are talking about Treasure Island, something we’ve 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 are about a zoning issue in New York City.

Clarifying statement, sent to Gregory Sargent of the Washington Post:

The freedom of religion is a Constitutional right. Where a place of worship is located is a local decision.

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. “

- end of initial entry -

James P. writes:

Pelosi’s desire to find out “who is funding the attacks against the construction of the center” is yet another example of the Left’s belief that no honest, principled disagreement with them is possible. As they are, in their view, intelligent and acting from the best of motives, naturally all good, intelligent, and honest people support them, and anyone who opposes them is by definition stupid, evil, and corrupt.

John Dempsey writes:

I’ve come to believe that liberalism is indeed a mental disorder of sorts. Time after time, liberals seem not to be able to understand things that are intelligible to everyone else. If something differs from their worldview, it is quite likely that they cannot conceptualize its possibility. Even something so strikingly obvious such as the fact that there are people in this country who don’t agree that Muslims should construct a victory monument on the site of their conquest where they slaughtered three-thousand innocent fellow countrymen, thus making this a political issue, cannot be grasped by the liberal mind. The fact that the majority of Americans are against this project must amount to a well-funded conspiracy by some evil group. The fact that the GZM is a vastly more important issue to these Americans than the issue of the development of Nancy’s artificial island paradise cannot be conceived.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 19, 2010 01:54 AM | Send

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