[Austin TX] When the Democrats achieved a majority in Congress in 2004, a whole lot of people were salivating over the possible impeachment of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, or both. But before people could even fully savor the thought, Nancy Pelosi announced that it was off the table.
Huh? Wha? WTF?
Close to four years later, there remains some serious animosity over this table clearing by the Speaker among Progressives, Democrats and other pissed-off folks. The room was full of them for Nancy Pelosi’s Netroots Nation appearance. Gina Cooper, NN08’s executive director asked people to show some decorum and made it clear any planned disruption during the Speaker’s appearance would bring things to a quick close. Fair enough. But some attendees seemed to think that Cooper and Pelosi didn’t play fair. When the questions from the audience started to get dicey, Cooper tossed a pre-arranged question to Pelosi about environmentalism. That was the cue to bring surprise guest Al Gore to the stage. Of course, the crowd (including me) went goo-goo crazy. Gore gave an impassioned speech, which was both informative and inspiring. It also did a great job of eating up Pelosi’s Q&A time. Nice how that worked out for Madam Speaker. Well just look at the time. I have to go!
One angry man sitting near me could no longer contain himself, since I think he came to ask one question and one question only. He finally shouted it out: “Hey Nancy! Where’s our god-damned impeachment?” There was no mistaking the question, nor that the Speaker heard him. He didn’t get an answer. He should have, even if his way of asking wasn’t exactly polite.
I’m glad Speaker Pelosi came to Netroots. I wish Cooper had been a bit truer to her mission and held the Speaker to her commitment to do a lot of Q&A. Expanding Pelosi’s allotted time under the pretense of allowing more discussion, which was how it was positioned when they moved up the start time, to actually accommodate the surprise appearance by Gore was, to me, somewhat disingenuous. Gore would have made a much better addition to the evening’s keynote instead. I hope this was just a poor management decision rather than an intentionally deceptive one. It was probably a bit of both.