by Max Brantley
The Arkansas Republican Party is positively thrilled that Nancy Pelosi is speaking in Little Rock today (noon at
Statehouse Convention Robinson Center to accommodate an expected large crowd). If there's anything an Arkansas Republican hates more than the black Muslim from Kenya in the White House, it's the rhymes-with-witch former speaker from the City by the Gay.
Today's "welcoming" statement from the Arkansas GOP notes gleefully that U.S. Rep. Mike Ross voted for Pelosi for speaker when Democrats were in the majority. His votes were among the fairly rare praiseworthy moments in Ross' congressional tenure. The Republicans see it differently. "With that kind of judgment for Speaker, we can’t wait to see what Mike Ross plans for Arkansas,” said GOP Chair Doyle Webb.
(Aside: Webb — whose own record includes being rapped for misdeeds with an elderly woman's estate; getting called down by his sister over handling of his own mother's estate, and getting mired in a real estate bog in Benton — is now an arbiter on good judgment?)
What is it about Pelosi that inspires such animosity? It's real though and you can't expect Republicans not to capitalize on her low esteem in polling.
A writer for Politics Daily took a stab at it three years ago. (Yes, the hate burns long for Rep. Pelosi.)
She's a tough, well-organized manager with a stable family life and a record of delivering for her popular president.
...Still, for reasons that I can't fathom, maybe because I agree with many of Pelosi's positions, the attacks on the speaker often seem to me mysteriously personal and vicious. When I recently asked Politics Daily readers why she engendered such dislike, taking care to mention that I wanted civil responses, they hurled descriptions like "arrogant," "idiot" and "two-faced snake in the grass."
Her very success (and in a man's world), I think, is a big part of it. See the same intensity of feeling toward the Big Dog.
PS — Doyle Webb, a la the Huckster, is capitalizing on the National Day of Prayer with a statement. At least he seeks only political capital, not actual money, in his press release.
PPS — Those scheduled to attend Pelosi's speech today include the father of one of the children killed in the Connecticut school massacre. He's working in the campaign to pass stronger gun safety laws and has already had a phone conversation with U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor.
UPDATE WITH PELOSI QUOTE: "I pray that Hillary Clinton runs for president." She also praised Obamacare (health care should be a right, not a privilege, she said) and said the country had a moral responsibility and responsibility to children in weighing pipeline locations, such as Keystone XL.
UPDATE WITH LINK TO SOME HATERS: Want to see a car wreck of hate? Check comments on D-G's coverage of Pelosi remarks.