Pakistan News Service

Tuesday Jan 22, 2019, Jumada-al-awwal 15, 1440 Hijri

Pelosi, the new direction of America

09 November, 2006

By Riaz Missen

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The Democrats intend to lead the most honest, the most open and the most ethical Congress in history, said Nancy Pelosi who has recently presided over the Democrat's victory in the Congress. She has spent 19 years in the House. Her surge to fame has come from the fact that she is the first women in American history to lead the Congress.

Pelosi has kept the Democrats in the House together over contentious issues like Iraq and tax cuts in educations and healthcare for last four years. She, an excellent campaigner and fundraiser, has made victory possible for her party and elevated herself to the status of 'Madam Speaker'.

The midterms were projected as historic event by the media — the Americans were meant to give their verdict on the "We will stay course in Iraq" policy of the Republicans. The Democrats had said they wanted to change this course and they made the most crucial stride to this end in this election.

The US president had warned the Americans before polls that the Republican defeat will bring humiliation for the US in Iraq. He had urged them to keep America on course in the Middle East through staying with the Republicans.

As the power balance tilted in the House of Representatives in the favour of the Democrats, the officials of State Department assured key US allies that Republican fall will not affect US engagements abroad.

Richard Boucher, the US Assistant Secretary for South Asia and Central Asia, said in Islamabad that the result of midterm elections would not affect his country's relations with Pakistan. Same assurance came from Zalmay Khalilzad, the US ambassador in Baghdad. "President is the Military Commander -in- Chief as well," he said.

"Sea to shining sea, Americans voted for new direction," Pelosi said in Washington. She pledged partnerships with the Republicans in Congress, and the president. Already dominating powerful committees, the new balance of power will introduce checks and balances in the working of the House that the Democrats say was absent since last four years.

Pelosi has pledged to work with the president on a new plan in Iraq and has put his impeachment off the table, for she takes such an exercise as a waste of time. She will be, rather, concentrating on the issues that have surfaced on the top of the Democrat's priority list.

Though she says her strategy in the House will be that of partnership not partisanship, a lot depends on her party representatives to develop a consensus on the issues they have been divided on so far.

Pelosi, termed by US media as limousine liberal, had been demanding commitment from her party members on providing relief to middle class Americans in education and healthcare. The higher minimum wages is also on her domestic agenda that she is expected to push in the House.

Midterms have really proved to be referendum for President Bush who was asking US public to help him take War on Terror to its logical end: complete victory. Bush already a being a lame duck president, there are dismal chances the Republicans will win 2008 presidential polls.

Which side America will go when the Democrats are in the driving seat, a lot depends on Pelosi, the person who has led her party to stunning victory in midterms. Her political skills are time tested; her commitment with change in the course of America's history is still to be translated into concrete actions.

Pelosi's elevation to the status of the 'Madam Speaker' is not without challenges. The Democrat's return has been coincided with the heavy US engagement in Iraq where violence has not subsided even years after the overthrow of Saddam regime.

She is not meant to introduce deep divisions in the House while changing the course of her country in Iraq. She is known as power broker. She has meant consensus in the past. Her new responsibility demands her to continue with this image.

America is not such a country that will take U-turn on its foreign policy front so easily; when stakes are too high compromises are the only answers — she is already talking about compromises! The possible course lies in staying in Iraq while bringing civility in discourse on foreign policy

Dominating the House has made the Democrat's presence felt every where. Compromise on Iraq will be definitely responded by Republicans with cooperation on their rival's domestic agenda. The two parties will develop a real partnership on this front. After all, 12 year rule of the big business has ended and, 'middle class has won in the middle of America'.


Reader Comments:

It is very nicely wriitn article.

Mr. Riaz Missen has presented a pragmatic anaylisis of the mid-term elections. Pilosi's leadership qualities provide role model to the women aspiring for political participation in our country.

Sher Mohammad, Pakistan - 09 November, 2006

Wrong Analysis

It is understandable how one looking from outside can misinterpret things so badly but this is hardly a turn in direction. What this was was a "vote of no-confidence" on Rumsfeld and the lack of agression he has shown in prosecuting the Iraq war. In two years we will have another election where the Democrats will overwelmingly be voted out of office. This is similar to what happened in 1976 and 1992. Both years Republicans suffered big defeats only to rise to victory in 1980 and 1994.

Gene, United Kingdom - 09 November, 2006

Wrong Analysis

While Republican politicians did poorly in 2006 conservaive initiatives (where the public gets to directly vote on laws) won almost everywhere. This is no turn in direction. Instead this is a pause. Also don't underestimate the role that a scandal with Rep. Mark Foley played in the lost. That was a significant reason lots of people were so against Republicans this year. But by 2008 that will not be a factor. Pelosi will soon be but a footnote in history as San Francisco "values" are really not supported by middle class America including the growing Muslim population who don't want to live in a country where Pelosi's degenerate social policies rule the day.

Gene, United Kingdom - 09 November, 2006

American People Sends a Clear Message

The American People has sent its Message. And it is loud and clear.

We will not accept it.

We will not accept it.

We will not accept a Gay Congressman going around soliciting young males.

This year's election was more of a defeat for the so called "log cabin" Republicans than it was a turn in direction into the hands of Nancy Pelosi and her San Francisco "values".

Kevin, United Kingdom - 09 November, 2006

Pelosi? New Direction?

If Nancy Pelosi does signal a new direction for America then Muslim families better make plans to leave the country as soon as possible. Because I doubt many Muslim families would want to raise children in a country where San Francisco "values" reign supreme.

Sue, United Kingdom - 10 November, 2006

Internal Issues Led to defeat

This election's result is only temporary. You need to look at the American elections of 1976 and 1992 and compare it with 1980 and 1994 to see that this will lead to a bigger win for the Republicans in the future.

What you saw this year was an abandonment of the base. Bush's own constiency didn't like what he was doing. And more importantly they didn't like what CONGRESS (which was who was being voted on) was doing.

The Republicans were particularily hurt by domestic issues not directly related to the war on terror. There was a Republican congressman who turned out to be a homosexual and even worst he was going around soliciting young boys in Congress. These boys were there to get to know how Congress works. They are called pages and what they do is pretty simple . They deliver things to the Congresspeople when they are siting at their seats in the chamber - notes documents and stuff. The congresspeople personally choose them - usually therefore from prominent families or sometimes from less prominent families but the congressmember knows the family somehow and wants to do them a small favor. These people leave their family for a small period of time so often this experience is the first time the young person has been outside of parential control.

Anyway the idea that some Congressmember was going around solicitng these young people was too much for the American people to stand. Even worst it seemed like the party leadership knew this was going on and did little to stop it.

Also many who usually vote Republican were upset that Congress and the President had done little to stem the flow of illegal immigration. This issue became very prominent this last spring when all these Mexicans disrupted the major cities of our nation marching down the street with foreign flags and foreign language signs. In most countries the response to that would have been patriotic people going up and killing these foreign protestors, but that is not how it works in a democracy.

And, people who usually voted Republican were mad that the party that claimed that it was going to reduce the size and scope of government did exactly the opposite. Budgets increased significantly during the years that Republicans were in control of Congress and it finally got to a point where concerned independent conservatives could stand that no more.

Sure, Iraq played some role. People thought that Rumsfeld was not fighting the war agressive enough. Americans can take casualties. We took plenty of them during WWII. But as a great general said "you win wars by having the other guy die". And we were not seeing enough of that going on. Now that Rumsfeld is gone from what I can tell of the new guy he is no longer going to treat the war as it was some "police action" but instead get in the mud with the terrorists and defeat them at their own level. To show them what another of our great generals once said - "war is hell - you can not refine it".

Gus, United Kingdom - 10 November, 2006

Pelosi a role model? Sher?

Sher the only way that Pelosi's leadership qualities could provide a role model to the women aspiring for political participation in your country is if you want Pakistan to become a degenerate country. But I know that isn't what you want for your country Sher so I would suggest that you look elsewhere for role models for women aspiring for political participation in your country.

Alex, United Kingdom - 11 November, 2006

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