Liz Plank, writing for NBC News:
Of course the speaker is getting pushback. Pelosi displaying the
tiniest bit of rage exemplifies the scrutiny that awaits her and
women in politics — a scrutiny that is even worse for women of
color. Women learn early on to mask anger because they know
they’ll be punished for it. While Trump gets to have a meltdown
almost every day, female politicians have to be much more savvy
and calculated when communicating even the slightest bit of
But as I watched the twittersphere debate whether Pelosi’s small
act of civil disobedience was out of line or not, all I could
think about were the Democratic voters I got to interview in
Iowa this week leading up to the Iowa caucus. And how desperate
they are to win this November. The stakes in the 2020 elections
are higher than ever and the voters feel it. Every single
caucusgoer I spoke to said the same thing: “We need someone who
can beat Trump.”
So will the Democrats continue to play nice? Will they smile
through their frustration as the president hurls insults and
disgraces the office he is privileged to sit in every day? Or do
they want to win?
Pelosi — and I choose this word deliberately — triggers Republicans because she’s (a) a woman, and (b) plays hardball. She’s not fucking around. She was cool as ice as she tore that speech — it was like she was ripping up a junk mail credit card offer. It’s Republicans who’ve flipped out emotionally.
For decades now Republicans have been playing win-at-any-cost hardball politics, while Democrats have played nice. Trump’s presidency has laid bare what should have been obvious to Democrats long ago — they must play hardball too. The difference has been hardball vs. playing-nice-ball. It needs to be win-at-any-cost-including-subverting-democracy hardball (Republicans) vs. hardball with integrity (Democrats).
Pelosi gets that. And it drives Republicans nuts. The Democrats have played nice for so long that Republicans are outraged when a Democrat simply gives them a taste of their own hardball medicine.
★ Wednesday, 5 February 2020