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Shut Up, Ms. Speaker (Apr. 5, 2007)

Nancy Pelosi's amateurish attempt at diplomacy so exposes her arrogance and ivory-tower engagement with reality that even the mainstream media have to take notice. This is probably very bad news for Democrats. The only thing the media seem reluctant to do is to declare her incompetent, as they are so eager to do in the case of Republicans.

Make no mistake about it. She is completely incompetent.

When Ehud Olmert, the prime minister of Israel, inadvisedly spoke with her about his diplomatic position vis-a-vis Syria, she apparently stopped listening after he said "We are willing to sit down and open new discussions with Syria ..." She missed the qualifying language: "... as soon as Syria renounces terror and ceases its efforts to destabilize Lebanon's democratic government."

The only thing that matters in diplomacy, besides having a stick to hit them with and a carrot to offer, is precision of language.

Well, grandma Nancy has flunked her most important English exam ever.

She told the media that Olmert and President Bashar Assad, the terrorist thug who clearly ordered the murder of an opposing leader in Lebanon, were willing to sit down to talk peace as a result of her unprecedented trip. Oops. That was not true, as Olmert's office was hard-pressed to point out immediately, lest her gaff be left unchallenged.

But the damage was already done. Now the Arab media will be able to parade her before their people as another shining example that exposes what they want to portray as the intransigence of Israel.

Assad has another hammer, when what he needed was another knot in his head.

Ms. Speaker? It is time to shut up. You are showing yourself to be the Neville Chamberlain of your time (and that's probably an unpardonable insult to the memory of Neville Chamberlain).

Somehow I don't think Israel is going to get the abject apology they deserve. There is too much arrogance and too little common sense in the Democratic party for that.

UPDATE 4/14/2007: Grandma Nan has now said that she did not say what she said she said when she told the media what she said to Assad. Let's accept that for the sake of argument: One might suggest she was tired, and forgot to include the most critical details of what she actually said, since it implied to everyone that she hadn't said anything she hadn't said she'd said. A more cynical critic might point out that she was dishonestly trying to put a more significant spin on what she'd said, since it was hardly going to be news to Assad if she just said to him the same thing that Israel's been telling him for years. There could have been no claim of a breakthrough if she'd been honest. "I told him once again what Israel and the United States have been telling him less directly for years: that there will be a chair for him at the table as soon as he stops supporting terrorists and stops interfering in other nations' internal governance. And he gave me no reason to think he's going to do such a thing, although he does have a nice smile."

Well, if she'd said that, everyone would have known that her trip was pointless, but at least she wouldn't have caused such consternation for everyone who wants Assad to play nice.

Yep, she's incompetent. But she has a nice smile!

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