Newsweek's Eleanor Clift Protests Nancy Pelosi Is Painted as a 'Far-Out Liberal,' But...
Newsweek's Eleanor Clift clearly suggests a schizophrenic approach in her year-end interview with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She insists conservatives are wrong to paint her as a "far-out liberal," but then turns around and asks how liberals, "your people," are disappointed there wasn't a pullout from Afghanistan, a "public option," and abortion on demand:
CLIFT: You are seen as this far-out liberal, when you actually are quite traditional in your lifestyle. I feel like the country doesn't really know you.
PELOSI: I don't choose to spend my time countering perceptions and mischaracterizations that the other side puts out there. I choose to do my job. Because we are effective, I continue to be the target.
Clift told Pelosi many liberals didn't expect bargaining and pussy-footing, but a full-speed-ahead socialist push.
CLIFT: If you look at liberals these days, they are restive, disappointed, and as we speak here today, the president is ready to send more troops to Afghanistan. You've got a health-care bill where the public option may or may not survive, you've got some challenges on the reproductive-rights front.
PELOSI: We'll get those done.
CLIFT: How do you deal with the liberals, your people?
PELOSI: Well, we have a big tent in our party. And I was elected to represent my district and others were elected to represent their districts. [But] I always say, what are the three most important issues facing Congress? Our children, our children, our children. So, if you look at it that way, we are a pretty homogeneous group.
This "our children" line is always interesting from a fierce feminist who puts "abortion rights" at the top of the pile of civil liberties. She tells Clift it was frustrating that Catholic bishops "were not willing to accept what we know to be a fact" -- that the "public option" would not violate a ban on federally-funded abortions. Pelosi clearly puts abortion and homosexuality ahead of the faith she says she accepts as Clift asks about her "brushes" with the church:
I have some concerns about the church's position respecting a woman's right to choose. I have some concerns about the church's position on gay rights. I am a practicing Catholic, although they're probably not too happy about that. But it is my faith.
I practically mourn this difference of opinion because I feel what I was raised to believe is consistent with what I profess, and that is that we are all endowed with a free will and a responsibility to answer for our actions. And that women should have that opportunity to exercise their free will.