December's Limbaugh Letter has these choice quotes from Speaker Pelosi on the 63-seat bloodbath of the House Democrats. “We didn't lose the election because of me...I'm the most significant attractor of support for the Democrats.” She said this on National Public Radio on the November 12 Morning Edition newscast. I went back to find out what did the interviewer say before and after this laughable blast? Anchor Renee Montagne asked about being “successfully demonized” by the GOP:
MONTAGNE: Getting back to the politics, you have been quite successfully demonized by the Republicans. How are you going to keep that from hurting your party more than it already has?
PELOSI: Well, let me say this when you say more than it already has. The reason the election results are what they are is because we have nine-and-half percent unemployment in our country. We didn't lose the election because of me.
In any circumstance when you have nine-and-half percent unemployment, any [opposing] party that cannot turn that into political gain should hang up the gloves. I said that before the election.
The reason they had to try to take me down is because I've been effective in fighting the special interests in Washington, D.C. I'm also the most significant attractor of support for the Democrats. So I'm not looking back on this. They asked me to run. I'm running. And again, our members understand they made me a target because I'm effective.
There was no laugh track for any of this. NPR surely understood that Pelosi wants to keep her job as House Democrat leader, and there were no powerful alternatives who could overtake her, so Montagne tried to put on a happy face and suggest maybe Pelosi will be happier with a more staunchly liberal minority:
MONTAGNE: I'm wondering though if it might be more comfortable leading a predominantly liberal Democratic minority rather than the quite fractious majority that you've been leading. Do you have some sympathy for Republican Jim DeMint's famously stated preference for a hardcore group of conservatives over having even a majority - in his case, the Senate?
PELOSI: Absolutely not. That - don't put me - put me there with the Democratic majority, because no matter how diverse and broad the philosophical range of our party, our approach is: Does it work, and is it fair? And we need to hear the Republican views. We have an obligation to listen to what they're going to put forth. And if it can create jobs, if it can solve problems for our country, then we owe it to the American people to work together to do that. If it is just more, more tax cuts for the rich and it'll trickle down and somebody will get a job, maybe, then we have to do something different. But let's be optimistic. We're here to solve problems.
Once again, the GOP is hearing a laugh track in their heads. Montagne began the interview with the softest of softball questions: "For the last week, the Republicans have been rubbing their hands at the prospect of you becoming a minority leader. Some in your own party are still expressing misgivings. But you've been talking about the positives. Tell us what the main ones are that motivated you to go for being minority leader."
Near the end of the interview, Montagne again suggested mildly that perhaps Pelosi could be helpful to Democrats and take the "opportunity" to keep a lower profile:
MONTAGNE: I'm talking with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Madam Speaker, is there an opportunity for you now that you're in the minority and will be -- well, to the public at least -- less visible?
PELOSI: This isn't about me. Maybe the Republicans will take a course of action that will solve problems. God bless them if they do. But maybe they will pursue what they have said, which is to privatize Social Security, to make Medicare a voucher, to resist our initiatives. So it's not - the opportunity that is there is to have clarity. Maybe they will be more eloquent in defining themselves than we could have ever been in defining them.
The Limbaugh Letter also carried this beaut of a quote from Herb Johnson, an official with the MIssouri AFL-CIO saying "Jesus Christ couldn't do anything more than Barack Obama has" to overcome Republican filibusters on the labor agenda. Notice how in an October 15 story, Associated Press reporters David A. Lieb and Sam Hananel just breezed past this insult to the power and majesty of the Son of God that most Americans believe in:
For Tucker and other union campaigners, the first task often is to persuade union members that Democrats are doing all they can to help them. The second task then is to motivate them to vote. In many places, union activists are focusing more intensely than ever on making face-to-face contact with other union members.
"Sometimes you have to remind people that, `Hey, Jesus Christ couldn't do anything more than President Obama has on the agenda we supported two years ago without the United States Senate having the votes for cloture to overcome a filibuster" by Republicans, said Herb Johnson, secretary-treasurer of the Missouri AFL-CIO.
In some states, union members have extra motivation because of a sense that their jobs may be at stake.
You would think a helpful AP correspondent might say, "Herb, we're going to let that one pass, since the rest of the country will be either angry or mocking you for those remarks."