You know you’re in trouble when, as a liberal Democrat, you’re mocked by Jon Stewart of Comedy Central. But that’s what happened to Nancy Pelosi last night. Stewart charts, through Pelosi’s own words, what he describes as the Speaker’s slow parse away from her unequivocal denials of having ever been told about enhanced interrogation techniques, including waterboarding. In Stewart’s words, we have “basically gone from ‘I definitely was not told’ to ‘I was told but they used an auxiliary verb with a slightly more passive mood.”
This is a clever and funny skit on what is, in reality, a very serious matter. Nancy Pelosi’s clumsy effort to explain what she knew and when she knew it is Clintonesque. Add to that her thundering condemnation of a technique she apparently approved of at the time, and certainly took no steps to stop, and you have a story that ought to be, and still may be, very damaging to the Speaker of the House.