A headline like this must send shivers up the spines of Democrats and bring smiles to the faces of 2010 Republican candidates: “Nancy Pelosi resists President Obama’s outreach efforts.” She is so perfectly tone-deaf, so utterly opposed to compromise, and so unfazed by the political peril that dozens of her members face, that one sometimes suspects another devious Karl Rove plot is in the works. (Maybe Pelosi could oppose all tax cuts! Then she could reject even the baby-step spending freeze!)
But to the chagrin of many Democrats, this is for real. Pelosi isn’t interested in anything other than spending gobs more money and passing ObamaCare. This report gives the blow-by-blow from Tuesday’s White House meeting:
White House economic advisers Christina Romer and Larry Summers defended the administration’s proposal to give employers a $5,000 credit for each new worker they hire as well as help with Social Security taxes.
Pelosi countered that no one she’s consulted believes that the plan will actually lead to the creation of new jobs, sources said.
“She questioned the efficacy of it,” one Democratic aide said.
Another Democratic aide said that Pelosi has “some concerns about the tax side” of the jobs bill Senate Democrats are trying to pass, but that she didn’t say she’d refuse to move the bill through the House if it clears the Senate.
Pelosi’s push back against the tax credit plan is the latest in a series of breaks with White House officials.
You do sometimes wonder if the White House wouldn’t do better if Pelosi were the Minority Leader. She’s been quite an annoyance of late. (“Most recently, she questioned Obama’s proposal for a three-year freeze on discretionary non-security spending, saying any freeze should apply equally to defense as well as domestic spending.”) And she certainly does exemplify the anti-business, anti-growth, pro-tax-hike image Democrats are perpetually trying to live down (because they keep proposing anti-business, anti-growth legislation and tax hikes, I suppose). Well, Obama may get his chance to deal with a Republican-controlled Congress if she keeps this up.
For the Republicans, this is political manna. Pelosi is the poster girl for political extremism and for big-government infatuation. If they’re lucky, she’ll stick to her guns, hobble the feeble steps by the White House to reach out to Republicans, and remind voters that the Democrats never met a tax break or a spending freeze they could support.