Thursday, August 19, 2010

Nancy Pelosi, Pen Pal

Levity can be leveraged.

Roger L. Simon, writer, critic, and regular columnist for Pajamas Media and other news outlets and blogs, responded to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s remark on KCBS Radio in San Francisco that the funding behind the effective and influential opposition to Imam Feisal Rauf’s Ground Zero mosque (once Cordoba House, now called Park51) should be investigated. Doubtless she had been informed that about 65% of Americans are opposed to the mosque, and that this is largely a consequence of not only the blogosphere, which is doing the MSM‘s job of actually reporting news that‘s fit to report and print.

It is also the result of the dedicated, concerted, and collective efforts of critics operating independently on a total budget perhaps one one-hundredth the size of her House of Representatives income. This does not include her various Speaker perks, travel allowances (e.g., commandeered military aircraft for junkets, for getting home to have dinner with her very quiet, frightened-turtle, multi-millionaire hubby in San Francisco, and other pressing, “official“ business), a premium health care plan which most taxpayers who are paying for it could not afford, a multitude of reimbursable expenses, and other elitist benefits.

Roger Simon, in “Investigate Me, Nancy!” begs her in his “open letter” to Pelosi to please, please investigate him, because it’s her patriotic duty to, well, squelch all criticism of the Ground Zero mosque, ObamaCare, and other matters. It would give her so much satisfaction. Otherwise, he might be taken for a racist, or a bigot, or a cretin. He asks her to find and follow the money trail, although he admits there is no trail to follow. Never mind Imam Rauf’s own money trail, that’s completely “legitimate” it would certainly not lead to states that sponsor terrorism and who plotted and funded the 9/11 attacks on this country. And as for Rauf’s credentials as an “out-reacher” to all faiths and persuasions, well, he did attend some suspicious conferences and once said (rather amusingly) that the only place “interfaith dialogue” occurs is in hotel conference rooms, nowhere else if he could help it, and that he really didn’t believe in it.

I left a comment on Mr. Simon’s article which the satirist in me compels me to enlarge upon. It is an imaginary but wholly credible “open letter” reply from Nancy to Roger Simon. After all, they are both public figures, so, why not be “open” about it?

Dear Roger:

Are you serious? Are you, really? You’re not joking? I don’t know what I’ve said or done to earn such…well…not to put too fine a word on it: Sarcasm? Invective? Hate? I’ve half a mind (and I DARE you go comic about that!) to propose to the House that someone introduce a bill that would ban all hateful thoughts and words by outsiders (meaning the electorate, and especially Tea Partiers and bloggers), spoken or printed, about the members here, including me, to preserve the respect and dignity of my office and the House’s that we deserve.

We’d only need to dither over punishments and penalties -- behind closed doors, of course, transparency has its limits and we couldn’t concentrate on the bill’s particulars with lots of ignorant people shouting at us all the time. Of course, you and everyone else “out there” would need to wait for the bill to be passed and sent up to the Senate and the White House so you can see what’s in it.

Of course, that would require the creation of a new federal enforcement agency, and setting aside some budget money for it, or raising taxes, or just ordering the Treasury Department to print the necessary funds. What would the new agency be like? Something, well, a little like the Gestapo, or the Stasi, or the KGB, but without any scary faces or anything. No trench coats or fedoras or anything like that. You want effective, efficient government? We can oblige you. I understand those people were very effective moral conditioners and dispellers of bad feelings, even though they lacked the sophisticated SWAT gear that exists today. So, do you really want me to propose an investigation?

Now, I really wouldn’t want to do such a thing, but you must admit it would be good for the country, good for communications, a necessary corrective to preserve the power and dignity of those who know better than you what’s good for you in every little thing. You know how bad feelings and bad thoughts can simply ruin perfectly good relationships, and here I thought we had one, until people began asking me questions, and saying that “we lie,” and insisting on poking their noses into the House’s business, and just behaving like Americans gone wild. It’s intolerable and very saddening and I wonder just what this country is coming to, what with all those disrespectful town hall meetings and people waving silly flags and signs in Washington and all over.

About the Ground Zero mosque matter: We have reviewed all the information available about Imam Rauf and his partners and his funding sources, and have concluded that they’re irrelevant and the mosque will pose no security threat to this country. Of course, all the available information is hard to interpret, because all references to Muslims and Islam and terrorists have been banned from intelligence memos and the like, so it’s just your word against ours. Very difficult for you.

And, besides, to build or not to build the mosque is a local issue, very pedestrian, hardly a national security one. Mayor Bloomberg said so -- bless his heart, even though he’s a Republican -- and there’s the kind of bipartisan cooperation I’ve been talking about for the longest time! And now the archbishop of New York has endorsed the mosque, and he’s hoping Muslims and Islam will let bygones be bygones, because it was a couple of Catholic monarchs who kicked the Muslims out of Spain, wasn’t it? In 1492, when Columbus discovered America? Or was that later? What a shame. Those poor Muslims and Indians over here got such a raw deal in the same year. I’m told that Indians contributed as much as the Muslims to this country, they discovered the wheel and corn and stuff and I think I read somewhere that it was a Muslim pilot who had a magnet or compass or something on the PiƱata or Pinto, one of those ships, that got Columbus over here in the first place.

Besides, this whole “affront to the country” thing and claiming the mosque at Ground Zero would be a victory symbol for Muslims overseas or the Taliban people, is just a lot of emotionalism and horse apples, as my father used to say. Smacks of the Ku Klux Klan and Rotary Club or Shriner bigotry. It would be a victory for religious freedom in this country, and I challenge anyone to prove to me that Islam is some kind of intolerant ideology bent on replacing our beloved Constitution with Muslim law, like some kind of sneak, as some right-wing paranoids are saying. I mean, I’m not an expert on Islam or Muslims, but I did go to the Mideast and wore a scarf or negligee or burqa or whatever that’s called. I admit Muslims wear funny clothes and do funny things -- not at all like the solemn things we do in my parish church -- you did know I’m a Catholic, right? -- but we must be tolerant of the peculiar ways of all creeds.

Now, Roger, if you want me to propose an investigation into your opposition funding, I will. All I have to do is slip the word to the right people. But wouldn’t you just rather I hit you over the head with my special Speaker’s gavel? I’ve acquired quite a swing! It would be so much simpler a solution, and it would save time and taxpayer money! Don’t just think of yourself, think of all the hard working Americans who’d have to pay for your incarceration.

By the way, don’t write me off as un-reelectable. Our Leader and I and Mr. Reid have some pretty tricky cards up our many and ample sleeves, so we’ll have the last laugh.

And, Roger, you know how I can laugh. In your face, or to the side, or up my sleeve.

As always, cordially, and impishly, your “public servant” (chuckle, chuckle),

Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House
United States Congress


Randy said...

Ed, you may need to step back a bit from Ms. Pelosi. You seem to have tapped right into her brain, for surely this 'satire' is exactly the internal rhetoric she experiences daily. I'd really hate for her inanity to rub off on you. :)

Anonymous said...

Randy: One of the the tricks to fiction-writing -- and this satire is a special instance of it -- is to project the epistemology and metaphysics of a character and imagine what he would do or say. No chance of Pelosi's inanity rubbing off on me. I'd stand a better chance of catching typhus in a hospital cafeteria than Pelosi infecting my mental health. ;-)