ANDREW FERGUSON: Good Riddance, Madame Speaker.
When rubbed the wrong way, she can summon her own kind of clarity. My favorite instance, and our third and final token, was related in a recent biography by Molly Ball. In August 2014, during yet another crisis on the southern border, a Republican congressman named Tom Marino took the House floor to chide Pelosi, then the minority leader, for ignoring it—a sign of her weakness, he said.
“I did research on it,” Marino said. “You might want to try it, Madame Leader. … That’s one thing you don’t do.”
Outraged, Pelosi flew across the floor toward Marino, arms raised.
Now, we all have our readymade insults for people we find contemptible—from chucklehead to asshole and beyond. We tend to describe the opposite of what we see ourselves to be.
Pelosi uncorked her own favorite.
“You,” she shouted at Marino, “are an insignificant person! You are an insignificant person!” Her colleagues, according to Ball, had to pull her away.
What a picture it makes! It is how I prefer to remember her, the first woman elected speaker of the House, a colossus in the politics of this century—ferocious in her pant suit, the back vents of the jacket flapping, the padded shoulders heaving, the tiny fists balled in anger and hoisted skyward. The image defines her long struggle against the great enemy insignificance, and more important, against all the little people who are themselves insignificant, and whose ranks—unhappily but finally—she now joins.
Beyond that, you have to read the article to find out what’s in it.