What’s with All the Hate?

I just got off of a two week cruise and, if you’ve never done that, a cruise ship is a floating retirement village for old white people of a particular income class. Our cruise departed from Ft. Lauderdale, so it was mostly white Americans (including Canadians). The last day of the cruise was the day after Trump’s “State of the Union” chin-dribble. Mostly, what I heard from people was “Trump’s an idiot, but I really don’t like Nancy Pelosi.” Mostly, I heard that from old white women. One thing old white women do not like is other old white women. They may not be consistent in any other thing they say or believe, but they hang pretty tightly on that subject. Old white women with power and/or accomplishments are just one more thing to stack on to the “reasons I don’t like her” pile.

I wish I could tell you why that is, but I can’t. Most of the women from whom I heard this refrain were of a type I would generally describe as “angry old white women.” Politically-incorrect or not, I know you know the type. These women are fixed with a permanent scowl that has created scowl lines that make anything resembling a smile look painfully out-of-place. The odds are good that they don’t “like” anyone much.

As much as all that is true, the job of Speaker of the House is not about being “liked.” Leadership, in general, is about making decisions; often hard decisions. The job is about as much fun, and as necessary, as being a dentist. Here are a few of Pelosi’s accomplishments as Speaker of the House:
  • The Affordable Care Act with the public option (the option was eventually taken out for the Republican compromise of the Heritage Foundation mandate)
  • Dodd-Frank
  • Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay
  • Economic Stimulus Act of 2008
  • The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
  • The Credit Card Holders Bill of Rights issued new regulations on card companies, demanding that they increase transparency
  • The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act increased the amount of Pell Grants for college students.
  • The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act gave the Food and Drug Administration the power to regulate the tobacco industry.
  • The Food Safety Modernization Act giving the Food and Drug Administration more power over food producers (passed by Senate, not yet signed into law).
  • Raised the minimum wage
  • Hate Crimes Prevention Act
  • Established the Office of Congressional Ethics (the one Republicans are trying to eliminate for obvious reasons)
It’s hard to find fault with that list of accomplishments, but because she is all of the things old white women (and too many white men of all ages) hate, accomplished and powerful, she gets hatred instead of appreciation. Honestly, I suspect a lot of the hatred is based on her appearance. She looks too much like what they see in the mirror and they do not like mirrors. While she looks like them, she is a lot smarter than them and that pisses them off too. I can see that.

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