Hidden away in some remote corner of the world, far away from the blazing spotlight of media attention and highly publicized political shenanigans, there may, perhaps, be a member of the human race who is more self-deluded than Nancy Pelosi. Such a person, however, will likely never have the platform to exhibit monumental stupidity in the way Ms. Pelosi does on an almost daily basis. It is tempting to attribute the former House Speaker’s routine displays of brainlessness to the erosion of mental competence which inevitably fells persons who have had such long careers in the public eye. Unfortunately, for Pelosi, the evidence suggests that she was just as ignorant twenty years ago as she is today. Among the pantheon of American political figures, she will be remembered a hundred years from now as little more than a historical accident: an unqualified and undeserving know nothing who rose to prominence in an age of unremarkable politicians and uninformed voters.
Illustrative of Pelosi’s delusional mindset is the manner in which she regularly presents herself as the embodiment of progress and positive social change. In her virtually non-existent mind, the widespread proliferation of abortion and contraception is a triumph for women, freeing them from the shackles of womanhood to pursue meaningful careers in business, education, and (of course) politics. She considers herself to be in good company but, as Kathryn Lopez observes, her knowledge of history is characteristically lacking.
My chair was getting crowded in,” Nancy Pelosi recounted recently, albeit not for the first time. She was recalling her first White House meeting as the first woman Speaker of the House when she found Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Alice Paul, and Sojourner Truth, among others, all sitting in her chair. “I could hear them say: ‘At last we have a seat at the table.’ And then they were gone.”
Some fun was had with the claim, which I wasn’t so much astonished by as disappointed by. I was sorry that Anthony and Stanton, for example, weren’t able to stick around long enough to have a fuller encounter with the trajectory of modern feminism. What must they think about Pelosi’s role as a leading advocate of legal abortion, and as a strong force behind the health-care legislation so fundamentally unfriendly to conscience rights? Anthony, Stanton, and other suffragettes, after all, recognized the rights of the vulnerable unborn as clearly as they did their own rights as women.
While the blogosphere was still buzzing about Pelosi’s sister session, President Obama was in Denver, being introduced by Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown Law activist who has become the poster gal for his administration’s contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing-drug mandate. He made the point, as he regularly does, that this mandate is both equivalent to and at the core of women’s health care, but he insisted that he had reached a reasonable compromise with Catholic schools and hospitals. The truth of the matter is quite different, however, as even the University of Notre Dame, which honored the same president three years ago, is now suing him to protect its religious liberty. Even Sister Carol Keehan of the Catholic Health Association — formerly a key ally of Obama’s on the health-care law — has found herself having to reject administration claims that an acceptable accommodation has been drawn up.
At the heart of the Obamacare mandate is the notion that fertility is best handled through “preventive services.” This is an idea that would be foreign to many of the women who crowded into Pelosi’s chair, who didn’t consider their femininity and very biology shackles.
Modern “feminists” like Pelosi view freedom and equality in a manner that would be utterly foreign to their forebears who, after all, wanted to be appreciated first and foremost for their womanhood and all that entailed, including the privileges of childbearing and motherhood. The current “feminist” obsession with abortion and contraception is a radical departure from the legacy of Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, et al. Pelosi and mindless acolytes like Sandra Fluke are representative of a “feminism” that is in a truly pathetic state. Women, they believe, ought to be free to be anything they want to be except, well, women.