It turns out, Nancy Pelosi is also a eugenicist. Why? Because she sees science as a generally (not universally, of course) great guide to policy making--even though she actually used the word "thingamabob" at breakfast today. She wants to use it to enhance our military (quibbles with which see below), to improve family life and health care and as the main bulwark against global warming.
Some of her ideas were a bit more substantive than others. The idea that in expanding access to health care, we should also be encouraging personalized health services--incorporating medical advancements and care in such a way that treatments are administered less routinely and in a more individually tailored way--is exactly the sort of policy we should be advancing based upon scientific findings about patient specific treatments.
The idea that we need to be a mighty nation with an incredibly powerful and technologically honed military in order to be a model to the world on other issues seemed pretty half-baked and platitudinous to me, but I guess it's still not exactly popular to suggest that we in any way shrink our defense spending. And inasmuch as we're going to have a huge military, I see relatively few problems with directing its funds towards implementing better and better technologies.
The two most interesting answers came to questions from Adele Stan and Harold Meyerson. Addie asked Pelosi about preserving the Constitution through impeachment and where Pelosi stands on the Democrats' various ways forward. Pelosi's answer is, I think, telling of just how pragmatic she is in her progressivism. She admitted, fairly forthrightly, that if she were not a member of the House she'd be agitating for impeachment herself, but seems at the same time to believe that too few people in the country are so riled by what's going on to make impeachment feasible. That may be the case, but her reaction does in fact clash with the oath she took (as she reminded us all today) to uphold the Constitution. Obviously there's no easy way forward here, but hers is either way a fairly cautious pragmatism.
Harold asked her about climate change and tensions with John Dingell. On this point, she was fairly candid. She came about as close as possible to saying that if Dingell blocks climate change legislation, it will be another example of money corrupting politics. She's right, of course. Fortunately she seemed convincingly resolved not to let that happened.
My question...got timed out. I did pass it along, though, and have been told I'll get an answer. At one point, while discussing the public's and her own disapproval with the Congress, Pelosi touched on the issue Republican obstructionism, noting that the Senate only offered the people one shot at a withdrawal bill. The president, of course, vetoed that. Obviously the bulk of the problem here is... Republican obstructionism. But she did seem to think that more could have been done by Senate leadership. I somewhat agree. My question: How would you handle/have handled Iraq/general obstructionism if you were Senate Majority Leader instead of House Speaker? Answers (hopefully) forthcoming.