Pelosi and the Age of Avarice

Photograph Source: US Department of Labor – Public Domain

“Thank god, thank god, oh thank god.”

– Nancy Pelosi describing how Democrats reacted to her decision to seek re-election

I beg to differ. And it’s not because I’m an atheist. It’s because, at the risk of being labeled ageist, sexist, (and quite possibly anti-coastal), I’ve always considered Nancy Pelosi a uniquely horrible human being. I’m not saying Nancy Pelosi is too old to hold office. I’m saying she is far too demonstrably rotten.

Nancy Pelosi’s career in public service has resulted in the public servicing her lavishly. During her time in the House her net worth has miraculously grown from $2,700,000 to, at minimum, 50 times that amount. {Open Secrets estimated $114,662,521 in 2018 and it has only appreciated since} And in return for that unfathomable amount of cash Nancy has more than pro quoed the quid.

She has worked tirelessly to allow congressional family members to trade stocks. She has consistently undermined any possibility of universal healthcare. She has salivated over awards from the cretinous Peterson Foundation for her misplaced fixation on PayFors and balanced budgets. And most obscenely of all, she not only accepts the premise of Reaganism but avowedly lusts for its return.

Pelosi embodies the atrophied self-absorption which passes for action among our ruling class. She exists to define the possible down while cloaking avarice in pragmatism. And not since Henry Cabot Lodge routinely asked Theodore Roosevelt during moments of crisis “Is there anything we can appear to do?” has a politician gotten more unwarranted veneration for doing less tangible good.

Pelosi’s legislative accomplishments are legion. If by legion you mean applauding weirdly, theatrically ripping bits of papers, and having a separate freezer for ice cream. Apart from her daughter, Nancy Prowda, sporadically wheeling the carcass of Diane Feinstein around the Senate halls in order to keep the seat moist for Adam Schiff that’s pretty much it. Oh wait… she also plans to write a book about The Star Spangled Banner. For as she informed Politico’s Jonathan Martin, “it’s important to make sure that our flag is still there.” {SPOILER ALERT: I checked Nance. The flag is not only still there, it billows atop 750 overseas military bases in more than 80 countries.}

I realize that all politicians are considered indispensable. Occasionally, even by someone other than themselves. I’m old enough to remember when Democrats trembled at the prospect of Dan Rostenkowski going to prison because he was the only one in Congress who understood how to write a tax bill.

But today it’s as though we are trapped in a bizarre Marvel Movies reboot which might as well be titled “THE LEAGUE OF UN-EXTRAORDINARY CADAVERS.” We prop up ossified charlatans doddering over the abyss as though it’s the only conceivable option. With the Grassleys and McConnells and Bidens and Hoyers and Clyburns we don’t merely tolerate mediocrities, we proactively lease them open-ended suites at a bicameral Dementia Village.

Yet in a world of strained rationales for clinging to privilege Speaker Emeritus Pelosi is in a class of one. An 83 year old multi-millionaire who considers climate action a “green dream” and progressivism neither a “winning message” nor “something we are doing right now” and has publicly stated that she’s running to maximize her fundraising capability off her 36 year incumbency!

This should not be a tough call for “real Democrats” even with money and Democracy and Francis Scott Key apparently all on the ballot. The average voter need not be Oliver Cromwell to agree that “It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place.”

As for Pelosi’s fears of insufficient leverage and prestige, I prefer thinking about the pressing fears of less affluent 80 year olds: The realization that they have to give up driving. The gnawing fear that by signing over their house to one of their children for a dollar they might somehow awaken in the street. The sort of fears which intensify with darkness and don’t diminish by going downstairs at 3 AM because you can no longer sleep, or by sleeping in a chair because you can no longer lie down.

I think of my Grandfather who came over from Slovakia in 1911. He quit school at 14 to go to work at Bethlehem Steel. Which is today, aptly, a casino. He suffered horrific injuries. Lost a thumb when his arm was caught in the roller and he had to remain conscious in order to instruct the other workers how to free him. But he also founded the Y B BLUE Club (get it?), taught himself geometry, made dandelion wine, and held parties in his garage where he and his pals, much to my Grandmother’s chagrin, ate every last one of her homemade Kiffles. And unlike Nancy he actively loathed Ronald Reagan.

When he died at 82 I watched my 84-year-old Grandmother’s version of fundraising. She went to the cupboard and took down a tattered shoebox and counted out hundred dollar bills to pay the undertaker. Good people.

And I’m certain Nancy Pelosi wouldn’t have given the remotest f**k about either of them.

Jerry Long is a writer, actor, podcaster and political satirist who, with his brother Joe, has worked with Adam McKay on numerous projects. He can also be reached at