As we all know, a few weeks ago the Democrats formally took control over the House and the Senate. Champagne fell from the heavens and the birds began to chirp again. If you were to turn on the news and didn’t know any better, you may have thought the cure for cancer had finally been discovered.
Pictures of the new Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi at the gavel, surrounded by children, could be found in all forms of media. With her first words to the House as the first female speaker, Pelosi said that “.everything we do, when we call that house to order, will be with the eye to what the impact is on our children and on America’s future, which is our children’s future.” What is that supposed to mean? Is she implying that for two hundred years, Republicans and/or men have ignored children? I hope not.
However, my favorite line of her speech did not involve the children. When talking about her plans in dealing with congressional corruption, she was quoted as saying, “It takes a woman to clean house” (BBC News).
In retrospect, not only was this line funny because of Pelosi’s “I break the stereotypes” attitude, but a sense of irony is felt given her actions in the following days.
During the famed “100 Hours” when the Democrats would rush six big bills through the House, Pelosi decided that she couldn’t wait to commence her own clandestine affairs.
One of the six bills introduced in the first hundred hours was a bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $7.25 per hour. Not only did the Democrats pass the legislation through with no committee hearings, very little debate, and no expert testimony as to the consequences of the bill, but Pelosi personally exempted a company in her district from it!
That’s right folks, Nancy Pelosi, with the children in mind, personally exempted Del Monte, the company that runs Starkist tuna which is based in San Francisco, from having to increase their minimum wage! My question to her would be: Which child was she thinking about when she did that? That must have been one very naughty kid.
Regardless, this goes to show that Pelosi knows just as well as I do that raising the minimum wage was a bad idea and it hurts those who it aims to help, mainly by way of inflation and lost jobs.
Apparently, partisan politics will still be held over morals in the Democrats’ eyes, whether they have power or not. Now is the time they can back up their claims to the American people that they will work together in a bipartisan matter. But how can we get there with the ringleader abusing her power?
So is this the new face of our government? Is this what we can expect for the next two years? Although I pray it’s not, I fear that it is. Unless the Democrats can find a way to actually work with the Republicans, Bush might want to invest in a bigger inkpad for his veto stamp.
Nick Hemenway is a senior mechanical engineering major. His column appears every Tuesday in the Collegian. Replies and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.