When CNN describes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as having committed an “unforced error,” it must have been a big mistake.
It sure was, and she doesn’t understand why.
Pelosi’s mindless, unmasked visit to a San Francisco hair salon is not only a big political blunder — it’s also the latest example of what the Wall Street Journal calls the “glitterati’s let-them-eat-cake indifference to the nation’s shop owners and wage earners.”
The longtime California congresswomen seems comfortable with two sets of COVID-19 rules: One set allows her, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and other elitist elected leaders to come and go as they please. The other set of stricter rules applies only to typical Americans struggling to survive COVID-19-imposed business closures.
Even more telling is Pelosi’s shock over the widespread condemnation of her salon visit. Seemingly stunned by the criticism, she lashed out at the salon owner and, in so doing, managed to turn a news story that would have played out in a day into a three-day media drubbing.
“Pelosi seemed to breathe more life into the uproar on the right when she called the whole thing a ‘setup’ on Wednesday afternoon, injecting more misery and drama into the story,” reads a Washington Post editorial.
“It sounds more as if she’s casting blame, dangling the notion that someone reeled her into this salon to capture her there and broadcast it to the world,” the Post editorial added.
Businesses should be able to open. These politicians are crushing the dreams of small-business owners and their employees, many of whom are out of a job.
Newsom is a member of the same elite political class as Pelosi. The California governor tried to dodge his own COVID-19 shutdown rules in July when he issued orders for widespread business closures in 19 counties, including Napa County.
However, four wineries in Napa County — owned by Newsom’s investor group — remained open. Only after a public shaming did Newsom decide to follow his own rules.
If such blatant acts of hypocrisy by Pelosi, Newsom and others aren’t bad enough, their inconsistent leadership and policy decisions are driving many of our nation’s major cities into ruin.
California wildfires continue to wreak havoc due to years of horrible land-management policies, both at the state and federal levels, that don’t allow for commonsense firebreaks in forests, controlled burns and other responsible means of keeping land and property safe.
This mismanagement doesn’t affect only rural regions. Lack of leadership and know-how also devastates the intersection of urban and rural communities.
Californians are ready for change and big-thinking leadership. We should create an updated state Fire Air Corps, a large new fleet of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters dedicated to rapid response and containment of wildfires that have ravaged tens of thousands of acres. Funds for a Fire Air Corps should be diverted from the failed $100 billion high-speed rail project.
There are other innovative legislative proposals, from both Democrats and Republicans, to increase the ranks of our wildland firefighting corps. If we accept that climate change will intensify these wildfires in California and the West over time, then we need to attack this fire enemy with military-like intentionality and funding.
Most prominent big-city leaders have done little or nothing to condemn the widespread violence, looting and destruction occurring in several major cities. Only recently, as new polling numbers reveal how voters are increasingly concerned for their safety, are some Democrats back-peddling and paying lip service to the issue.
“A Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll finds 77 percent of Americans are extremely or very worried about crime in our nation’s cities, and a majority believe that local officials are not arresting and prosecuting the perpetrators,” Washington Post columnist Marc A. Thiessen writes.
Many of our major cities are on the brink of collapse due to decades of policies that enable addiction and homelessness, hurt free markets and small-business growth, increase taxes and ignore public-safety concerns.
While the elected political class attempts to placate voters with pollster-generated talking points or blame others, voters are taking a close look at the actual people responsible for why America’s cities are failing.