The Speaker of the House is third in line for the Presidency of the United States of America, assigned with the duties of Commander in Chief on behalf of the nation — ultimate authority and command authority over the military, particularly.
Those in this top-tier range — President, Vice President, Speaker of the House — require the highest degree of security for understandable reasons: national security, and more specifically with these three offices, to secure the ongoing Commander in Chief employee of the nation be available should any of the other two be indisposed or otherwise unable to fulfill the duties of the Office of the Presidency.
The security issues involved here are not about the personalities in the Offices, not about their whims and customizations of just what they think they should have or deserve but are, instead, about the Offices themselves in reference to the security of the nation.
Individuals who run for public office are applying for employment (and in Pelosi’s case, received) to and with the nation to provide services in the offices they seek and/or hold. They’re employees and they have job descriptions and job requirements.
Along with that employment comes certain responsibilities to their employer, the nation. In the case of federal employees such as is Pelosi as Speaker of the House (as are also the President and Vice President and everyone else in the Executive and Legislative Branches of government), they’re literally hired by the majority of the nation to provide services as an employee and included in that is their responsibility to fulfill job requirements and continue to fulfill employment standards.
But apparently, newly arrived Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi thinks national security is all about her personal wants. And she’s throwing a temper tantrum accordingly because she’s being confronted with job requirements that she doesn’t like: the security measures provided to the Speaker of the House by the DOD.
I initially found this story of the Nancy Pelosi temper tantrum about her demands for a larger plane, “or else,” to be embarrassing about her personality and not worth my time to write about it here.
With ongoing developments, however, and Pelosi’s increased display of temper tantrum tactics about this issue via petulent threats (“I’m happy to fly commercial if you won’t provide me with [what I want]”), it’s not a story that’s going away and the personality issues by Pelosi grow increasingly alarming given the seriousness of the Office she holds — Speaker of the House, third in line for the Presidency of the United States, responsible to and employed by the nation to provide and fulfill certain job responsibilities.
But, temper tantrums because she is not being provided by the people (the U.S. taxpayers who foot the bills) with the standard of luxury that she’s accustomed to due to her personal and family fortunes is her method of threat and threat she is engaged in upon those who employ her: the nation.
Story/issue in summary:
— the Department of Defense (“DOD”) maintains and provides aircraft for the travel requirements of the Offices of these three top-tier employees (President, Vice President, Speaker of the House) not because they’re being nice or doing anyone personal favors but because they are entrusted with this area of security on behalf of the nation — it’s an issue of security, again, on behalf of the nation;
— The DOD provides workable, secure aircraft for this top-tier personnel that is functional and available to transport these employees to and from wherever they are to go and does so;
— Nancy Pelosi arrived in her Office as Speaker of the House and alleged that she not only “needs” to fly to and from her home in San Francisco and her office in D.C. (understandable, not a problem so far) but that she also “needs” her family to fly along with her (not understandable unless her family is also sworn into Office as one of these top-tier employees, which of course they are not);
— Nancy Pelosi, in addition to needing/wanting her family to be transported (at taxpayer expense, all elaborations understood to accommodate that unprofessional demand) coast-to-coast upon her demands and available to her upon her whim — the equivalent of demanding a private jet service that would be on standby for her avaiable use at will, a craft or series of aircraft that is large enough to transport herself AND her “family” coast-to-coast; and,
— Pelosi rejects the existing aircraft provided by the DOD (not large enough to transport her “family” along with her, not on standby for her whim but a service she would be required to request and then accept as provided (same service provided to previous Speakers), including aircraft that make other stops after she’s (any Speaker) is boarded and which includes fuel-stops along the coast-to-coast distance.
So, Pelosi said she wanted a larger plane, one that made no other stops after she boarded (capable of flying non-stop, coast to coast and doesn’t make any other stops along the way otherwise), one that was capable of transporting herself AND her “family,” is available on standby (dedicated craft for her use only), at taxpayer expense.
But she’s already being provided as Speaker with reliable, secure aircraft that are capable of flying her coast-to-coast reliably.
She wants extra services and she’s threatening the security of the nation if she doesn’t get those indulgences. She’s engaging in temper tantrum leverage in attempt to fulfill her demands, including threats upon and about the DOD and the standards (and responsibilities) of her employment.
I watched her on an interview two evenings ago with Greta Van Susteren on FOX News and what and how Pelosi responded to Van Susteren’s questions was revealing as to Pelosi’s petulence. When asked by Van Susteren what the issue was, Pelosi — without regard for the security requirements involved nor her responsibilities as a federal employee to maintain them — responded:
“…if they want me to fly (using DOD planes) then they need to provide (her) with a plane for (her and her) family…they’re just mad at me because I criticized the Department of Defense and Donald Rumsfeld.”
And, later today, she says:
“…I am happy to ride commercial if the plane they have doesn’t go coast to coast” – (for her and her “family” without stopping along the way and with a bedroom (or several, perhaps).
She’s revealing that she not only does not respect (or perhaps, worse, does not comprehend) the security concerns involved with her Office, or, she’s using national security as temper tantrum leverage (“do what I say or you’ll suffer” would be a good summation of that last quote), or, she’s emotionally upset because she can’t impose special use by whim upon taxpayer funded services. Probably all of those.
I’d have earlier thought that a non-stop flight from her work in D.C. to and from San Francisco might have made sense but after hearing her immature demands in that interview with Van Susteran, it was clear that Pelosi’s concerns are with power politics and posturing (“give me what I want or else…”) than she is cognizant of the importance of the security requirements surrounding her as Speaker and/or, she’s using national security concerns to threaten for-to-receive special taxpayer funded personal luxuries.
Pelosi, who became House speaker last month, said stopping for fuel would reduce the security of the flight.
In a letter to Pelosi yesterday, the Defense Department said it would provide her transportation, without guaranteeing an aircraft large enough to fly non-stop to San Francisco. The letter also made clear that members of her family must reimburse the government at a rate determined by the House ethics committee.
“Non-U.S. government travelers, other than your immediate family, will not be authorized,”‘ said the letter from Robert Wilkie, assistant secretary of defense for legislative affairs. “As with previous speakers, we cannot support expenditure of DoD resources for your travel to or from political events.”‘
White House spokesman Tony Snow today defended Pelosi’s use of a plane, and said the negotiations involve the Pentagon, not the White House.
“This is a silly story and I think it’s been unfair to the speaker,”‘ Snow said.
That didn’t dissuade House Republicans. Today, they halted debate on an energy-related bill for more than two hours to criticize the request for a larger plane than Hastert used for travel.
Representative John Shadegg, an Arizona Republican, said it was unfortunate House members must debate the “excessive amount of money to accommodate one member Congress.”‘ Representative Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican, said Pelosi’s “personal choices are extravagantly contradictory”‘ to her support for efforts to reduce the use of fossil fuels to address the risks of global warming…
Pelosi insisted this week that she is not involved in the talks, and the House Sergeant of Arms Wilson Livingood is handling the matter. She suggested today that her criticism of the war in Iraq is a factor in leaks from the Pentagon about the request that have suggested she is seeking more access to a government plane.
“Why are they feeding the flames?” she asked rhetorically today, adding that she has been a “constant critic”‘ of the war and of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld…
The existing flght service has not proven to be INsecure for previous Speakers of the House, including stops for refueling, contrary to Pelosi’s allegations. There is, in fact, no basis for that allegation by Pelosi other than it sounds to me that she’s grabbing at various temperamental accusations for the sake of pressuring others involved to get what she wants. I can’t say I’m surprised.
I disagree with Tony Snow’s glib, condescending dismissal of this issue as being “a silly story,” because it’s demonstratively representational of the new Speaker’s querulous nature.
This story reveals a setback, too, as to normalacy of women at work. Are we next to see Pelosi wave her finger again and stamp her expensive foot? What will she threaten next? If she wants “the same treatment any man (receives)” — what she said recently to the media — then she might want to stop demanding the special treatments and fulfill the responsibilities of the job instead of threatening when she resents the requirements she’s required to fulfill.
“…Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.) rescued Pelosi from further questioning…”
While MediaMatters freaks-out about poor waif Nancy being so brutalized by the big, bad Conservatives in the massively-male dominated confines of the oppressive nation’s capital, NewsBusters points out the real but ignored reality of Liberal bias in the media:
“…at this point in Newt Gingrich’s new job as Speaker in 1995, the networks had aired 27 stories on his $4 million book deal with HarperCollins, making Gingrich’s ethics a major theme. Stories uncomfortable for Pelosi, from the plane story to the Star-Kist minimum wage exemption in American Samoa, are not being judged as newsworthy by the media powers that be.”
Pelosi denigrates the “minority”: ROYALTY VERSUS COSTUMERY
Something I found on FARK.com (I don’t know who to accredite this to, apologies accordingly):