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Oxford Union Debate: Winston Marshall Demolishes Pelosi’s Argument That Voters Are The Problem With Democracy

Oxford Union Debate: Winston Marshall Demolishes Pelosi’s Argument That Voters Are The Problem With Democracy

“Elites use [the term ‘populism’] to show their contempt for ordinary people,”

We’ve known for a long time that the Democrats loathe and disdain normal Americans. Whether we are busy clinging to our guns and God (Obama), just downright deplorables (Hillary), or threats to the soul of nation (Biden), everyday American voters are constantly belittled, demonized, and/or ignored by Democrat elites (by establishment elites on both sides of the aisle, frankly, but particularly overtly so by Democrats).

So it was with great interest that I watched the recent Oxford Union Debate on whether or not populism is a threat to democracy. While the debate consisted of numerous speakers (you can view all the parts here), I was most interested in hearing what Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) had to say and to the now-viral response by Winston Marshall.

Fox News reports:

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was rebuked as an “elite” during a recent Oxford Union debate, where she argued that populism in the United States is a threat to democracy.

Pelosi — a self-described “devout” Catholic — said during the April 25 debate that certain Americans, whom she considered to be “poor souls who are looking for some answers,” refuse to accept the answers Democrats give them on particular topics due to their beliefs about “guns, gays, [and] God.”

Challenging Pelosi’s position in the debate about populism, Winston Marshall, a musician who was once a part of Mumford and Sons and now hosts the “Marshall Matters” podcast for The Spectator, spoke in opposition to the Oxford Union motion that “This House Believes Populism is a Threat to Democracy.”

. . . . Pelosi said, “Democracy is the rule of law, democracy is free and fair elections, democracy is about independent judiciary, it’s about freedom of the press to have transparency and to have accountability of elected officials to the people.”

“It’s about all of that, and that is everything that the populist regime in Washington, D.C., is against,” she added. “Ethno-nationalistic populism, as is the threat to democracy, is about threatening what they call elites, a free press,” she said. “It’s about fighting issues that relate to free and fair elections, where we have voter suppression to the nth degree under this regime and its resistance to passing the Voting Rights Act, the John Lewis Act, all of that.”

. . . . At one point, while speaking about those who may consider themselves a part of the populist movement and/or are “poor souls who are looking for some answers,” Pelosi said, “We’ve given them to them, but they’re blocked by some of their views on guns – they have the three Gs, guns, gays, God, that would be a woman’s right to choose — and the cultural issues cloud some of their reception of an argument that really is in their interest.”

Here’s Pelosi:

At about 10:10, Pelosi rambles on about random people asking her “what happens if he [presumably Trump] gets reelected?”. Her response is chilling: “Well, we can’t let that happen.”

Her argument appears to be that “democracy” means something different today than it did in our country’s past. It’s a bit scattered and ill-presented, but that seems to be the general gist of what she is saying. Very strange all the way around.

Marshall was much more coherent and made a great, thankfully linear case for populism, seeming to expand the meaning far beyond the one Pelosi offered (ethno-centric isolationists who cling to religion and guns and who can’t be trusted to vote properly or correctly because voters are so confused by the term “fake news.” Or something. She really didn’t make much sense.).

Fox News continues:

Marshall argued at the April 25 debate that the meaning of the word “populist” has been changed by “elites [who] have failed” to align with their own narrative.

“‘Populism’ has become a word used synonymously with ‘racist.’ We’ve heard ‘ethno-nationalist,’ we have ‘bigot,’ we have ‘hillbilly,’ ‘redneck,’ we have ‘deplorable,’” Marshall said. Pelosi had argued in her remarks that contemporary American populism currently had an ethno-nationalist character.

“Elites use it to show their contempt for ordinary people,” Marshall said.

Marshall argued that the change in meaning of the word “populist” is “a recent change,” and pointed to a 2016 speech delivered by then-President Barack Obama, who he said “took umbrage with the notion that Trump be called a populist.”

“If anything, Obama argued that he was the populist. If anything, Obama argued that Bernie was the populist,” he said. “Something curious happens. If you watch Obama’s speeches after that point, more and more recently, he uses the word ‘populist’ interchangeably with ‘strong man,’ ‘authoritarian.’ The word changes meaning. It becomes a negative, a pejorative, a slur.”

. . . . “Populism is not a threat to democracy. Populism is democracy. And why else have universal suffrage if not to keep elites in check?”

Marshall said he was “rather surprised” that Pelosi was arguing in favor of the motion as he thought “the left was supposed to be anti-elite” and that the “left was supposed to be anti-establishment.”

“Today, particularly in America, the globalist left have become the establishment,” he continued. “I suppose for Mrs. Pelosi to have taken this side of the argument, she’d be arguing herself out of a job.

Marshall went on to claim that “populism is the voice of the voiceless” and that the “real threat to democracy is from the elites.”

Here’s Marshall:

Marshall’s full argument:

Marshall makes great points about J6 and what Trump actually said vs. the Democrat elite lies, about our federal government’s role in suppressing free speech online, and about the economy-crushing policies coming from Democrats (and Davos, he mentions the Farmers’ Revolt across Europe, as well as the trucker convoys in Canada). Well worth watching the whole thing.

According to Marshall, Pelosi was less than gracious while listening to his argument.

The Oxford elites voted—177 to 68—that populism is a threat to democracy, but the internet has clearly begged to differ.

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Comments


 
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Mauiobserver | May 11, 2024 at 7:59 pm

Absolutely worth watching!


     
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    CommoChief in reply to Mauiobserver. | May 11, 2024 at 8:41 pm

    Very much with the 1/4 hour investment to view. The growing center/right populism cuts across Nations and the elites recoil from it. Instead of submitting to any sort of self examination of the criticism they apply pejorative labels and treat the very valid points with derision and general public with disdain. Sooner or later that particular formula will cease to be effective. To paraphrase Kurt Schlichter the elites should fear what comes after Trump or what comes if Trump fails far more than an electoral victory by Trump himself in ’24. Whatever follows a Trump defeat in ’24 or if elected a failure in office to put through meaningful reforms to government will be far more frighteningly belligerent. IOW better the devil you know.


     
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    diver64 in reply to Mauiobserver. | May 12, 2024 at 6:48 am

    Pelosi graceless as always and proves the point that Elites are the threat by constantly interrupting. It’s clear that the hag dislikes anyone who disagrees with her even to the point of bringing up the fallacious point Trump incited an insurrection something he has never been charged with. She is so loathsome it is hard to put into words.


       
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      Antifundamentalist in reply to diver64. | May 13, 2024 at 10:28 am

      Her lack of manners and decorum… she’s there representing the United States and behaves that way. She believes the rules should not apply to her.


     
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    mrtomsr in reply to Mauiobserver. | May 12, 2024 at 8:29 am

    Amazing to me is the lack of serious debating being featured by any of our education institutions. There is virtually no promotion of debate in the public sphere. What is promoted is a lecture, usually controversial, followed by the outcry by the usual victims.

    It is very telling that our featured congress critter in this setting showed off her grasp of the rules and etiquette in proper debate. We wonder why our representatives are collectively held in such low regard, Nancy just showed us why.


 
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Virginia42 | May 11, 2024 at 8:05 pm

Brilliant!


 
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schmuul | May 11, 2024 at 8:14 pm

Wonderful it’s refreshing to see intelligent debate and not people trying to do gotchas and sound bites


 
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rhhardin | May 11, 2024 at 8:15 pm

Populism would be like Huey Long, against the corporations and for the little guy as a public position to get votes.

It’s playing on envy and resentment.

The mistake is that that’s not what the Tea Party was, and hence Maga either. They’re more into first principles. Clean up after yourself, for example, so much so that it takes over the space envy would live in.

It’s not about elites, it’s about no longer giving each other rights as the country’s compact. Half the country wants rights taken away so that distribution works better.


     
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    Christopher B in reply to rhhardin. | May 11, 2024 at 8:45 pm

    This is kind of a confusing comment which is why I think you got a couple of down votes. You do bring up the point that populism is a variation of Leftism which is why it is attacked so vehemently by Democrats like Pelosi.


       
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      Mauiobserver in reply to Christopher B. | May 11, 2024 at 8:52 pm

      Probably because most on this board favor a constitutional republic where the government and bureaucracy is restrained by the will of the people. It is clear that the power structure and democrats in particular despise the working class and middle class in this country.


         
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        rhhardin in reply to Mauiobserver. | May 11, 2024 at 9:06 pm

        Populist is the wrong term, implying as it does envy and resentment as a source, as Pelosi apparently points out.

        The problem is then to properly characterize Maga and the Tea Party, which is certainly something innate in the people involved.

        The deal is that inalienable rights from God is code for what it really means, that these are rights we give each other, in order to qualify as Americans. It’s the compact that the country is based on. The Tea Party and Maga should be seen a against withdrawing those rights from each other. That’s where its moral flavor comes from, and is why the Tea Party always cleaned up after itself. If you follow those rules, you’re an American. If you don’t, you’re not. It’s not a contest of wills to eke out rights, but worrying about the rights you give to the other guy first of all.

        Pelosi characterizes that as stupidity, and the other guy sees it as resentment elites. Neither is close.


           
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          steves59 in reply to rhhardin. | May 11, 2024 at 9:36 pm

          “The deal is that inalienable rights from God is code for what it really means, that these are rights we give each other, in order to qualify as Americans.”

          Disagree completely. “Inalienable” rights are not “rights we give each other.” They’re rights that came from a “greater power” and not from Man.
          Thinking that we can give each other rights leads to the belief that we can then take away rights from others, especially those who we believe should not have those rights.
          Kinda like the current FedGov.


           
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          rhhardin in reply to rhhardin. | May 11, 2024 at 9:56 pm

          The compulsion comes from its defining what an American is, not from a supernatural being. Something determining what you are is the moral aspect itself. You become you by granting those rights.

          A fuller and perhaps more convincing argument is in “The Rights of Man and the Rights of the Other” in _Outside the Subject_ by Levinas.


           
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          diver64 in reply to rhhardin. | May 12, 2024 at 6:53 am

          You have an entirely misguided view of not only the Tea Party and Maga but what an inalienable right is. It is not “rights given to each other”, they are rights inherent in each individual that can neither be given by nor taken away by others. For you to argue otherwise suggests a progressive mindset that sees Government as the arbiter of individual rights that can be bestowed on a person or taken away at the whim of a bureaucrat. In short, an argument for the Administrative State as the “God” of everything and the individual is subservient to it in all things.


           
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          geronl in reply to rhhardin. | May 12, 2024 at 7:33 am

          We didn’t give each other rights, we were born with the rights. These are natural human rights.


           
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          rhhardin in reply to rhhardin. | May 12, 2024 at 8:50 am

          It’s a compact that Americans agree to, which makes them Americans. Including Americans who are atheists, as enthusiastically as anybody. This only works if it’s about giving rights to each other. Otherwise it’s just selfishness.

          The Tea Party and Maga are about resisting changes to who they are, namely Americans. Not about belief in God.

          Wrong.


           
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          SeekingRationalThought in reply to rhhardin. | May 12, 2024 at 10:20 am

          I agree that we don’t “give” rights to each other and that they cannot be LEGITIMATELY taken away. But the can be taken away. The Constitution represents the agreement that we will not allow someone to take those rights away and agree to protect each others rights. Ultimately, the Democrat’s compulsive push for careers, power and personal wealth leads them to fascism. It is inevitable when government is the source of wealth and power (think of government as the bank and Pelosi and friends as Willy Sutton), hence the need to reduce the size of government. Some Republican careerists have similar tendencies, but at least there is a meaningful opposition to their choosing their self-interest over that of the population at large.


           
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          alaskabob in reply to rhhardin. | May 12, 2024 at 11:42 am

          In alienable rights can’t be “inalienable” when they are “given” to each other. They exist no matter what or where. When we land on Mars, the rights are there also. These are universal rights. Anything less is asking for slavery… of body and mind.


           
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          rhhardin in reply to rhhardin. | May 12, 2024 at 12:39 pm

          “Inalienable rights can’t be “inalienable” when they are “given” to each other.”

          They can if you cease to be the “you” that you choose to be if you withhold them. In particular if you choose to be American.

          Muslims in America may withdraw your right to draw the prophet. What happens? They’re not, or no longer, American. And in fact nobody draws the prophet. It’s too dangerous. There are aliens in the population.

          What’s broken is the giving of that right by others.


           
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          CommoChief in reply to rhhardin. | May 12, 2024 at 5:40 pm

          ‘Give’ seems wrong. IMO it is an issue of reciprocal respect for each other and for each others rights. Coupled with the Founders admonitions about:
          A. Keeping the Republic (can’t be passive)
          B. Awareness that our system depends upon the continued morality/good faith of not only our political class but ordinary Citizens to preserver (IMO morality isn’t about religious faith but personal ethics from a common perspective, in our case Western which is heavily grounded within a Judeo-Christian dominant cultural/societal framework)


           
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          rhhardin in reply to rhhardin. | May 12, 2024 at 8:54 pm

          “‘Give’ seems wrong. IMO it is an issue of reciprocal respect for each other and for each others rights.”

          You give the other rights because of what it makes you. It doesn’t start as a contest of wills, which is why it’s moral. It’s portrayed that way but that’s not its beginning.


           
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          diver64 in reply to rhhardin. | May 13, 2024 at 6:02 am

          I admire your dedication to being completely wrong about something after reading your further comments. You seem to lack comprehension of simple terms and meanings of words.


         
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        ThePrimordialOrderedPair in reply to Mauiobserver. | May 12, 2024 at 12:37 am

        Probably because most on this board favor a constitutional republic where the government and bureaucracy is restrained by the will of the people.

        The important point in a Constitutional Republic is that the will of the People is restrained by the Supreme Law, the same as the arms of government are supposed to be.

        In our Constitutional Republic, specifically, we do not even do national referenda or anything of the sort. There is no such concept in the American Constitutional architecture.


           
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          diver64 in reply to ThePrimordialOrderedPair. | May 12, 2024 at 6:58 am

          “In our Constitutional Republic, specifically, we do not even do national referenda or anything of the sort. There is no such concept in the American Constitutional architecture.”

          This is why the Founding Fathers made sure that the election for President was not a national referendum or popular vote takes all. Winning the popular vote is meaningless in the framework created and for good reason. A Republic quiets the passions of populism providing additional steps along the way to slow things down for deliberation. Pelosi is much like every other Progressive “never let a crisis go to waste” meaning strike while passions are high and ram through bad legislation in a fait accompli which is very difficult to reverse when hindsight shows how bad it is. Obamacare is an example of this.


           
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          alaskabob in reply to ThePrimordialOrderedPair. | May 12, 2024 at 11:46 am

          Washington (spoiler alert: slave owner through marriage) said that government was like fire… “Government Is Like Fire, a Dangerous Servant and a Fearful Master”


     
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    chrisboltssr in reply to rhhardin. | May 12, 2024 at 11:33 am

    I’m not envious or resentful. That would be the elitists who deign they have to share the same air with lesser people than them. Populists just want to be left the fuck alone, but the elitists won’t let us be.

Nancy did surprisingly well during that debate. Hardly slurring her words or staggering at all. For her, that’s a fantastic performance. Sure she lied a lot, but if she didn’t do that, she wouldn’t have anything to say at all.


     
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    geronl in reply to irv. | May 12, 2024 at 7:31 am

    She also proved that her version of democracy doesn’t mean what everyone else thinks it means.


     
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    MarkSmith in reply to irv. | May 12, 2024 at 8:39 am

    I agree. Considering how she sounds three sheets to the wind when she normally talks and is 84, she did quite well. The Adrenochrome must be working.

    Great distraction and great discussion, but what is in this for Pelosi? Are they paying her millions or is it her ego.

    It validates what I already thought, Their TDS is fueled by their belief that anyone with a different view are inferior.


 
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destroycommunism | May 11, 2024 at 10:53 pm

the exact same way that pelousy elites think

so too did the french elite at versailles


 
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destroycommunism | May 11, 2024 at 10:57 pm

yeah and as soon as the mob came to “share” her ice cream

her socialist uptopia would crumble like an ice cream cone on a hot july florida sidewalk


 
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Tiki | May 11, 2024 at 11:37 pm

Mike Benz:
.
“Democracy no longer means a consensus of individuals, it means a consensus of institutions.”

We’re the serfs in Baroness Nancy Pelosi’s feudal estate.


 
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ThePrimordialOrderedPair | May 12, 2024 at 12:32 am

Pelosi said, “Democracy is the rule of law, democracy is free and fair elections, democracy is about independent judiciary, it’s about freedom of the press to have transparency and to have accountability of elected officials to the people.”

Democracy is about free and fair elections among those deemed eligible voters, and that’s it. None of that other stuff has anything to do with Democracy, at all. And the Democrats are specifically opposed to free and fair elections.


 
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ThePrimordialOrderedPair | May 12, 2024 at 1:15 am

When Nanzi interrupted Marshall, I have to assume that that was against the rules of the debate, she demonstrated that she cannot even stand a free and fair debate for which nothing is at risk.

As to the insurrectionist riots of 2020, they were all part of a large and shamelessly self-proclaimed insurrection, dramatically emphasized by their desire to tear down all symbols of America (in addition to all the direct chaos and damage and utter chaos throughout the nation). On top of that, in Seattle they actually took territory (illegally granted to them by a sitting mayor and governor) to establish the insane CHAZ nation. You cannot get more insurrectiony than seizing actual territory and declaring a new nation on it. It was a huge mistake that Trump didn’t send the feds in to drag the Seattle mayor and the Washington governor out of their offices in chains and try them for treason. Huge mistake.


     
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    gonzotx in reply to ThePrimordialOrderedPair. | May 12, 2024 at 8:45 am

    They, the military, probably wouldn’t have obeyed President Trump


     
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    Milhouse in reply to ThePrimordialOrderedPair. | May 12, 2024 at 12:40 pm

    You cannot get more insurrectiony than seizing actual territory and declaring a new nation on it.

    Indeed you can’t. That is the very definition of insurrection.

    It was a huge mistake that Trump didn’t send the feds in to drag the Seattle mayor and the Washington governor out of their offices in chains and try them for treason.

    No, he couldn’t have done that. Neither of them was personally involved in the insurrection, they did not adhere to the insurrectionist cause, and they did not commit any overt act to help them.


     
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    drsamherman in reply to ThePrimordialOrderedPair. | May 13, 2024 at 10:06 pm

    It is, in fact, a grave offense to the rules of debate to interrupt a speaker. That is what your rebuttal time is for. Especially in the stuffed-shirt environment of British whackademia, Nasty’s thrice-shrieked whinging was considered the worst possible thing to do. “Methinks the drunken old bag doth protest way damn too much!”


 
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henrybowman | May 12, 2024 at 1:31 am

“Marshall argued at the April 25 debate that the meaning of the word “populist” has been changed by “elites [who] have failed”

Isolationist is a word invented by imperialists to denigrate noninterventionists.

Populist is a word invented by elites to denigrate an appropriately self-interested electorate.


 
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smooth | May 12, 2024 at 4:50 am

Why does the glassy eyed old bat wave her hands around so much when she speaks?


 
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smooth | May 12, 2024 at 4:57 am

Looks like she has a neurologic disorder and can’t control the movement in her right arm.


 
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geronl | May 12, 2024 at 7:30 am

“Democracy” to the left today means something totally different than what everyone thinks the word means.

“We are better than you, vote for us because you are too stupid to run your own lives”

Populism is “vote for us, we are one of you”

Words mean what we say they mean, nothing more nor less
The Leftists love to change word meanings


 
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E Howard Hunt | May 12, 2024 at 7:49 am

Much empty palaver about labels’ effect on other labels.


 
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Peter Moss | May 12, 2024 at 8:03 am

Mrs. Pelosi seems to conflate our constitutional republic with democracy. In a constitutional republic, we the people hold power. In a democracy, people like Pelosi hold power, which she uses to enrich herself and those around her. People that eschew flying commercial to do something as mundane as flying from IAD to SFO by commandeering a government-owned 757 filled with vodka bought on the people’s dime deserve nothing less than the white hot scorn and contempt that are being aimed at her. For as much as I loathe someone like Mitt Romney, at least I can say that I have personally witnessed him flying with us commoners.


     
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    Milhouse in reply to Peter Moss. | May 12, 2024 at 12:52 pm

    People that eschew flying commercial to do something as mundane as flying from IAD to SFO by commandeering a government-owned 757 filled with vodka

    That never happened. She never commandeered anything. During her first term as speaker she flew on military planes, as had been the standard practice for all speakers since 2001. It was the Sergeant At Arms who decided that for better security she should use a plane capable of making the trip non-stop.

    In her second term as speaker she flew commercial, as she does now. Apparently the DOD decided it was once again safe enough for her to do so. And of course when she was minority leader she flew commercial.

    Nor was her plane “full of vodka”. It had the standard catering provisions of all such flights.


     
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    ThePrimordialOrderedPair in reply to Peter Moss. | May 13, 2024 at 2:31 am

    In a constitutional republic, we the people hold power.

    Absolutely not!

    In a Constitutional Republic the Constitution holds the power. It is the Supreme Law. The will of the people must bow to the Constitution, as is true for every arm of government, too.

    The only democratic processes utilized by the Founders int eh Constitutional architecture of our government was for 1/2 of 1/3 of the federal governmental defined offices – the House of Representatives. That was it. Democratic processes were not specified for anything else. And there was nothing remotely of the concept of universal suffrage of any sort, either.

    We have been given a long lesson is why things were initially structured that way …

I’ve been saying for years ‘the voters are the problem,’ so Pelosi is sort of correct, but not in the way she means it.

The founding of this nation saw only White, property owning citizens eligible to vote. Fast forward 236 years to where any 18 y.o. unemployed pink haired tranny vegan can motor voter their way through 300 days of voting season, and into taxpayer funded govt. handouts.

The voters are the problem, and it will only get worse with the clamor for open border illegals to vote in a nation they have no allegience, are ignorant of its history, and see it as only other oppurtunity to pilfer its treasury.

Nancy luvs that kind of populism, but hates deplorable maga world populism. Otherwise, she loves ‘our democracy’, but only when her side wins, and will throw you and me in prison for ‘insurrection’ if we doubt those results.

The voters are the problem, but not the way Nancy means it.


 
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BierceAmbrose | May 13, 2024 at 12:02 am

Lot of Kinsley gaffes this week. Yeah, you’re not smart enough to go for your own interests, so they have to do it for you.

Also, they have to pass the bill for you to see what’s in it. Or, in then event, you might get to see what that bill does to your health care costs, options, and access, but. you know, after it’s been around enough to build constituencies so you can’t unwind it.

They’re gonna arrange the world a better way, and they just happen to get carrying charges off everything they orchestrate — a small price to pay for their beneficence.


 
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drsamherman | May 13, 2024 at 10:03 pm

Not to mention, in the United States, we really do not give a Good Goddam what a bunch of overpampered, snobby and arrogant British trust fund brats think about our government. Are they still that resentful about 1776?

Jeez! Get the hell over it?


 
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Kepha H | May 14, 2024 at 10:47 am

Nancy Pelosi cannotbear to think of the institutions she and her colleagues worked so hard to capture might be captured by others–with the help of the voters.

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