Party discipline is very elastic in the United States, as President Joe Biden well knows. Leading Democrats, almost always the same (Joe Manchin, Kirsten Sinema), behave like free verse, tripping up White House-sponsored bills and sometimes derailing them, but none had gone so far as to push the world to the brink. of a live fire conflict. Nancy Pelosi (Baltimore, 82 years old), president of the House of Representatives and third authority in the country, was given that dubious honor thanks to her controversial visit to Taiwan this week, in which she confirmed her commitment to the free world. “America’s determination to preserve democracy here in Taiwan and around the world remains unshaken,” she said Wednesday in Taipei. “The United States has come to make it clear that we will not abandon Taiwan,” she added, with that majestic plural that dragged Joe Biden and those in Washington who feared the consequences of his excessive enthusiasm, including the gratuitous provocation of China.
Pelosi is one of the heavyweights of the establishment Democrat, white and full of historical figures like her, almost eternalized in politics: congressman for California since 1987, he has held the presidency of the Lower House in two periods, between 2007 and 2011, part of the mandate of Barack Obama, and since 2019 , being the first woman to hold that position. Therefore, despite Biden’s warnings about the inconvenience of visiting the island, his initiative does not seem like a fledgling slip, but rather a decision that responds to his own agenda, and probably also to that of Congress, including many Democrats. , supporters of a more determined support for Taiwan than that offered by, in their opinion, timid Washington diplomacy. Hawks from both parties push Biden to toughen his policy towards China and the Senate was scheduled to address this week military aid to Taiwan for 4,500 million dollars (about 4,420 million euros), as well as declaring the island “main non-member ally”. of NATO”, but the commander in chief has asked for containment so as not to further fuel the fire around a self-governed island that Beijing considers its own.
Politics runs in the family of Nancy Pelosi, as her father, Thomas D’Alessandro, was a prominent Democrat at the time of the New Deal of President Roosevelt. Pelosi is her married surname, also of Italian-American origin and faithful, therefore, to traditions such as a large offspring (five children) and a cultural Catholicism, not exempt from friction with the curia, as in her defense of the right of women to abort. Like Biden, also a Catholic, that position has caused him more than one breakdown. The first, being denied communion by the archbishop of her diocese. In late June, on a visit to the Vatican, Pelosi, dressed in stark black, took communion at a mass celebrated by Francis in St. Peter’s Basilica. There are no images of her communion, which was confirmed by two faithful next to her, but Pelosi and her husband were photographed with the pontiff before the Eucharist.
After graduating in Political Science in Washington in 1962, and spending six years raising their children in New York, the Pelosi moved to San Francisco in 1968, where she began her career as a Democratic volunteer. He soon stood out for his talent in fundraising campaigns, a key factor in the success or failure of a politician in the US. From there he made the leap to the Democratic National Committee, the party’s command bridge, and, shortly after, to the State Congress. Leader of the party in Congress since 2003 – another broken glass ceiling – Pelosi uses his personal experience to arbitrate between opposing factions of the formation. She calls it the “mother of five children” strategy.
Despite the balance that he advocates in favor of party unity, he has given numerous signs of aligning himself with the most open or liberal faction ―although the affiliations are of its own kind in the US, without exact correspondence with the formal definition of the concept―by voting in favor of arms control measures and the right to abortion, or against the war in Iraq. Her critics criticize her for the fact that her “west coast leftism”, also called “left coast” – a copy of the European caviar left – keeps her away from the real country. The political microclimate of San Francisco, like that of Washington, was one of the targets chosen by Donald Trump to successfully attack the self-absorbed Democratic elites alienated from ordinary Americans.
Pelosi’s elitism has zeros left over. Her husband, businessman Paul Pelosi, owner of the Sacramento Mountain Lions football team, has been involved in several financial operations that sometimes border on insider trading. At the end of July, Paul Pelosi sold nearly 5,000 shares of chipmaker Nvidia for $4 million, just days before the House approved a major legislative package that provides subsidies and tax credits to boost the US semiconductor industry. It is not the only dubious example, but the Speaker of the House has always closed ranks with the father of her children, even after he was arrested in May in California for drunk driving a Porsche that was involved in an accident. The leader’s husband pleaded not guilty this week in court.
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After the arrival of Obama to the presidency, and in the midst of the Great Recession, politics helped the president carry out his stimulus program, worth 787,000 million, in February 2009 in Congress; a year later, also the health reform known as Obamacare. Pelosi has never spared support for social measures such as those that Biden encourages today. His role was also decisive in avoiding the closure of the Administration during the last stretch of Trump’s mandate, managing to twist his arm. In January 2020 he opened the process of the first impeachment to the Republican, of which he was acquitted, and a year later, he championed the creation of an investigation commission of the assault on the Capitol by insurgent Trumpists.
In the US, representatives are owed to their constituencies and their voters, rather than to the party and, of course, to any other earthly or heavenly authority. Faced with the dilemma posed by the conservative archbishop of San Francisco, also Italian-American Salvatore Cordileone, retracting from defending the right to abortion or taking communion, Pelosi has responded by qualifying the repeal of the doctrine Roe contra Wade by the Supreme Court of a “scandalous and heartbreaking” decision that obeys the “dark and extreme objective of the Republican Party to take away the right of women to make their own reproductive health decisions.” That Pelosi does not shrink even before a mitred is evidenced by the continuation of her visit to Asia while the Taiwan Strait literally sparked. For those who demonstrated in 1991 in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square with a banner dedicated “to those who died for democracy in China”, even live fire seems like little.
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