During World War II, Winston Churchill warned of the danger of fighting a land war against Japan in Asia. "It is like going into the water to fight the shark," he said. That's about what it is like fighting the Speaker in the House of Representatives.
Pelosi controls every aspect of a House member's career. She can turn on and off the spigot of money to his campaign, move the member's office to the broom closet in the basement, cut back on his staff and travel allowances, move him to the DC and Post Office Committees and bring mayhem to his official life.
But beyond her power lies the penalty of exile and ostracism. The House is very much a fraternity/sorority of members and group-think is very much in vogue. A Senator who had served in the House once told me the difference. "The House is like a college campus. You have your friends and you go on raids against the opposition, always in groups, in packs. In the Senate, it’s like dealing with foreign heads of state. You talk to the senators, they nod and then they go back and meet with their staffs before they'll give you an answer."
Ostracism in such an environment is a potent price to pay for independence. As she desperately pushes for Obama's health care bill; that is what we are up against.
But the Speaker can be beaten. And once she is, she has functionally lost control of her chamber. The key is to use our only weapon: public opinion. That is why we need your donations to battle Pelosi for every vote. Each day, the League of American Voters is monitoring the whip counts from the GOP and from the Hill Magazine and they are adjusting the tone, content, focus, targets and intensity of their ads to take account of the most subtle changes in the House.
This is truly a fight of the insider vs. the outside. Please give us the tools we need to wage this fight in this crucial last week.
Dick Morris and Eileen McGann