The President Has Thrown a (Semi-Choreographed) Temper Tantrum

To quickly follow up on TaMara’s update, the President went into a scheduled Oval Office meeting with Democratic congressional leaders, lost his shit, and walked out after three minutes and then convened an “impromptu” Rose Garden press statement. I put impromptu into quotes, because someone had printed handouts for the White House Press Corps ready.

From The New York Times (emphasis mine):

President Trump abruptly blew up a scheduled meeting with Democratic congressional leaders on Wednesday, lashing out at Speaker Nancy Pelosi for accusing him of a cover-up and declaring that he could not work with them until they stopped investigating him.

He then marched out into the Rose Garden, where reporters had been gathered, and delivered a statement bristling with anger as he demanded that Democrats “get these phony investigations over with.” He said they could not legislate and investigate at the same time. “We’re going to go down one track at a time,” he said.

The confrontation came on a day when pressure over a possible impeachment effort raised temperatures on both sides of the aisle. Ms. Pelosi arrived at the White House for a session with the president set to talk about infrastructure shortly after meeting with restive House Democrats to talk about impeachment. She emerged from that meeting with Democrats accusing Mr. Trump of a “cover-up.”

When she and Senator Chuck Schumer arrived at the White House, Mr. Trump was loaded for bear. He walked into the Cabinet Room, did not shake anyone’s hand or sit in his seat, according to a Democrat informed about the meeting. He said he wanted to advance legislation on infrastructure, trade and other matters, but that “Speaker Pelosi said something terrible today and accused me of a cover-up,” according to the Democrat.

After just three minutes, he left the room before anyone else could speak, the Democrat said.

From TPM (emphasis mine):

“Instead of walking in happily into a meeting, I walk in and look at people that have just said that I was doing a cover-up, I don’t do cover-ups,” he said. “You people know probably better than anybody.”

He later said that Democrats need to choose between “investigation” or “investment,” implying that he won’t work with Democrats until investigations into him and his administration are over.

Speaker Pelosi has clearly gotten under his skin, just as she did with the shutdown.

Gonna be a long, hot summer in DC.

Open thread.


Speaker Pelosi on 60 Minutes

I haven’t seen the whole interview yet, but The Post has a top five points compilation up on YouTube:

I’m glad she said this:

“The Mueller report is about an attack on our elections by a foreign government. And we want to know about that. We want to know about that in terms of being able to prevent it from happening again. So it’s bigger even than Donald Trump.”

There was a tinge of sarcasm in that last sentence, as was fitting. She’s absolutely correct, and while I don’t think it was Trump’s strategy to make it all about himself (that’s his default setting), he largely succeeded, which is just one of the many ways he’s failed utterly to live up to the oath of office.

Anyhoo, boy, did Pelosi ever hit the nail on the head here, when asked to describe Trump’s abilities as president:

Pelosi: “I think that there’s nobody in the country who knows better that he should not be President of the United States than Donald Trump.”

Stahl: “You think he knows it himself?”

Pelosi: “I think he does, yeah.”

No wonder Trump rushed to Twitter to lamely attacked Pelosi as soon as he saw the program. The truth hurts.

On the future of the party, Pelosi said this:

I think our future is strong enough, is built on a strong enough foundation to withstand everything, including the current occupant of the White House. I don’t think for two terms, though.

Agree with that too.

Meanwhile, moments ago, Elizabeth Warren just busted out a plan to manage public lands. I don’t know if she’ll win the nomination, but she seems to be writing the 2020 party platform. Works for me!

Open thread!

Congratulations, Speaker Pelosi!

Yes, the House speaker predicted that she will have locked down the majority a full year ahead of schedule, leaving the political battlefield to what she considers an intense presidential race all the way up to November 2020.

It’s a remarkably bold guarantee for Pelosi, who will celebrate this new majority’s 100-day mark at a Democratic retreat next week outside Leesburg. Her caucus has had its share of growing pains in the first quarter of the year, with younger, more-liberal Democrats trying to push Pelosi’s leadership team as far to the left as possible…

In a wide-ranging interview with The Washington Post, Pelosi acknowledged that the job now is different from her first go-round, most notably because President Trump is such a different personality than Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. But, she also notes, the rise of social media has transformed politics since her last tenure, allowing newcomers to become instant stars in a way that she could not imagine when she arrived in the Capitol 32 years ago…

… Pelosi believes her endangered incumbents are shoring themselves up through a steady diet of town halls. And leadership is particularly pushing the freshmen running their first reelection to raise as much money as possible.

By Thanksgiving, if all goes according to her plan, potential GOP challengers will “think twice” about running against Democrats. And then she will deliver a stern warning to Republicans who remain in swing seats.

“We fully intend to win this election, and some of you are vulnerable. It’s going to cost you millions of dollars, to win or lose. And if you win — say you win — you’re in the minority, probably want to teach at the university,” Pelosi said, drawing out every syllable like the daughter of a Baltimore mayor who watched her father stare down rivals. “So we get the A-team, and they get the retirements. That’s my plan.”…

Saturday Morning Open Thread: “Women’s Issues”

Blessings to all the candidates who recognize those aren’t just ‘identity politics’…

And not just the 2020 candidates:

Also, Goddess bless Speaker Pelosi, may she rule the House for as long as she cares to:

(I hope — I believe — Khan’s parents will be pleased.)

Friday Morning Open Thread: Fierce Women


And on a historical note, per Smithsonian Magazine:

The power exuded by a previously unknown portrait of Harriet Tubman is tangible. The escaped slave, who repeatedly returned to the South risking her life to bring hundreds of enslaved people North to freedom, stares defiantly into the camera. Her eyes are clear, piercing and focused. Her tightly waved hair is pulled back neatly from her face. But it is her expression—full of her strength, power and suffering—that stops viewers in their tracks.

“Suddenly, there was a picture of Harriet Tubman as a young woman, and as soon as I saw it I was stunned,” says a grinning Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. He’s talking about a portrait of Tubman contained in an 1860s-era photography album belonging to abolitionist Emily Howland…

“There’s a youthful exuberance. There is a sense that you could actually look at that picture and say, ‘Now I understand that this woman was tough and resilient.’ A picture like that does a couple of things. First,” Bunch says thoughtfully,” it reminds people that someone like Harriet Tubman was an ordinary person who did extraordinary things. So, this means you too can change the world. . . . But I also think one of the real challenges of history is that sometimes we forget to humanize the people we talk about . . . and I think that picture humanizes her in a way that I would have never imagined.”

In the photograph, Tubman is wearing a pleated, buttoned blouse with ruffles at her forearms and wrists, and a flowing skirt. Bunch says it is clearly the attire of a middle-class black woman, and she could well afford the clothing.

“She had a pension from working for the Union government, being a spy, that sort of thing. But more importantly she had a little farm,” Bunch explains, “so she was able to sell eggs. . . . But there was also support coming in from abolitionists. They would send her money, they would celebrate her. . . . I think the most important thing is that she had to find a way to make a living, and she did.”…

(I’m pretty sure that illo is based on a Leo & Diane Dillon drawing, but my google-fu is weak)