Burning a Straw Man Argument: Nancy Pelosi calls Tea Party “arsonists”


As has been typical since the launch of the Tea Party over four-and-a-half years ago, many establishment politicians and pundits choose to ignore basic rules of civilized discourse when targeting our movement. From Jay Carney’s 2012 “hostage” accusation to Margaret Carlson’s statement that the Tea Party was “strapping explosives to the Capitol” in 2011, the insults and inflammatory personal attacks have come faster than their irresponsible policies implode.

Now House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is at it. From her CNN interview on Sunday morning, via Mediaite:

“I call them legislative arsonists,” Pelosi said. “They’re there to burn down what we should be building up in terms of investments and education and scientific research, and all that it is that makes our country great and competitive. I don’t paint them all with the same brush. I certainly don’t paint the Speaker with that brush. But there’s enough of them in the caucus to shut down government—that will be a victory for them.”

We’ll get to the arsonist accusation in a moment, but first, some of her other points need to be shot down:

Shutting down the government is a loss for all Americans. Tea Party-minded Members of Congress, and their allies across the nation, want all Americans to be treated equally under the law. However, this is something the former Speaker clearly does not believe in, as evidenced by the disproportionate number of Obamacare waivers given to businesses in her district in April 2011. Therefore, it should not be a surprise she is now opposing equal treatment under the rest of the Obamacare.
Rep. Pelosi also claimed Tea Party-minded Members of Congress have an “anti-government ideology.” The truth is far more centrist. They want a constitutional ideology, which is rather similar to that of America’s Founders.
Finally, on the arsonist accusation – the Tea Party movement has always been about principles, not party affiliation. We look forward to the day when Rep. Pelosi, President Obama, and Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) join us in publicly recognizing the harm of fiscal profligacy and oversized government. Until that day arrives, we will hold to our principles and hold all of Washington’s politicians – regardless of party – accountable to their constituents and the Constitution.

The language used by the former Speaker is well below that of her office. A public apology for slandering the reputations of many Members of Congress and millions of Americans is in order. We also expect a return to engaging in constructive dialogue for the best way to move America successfully into the future.