Like a train arriving on time, the Washington Post reliably earned its liberal stripes Friday with two Style section smooch-pieces on the wonders of new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The first is a thoroughly typical rave by the quite partisan fashion critic Robin Givhan, who pronounces Pelosi "chic" in a piece headlined "Muted Tones of Quiet Authority." She is "consciously, comfortably, and authoritatively female." She ain't a --gasp! -- wrestlin' coach: "(The appearance of the current speaker, Rep. Dennis Hastert, will go unmentioned here except to say that there is nothing chic or particularly polished about it.)"
The second piece was headlined "Pride of Baltimore," an attempt to warm local hearts that before she was San Fran Nan, Pelosi was the daughter of "Tommy the Elder" D'Alessandro, Baltimore machine politician. (Reporter Lynne Duke insists that "Tommy" was ahem, not corrupt or tied to the Mob.) No, it was here in nearby Baltimore that Pelosi learned to be a socialist, oops, "progressive," of course:
Theirs was the politics of the New Deal, of the hand up for those who were down.
"It was always about the progressive economic agenda for a fair economy, where many Americans, all Americans, could participate in the economic success of our country," Pelosi said yesterday when asked about the influence of her family's politics on her own.
"What I got from them was about economic fairness," Pelosi said. "That was the difference between Republicans and Democrats all those years ago."
The biggest indigestion comes from the touting of Pelosi's Catholicism -- not exactly the rage in her San Francisco district. Duke began, "When she wasn't racing to school at St. Leo's in her blue uniform or buying sweets in Mugavero's Confectionery or playing on front stoops up and down the block, Little Nancy sometimes worked the front desk at the family home at 245 Albemarle St., taking down the requests and sad stories of the folks who arrived to seek help from Big Tommy, her dad."
A gooey photo caption reads,
Thomas D'Alesandro Jr., above left, is sworn in as mayor of Baltimore in 1947, while 7-year-old Nancy holds the Bible. Her first political speech: "Dear Daddy, I hope this holy book will guide you to be a good man."
The Post doesn't want to ruin the sepia-toned suckup by noting how Nancy's routine marching in gay-pride parades and abortion-rights extravaganzas are not places you would find your parish priest.