Monday, January 11, 2021

Leslie Stahl interviews Nancy Pelosi on '60 Minutes' after the siege of the Capitol

It's time for a serious look at Wednesday's attempted self-coup followed by calls for Trump to resign or be removed with Nancy Pelosi: The 2021 60 Minutes interview.

Days after her own office was ransacked by Trump supporters, the speaker of the House talks to Lesley Stahl about what she experienced that day and more.
Wow, Speaker Pelosi, tell us how you really feel! Seriously, I agree with her, both about the nature of Donald Trump and the coup attempt and the people executing it. Seeing the damage and video clips and hearing the sounds makes the event even more frightening and real.

This interview would probably have trended on Twitter no matter what, but the search term ended up being Leslie Stahl not Nancy Pelosi because of Stahl's questions about pandemic relief and the age of the Democratic House leadership. Both of them annoyed Pelosi's supporters on Twitter and made them focus on Stahl. I agree with the first being an unfair question. As I wrote in Vox explains why it is difficult to collect unemployment benefits in Florida, "Never mind that HEROES Act has been sitting on Mitch McConnell's desk for months, but he refuses to put it up for a vote." McConnell obstructed the legislation, not Pelosi. As for the second, it doesn't look good, but I think AOC and others just need to be patient; I expect Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, and Jim Clyburn will all retire by the end of this decade and it will be a younger generation's turn to lead the Democratic Party in Congress.

Follow over the jump for the "Overtime" clips "60 Minutes" uploaded to its YouTube channel.

The first uploaded was Speaker Pelosi on getting Trump's taxes.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tells 60 Minutes the House is pursuing a subpoena on Trump's taxes, which she says may shed light on his ties with Russia.
I've been calling the relationship between Trump and Vladimir Putin a bad bromance since 2016 and thought it could be the basis of a major scandal. That it didn't get as much traction I consider to be an example of the exception proving the rule I described in 2011: "The most damaging scandals I've seen over the past 40 years have all happened when a politician confirmed an already existing and widely known negative narrative about them while people were looking for evidence of it." With Trump, there were so many existing and widely known negative narratives about him that his critics didn't know where to start, although the ones that led to impeachment before and will likely do so again do could tie into what I wrote five years ago.
"3. Does the scandal reify/reinforce/”prove” a core negative perception about the candidate, particularly one that had henceforth been difficult to articulate (but not one that has become so entrenched that little further damage can be done)?"

Yes. It reinforces the perception that Trump is an authoritarian who admires other authoritarians, especially Putin.
Maybe Putin doesn't need to have incriminating information about Trump. Maybe it's just a case of birds of a feather flocking together. If the House is successful, we'll find out.

Next, Speaker Pelosi on the Democrats' new majority.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi looks ahead to the Democrats' policy priorities now that the party has control of both houses of Congress.
This is why the results of the Georgia Senate runoff elections matter. I wish Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Joe Biden, and Kamala Harris luck and skill in achieving their agenda. They'll need both.

Finally, Stahl asked Will the House continue to investigate Trump?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: "We're not going to let go" of President Trump's actions after he leaves office.
Pelosi gave a good rationale for the answer being yes, including warnings about the lawyers involved in contesting the results of the presidential election whether through legislative hearings or lawsuits. That looks like the kind of legal drama I might follow in the months to come.

Going back to the first video, even if impeachment and the 25th Amendment don't succeed in removing Trump from office early, denying him the ability to hold office again protects our representative democracy and rule of law from him and taking away his pension, travel budget, and Secret Service protection would be a good start for punishment.

I'm sure I'll have the late night talk show hosts take on this interview tomorrow. If not, last night's "60 Minutes" had a segment about the presidential election in Georgia, and I might blog about those instead. Stay tuned.

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