She’s frustrated because a lot of the chickens are coming home to roost right now. That’s why she’s acting out this way. She’s about to lose on the energy bill and the AMT, although the jury is still out on Iraq funding.
Pelosi hasn’t been a good leader, and this is not just the opinion of conservative Republicans. A lot of Democrats on the Hill would rather have Steny Hoyer in charge. He probably would not have pursued the “break-don’t-bend” strategy that Pelosi has taken toward most important legislation, taking everything to the brink (and in the case of AMT, over the brink).
It’s as though she’s so used to being in the minority, where bluster doesn’t matter, and where one can be totally inflexible, that she doesn’t know how to handle herself now.
Just look at the AMT patch. The House passed it weeks ago with a giant tax increase, despite a veto threat. Fair enough. Senate Republicans blocked it. After some delay, Senate Democrats agreed to pass it without the tax increase. It nearly passed unanimously.
Senate Democrats approached their position rationally. They decided that getting a patch was more important to them politically than getting the tax hike and following Pay-Go. But when the bill went back to the House, just yesterday, Pelosi put another tax-hike bill on the floor and passed it again. Now it will fail in the Senate, just like last time, and the same thing will probably happen all over again.
Just as she’s on the verge of losing this AMT fight, their horrible energy bill suffers another setback in the Senate. Pelosi had hoped to pass that bill (read below) with both the RPS and the tax-hike on domestic producers. Now it looks like she might not get either of them. The war funding is another fight they’re having — I think it’s the one they have the best chance of winning at this point. But there is no guarantee of victory.
She could go into Christmas after losing three big legislative battles.