Congressman Bobby Bright (D-Alabama) is likely one of the most conservative Democrats in the House, representing a nominally Republican district in the South. But Bright’s joking about the death of Speaker Nancy Pelosi likely went too far.
According to the Montgomery Advertiser:
“U.S. Congressman Bobby Bright, the first-term Democrat and former mayor of Montgomery, was heard having a little fun at U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s expense during his recent participation in the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce’s Eggs and Issues.
“Bright, who is facing a battle against Montgomery City Councilwoman Martha Roby this fall, joked that Pelosi might lose her own election, decide not to run for the speaker’s job or otherwise not be available.
“He suggested, jokingly he insisted to his audience, that Pelosi could fall ill and die in coming months. That remark drew laughter from the crowd.”
While one might be tempted to join in the laughter, it would be highly inappropriate. Joking about the death of any human being (with the exception of people like Osama Bin Laden or Ahmadinejad) is something that is not done, especially if that person is a high-ranking politician with her share of enemies. That is as true for Nancy Pelosi as it is for Sarah Palin.
Mind, if Bobby Bright, who is facing a stiff challenge in his Alabama district from Martha Roby, wanted to distance himself from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, he could not have chosen a more colorful way of doing so. But perhaps a better way to do it would have been to promise to vote for someone else as Speaker should Bright be reelected.
Bobby Bright, in his tortured defense, is likely only giving expression to the feelings of many Democratic members of Congress, and not just the Blue Dog moderates, about Nancy Pelosi. The House Democrats are looking into the abyss and need someone (other than themselves) to blame. They can’t blame President Obama, for fear of being called racist. So that leaves Pelosi.
But wishing death upon a politician is not only rude and inappropriate, but also misplaced. Premature death is often a resume enhancer for a politician. Look at John F. Kennedy. Even Ronald Reagan got a temporary boost for being shot and surviving.
Better to wish political defeat and ignominy on a politician like Pelosi. To lose her Speakership, to have her life’s work cast into ridicule and disrepute, and to live to see much of it overturned by a conservative majority in the Congress would be worse than death to Pelosi.
So, let me tell you how Pelosi might be ousted as Speaker, be forced to resign from Congress, and live on to have to watch the inauguration of Sarah Palin on television.
Eggs and Issues: Bright’s Comments about Pelosi Draw Laughter, Cosby Woodruff, Montgomery Advertiser, August 25th, 2010
Alabama’s 2010 2nd District Race: Democrat Bobby Bright vs. Republican Martha Roby, Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, July 29th, 2010
Sarah Palin Wanted Dead by New Hampshire Democrats, Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, August 11th, 2010