Nancy Pelosi showed leadership, not emotion, on January 6

The rebels were in the halls – with poles, bear spray, crazy battle-rattle cosplay outfits with flex cuffs and body armor – and it was clear who they wanted.

“Bring her out!” one of them screamed, inside the Capitol, under the rotunda. “Bring her out here! We’ll come in if you don’t get her out.”

In the marble corridors they called to her: “Where are you, Nancy? We’re looking for you!”

“Nancy! Oh, Naaaancy.”

And during those minutes on January 6, 2021, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was in action. She was a combat general in taupe heels, making calls to move troops, to quell ambushes, to ensure a peaceful transfer of power.

This was the scene the US finally saw in the video played at the Select Committee hearing on Thursday 6 January.

Calm, cool and focused, Pelosi was the leader American democracy needed that day.

Tell me again: How are women too emotional to be responsible?

If only disgraced President Richard M. Nixon could see how this stable woman—watching the medieval scene with thousands of people outside crowding in—handled it.

Nixon is a king of the “emotional” woman trope.

He considered appointing a woman to the Supreme Court in 1971 because he hoped it would give him an extra 2 percent bump in the 1972 election, according to one of the books written by former White House counsel John W. Dean about that time. However, Nixon rejected the idea.

“I don’t think a woman should be in any public job at all. I mean, I really don’t,” Nixon said. “The reason I do is mainly because they’re erratic. And emotional. Men are also erratic and emotional, but the point is that a woman is more likely to be so.”

Huh. I guess we missed all the tantrums and erratic emotional outbursts of Margaret Thatcher or Angela Merkel or scores of other female leaders who kept it cool and sensible and just did their job.

Some of the men still like to plumb the depths of their mother-needy souls when a female lead is anything but sugary sweet. Remember when Vice President Harris was called “hysterical” for her unflinching and stern prosecutorial questioning of Attorney General Jeff Sessions during a 2017 hearing?

In Nixon’s day, polling showed that many people—up to 55 percent based on educational attainment—believed that women were too emotional for politics. It has changed, but not a ton. In our newly enlightened world—where Hillary Clinton won the popular vote for president—13 percent of respondents still believe that women are less suited, emotionally, for politics. That means about 1 in 7 people think a woman would be too emotional to do exactly what Pelosi did on Jan. 6: lead.

“There has to be a way that we can maintain the sense that people have that there is some security or some confidence that the government can work and that you can elect the president of the United States,” she told the people who were gathered in a secure location in the Capitol building.

Meanwhile, Richard “Bigo” Barnett carried a stun gun and threw himself into Pelosi’s chair, putting his feet up on her desk. He wrote her a note:

“Nancy, Bigo was here, you b—-.”

Trump promised Barnett and the others that it would be “wild” if they came to DC that day. It was.

However, Pelosi was not.

She didn’t pull a Josh Hawley (the Republican senator from Missouri captured on video in an 11.7-second 100-meter dash by the rioters that day). She neither cursed, screamed nor whined.

Forget her politics; it’s hard to watch that video played before the committee today and deny her cool head amid the chaos.

“Hi, Governor, this is Nancy,” Pelosi said on the phone to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) as she went through the mechanics of getting help to the Capitol.

It became clear to her that they had been abandoned by the rest of the federal government when the Capitol Police were hit outside and help didn’t seem to be coming.

In one part of the video, the members are huddled around the phone talking to someone who might be able to send help. But the guy rambles on and explains the managers that are on the ground and yada yada yada.

Pelosi cuts in: “Well, just pretend — just pretend it was the Pentagon or the White House or some other entity that was under siege. Let me say that logistically you can get people there while you’re making the plan. “

And then she apparently tried to move lawmakers back into session.

“We’ve gotten a very bad report on the condition of the House floor,” Pelosi said.

“There’s poo and all that,” said the mother of five, who knows a little about messes.

Steadily she went on, “I don’t think it’s hard to clean up,” she said.

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