Pelosi: Democrats will hold Bush 'accountable,' despite inability to end war, unwillingness to impeach
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Nine months after taking control of the House, Nancy Pelosi is taking credit for "changing the debate" on the war while in Iraq there are 30,000 more troops than on the day the San Francisco Democrat first rapped the Speaker's gavel.
As to cries from liberal activists to impeach President Bush and/or Vice President Dick Cheney, such suggestions remain strictly verboten.
"I've always said that impeachment is off the table," Pelosi said Tuesday at the tail end of an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "This is President Bush's war; it's Vice President Cheney's war, and now it's become the war of the Republicans in Congress."
Pelosi blamed the closely divided Senate for preventing passage of meaningful reforms in the Iraq war strategy and claimed she did not have the political clout or Constitutional authority to unilaterally cut war funding.
"I wish the Speaker had all the power you just described," she scolded Blitzer, when he suggested the House simply cut off funding for the war. "I certainly could do that. That doesn't bar the minority from bringing up a funding resolution. They have their parliamentary prerogatives as well."
The president vetoed a bill that called for troop redeployment earlier this year, and Pelosi blamed Republicans in the Senate for blocking any bills that attempted to change course in Iraq, such as a recent measure that would have guaranteed troops as much time out at home as they spent at war. It failed to receive a necessary 60 votes to move out of the Senate.
CNN host asks: Are Democrats just 'complaining'?
Blitzer asked if Pelosi was simply "telling your angry base" that "there's nothing you can do" given Republican obstructionism.
"How could you have ever gotten that impression?" Pelosi lectured Blitzer, adding condescendingly "for those who pay attention" that she said Democrats will "hold this administration accountable, time and time again for the conduct of this war."
The CNN host persisted, "When you hold the president accountable, I want you to to explain, What does that mean besides just complaining and holding hearings?"
Pelosi pivoted to the importance of oversight and reiterated the Democrats' vision of "stability" in Iraq spurred by a troop withdrawal, while accusing Republicans of favoring a "10-year war" and aiming for a "Korea-like presence, in perpetuity."
The following video is from CNN's Wolf Blitzer, broadcast on September 25, 2007