Santa Fe New Mexican

Will Nancy Pelosi be Churchill or Lindbergh?


The question of when and whether to go to war is an eternal, existentia­l dilemma, whether that conflict is literal and military or cultural, social or political. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sure has some seriously monumental timing decisions ahead of her.

Twentieth-century military history alone provides a full range of outcomes in deciding when to enter a conflict. As prime minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill’s delays in entering World War II were instrument­al in improving the empire’s strategic position and initiating the flow of lend-lease equipment prior to the initiation of conflict. History appropriat­ely

appreciate­d his efforts. American aviator Charles Lindbergh urged conflict delay, appeasemen­t and peace with Nazi Germany out of latent or overt regime support. History also has appropriat­ely appreciate­d his efforts.

Pelosi may go down in history as a great hero who delayed a conflict with President Donald Trump until forces were strong enough to defeat him and the battle could be cleanly and firmly won at the ballot box.

Or, Pelosi could go down in history as a great villain, appeaser and accessory who stood by cowardly as Trump committed his crimes — emotionall­y insecure and afraid to take action; a leader who daily undermined the widely accepted assumption that women did have the cojones to lead the nation into moral conflict against an existentia­l threat, thereby disserving all the nation’s women.

So, is Pelosi a Churchill or a Lindbergh? Should Pelosi have initiated impeachmen­t proceeding­s months ago as I would have advised? Should she determine the timing now? Is a delay for strategic success a wise decision to preserve our Constituti­on and institutio­ns or a betrayal of national interests for the interests of a single political party’s power gain?

When do fundamenta­l moral norms justify immediate action? When should Pelosi’s Catholic faith compel her to finally take action? When should the rest of us ask her to step aside for someone with a stronger moral backbone and a less highly tuned instinct of immediate strategic advantage?

Bill Rogers is president of the Serendipit­y Foundation. As a member of President Bill Clinton’s Council on Sustainabl­e Developmen­t, he wrote the first draft of Cash for Clunkers. During the early 1980s, he was national constituen­t coordinato­r for Gay Rights National Lobby, the parent organizati­on of the Human Rights Campaign.

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