'She'll cut your head off': Nancy Pelosi wants you to know she's bloodthirsty

She's crafting a bloodthirsty, Madame Defarge image in a bid to get what she wants. Forget the old assurances about moderation and deal-making.

January 3, 2019
By Monica Showalter

Set to take the House Speaker's gavel today, Rep. Nancy Pelosi sure has a splashy, blood-sotted, Lady MacBeth way of making an entrance.
According to the Washington Examiner:
"She'll cut your head off and you won't even know you're bleeding," Alexandra Pelosi, a documentary producer, told CNN when asked how she feels her mother will handle President Trump as speaker of the House. "That's all you need to know about her."

No party unity, no reaching across the aisle, as Mitt Romney tried to change the narrative to, heaping criticism on Trump. For Pelosi, it's time for blood, and that is what Trump is up against as Mitt whines about unity.

For starters, given that Pelosi is quite close to her daughter, it's more than likely that she set the woman up to make that vivid statement.
Why would she do that? Well, for one, it doesn't matter to her if she comes off as mean, vicious, blood-drippy, or wicked – she's secure in her San Francisco House seat in a ballot-harvesting state for as long as she wants to be. The political downside for her is nil.
But the upside is likely an old power game – to make herself appear even more powerful and lethal than she really is in order to more easily get what she wants. Ever heard of the strong horse? She's going for being the strong gorgon.
I originally wondered if she even had the power, given the initial opposition among newer Democrats to her leadership, but with the last Texas Democrat finally caving in, well, it probably is pretty strong. There also was the pinheaded opposition of a "paygo" rules vote by incoming socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and leftist California rep. Ro Kanna (which even the most progressive Democrats support but Ocasio doesn't, given that she really does want to spend money like Hugo Chávez), but it's likely a useless opposition, and the thing will pass. I suspect that Pelosi threw that to Ocasio-Cortez as a bone, in a bid to help her preserve her patina as a leftist insurgent. Ocasio-Cortez (and Kanna) may vote against it, but they're not going to win on it, not against Pelosi, so it doesn't really matter. Recall also that Ocasio-Cortez caved early to supporting Pelosi as House leader, despite saying she wouldn't during her election run.
So I think Pelosi does have power. With daughter Alexandra winning headlines across the country with her "cut your head off" descriptor, it's likely she wanted people to know she's scary, bloodthirsty, and dangerous, just the person to create a buzzsaw effect against President Donald Trump.
How carefully she posed as a reasonable deal-maker during her time of consolidating Democrat support for the House leadership! Now that she has it, the mask is off.
Both Axios and Trump-hating Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin have some valuable insights on how Pelosi is going to embrace her newly embraced role as Madame Defarge.
Axios also has a report that says she plans to get busy with indictment and impeachment, which she is obviously using as leverage against Trump to bend him to her far-left agenda.

Pelosi will also herd her yoked-loyal Democrats together to pass low-hanging fruit legislation popular with voters. If anything gets opposed because of a lack of funding for the wall, Trump will be held up as "heartless."
Rubin has insight on the public relations tactics Pelosi will use, writing:
First, engage the president publicly and correct him/fact-check him in real time. This reminds voters that Trump is not operating in the real world and his positions aren't tethered to reality. Second, make certain Trump is on the wrong side of public opinion. In the case of the border wall and the shutdown, voters oppose both. This further diminishes Trump's leverage and puts pressure on Republicans to split from him. Third, make clear, concise statements of policy. This gives voters a sense that she is in command while Trump blathers on for days, changing his mind and contradicting his advisers. Finally, don't negotiate against herself. Trump, as she wisecracked, has gone from a wall to slatted fence to "a beaded curtain." Mocking Trump and pointing out his weakness infuriate him, demoralize his cult-followers and delight her base.
Republicans themselves are apparently bracing themselves for hell, according to Axios.

So yes, Pelosi is going to be ruthless and vicious, and she seems to have the power and incentives. What's vivid about it all is that she's openly advertising it, as if it's something she's proud of. One can only hope President Trump and Republicans can make that sort of creepy bloody brazenness not politically pay.

Image credit: Donkey Hotey via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.