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Speaker Pelosi: Power personified

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi looks on during a media briefing after meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, DC on October 16, 2019. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP)

The saying “life is stranger than fiction”, may conjure images of happenstances that defy the imagination and stretch incredulity. Such occurrences may even engender universal awe and delight. Permit me to postulate a situation where Speaker Nancy Pelosi by default ascends to the U.S. Presidency, in the event President Donald Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence are impeached and removed from office.

Pelosi is second in succession to the office of the U.S. Presidency according to the U.S. constitution. Being a non-U.S. citizen, I feel sufficiently removed from partisan politics and at liberty to explore and perhaps hanker after this outcome as a woman and a stakeholder in the success of global democracy.

Not only does the title, “President Nancy Pelosi” ring with extreme gravitas, but it is also reassuring and confidence engendering. Pelosi is the highest-ranking elected woman in U.S. history, ergo world history. First elected to congress in 1987, she is serving as the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Possessed of oodles of smarts, tenacity, forbearance and sheer grit, she has translated these qualities into a stellar political career “sans pareil”.

In essence, she inhabits her own orbit and is not to be trifled with. Her formidable career has in real-time reached a climax of national and global expectations and cautious hope. She is the “chosen one”. Her twilight days as a working woman presently intersects with unprecedented domestic political crises and myriad global challenges of existential proportions.

As an indigenous African my terms of reference often encompass and project our God-given and magnificent gift to the world, which is our incomparable, wildlife species in their natural habitat. The apex of this divine benevolence is the laser-focused, dignified and battle-tested matriarch of a dominant pride of lions. Pelosi embodies the spirit of the majestic “lioness- queen” of Africa’s flora and fauna. Whether it is her uncanny ability to corral the uncurbed exuberance of young “cubs” in her Party or mollify and win over the more wily and seasoned members of the pride, whilst evincing indispensable cunning in dealing with fierce, unrelenting adversaries, Pelosi has shown herself to be matchless. She is in perfect sync with the felis leo, fearlessly and patiently crouching in the long savannah grass, under a tangerine-hued African sky; carefully scanning the sun-drenched landscape observing threats and prey alike and not unmindful of approaching dark and ominous thunder clouds.

Having resisted persistent calls from members of her caucus to launch an impeachment inquiry into the conduct of a flagrantly lawless President, she recently capitulated, stating the following inter alia: “They asked Benjamin Franklin: What do we have, a republic or a monarchy? Franklin replied, A republic if you can keep it’’. Pelosi added, “The times have found us today, not to place ourselves in the same category of greatness as our founders but to place us in the urgency of protecting and defending our constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic’’. The lioness roared. She determined it was time to leap into the thickets and marshlands of a Presidential impeachment, taking the whole pride with her and using the last of her “nine lives’’ to fight a just cause. In Africa the roar of a lion is amplified multiple times, sending shock waves through the jungle and leaving all living creatures in paroxysms of fear.

In keeping with her spiritual avatar, Pelosi is singularly territorial and will defend her territory to the uttermost. Pelosi’s territory is the U.S. constitution. She has been entrusted to be a gatekeeper of the sacred document, in honour of the nation’s progenitors and for the sake of its progeny. The blood and sacrifice of countless compatriots, which secured inalienable rights and freedoms, will not be disdained or nullified under her watch. Tyranny will be stalked, stalled and stopped.

Trump’s flagrant breaches of black letter law, mounting evisceration of the rule of law and upending of norms and values, have chipped away the guardrails of democratic governance. His onslaughts against the ramparts of democracy are in lock-step with his domestic agenda, which can best be described as shambolic. His offerings are served on a tin platter laden with malice and discord.

Unfortunately for us in the global community, his International agenda fares no better. Thus far he has demonstrated ad nauseum a penchant for cozying up to dictators, routinely pursuing his bottom line and stabbing allies in the eyeballs. The latest rendition of this pattern is his abandonment of American-allied Kurdish forces in Syria in the face of an imminent attack by Turkey. The double-cross coincides with a telephone call from Recep Erdogan, the authoritarian leader of Turkey, whose country Trump has a notable business interest.

Pelosi was galvanized into action, following the release of a White House telephone transcript between Trump and Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine. Trump was heard to demand a bogus investigation be launched against former Vice-President Joe Biden, his main political rival, in exchange for desperately needed military aid, which had been approved by Congress.

Trump had placed an embargo on the funds in order to strong-arm the leader of Ukraine, who was heard practically groveling for the defensive weapons. Trump and a group of cohorts, including Vice-President Mike Pence, who despite his beatific mien admitted his involvement in a said telephone call, are actively engaged in exporting corrupt practices and banditry to other nations and jeopardizing national security. We are nonplussed and saddened. This is the culmination of Trumpism in full hydra-headed bloom, in which the torch of democratic values is close to becoming dust and ashes. Dare we hope for Speaker Nancy Pelosi to assume the mantle of U.S. President and de facto leader of the free world? We instinctively know the world would be in a better place and in safer hands. The scenario would make for a picture-perfect sunset ending of a life in the sun and sometimes life does imitate art.

Ms Irene Fowler is an International lawyer (LL.M Harvard) based in Lagos Nigeria. Her work has appeared in The Hill, Washington DC., Global Policy Institute, Loyola Marymount University, California, Women in Leadership, London UK, Op-Ed News (A U.S. based liberal news website) and The European Network Against Racism, Brussels, Belgium, among other publications.


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