Raise your hand if you laughed out loud when you saw that Nancy Pelosi's approval ratings in the newest ABC/Washington Post poll held steady and strong before, during and after her trip to Syria. And what of all the chicken little gasbags who claimed that the sky would soon be falling for the Democratic party as a result? Predictably, little has been heard from them in the way of recant.
An AP-Ipsos poll taken at roughly the same time period has her approval rating slipping from 51% to 46%, and based on this the WaPo's Paul Kane entitled his recent column on the topic "Pelosi's Approval Takes First Hit," which I think entirely misses the point. As he notes, the most recent portion of that poll was taken when the right wing noise machine was in high dudgeon over her trip to Syria. Kane blames the Democrats for not having her back, and it's true there weren't a lot of profiles in courage when it came to party pushback (As David Broder cattily sniffed in an online chat: "I think there is some criticism of Speaker Pelosi from other Democrats for some of her high-profile ventures, including the visit to Syria, but I hear of no move to replace her" — but then again, Broder considers Joe Lieberman a Democrat.) But just as guilty were press reports which parroted right-wing talking points while making no mention of the fact that Newt Gingrich had open splits with the Clinton administration over foriegn policy, or that Dennis Hastert had told Colombian military officials to “bypass the U.S. executive branch and communicate directly with Congress.”
I think it's more correct to state that given the omnipresent, blistering attack launched on her by those with big microphones, little public support from high-profile party members and shallow, bitchy reports delivered by a press with seemingly no long term memory, Pelosi's numbers held splendidly. It's a huge triumph, a resounding public vote of confidence in the way she's doing her job. The Codpiece in Chief, with a 35% approval rating in the same poll, would openly swoon for those kinds of numbers
They threw everything they had at her and they couldn't sink her. It was vicious and ugly and unfair (remember how everyone said the much-loathed Newt Gingrich was "taking his party down" during the 90s? Yeah me neither) and in the face of it, she held. Headlines everywhere should be blaring "Pelosi's Approval Ratings Withstand Media Assault," but that's probably not going to happen.
Update: Oh, the irony.