Speaker Pelosi Quotes Of América in Bailout Speech

September 30, 2008

Stocks plummeted on Wall Street after Nancy Pelosi delivered the historic US failed bailout plan.

Another in the growing number of examples proving a simple fact: blogging matters. During her soon-to-be-infamous bailout speech yesterday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi deployed this variation on the “Main Street” metaphor to describe the communities being impacted by the economic crisis:

“And we must insulate Main Street from Wall Street. And as Congresswoman Waters said, Martin Luther King Drive, in my district, Martin Luther King Drive and Cesar Chavez Road and all of the manifestations of community and small businesses in our community.”

She attributes these statements to Congresswoman Waters, but seems to forget that this metaphor was used during recent episode of the Brave New Film’s Meet the Bloggers show on which she and yours truly were guests. You can see for your self by watching that episode either in its entirety of by clicking to minute 22 of the 1/2 hour show and then going to the 11:30 point in the Pelosi speech. Seems she and Waters are also playing the game of many a blogger who don’t attribute either.

Besides the dull but perpetual need to massage our Latin male ego, this example points to two, more interesting observations. The first is , as mentioned above, the way it illustrates how the web and the blogosphere, in particular, manage to bypass the traditional and institutional gatekeepers by helping we marginal voices insert our memes and other matters into the political discourse. Secondly and more importantly, I think this example should also serve to remind us how important it is to push on an issue Pelosi, her Democrats and even Barack Obama have studiously avoided (Republican exclusion goes without saying): including those of of us who don’t live on “Main Street” in the world historic discussion of the economic debacle; The “Main Street metaphor leaves out the people who live along “Martin Luther King Drive” and “Cesar Chavez road”: renters, the poor, homeless people and lots of other whites and non-whites.

So, there you have it. Though the writer in me still has some reservations about the literary and journalistic value of blogs and other new media, their utility and effectiveness can hardly be questioned. The secret, it seems, is to mix the power of the medium with the Spirit of the Word.

3 Responses to “Speaker Pelosi Quotes Of América in Bailout Speech”

  1. Joanna Says:

    Woot! Way to infiltrate the political discourse!

  2. pduggie Says:


    I heard Pelosi making that statement on NPRs Marketplace show tonight.

    I was amazed and dismayed.

    Because it came accross to me that by saying that, all of a sudden, Main Street, a metaphor *that is intended* to encompass ALL ordinary folks in america, now seems to be CODE for white people.

    Great. Way to divide America.

    So you say it “leaves out” other people. Why? prove it! How do you KNOW it leaves everyone else out?

    Its a metaphor for “the rest of us” who aren’t Wall Streeters. That’s everyone, black, poor, etc.

  3. […] Latinos ‘08“Folksy” Palin Channels Cheney in Pursuit of More Vice Presidential PowerSpeaker Pelosi Quotes Of América in Bailout SpeechEconomic 9-11: The Shrinking of Political SpaceMeet the Bloggers: Full Episode of Bailout Bashing […]

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