Rep. Nancy Pelosi is so committed to the rights of illegal immigrants that she took to the floor of the House two nights ago and spoke for 8 hours on their behalf. Yesterday, her performance drew the applause of Karen Tumulty of the Washington Post.
In her blog post, Tumulty noted that when Pelosi was finished, "she was still wearing the gunmetal-blue stilettos," a feat (pun intended) that most men cannot appreciate. I said most.
Tumulty further noted that "the image of a 77-year-old woman holding her ground in four-inch heels was also a reminder of what makes Pelosi so hard to replace for the Democrats: her steel."
I agree with Tumulty that Pelosi is indeed irreplaceable, but it is not her steel that is the key to her uniqueness: it is her intellect and Catholic bona fides.
In her 40-hour speech, Pelosi waxed eloquent. "Forty is a biblical number—you know, 40 years in the desert; 40 days for the Jews; 40 days in the desert for Christ; 40 days of Lent; 40 hours of Christian Catholic faith in the hours of devotion. I thought, oh my goodness, what a coincidence."
This reminded me of another brilliant speech she gave in 2010.
"My favorite word is the Word, is the Word. And that is everything. It says it all for us. And you know the biblical reference. You know the gospel reference of the Word.
"And that Word is that—we have to give voice to what that means in terms of public policy that would be in keeping with the values of the Word. The Word. Isn't it a beautiful word when you think of it? It just covers everything. The Word. Fill it in with anything you want. But, of course, we know it means that the Word was made flesh ... ."
You could search the world over and never find anyone quite like Nancy Pelosi. She really is irreplaceable.
Bill Donohue is President and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization. He was awarded his Ph.D. in sociology from New York University and is the author of seven books and many articles.