On Tuesday, Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi told Congress that they aren’t going to shut down the Capitol due to fears of viral outbreak. She said that they were the captains of this ship, and that they needed to stay and do their jobs. This is the correct call by Pelosi. As the country is gripped with fear, this kind of leadership is sorely needed, as Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins explains.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

In a closed door meeting with Democrats yesterday, Nancy Pelosi informed them that, no, we’re not going to shut down the Capitol. We’re not just going to send everybody home. We are going to stay here in Washington, DC and continue to do our jobs because as she put it, we are the captains of this ship. Now Pelosi’s comments were in response to Democratic representative, Jerrold Nadler, who had suggested that may be because of the outbreak in this country, we need to shut down, we need to go all work from our district offices and as has been reported Nadler does have, you know, a kind of personal reason for wanting this. His wife is undergoing chemotherapy right now. He wants to be with her. He wants to be able to monitor her health and I fully absolutely respect that. But I believe Pelosi is right. You know, Nancy Pelosi, let’s be totally honest here, I have never been the biggest fan of her.

I have criticized her relentlessly here on Ring of Fire. But when she does good, I’m going to say that she has done a good job and this is a good job. This is leadership, what Pelosi is doing right now, saying, no, we’re not going to turn tail and run. We’re not going to shut things down because if we shut things down in Washington, DC, if we shut down Congress, we already have a public out here that’s panicking. Imagine what’s going to happen when they see Congress panicking too? And Pelosi is sitting there saying, we’re the captains of this ship and essentially what she means is not just that we’re the captains, but we got to go down with the ship if it goes down. That’s, that’s part of the sacrifice you make being in these leadership positions and I applaud her for understanding that and for being willing to make that sacrifice.

Yes, it puts them in more danger being in this city of DC tightly clustered, tightly clustered in Congress, shaking hands, going out there and seeing so many people who want to get right up in your face. That is a danger for them. But Pelosi says, this is a danger we essentially signed on for, this is our job and this is what we’re going to do. Now, again, haven’t always been a huge fan of Pelosi. I’m not a fan of her little photo ops and viral gifs that happen after the state of the union addresses. Haven’t been a fan of the Daily Cos sending her, you know, 10,000 roses, when she got elected speaker. Not a fan of her voting for Donald Trump’s horrendous military budgets and things like that and, you know, making fun of the Green New Deal, not allowing that to become a thing. So yeah, Pelosi’s been kind of crappy as a leader. But every now and then in moments like this, she does show moments of brilliance, moments of true leadership. The problem is we never get it consistently from her.

If this Pelosi, the Pelosi that stood to Jerry Nadler yesterday, of all people, if she had been showing up every single day to Congress for the last two years, things would be great. Things would be better, at least. But unfortunately from day to day, we don’t know which Nancy Pelosi is going to show up to Congress. Is it going to be the one who gives Donald Trump everything he wants? The one who says here, yeah, you can have a couple billion for your border wall? Or is it going to be the Nancy Pelosi who says, buck it up folks? Suck it up, excuse me, buck up and suck it up. We’re the leaders here and we’re going to act like leaders and we’re not going to contribute to the widespread panic already happening in this country. That’s the Pelosi we need. That’s the leadership we need. But unfortunately it’s too few and far between when we actually see Nancy Pelosi being a true leader.

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at DeSmogBlog.com. He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced