“The Enemy Is Within” (An Acrostic for Nancy Pelosi)

Image by Joseph Allen, found via unsplash.com

D eep Jan 20 sighs of relief
E dged out by fierce reality;
M adam Speaker does not
O rate with exaggeration.
C haos now
R esides in the People’s House
A s elected terrorists
C ircumvent metal detectors,
Y owling threats at “colleagues.”

N ever do we recall blatant
E nemies of democratic rule
E choing, even exaggerating, a
D efeated president’s worst lies,
S ubmerged in hellish unreality.

U ntil we citizens who
S ee what lies ahead

T urn elections
O n all levels toward
D emands for Truth
A nd Comity,
Y esterday will eclipse tomorrow.


40 thoughts on ““The Enemy Is Within” (An Acrostic for Nancy Pelosi)

  1. Yesterday will eclipse tomorrow, indeed.
    Obviously, though, our people
    Understand what’s at stake.

    See how last year the vote,
    Popular and electoral both, sent a message;
    Eighty-one million is a record, by far.
    Americans rejected the man who called
    KKK, Nazis, and their ilk “very fine people”.

    Trump’s exit might have put us back to sleep, except that
    Hawley, Taylor-Greene, and the rest
    Every day keep the hate and madness alive.

    Two, four, or more years from now,
    Republicans will still be just as dangerous.
    United, our votes will still be needed
    To keep them on the fringe, so that
    Hope for tomorrow can eclipse the relics of yesterday.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Of course you’re right, Infidel. I felt my most important message was about elections on all levels because we must do the ongoing work to ensure that decent state and local officials are elected too. There were not that many Republicans in critical positions in certain states who—if they had been less principled—could have moved us to the brink—or worse.

      Wish we could clone Stacey Abrams and drop her in every state!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So great.. thank you, Annie! “Fretty”, my inner critic, who usually sees the glass half full, is seeing it shattered these days! Thank you for your encouragement to stay diligent to keep our eyes on the prize . May democracy prevail!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “Fretty” is the perfect name for your inner critic, Fred!

      We WILL prevail, as long as we can continue growing the constituencies of people who believe in the promise of America!

      Thanks so much for your comments!


  3. Excellent Annie! I’m puzzled how some of those people even got elected? I see Trumps impeachment lawyers have quit. Very telling when he can’t even get anyone good to defend him, and yet the ordinary republican masses are still supporting him.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sadly, I think it’s a combination of following the “party” in solidly red districts and actually believing as they do. And the cowardly Republican leadership continuing to foment the Big Lie. We’ve always had a fringe element in this country, but trump united and emboldened them. And race is probably a bigger factor than guns or any other aspect of the culture wars.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Annie. If the US had a fringe element I wasn’t aware of it – it seems like people like Green just came out of the blue….but maybe they are just media-seekers. Interestingly here in one of the Conservative party leadership conventions there was a long term cabinet minister whose racist/far right comments ruffled some feathers. When he didn’t win the leadership, he decided to start his own party, The People’s Party of Canada, but in the 2019 federal election, they got just 1.6% of the vote and he didn’t even win his own seat. He was against immigration and multiculturalism all that far right stuff etc. When the Republicans are afraid to speak up for fear of angering Trumps base…I just wonder if those are unfounded fears, as I find it hard to believe that many people still support him…..or just the very vocal small fringe minority?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No; we’ve long had conspiracy theorists; they just never had a President to latch on to and pull them into Congress.

        trump still has enough support to make the House minority leader pay obeisance and the Senate minority leader realize there’s not enough support in his caucus to get rid of trump and hope to retain his position, which is, unfortunately, all that McConnell cares about.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Racism is certainly part of it. On the other hand, Trump got a substantially larger share of the black and Latino vote in 2020 than he did in 2016. Liberals need to actually understand why that happened instead of always trying, Procrustean-style, to fit inconvenient data into an existing narrative.

        A good starting point, by the way, would be to put a stop to horseshit like writing “Latinx” instead of “Latino”. It looks bizarre and offensive to Spanish-speaking people. It’s a symbolic point and perhaps minor, but understanding it would put the left at least on the road to figuring out why they have such a hard time beating Republicans despite the latter being essentially insane.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Well, I’m with you on the Latino example, Infidel; not sure who came up with that one. But with regard to race and the far right, I think both things can be true: race is the overriding issue even though trump increased his share of Black and Latino votes. It was no accident that nearly all trump’s challenges were designed to disqualify Black votes. And that now efforts are evolving in state after state to make it harder for Black and Latino people to vote. This is today’s Republican Party, and these are Jim Crow laws.

        At the same time, the Democrats must do data-driven studies of the seemingly counter-intuitive voter trends. There was one county in Florida, for example, where the Hispanic-American population was so deeply assimilated that they just felt they were Americans. They loved their guns, etc, and trump’s people had been courting them for years. They are staunch trumpers.

        I have no doubt that the phony cries of socialism and choice slogans from the left were factors, but I also think, as I’ve written, that the myth of trump’s machismo influenced male voters across the board. Hopefully, if he’s successfully prosecuted and the teensy fraud man is revealed in an orange jumpsuit,
        much of that fake tinsel will blow away. And if Biden goes big and really shows people the positive impact that govt can have on their lives, that could have far-reaching impact on voter choices.


    2. When the Republicans are afraid to speak up for fear of angering Trumps base…I just wonder if those are unfounded fears, as I find it hard to believe that many people still support him…..or just the very vocal small fringe minority?

      By all available evidence, the great majority of Republican voters are solidly in Trump’s camp. Poll after poll shows Republican voters overwhelmingly rejecting and condemning those few Republican politicians who dared to stand up to him. About a quarter of the population (well over half of Republicans) believe in the QAnon nonsense. I don’t remember the exact percentage of Republican voters who believe Trump’s claims of the election being stolen, but it’s something like three-quarters. 45% even support the lynch-mob attack on the Capitol. All over the country, leading party members deemed not loyal enough to Trump are being officially censured. Primary challengers are already lining up to take down dissidents in 2022. Party leaders who dared speak out against Trump are now frantically rushing to Florida to grovel before him and get back in his favor. Even McConnell has fallen into line.

      Hawley and Taylor-Greene are a bit “out there”, but the mainstream of Republican voters is far closer to them than to Romney or Cheney. The monster the Republican leadership created has now fully devoured them, like the Blob. We’re not really looking at a political party any more. It’s an insane cult.


      1. Well it was with Trump, as he was so very unpredictable. You don’t see many Trump supporters in Canada – I only knew one and even he eventually admitted the guy was crazy. We are cautiously optimistic re Biden, although some Canadians are not happy about the Keystone pipeline being cancelled when they’ve sunk so much money into it, others believe the oil sands projects are best abandoned. With Biden at least you know you are dealing with a sane person with a track record in diplomacy!

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Until we see what lies ahead. Truth and comity. You said it. But as I’ve pondered so many times these last months in particular, how do you get a person to at least consider that their views are misguided? That the big lie is just that? That the pizza parlor doesn’t even have a basement let alone a den of ner-do-wells carrying forth? Generally, wisdom dictates that you start from a point of commonality and go from there . . . but I’m not seeing even that with some of these horrid people. I never use the word “horrid” — but how else to describe people who call for the assassination of our congressmen, who think the pandemic is a hoax, who kiss the ring of that louse in Mar a Lago for political gain . . . ?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I wish I knew some answers, Denise. Some of these people seem clearly mentally disturbed, so one might hope they could be treated. Others should be tried and convicted and imprisoned. And no one professing such views should be allowed to remain in Congress.

      There have been places reporting individuals changing their party affiliations from R to unaffiliated immediately after the insurrection, so that’s a positive sign. And I did read that some of the Q-ers are turning away from believing the lies they’ve been fed.

      I expect the Biden education team will take a look at ways to encourage states to revive civics classes and stress critical thinking—but such moves won’t help us now.


  5. Thanks, Annie. As a crossword and acrostics addict, I loved this post. Like many of the commenters, I remain flummoxed by the fact that so many people still support the perpetual liar who lost (yes, LOST) the 2020 presidential election. The parallels to 1930s Germany, where many members of a supposedly enlightened populace cast their lot with a racist, anti-Semitic demagogue, are scary indeed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Gail, as you consider yourself an acrostics fanatic, I am most grateful for your generous praise.

      We must be extra-vigilant but also keep in mind that all things being equal—including trump’s having the power of the incumbency—the election was not that close. So we must keep democracy in the forefront of our minds—not just before elections—because a lot of effort and fundraising is happening right now.

      And the R party has been losing members since the insurrection. I find that a hopeful sign.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Joni—

    It’s not nearly as sad and depressing as it might have been. Despite The Enemy Within, we now have really superb, forward-looking people running our government. And at least there’s now overt expression of the dangers from the far right—and resources will go into combatting their influence—rather than coddling and encouraging them.


    1. We have a long way to go, Matthew. But at least the government is now focusing on the right (literally and figuratively) bad actors. ( I thought I’d responded to you earlier; not sure where my response went.)

      Liked by 1 person

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