A Historic Moment took place in America Today [VIDEO]
Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email.
"When my colleagues elect me as speaker on Jan. 4, we will not just break through a glass ceiling, we will break through a marble ceiling.... In more than 200 years of history, there was an established pecking order - and I cut in line."
I honestly didn't expect it. Piercing all the layers of cynicism, all the broken promises of America over the past 6 years and beyond, watching John Boehner hand the gavel to a purple-suited Nancy Pelosi (the color of the suffragettes) and declaring her the first woman to hold the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives, I got misty.*
And it's not just about watching Boehner, a symbol and embodiment of corrupt, embarrassing and ultimately impotent Republican leadership ceding power (one cutaway shows an astonishingly graceless Boehner unable to applaud for Ford's wife's loss, resembling some humbled ex-Wise Guy ostentatiously fixing his cuffs...).
Nancy Pelosi isn't likely to be a radical spokesperson for everything that progressives hold dear and she isn't likely to make AlterNet readers stand up and cheer with her every word. But beyond her likely ethics and efficacy we would do well to cheer the fact of her historic position and the strength of the individual woman who made it so.
As for her positions and policies, welcome to the progressive world, Speaker Pelosi. Man, woman, black, white, gay, straight, believer or atheist; if your ideas don't benefit the people of America and the world, you are going to hear about it.
For now I take the long view: A woman as Speaker of the House of Representatives is another indicator of the dominance of Progressive values over what Martin Luther King Jr. called the "[long] arc of history."
*This post is devoted to Maria Leavey, who passed away recently. She played a significant, if understated, role in the arc... Read more about her HERE.