The Washington Beltway is littered with political carrion from the Trump abattoir — Jeff Sessions, Rex Tillerson, Michael Flynn, H.R. McMaster, Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, John Kelly, Gary Cohen, James Mattis, James Comey and many others — but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stands tall.

Pelosi maintained institutional integrity in her confrontation with President Trump over his partial shutdown of the federal bureaucracy. Although wrong in her judgment that a wall on the porous southern U.S. border is “an immorality,” she receives plaudits for political acumen and, by forcing the president’s hand, for helping ease the financial plight of furloughed workers and, thereby, easing harmful economic ripples throughout the country.

In the wake of this debacle of governance, perhaps both sides will stay the poisonous polarization which has characterized Washington since before Trump became president. The American people have little patience for more Beltway shenanigans. The speaker, less impulsive than Trump and far more capable of playing a long game, would burnish her leadership chops and shine even brighter if she helped design a comprehensive solution to the many issues now subsumed in the wall debate.


The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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