Pelosi: Republican actions are a wolf in wolf’s clothing

When I first heard that Nancy Pelosi (D, CA) said that Republicans are actions are “a wolf in wolf’s clothing”, from the floor of the House, I thought it was a faux pas.  I thought she meant to reference the Biblical idiom about a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but she then repeated this twist on the idiom on Candy Crowley’s CNN show State of the Union.  One would have to think, after hearing her repeat the twist, that it was intended, and that she was probably trying too hard to be clever.  In her brief explanation of the idiom, she says it’s equivalent to using a double negative.  I looked up the twist on the idiom, and the only thing I can find is:

 A wolf in wolf clothing” means you are facing a band of wolves, not sheep disguised as wolves.”{1}

IPelosit is also possible that Nancy Pelosi was quoting the lyrics from the punk band NOFX’s song A Wolf in Wolf’s Clothing. Those that have attempted to interpret this particular song have stated that NOFX’s twist on the idiom, suggests “that the “wolves” are not trying to disguise themselves anymore, and that they are openly being bad, and they aren’t afraid to hide it.”{2} If Pelosi is so hip that she’s into the deeper meaning of NOFX songs, then those of us that have underestimated her for decades should now apologize, and we all need to give her major respect for being so unconventionally intelligent and worldly. Unfortunately, Pelosi followed up her twist on the idiom with: “It’s two no’s do not make a Yes.” One cannot help but think that she’s trying so hard to be clever that her twist on the idiom falls apart.

It is an excuse, it is not a reason,” Nancy said of the Republican’s views on Obamacare, on State of the Union. “It is an excuse, it is not a reason. Now, for the 42nd time this week they voted to defund one approach or another to defund the Affordable Care Act. They know it’s not going any place. Instead of spending the time of Congress to reach an agreement… Now, this is a wolf in wolf’s clothing. It’s two no’s do not make a Yes.”

Pelosi may be brilliant at building coalitions, and she has used this talent to continue to get Democrats in the House to elect her to leadership positions, but anyone that has tried to make sense of her statements, and conclusions, have found them to be as confusing, and entertaining, as watching a dog chase its tail.

Then, on Tuesday, October 1, 2013, two days later, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used the very same twist on the idiom while speaking to the U.N. General Assembly session on Tuesday in New York. In this speech, he decried the positive reviews (current) Iranian President Hassan Rouhani received during his debut at the international gathering. The Israeli prime minister suggested Hassan Rouhani is no better than his predecessor, (former Iranian President) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Rouhani didn’t sound like Ahmadinejad, but when it comes to Iran’s nuclear weapons program, the only difference between them is this: Ahmadinejad was the wolf in wolf’s clothing. Rouhani is a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” Netanyahu said. “A wolf who thinks he can pull the wool over the eyes of the international community.”{3}

Those of us that thought we understood the original Biblical idiom, pre-Pelosi, understood Netanyahu’s twist that basically stated that once you remove the wolf’s clothing and find out that it’s a wolf, you don’t think it’s any less evil just less deceptive. This falls more in line with NOFX’s use of the idiom, but it provides no more clarification on Pelosi’s “clever” interpretation.

So, if the idiom involves “two no’s do not make a Yes” what happens when we remove the wolf’s clothing from the wolf?  Do we find out that it only takes one “no” to equal a “yes”, or is this attempt to add an extra “no” an attempt to convince the legislative branch that this is a “Yes”.  If the latter is the case, Pelosi will need to explain how she arrived at the conclusion that it’s commonly known that wolves add extra “nos” to their statements to get a “yes” before we consider her twist on the idiom constructive.

If Nancy Pelosi simply misspoke, or her incoherent, nervous manner of speaking accidentally caused her to conflate the final two sentences of her statement, then we must cut her some slack.  If she meant to use the Netanyahu/NOFX twist on the idiom, and state that the Republicans’ actions are a wolf in wolf’s clothing, what will the American people think when the wolf’s clothing is finally removed and they see a wolf?

We Republican voters wish that we had more wolves in our party, and we wouldn’t care how they dressed.  More often than not, however, we have found that our representatives in the Republican Party are sheep in sheep’s clothing that run around trying to strip the few wolves of the party of any of their wolf’s garb to try and get the sheep from both parties to like them better.





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s