Forgive me for not completely buying into the rhetoric and attacks on Speaker Pelosi and her recent request that she be granted the same security provisions as her predecessor- i.e. access to a jet from the Air Force One fleet. No fan of Ms. Pelosi myself, I still maintain respect for her position and her prominence in the succession of leadership in this country.
Though not affiliated officially with either political party, my preference for fiscal conservatism, small government, and an obsession with facts often places me on the same side as the Republican party. I usually find myself defending the Republican leaders more often than those of the Democrats, because the latter is usually much better at spreading slander via the main stream media. However, this "debate" is a perfect example that both sides have plenty of mud, and the means to sling it.
The Republicans, most of whom remain anonymous, accuse the Speaker and her aides of threatening to cry "sexism", and contend that the requests for a bigger plane are founded solely in Ms. Pelosi's desire to transport her friends and family with herself between her home district in San Francisco and Washington, DC. However, they have been unable to substantiate the accusations, and the Speaker has firmly made the reasons for her requests clear:
"It has nothing to do with family and friends and everything to do about security''
(Source, Mercury News)
At this point, there is no reason to suggest that the intentions are not true. The flight from D.C. to San Francisco is quite a bit longer than to Illinois, where the previous Speaker flew. A jet that can fly the current Speaker to her District non-stop seems to me to be a reasonable request. Her job is important enough, and difficult enough, to warrant it. Additionally, every take-off and landing adds to the security problems and costs. I would imagine that an assessment would show that there is more cost to the taxpayers for an Air Force One jet, carrying key U.S. leaders, to land and take off, than to simply fly straight through to its destination.
The President seems to agree.
Stop the smearing. Allow the pentagon to protect the Speaker of the House.