Last weekend at the Ventura Theatre, I had the pleasure of snagging a great seat with a couple of friends in the balcony right before the Indigo Girls’ opening act took the stage. The opening act’s name? Bitch. With her band? Bitch & the Exciting Conclusion. I’d only vaguely heard of her before. She came out on stage in a skirt, knee-high leather boots, all the while sporting a tasteful array of pink and dark brown dreadlocks. I was a little skeptical.
First, she played a few Ani DiFranco-esque ballads, then a couple upbeat tunes that saw her hopping around the stage. She was good. But the crowd wasn’t exactly sold, until she started in on “Pussy Manifesto” — a sort of feminist chant/song with a whole call-and-response section in the middle. I’ll spare readers the lyrics, and any more unnecessary details from the concert (this isn’t a concert review after all, I promise).
In the middle of “Pussy Manifesto” (by this time, the crowd had warmed up considerably) Bitch shouted out important societal positions and roles filled by women — “teacher, whore, philosopher,” she sang. “Speaker of the House!” she improvised.
At that point a cheer went up from the crowd at the Ventura Theatre like I’d never heard before. In other words, the people there were pretty damn excited about Nancy Pelosi.
And, honestly, so am I.
As many commentators on various news stations have pointed out, not only is Pelosi a Democrat, she’s a woman from San Francisco — two words that seem to strike fear into the hearts of people everywhere outside of California. But, as Bill Maher so appropriately explained to Larry King a few nights ago, Pelosi may be from San Francisco (America’s den of sin, according to many Republicans) but she’s no wacky, extremist from the left. She’s a moderate Democrat.
Still, she’s not afraid to flex her muscles. Already, she has endorsed John Murtha to become the next Democratic majority leader (i.e. second in command of the House). Murtha, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, has been the most outspoken critic of the War in Iraq and in September 2005, called for immediate withdrawal of troops. Many credit Murtha with making the war the primary issue on Nov. 7. With Pelosi’s endorsement she is sending a clear message. People want a change of direction in Iraq, they made that clear last week, and Pelosi is ready to give it to them.
She may not be the speaker yet, but she’s already shown that she’s not afraid to take a stand.
We’re excited to see what else she can do over the next two years. This may not exactly be the oval office, but it’s a start. And we’ll take it.