How Afraid of Nancy Pelosi is Donald Trump? Afraid Enough to Back off a War with Iran

After Donald Trump’s statement following Iran pummeling a US base in Iraq, a lot of people are breathing a sigh of relief. It seems that Trump is afraid to escalate the conflict further, and the Iranian government indicated last night after their bombing campaign that they had ‘concluded’ their response to the US killing their top military general.

No one should be convinced that Trump has truly given up on an all-out war with Iran. However, a halt - even a temporary one - in open armed conflict is welcome news.

Nevertheless, much of the media is missing what I believe is the key reason for Trump’s retreat. Some are claiming that “cooler heads” in the administration prevailed on the Oval Office, and that is laughable. Others believe the culprit is that the blowback in the region, and more broadly internationlly has been strong, including, especially, with the Iraqi parliament voting to expel American military presence from the country. Israel refused to back up Trump as well, with Trump-twin and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu telling his cabinet that this was America’s war, not Israel’s. These are all good reasons, but I do not think this is why Trump took his tiny hands off the war button.

But few are noticing the role of the response of House Democrats, and especially Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Within a day of Friday’s drone attack on the Iranian convoy that killed Suleimani, Speaker Pelosi announced that she would hold a vote in the House under the war powers resolution to block Trump from taking the United States to war unilaterally. Follow the timeline:

  • Friday, January 3: Trump authorizes an attack that kills the top general in Iran.

  • Saturday, January 4: Speaker Pelosi pushes back against the classified War Powers Act notification from Trump to Congress, declaring Trump does not have Congressional authorization to use force offensively against Iran.

  • Sunday, January 5: Speaker Pelosi announces that the House will be voting on a War Powers Resolution to limit Trump’s authority to use force in Iran.

  • Tuesday, January 7: Iran hits US military bases in Iraq with dozens of missiles.

  • Wednesday, January 8: Trump backs off escalation, at least for now.

By now, Donald Trump has come to know that Nancy Pelosi doesn’t play and that her command of the House is far better than his of the executive branch. She lost almost no Democratic votes for the most critical vote the House can take and made Trump impeached by the highest vote total in history. She successfully delayed the State of the Union in 2016 address until Trump and the Republicans caved and ended the government shutdown the current Congress began with.

Trump knew that Nancy Pelosi does not announce votes without knowing she has the votes. Like every tough-talking bully, Trump is afraid of anyone who stands up to him. And no one has stood up to him more effectively than the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.

Note that not a single offensive military strike against Iran has taken place since Pelosi announced the war powers vote. Trump is that afraid of her.

Well done, Madam Speaker.