Talk show comedian Jon Stewart laid into House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Tuesday for her refusal to allow Illinois U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, a double amputee veteran who is eight months pregnant, to cast a vote by proxy for party leadership.
Pelosi’s opposition shows that “a woman leader can be as every bit as politically craven as her counterparts,” Stewart said.
Last week, Duckworth, who lost both of her legs in 2004 during the Iraq War, requested to be able to vote by proxy because her doctor told her that she should not travel to Washington given her late-stage pregnancy.
Party leaders, including Pelosi, strongly opposed the request saying that they did not want to set a bad precedent.
Some House aides suggested at the time that the blockage had more to do with a key vote for the next Democratic leader to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Pelosi supported California U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo. Duckworth supported New Jersey U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone.
In usual fashion, Stewart opened his Comedy Central segment by citing Pelosi’s past advocacy for women’s rights.
“The cornerstone of our democracy. When women succeed we succeed. Early voting is our friend. Respect to women and families,” Pelsoi said in one clip aired by Stewart.
“What a perfect chance to showcase her principle,” Stewart said of Pelosi, before airing another news clip reporting that Pelosi opposed Duckworth’s request.
“What the f***?” yelled Stewart in his trademark joking-yet-serious tone. “You rejected, you’re suppressing the vote of a minority pregnant woman who is a wounded war veteran? She is everything you supposedly stand for, stuffed into one individual,” Stewart continued. (RELATED: House Democrats Won’t Let Pregnant Double-Amputee Congresswoman Vote From Home)
“You seemed okay setting a new precedent when you became the first female House Speaker or filed the brief on be half of a pregnant woman whose worker refused to modify work conditions for her to condition working,” said Stewart, asking “Why not this case?”
If Pelosi’s opposition to Duckworth was politically motivated, it was all for naught.
Pallone defeated Anjoo 100 to 90 in Wednesday’s leadership vote. According to Bloomberg Politics, Stewart’s segment on the issue “moved votes.”