Gail Collins Defends Nancy Pelosi, Calls Alaska GOP Joe Miller a 'Mean-Spirited Egoist'

Two Times columnists, the allegedly conservative David Brooks and the former Times editorial page editor and feminist author Gail Collins. conduct an online chat, "The Conversation," every Wednesday at, where they spend much of their time nodding to the pearls of conventional wisdom provided by the other.

Explaining why she wanted the Democrat to win in the three-way U.S. Senate race in Alaska, Collins called Republican primary winner Joe Miller a "mean-spirited egoist" and went on to defend "poor Nancy Pelosi" while indirectly attacking potential GOP Speaker John Boehner. Collins also warned that opposition to sweeping cap-and-trade legislation would mean farewell to the Arctic ice cap. (Brooks, keeping his conservative credentials close to his chest, defended South Carolina Democrat Rep. John Spratt.)

Gail Collins: "The Republican nominee, Joe Miller, strikes me as a mean-spirited egoist. And Murkowski, who's running as a write-in candidate, really is the establishment heroine in the worst sense of the term."

David Brooks: I'd have to go with John Spratt. He may not be a sure loser, but he is endangered. He is a South Carolina Democrat who is chairman of the Budget Committee. He has always struck me as extremely knowledgeable and fair-minded. Come to think of it, most of the Democrats who are going to lose in the House are moderate types who don't deserve to suffer for Nancy Pelosi's sins.

Gail Collins: Let's leave poor Nancy Pelosi out of this. If the Republicans take the House, the country will realize not only that every speaker is doomed to become a caricature of themselves, but also that the caricature can be way, way worse than Pelosi.

Anyhow, second question: What's been the biggest disappointment for you this election season? Mine is that the campaign has killed the energy and global warming bill, probably forever. Republicans who used to be in favor of it have switched sides. And of course you've got one of the Democratic Senate candidates running ads showing him putting a bullet through its heart. Goodbye Arctic ice cap.

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