Conservative Republican Jim Ellis and liberal Democrat Bennet Kelley present Filibanter, a combination of political filibuster and banter. Read Kelley's perspective on Pelosi's claims here.

Get past the notion that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will soon be forced to resign over the waterboarding flap. Everyone knows that Democrats never have to quit. The media gives them cover by simply moving on to something new, thus making everyone forget Rep. John Murtha’s defense-contractor scams, Rep. Charlie Rangel’s tax dodges or Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s failure to pay his own government levies even when he simultaneously advocates higher and higher taxes for everybody else. 

This publicity pattern will soon occur in the Pelosi case, too. Before the focus changes, however, the Speaker should be required either to prove that the “offending” CIA officials committed the felonious act of lying to Congress or offer a public apology for accusing them of such.

Let’s also stop trying to resolve which of Pelosi’s many inconsistent accounts of her waterboarding story is true. It is abundantly clear that we will never fully understand what she knew, when. 

What we can determine is whether or not the CIA briefing personnel lied to or deliberately misled Congress. That’s a serious crime, and if the agency’s agents and lawyers purposely provided false information to important congressional leaders—as the latest version of the Speaker’s story suggests—then she must prove they did so. Otherwise, she should publicly restore the reputations of those she so blatantly disparaged. 

Though America is unquestionably changing as a nation, the legal burden of proof still rests upon the accuser. Speaker Pelosi has indicted representatives of the CIA in the court of public opinion, but the preponderance of evidence suggests she is wrong. Not absolving her slander victims would push the Speaker right back into that “culture of corruption” she so formerly deplored. Now it looks like she just became a charter member.

Jim Ellis is a former political advisor to the House Republican majority and currently provides election analysis for clients of the PRIsm Information Network. With Bennet Kelley he has formed Filibanter, which provides a live presentation combining political filibustering and banter.