House Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi ought to find a quiet place where shecan sit down and recount the election. She was not chosen by her friendsin Silicon Valley or by the friendly investment bankers on both coasts.They no doubt contributed generously to the party’s candidates. But herHouse majority was made possible by millions of fed-up Americans readyto gamble that Democrats might try something new–on Iraq, on the soggyeconomy for working people and other grievances.

So why does Pelosi begin the education of her freshman members with aseminar on Rubinomics? Robert Rubin, the Citigroup executive and formerTreasury secretary, will appear solo next week before the partycaucus to explain the economy. Pelosi has scheduled anothercaucus briefing on Iraq, but that includes five expert voices of varyingviewpoints. Rubin gets the stage to himself.

When labor officials heard about this, they asked to be included sincethey have very different ideas about what Democrats need to do in behalfof struggling workers and  middle-class families. Pelosi decided againstit. This session, her spokesman explains, is only about “fiscalresponsibility,” not globalization and trade, not the deterioration ofwages and disappearing jobs. Yet those subjects are sure to come upfor discussion. Rubin gets to preach his “free trade” dogma with no onepresent to rebut his facts and theories.

A fundamental debate is growing within the party around these economicissues and Pelosi knows this. It is seriously unwise for this newSpeaker to leave an impression she has already chosen sides. Theinterpretation by Washington insiders will be: Pelosi is “safe;” she isnot going to threaten Rubin’s Wall Street orthodoxy. Far-flung voterswill begin to conclude Democrats are the same-old, same-old money party.This is the sort of party “unity” that can earn Pelosi a very shorthoneymoon.