PELOSI’S UNDERSTANDABLE FRUSTRATIONS…. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, certainly more than other House Democratic leaders, is generally reluctant to publicly criticize the other chamber — the one that has abandoned majority-rule, making the American legislative process unnecessarily difficult.

But once in a while, Pelosi’s patience is tested more than usual.

The message Thursday as a slimmed-down package went down to defeat in the Senate over GOP objections it would add to the deficit, was quite different.

In back-to-back press conferences, Pelosi unleashed her full wrath on the Senate Republican Conference, blaming them for torpedoing unemployment benefits and leaving the middle class out to dry.

“What did middle-class families ever do to Republicans in the Senate that they would snuff out every opportunity for job creation that has been sent to them?” Pelosi chided at an afternoon press conference with Democratic women to drum up support for her remaining jobs agenda, much of it either unmovable in the Senate or the subject to stalemate in the House.

Some reporters seemed slightly taken aback by the House Speaker blasting the Republican Senate conference, but need Pelosi’s question be considered an unreasonable one? Is it not fair to wonder what GOP senators have against the unemployed?

On a related note, I suggested the other day that it may be time for a discussion about whether GOP lawmakers are trying to deliberately sabotage the economy to help their midterm election strategy. Theda Skocpol seems to have come to a conclusion:

Republicans have figured out that if they undercut economic recovery and increase unemployment rates, they will gain in the 2010 elections — and probably have a much better shot in 2012…. Republicans may or may not care about unemployed people, most of whom will not vote for them anyway, but Republican leaders know what they are doing strategically: slow-walking economic growth until they get back into office.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.