April 1, 2007

Republicans Join Pelosi In Undermining Foreign Policy

Three House Republicans paid a visit to Bashar Assad today to open up their own diplomatic channels. strengthening Syria's hand against the US and providing cover for Nancy Pelosi's attempt to do the same:

U.S. House members meeting with President Bashar Assad Sunday said they believed there was an opportunity for dialogue with the Syrian leadership.

The U.S. House members, who included Virginia Republican Frank Wolf, Pennsylvania Republican Joe Pitts and Alabama Republican Robert Aderholt, also said they had raised with Syrian officials the issue of stopping the alleged flow of foreign fighters from Syria to Iraq.

In a statement issued by the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, the congressmen said they had talked about "ending support for Hezbollah and Hamas, recognizing Israel's right to exist in peace and security, and ceasing interference in Lebanon."

"We came because we believe there is an opportunity for dialogue," the statement said. "We are following in the lead of Ronald Reagan, who reached out to the Soviets during the Cold War," it added.

Perhaps they missed this one particular difference, but Ronald Reagan was President and the Constitutional determiner of American foreign policy. Congress doesn't have the authority to conduct negotiations on behalf of the United States, just as they do not have the authority to take command of the military. If these three stooges want to shape American foreign policy, then let them run for President. In the meantime, they should stick to legislating.

When politicians conduct these unauthorized negotiations, it reduces the bargaining power of the President. In Nancy Pelosi's case, that's her explicit goal, because she wants to force Bush out of Iraq to deliver on campaign pledges. In the case of these loose cannons, the motivation seems to be self-aggrandizement more than anything else.

Jimmy Carter and to a lesser extent Jesse Jackson have made a career of screwing up international relations. Nothing good has ever come of it. I found this type of thing distasteful when it happened to Bill Clinton as well. The President, regardless of the party to which he belongs, needs to present American policy as a united front. It's bad enough when the opposition party undermines that credibility; it's astoundingly idiotic for the President's own party to destroy it.


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Comments (14)

Posted by Lew [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 1, 2007 12:39 PM

This is what a weak President get's you!

Washington, D.C. is a madhouse full of olympic-scale egoes as a normal course of things, but when the center of power is dormant the pygmies out around the perimeter just start flying all over the place on their own. After all, what's George going to do about it?

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 1, 2007 12:53 PM



we have muslem citizens in this country who vote.

Sure. they're locked in districts you don't consider tourist attractions. But we're a huge sized country.

And, both donks and GOPsters, going for "local elections" don whatever they have to, in order to gain entry into office.

HECK. Even the supreme court. Made up of nine. Have rarely voted "together." More than likely? It's like the TV remote. People grab it. And, immediately show you their power by flicking off the station you were watching. Without even saying "oops."

Of course, you could counter this observation with another reality. Kids today are not watching all that many TV shows.

Thought I'm sure Fred Thompson re-runs are now good business.

On the other hand, just to go back to the Supreme-O's. Where so much efforts went into directing traffic. That you elected this horses' ass, Bush. Because he promised to turn vacant seats into "homes for the conservatives." Who really can't get elected to majority status.

Instead? Weak candidates. And, special interests have overtaken us. Will Bush sign the pork bills? You have to ask? Isn't that sad. Just about anybody else could have done a better job in the White House. (Ah. Except for algore!)

Special interests have perked their ways up, because everything in congress gets down to the nitty-gritty of politicians looking to steal taxpayer money.

Works for awhile. And, then it doesn't.

True, the GOP has seen more keisters flying out the door, than have the donks. That's why you have pelosi in the house. And, Gingrich as a spoiler.

DeLay's gone. (And, in his recent book, he blames Hastert.) In other words? Lots of blame to go around.

While you see stuff with your eyes.

O'Connor, Souter, and Anthony Kennedy; put up on the supremes, decided to be "swing voters," instead. People you just can't rely on.

Maybe? Ah. What if that's the lesson?

Weak candidates barely able to survive the ropes they are thrown on; manage to do conflicting stuff. Where no one wins.

As to the GOP kiesters, elected by muslems, are they gonna be a growing force? Ellison is traveling with pelosi. Seems like the "hen" is trying out a new way of sitting on this egg. To see if the donks can gain traction by attracting muzzies.

Hmm. Where are the benefits when the house is split? And, nobody's got the people enthused?

You think the muslems are gonna go away? Nah. They'll own every black neighborhood out there. If we're lucky? It's still a minority play. In a world where the statistics were aided by "affirmative action."

It's an UNcivil war.

And, the last one? The southerners overshot themselves. And, lost.

Eventually, just like in Vegas, if you gamble enough, you lose it all.

As to "foreign policy" ... if it's not the Gold Standard for Dubya, why think that playing in the Mideast changes the sands in the desert?

I think pelosi is very local. And, very small.

While I think Bush is up against the ropes because he can't give a decent speech if his life depended on it. Right now? It's not his life.

And, we'll get through the next two years by watching him get surrounded by fleas and bees. He won't fight back. His arms will just flay.

And, later on? We can discuss what it meant putting a bush into the white house. Because you had to tamper with the primary system, to get the bush's in there!

Good chance the primary system will no longer benefit "special interests." And, whatever happens in 2008. We won't be picking between tweedle dee. And, tweedle dumb.

Posted by Sandy P [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 1, 2007 1:34 PM

Lew, are you saying Ronnie Reagan was a weak president?

Cos Tippy and Chappaquiddick did the same w/the USSR to him.......

Ignore RR, we'll work w/you, he's irrelevant.

Posted by C-Low [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 1, 2007 1:45 PM

I noticed this blip of info the other day in a article about Pelosi.

Makes you wonder who if anyone is in charge of the RNC.

Bush better get it together and quick. A nation cannot run with all Chiefs and no indians. Our founders understood this and that is why we have a Executive branch of ONE president in charge of Foreign policy.

Bush's inability to speak and unwilliness to take his domestic enemies head on has become a unacceptable liablity that risk costing our entire nation drasticly. Our enemies are rallying.

Posted by The Mechanical Eye [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 1, 2007 2:16 PM

I agree with the first comment - this wouldn't be happening if these congressmen felt that George W. Bush would whip them back in line.

Instead you have the legislative branch testing out its strength - I think for the next year and a half it'll be fairly strong as Bush looks increasingly irrelevant.


Posted by conservative democrat [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 1, 2007 2:39 PM

As much as I hate too, I have to agree with Lou, Bush is so weak now that someone or some party has to fill the vacuum. The days of the GOP marching in lockstep behind Tom Delay and GWB are long gone. We dems won in 06 by default and the way things are going we'll win in 08 by default too. Hey goopers, what happened to you guys? My theory, everything starts at the top........GWB. Even his own people are admitting it now.

Posted by Newell Blair-Mann [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 1, 2007 3:47 PM

The Presidential isn't the "determiner" of American foreign policy according to the constitution. He has the right to submit treaties to the Senate, which then must approve them. He has a dominant role in foreign policy, because he must submit the treaty to the Senate, but he is not the "determiner." Besides legislators do stuff in foreign countries all the damn time, and have since the founding of the Republic.

Disagree with reps going to Syria all you want, but keep in mind the President doesn't decide foreign policy all by himself. Unless of course, you're going to show this same deference to our coming Democratic president.

Posted by unclesmrgol [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 1, 2007 4:06 PM


The President can't stop any American from attempting individual diplomacy. I don't count him weak for preventing this, nor do I count him weak by continuing to have a hard line and cold relations with Syria and Iran. Both countries count themselves our enemies, as we count them ours as well.

Now, last I looked, the United States had an embassy in Damascus, and the Syrians have an embassy in D.C. Now, we don't have an embassy in Tehran, but that isn't our fault, now, is it? Do we really want an embassy in a country which held the ambassadors of our last embassy there captive for a year?

So, since we already have an Ambassador to Syria, Michael Corbin, who is doing quite well at maintaining the right kind of dialog, it seems to me, that Pelosi et al. would do better to visit Iran, where we lack adequate diplomatic representation, having no ambassador to represent us.

And if the Iranians should choose to keep them, we should take a leaf from the Democrats and just wait until the thing plays itself out on its own, rather than declaring war and acting without the full weight of the international community behind us. Alternatively, we could just visit them and stamp each of their hands with the official foreign aid symbol of our nation: A Gift from the People of the United States of America. That would avoid the unnecessary hazarding of our troops to support an unpopular war.

Posted by Lew [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 1, 2007 6:14 PM

Newell and Uncle,

When I say a "strong" President, I mean somebody who can go out to the people and make a real dent in somebody's political future by accusing them of meddling with and undermining the foriegn policy of the elected President of the United States. There is nothing in the official organization chart or the Constitution that allows that to happen, but REAL power in America doesn't come from there anyway. It comes from the people, directly.

Right now George W. Bush can go to the people and accuse somebody of meddling and undermining our foriegn policy and NOBODY CARES! And that's the fatal error of George's administration; he and a long line of Presidents in our recent history have tried to manage and administer us to victory and that is just not possible. For better or worse, we must be inspired and lead by people of the ilk of Lincoln and Churchill and FDR and TR and Jackson and Washington. Leaders who dominate the media and issues of their day and focus the debates and clarify the goals to be striven for. Leaders who force others to react to them and their initiatives - not the other way around.

The strength of a leader is measured by how many of his contemporaries find it healthy for their careers to publicly oppose him. Ask Chuck Hagel if GWB is a strong presence in his career decisions! His answer will tell you everything you need to know.

Posted by Only_One_Cannoli [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 1, 2007 6:17 PM

Got a chuckle out of the comment about Pelosi filling a vacuum.

This week the Senate passed a resolution condemning Iran's hostage taking but the House refused to do the same because "inserting Congress into an international crisis while ongoing would not be helpful." That was the reason Pelosi's spokesman gave. I suppose that was clever strategy on Pelosi's part not an absence of leadership or inability to denounce hostage-taking.

Pelosi's delusional if she thinks being nice to them will make Syria and Iran friendly to us.

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 1, 2007 6:29 PM

Boehner needs to go to his fractious, egotistical members and inform them that this sort of thing won't do. It's bad enough having filthy dems going overseas to hobnob with hostile governments, but to have Republicans do the same... Sheesh.

Congress just continues to cover itself with glory. They can't summon the balls to vote to cut off funding for the war even as they criticize it non-stop. They spent weeks debating steroid use in baseball. Despite have "oversight" of things from the New Orleans levees to intelligence to the wards at Walter Reed, they never raised a single concern until AFTER disaster struck. Yet, they seem to have plenty of time to jet to foreign lands to try to impress the locals with their title of "Yew-nighted States Kongrisman!"

Sorry pack of wardheelers. Throw 'em all out, I say.

My disdain for the Congress aside, I agree with all here who've laid the blame at the feet of Bush: by being weak, by not putting his foot down, and most of all by not getting out in front and leading, he's making it easy for members of Congress to think that they can do what they like.

His father had the same problem. Bush Classic behaved as if he could stay in the Oval Office and quietly conduct the business of the nation without having to constantly put out his message and defend his policies. It doesn't work that way: the president has to lead, and he can't do that without making the effort 24/7.

Posted by msr [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 1, 2007 7:43 PM

I dunno. I see one advantage in having Pelosi "negotiating" over there. If would give everyone involved a clean conscience when they meet her plane coming back at Dulles, and take her into custody on charges of treason.

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 1, 2007 8:41 PM

It's about time Americans learned that the "House" is nothing but a 435 member bunch of banana republics.

Oh. And, when Bush has choices, he picks "nothin."

I don't blame him, now, for sitting it out. He has no friends. And, there are no goals.

It's hard to play a game that has lost its goal posts.

Yes, we're in iraq. But everyone involved with this decision is gone, now. Tenet's gone. The neo-cons are gone. Libby's soon to go to jail.

And, where's Bush?

Perhaps he thought handing property to the Sauds would be easy?

But along comes iran, kicks England. And, locks out the House of Saud from claiming to be "top banana."

Pelosi is just the cherry on top of this "cake." What's she gonna do?

She stopped in Israel, first. Where Olmert gave her a message. Then? Olmert made sure the message was the top headline in local papers. Pelosi will tell Assad that to "deal with Israel" (and get the Golan, "maybe,") he has to "give up terrorism.

A likely story.

While in iraq? Thinks are actually going better. Maliki hates the House of Saud, too. And, Bush is handicapped. SInce he can't pull the troops OUT. And, General Patraeus is actually getting somewhere; including, finally, getting cooperation from the iraqis, themselves.

At a stand still?

I don't think so.

But under the radar.

So much stuff flies under the radar, anyway.

Things you know to be true. And, yet you're stuck. You know the media won't tell the truth. And, so you have to make due with your observations.

It could be worse.

How so? Well? The arabs could become fearless. They could start attacking targets that fight back.

And, all you've learned so far? Even though the Brits had a warship in the water; the 15 hostages were "easy pickings." And, Blair HATES Bush. Will do everything to undermine him.

While Bush shrugs. And, just stays home.

The problems out there now? Aren't exactly Bush's problems.

As to watching things spin in the wind? That was Nixon's song and dance routine. Till bad events came and took him away.

Bush doesn't want to see such a turn. SO he's playing his cards like Jimmy Carter. And, hoping for the best.

Lots of time, I, myself, race out there, thinking this time Bush will perform. But I'm getting much better, now, at stopping myself.

Bush is a weak president. Perhaps, you're hoping, should another seat become vacant on the Supreme's, that he'll do much about it. Again. He'll meet a senator or two who will take his choices and "keep it held in committee." Time passes.

Someone new will come to bat to explain to us why we should vote them into office in 2008. I'll venture to guess that the old reasons won't work so well, anymore.

And, congress? On to itself it repreesents nothing like it does 535 banana arepublics. And, to win an election? You can be ugly, too.

I still think the biggest changes are in the primary due to come next year. The old system? Where Iowa and New Hampshire carried weight? Not gonna work, the same, again. What about the South? Buried. Because California joined the fray. Getting the person INTO the seat that travels to the convention has been worth seeing a shift to the rules.

How much does iraq really matter? Arabs never say thanks. And, if the soviets lost without us participating in that loss; why not think that the arabs can't?

Best outcome? The House of Saud doesn't collect new properties. Let them build on the sands of Dubai. That, too, doesn't give them any guarantees.

By the way, the "real do nothing," is Tony Baloney Blair. He's another character that Bush tried to give things to in the Mideast; who couldn't turn a profit.

There's always a reason a business goes downhill. And, yes. It has to do with lousy management. In the long run, lousy management takes its toll. Whether to say it comes soon. Or not. Is hard to know.

Posted by LarryD [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 2, 2007 1:40 PM

The next President's AG really needs to enforce the Logan Act. (It wouldn't hurt to campaign on that as a "minor" issue.) The Logan Act has been around a long time, but it's enforcement has been neglected, I don't know what the Statute of Limitations on the Logan Act is, but these recent violations are certainly prosecutable.