Monday, April 09, 2007

"We came in friendship, hope, and determined that the road to Damascus is a road to peace," Ms. Pelosi grandly declared.

For those who don’t know, the background of this story is as follows: Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, decided that she wanted to take a trip to the Middle East to visit with foreign dignitaries, one of those nations being Syria. The United States does not maintain diplomatic relations with Syria mainly because they harbor and sponsor terrorist groups throughout the Middle East, especially within Israel. Because of that, President Bush requested that Pelosi not make the trip. This is his foreign policy. That request was denied and Pelosi, along with many other members of Congress (both Democrat and Republican) took the trip and eventually met with leaders from the Syrian government. And now begins the controversy.

What’s the big deal? Well, from a political perspective, I think Pelosi has made a big error. She is now “bringing friendship” to a terrorist-sponsoring nation, despite the objections of the Presidential administration. Her actions have drawn praise and applause from terrorist groups and she has basically reaffirmed the notion that the Democrats are soft on terror and given us all a glimpse into the foreign policy of a Democrat president – which is basically to negotiate with terrorist organizations and those nations that sponsor them. The American people will not approve of this and I suspect it will backfire tremendously. If I were Howard Dean or any other prominent Democrat, I would immediately condemn Pelosi for this as the Washington Post (arguably a liberal-slanted paper) has done. But that won’t happen. In fact, what I’m seeing is many Democrat leaders defending her trip. Big mistake.

Have you seen the pictures of the Syrian leaders with her? These guys are beaming. They see her as a sucker. Isn’t it obvious? Any moment I expect one of them to open his jacket and ask her if she wants to buy a genuine gold Rolex for ten bucks. It has long been America’s suspicion that terrorist groups favor the Democratic party, and this does nothing but verify that suspicion. And now there are terrorist groups (Palestinian militants) actually praising her visit. In addition, she misrepresented Israel’s message by saying they are “ready to negotiate for peace”, drawing an immediate response from Olmert that his position has not changed. Clearly, she leaves Damascus looking foolish and weak, which is no doubt why the Palestinian militants and the Syrian leaders love her.

I’ve heard the talking points. “She reaffirmed Bush’s foreign policy…she took a hard line…she did not contradict the administration…” blah, blah, blah. The FACT is that she DID violate Bush’s policy by making the trip and meeting with the Syrian government. It doesn’t matter what she said. That has absolutely no bearing on this issue. The President’s foreign policy is that there be no diplomatic relation with Syria until they give up their terror harboring and sponsoring behavior….period. That foreign policy is mandated by the Constitution to come from only one person, the President of the United States, and no one else, and is protected under the separation of powers.

But there’s more to this story. A recent Wall Street Journal editorial cites the Logan Act as a reason to suggest that Nancy Pelosi may have committed a felony with this visit. The facts of the law are clear. Foreign policy is dictated by the Executive Branch of government. The other two branches have no say. This is in the Constitution. The Logan Act, a result of similar disputes in America’s earlier days, was enacted to reinforce the Constitutional law for the very purpose of preventing anyone outside of the Executive branch to implement foreign policy without Presidential authority. It states clearly that a government official can NOT visit with a foreign government without Presidential authority, regardless of the purpose for that visit. It’s the law, and it appears as though Pelosi, and many other Congressmen, violated that law. It doesn’t matter if she agrees with the President or not. That is completely beside the point. She can disagree all she wants but she has no authority…none…to implement her own foreign policy, and holding a diplomatic discussion with Syria IS indeed implementing her own foreign policy. As a citizen, she has the right to travel wherever she wants, but she crosses the line of legality when she engages in diplomatic action without Presidential authority. So this transcends politics. This is not about the Speaker showing the President that he can’t tell her what to do. This is about an elected leader potentially committing a felony and clearly violating her oath to the Constitution.

Folks, this is a big story. This is about an elected leader clearly overstepping her Constitutional bounds, and I feel she should be prosecuted for it, just as I would had Gingrich done something similar while Clinton was in office.

Let’s be clear about this, because I’m sure some of you will chime in with the typical talking points. The Speaker of the House has NO right to engage in diplomatic activity without Presidential authority, especially if that activity directly violates the President’s Constitutionally-protected power of implementing US Foreign Policy. Bush did NOT grant her the authority to engage in diplomatic talks with Syria and his policy is clear…the United States will not engage in dialogue with Syria until they give up terrorism. By simply meeting with Syria’s leaders, Pelosi violated US foreign policy. Because of that, regardless of what was said, Pelosi has broken the law and must answer for that.


Dan Trabue said...

"She is now “bringing friendship” to a terrorist-sponsoring nation, despite the objections of the Presidential administration."

Would you mind if I pointed out the hypocrisy of condemning this, but of supporting the Reagan's administration "bringing friendship," support, money and weapons to a terrorist group in Nicaragua in the 1980s (Contras)? Despite the objections of Congress and the people of the US?

I'd agree with you that, under normal circumstances, the president should handle foreign policy.

This is not normal circumstances.

We have lost faith in this president's foreign policy-making ability. We feel he is undermining US security in his actions.

Given that, I think this is NOT a story that the US citizenry will be outraged about, as you'd seem to like us to be. We're already outraged and a failed and possibly criminal foreign policy as handled by this president.

You'll have to do better than your current arguments here, I suspect, if you want to win the American People over to your side.

Dan Trabue said...

And, I could easily be wrong, but I don't believe Pelosi et al have broken any laws, just broken with tradition.

Feel free to point to the law in question.

John Washburn said...

So I guess it's ok to pick and choose which laws we follow based on what we consider "normal circumstances". This is fitting considering how the Left feels about our immigration laws. We'll just enforce some laws but not others, and we can decide this for ourselves whenever circumstances aren't normal. Are you actually advocating anarchy, or are you simply unaware that the law mandates that foreign policy be set by the President? Why not just do away with law altogether? Who needs it?

And the difference between Pelosi and Reagan is that Reagan was the PRESIDENT. And, as I said in the post, the law states clearly that it's the PRESIDENT who makes foreign policy...not the Speaker of the House, not the Congress, not the "people" (although since the people elect the President they do have some say). I thought I clearly cited the specific laws in question. If not, then just click on the WSJ link. The law is clear.

Dan Trabue said...

If she's broken laws, bring it on. I've yet to hear the first responsible, knowledgeable person claim that she's broken any laws.

It's the president who makes foreign policy but I don't know that there are any laws precluding Pelosi et al from doing what they have done.

What the WSJ articles say is, as you quoted, "Nancy Pelosi may have committed a felony with this visit."

I suspect that Bush could have his attorneys go after these rebel representatives if actual laws were broken.

As to "picking and choosing" laws, yes, sometimes there comes a time for civil disobedience. I'm sure that if you thought a president was actively endangering our nation, you might agree that that would be an appropriate time to commit civil disobedience.

And with civil disobedience, it is implied that you are willing to accept whatever the authorities decide to throw at you, should they decide to prosecute.

Many times, though, prosecution will be put off because of the right-ness of the civil disobedience.

In other words, Righteousness is more important than legality. I'd hope that you'd agree.

Dan Trabue said...

As to Reagan, it's okay for Presidents to make foreign policy up to the point where they begin violating laws, as the Reagan administration did. Then is the time for the people to rise up in opposition to that president. As the people did.

USpace said...

Good one here, well said; Pelosi is a bad news dhimmicRAT...

absurd thought –
God of the Universe says
push bad agendas

get away with treason
fine if you’re a Democrat