Friday, April 06, 2007

Putting Pelosi in her place

I'm getting rather tired of the Pelosi bashfest going around the editorial pages this week over her visit with Assad. The whole narrative stinks of some archaic mindset that the "little woman" should know her place and stay in it. The USA Today editorial calls it inappropriate. The Washington Post called it counterproductive and foolish. Robert F. Turner at the Wall St. Journal suggests it's illegal and violates the separation of powers.

It's too bad these guys can't muster up the same outrage when our President and his henchmen violate the separation of powers, not to mention the rule of law, nearly every single blessed day. You know the state of our major media is pretty damn bad when the most sensible story on a breaking news event comes from Robin Givhan who notes Pelosi's choice of scarves for accessories and headwear was respectfully tasteful and a savvy fashion move.

Maybe these oh so learned pundits should listen to someone who was there. For instance, Tom Lantos, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee who pens an op-ed in response to the USA's screed.
Let's be clear. Speaker Pelosi acted well within the bounds of current U.S. foreign policy. During her visit in Damascus, she publicly declared that she supports the administration's goals regarding Syria. She delivered strong messages to President Assad condemning Syria's support for terrorists in Iraq and throughout the region, its association with Iran, its destabilization of Lebanon, and its efforts to obstruct the investigation into the Hariri assassination.

He also clears up a few points on the diplomatic status between our two countries.
One source of confusion for critics is the very nature of U.S. relations with Damascus. These are far more "normal" than the White House usually lets on. The United States has long-standing diplomatic relations with Syria, and the two nations have direct diplomatic contact daily. Although there is no U.S. ambassador resident in Damascus, we have an embassy there run by a senior-level diplomat. Similarly, the Syrians have an embassy in Washington, with an ambassador who is highly visible in most of the U.S. media.

The administration's static approach has not altered Syrian behavior one iota. Five Republican congressmen have visited Assad this week. A growing number of Republicans and Democrats share the speaker's misgivings about the White House's ineffectiveness in the region. Like Speaker Pelosi and myself, they are convinced that direct communication with Syria's leader cannot worsen Syrian behavior. Rather, over time, it may just lead to improvement.

Exactly. Six years of Bush's swaggering threats have done nothing but create more turmoil. Pelosi by all accounts was well received by both the government and the people of Syria. All the protestations aside, she may well have averted a potential conflict between Israel and Syria and coincidentally Iran released the captured British sailors, which Syria is said to have helped mediate, while she was there. If that's the result of her having stepped outside the bounds of her office, then I hope she steps out a whole lot more often.

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Blogger nolocontendere said...

Indeed. Glenn G. has an excellent take on how american media is hijacked by radical loonies, exemplified by their shrill tone concerning her trip, with MSM following their cue.

3:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lib, I think you've been "Ispammed"

9:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think bush is in any position to criticize nancy pelosi or anyone. neither is the right wing media. nancy can walk down the halls of congress in her starkers and I wouldn't care.

10:19:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Nolo - Thanks for link. I didn't get around to reading that one. It's true though. Our media is pathetic.

Rocky - He's not a spammer but it's way too long for me to read.

Lester - I agree. They're way too focused on Pelosi. It's a major story every time she scratches her nose.

10:49:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

It's amazing how the most severely psychotic people, like this guy who calls himself Ahmedinajad, spend their lives wandering around abusing the public and often getting a tax exemption for it, while others spend their lives in jail for smoking a joint.

Bong hits for Jesus!

11:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I expect this kind of hypocracy from repuglican and the m$m, however, i did not expect this defense of an obvious photo-op from thinking liberals.
It was wrong when Newt went to China, it was wrong of Pelosi to go to Syria (on a "diplomatic" mission). She has no authority, and was simply doing it for political gain.
If she wants diplomacy done correctly, she should get on with her job of impeachment so that we can get the proper people over there to do some real diplomacy.
They (repugs and m$m) are only jumping on this so hard cuz it's the first "facts" in a long time that are on thier side. Pelosi was stupid to make such trip and give them the amunition.

12:34:00 PM  
Blogger nolocontendere said...

Anon - I agree that the first order of bidness (Ivans ruled) is to impeach, however I look at Pelosi going to Syria as something along the same lines - stopping or at least temporarily making the warmongers put the brakes on their plans for a wider middle east war. There was something there that meant a lot more than a photo op.
Of course if she tried to pad her bonafides in case both Bush and Cheney are impeached and removed I'll defer to your observation.

1:31:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Oh cool everybody. I just figured out how to delete Ahmedinajad's comment. Funny, sometimes I get that little trash can icon and sometimes I don't. Anyway, if it was shorter I would have left it. I'm open-minded that way, but it was giving me the heebee jeebies.

Fogg - I'm so with you. Bong hits for Jesus and let sleeping psychos lie on their own bandwidth.

Anon - I just put a long post up on this at NewsHog that I'm about to link to. I don't think it was "just a photo-op." It's a constitutional responsiblity of Congress to become informed and she wasn't exactly signing treaties and negotiating deals. She had dinner with the guy and she didn't exploit the photo-op opportunities nearly as much as she could have. The press exploited her, not the other way around. And I say this as someone who isn't even all that fond of her. I think she's just one more machine politician and frankly it makes me a little nervous to think she's two heartbeats away from the presidency.

If the White House had shut up about it, the story wouldn't have lasted more than one news cycle. They're the ones using it as a screen to cover the mayhem in Iraq and their obvious attempt to turn the British captives into a casus belli for a strike against Iran.

I mean really, tell me what harm she actually caused?

Nolo - I don't think it's such a bad thing for her to do a little pre-emptive padding of her bonafides just in case impeachment ever really becomes a serious issue.

3:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think peolpe are missing the big picture. it doesn't matter what Peolsi does. the idea that Bush's feelings or position should be taken into a count is laughable. this is a man who's a laughingstock and hated around the world. Anything anyone does that's anti bush is great. he's a cancerous wart

3:42:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Good point Lester. I'm sure Bush can't even show his face in Dasmascas. He'd probably be stoned by the people or something.

3:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you that the press is exploiting this and that Pelosi has the right, no duty, to be informed. And, I'm sure that when she writes this trip off on her taxes, she will call it a "fact finding mission". But that's not what happened is it? From all the press reports and interviews with Nancy, i did not hear one "fact" that she uncovered. From the beginning she "billed" this as a diplomatic mission, doing something that Bush should have done. I hear what she told Assad, nothing of what he told her, THAT is why i call it a photo-op. And by her own statements, it was to "undermine" the presidents position by something that he refused to do.
Now i really, really disagree with the presidents position, however, we are all supposed to be on the same team, IF Pelosi thinks that Bush is NOT acting in our interest, the solution is not to do it herself (at least not until she is in power), the solution is to impeach.
Like i said before Gingrich was wrong to undermine Clinton with his trip to China (or are you defending his actions also?), Pelosi was wrong for the same reason. AND, she was stupid to give them the amunition.
As for the harm she caused - repuglicans can now do the same thing in the future (only you know, with repugs, it will probably be far more often and far worse)

PS i think ALL "fact finding missions" are a waste of taxpayer money - look at the "facts" that McCain found on his trip to Bagdad!
Read a book, read reports, or call on the phone, anything else is just a photo-op and a waste of money

6:49:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I see your point anon and I agree this fact finding missions are too often just a vacation at the taxpayers expense. That's politics. I don't think we can change the whole system overnight.

And sure Pelosi on some level did it to make Bush look bad, to score points for the Dem team but I also think it wasn't a bad outcome.

The big thing is she was so well received by the people. She reflected a spirit of open mindedness and a willingness to communicate and the people responded positively and if I read it correctly, almost with gratitude that a high ranking American was treating them like human beings instead of faceless enemies.

Therein lies the crux of Bush's problem with foreign diplomacy. He disagrees with the government but he takes it out on the population when most of the civilians are innocent bystanders.

Regular folks don't want war and conflict. It's the politicians who benefit from those things. I think Pelosi left the Syrians with a sense of hope instead of instilling fear in them. In my book, that's a positive outcome.

9:22:00 PM  

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