House Speaker John Boehner invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before Congress, which resulted in outrage from the Left. I saw some berserker comments on a Facebook meme-image by the Daily Kos (no link for you, Kossaks!) which were predictably unhinged. Boehner violated the Logan Act! Boehner the traitor! Yes, I know, the FB comments are as brain-damaged as YouTube comments, but still, it was somehow startling and amusing in terms of extremism in stupidity. Boehner is of course neither a traitor nor in violation of the Logan act, but it’s amusing in that Liberals are often accused of possibly violating the Logan Act and they shrug it off (You want a link? Feh. Go amuse yourself by Googling “John Kerry”, or “Barack Obama”, or “Nancy Pelosi”, and “Logan Act”). No, I’m not a lawyer, but if you’ve got a few brain cells to rub together it’s obvious that what Boehner did was not a violation of the Logan Act.
Eugene Robinson doesn’t quite go so far as to make that accusation in his latest column “Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu backfires on them both“, but he comes oh-so-close. Let’s begin:
“The political ramifications are clear: House Speaker John Boehner and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a colossal mistake by conspiring behind President Obama’s back, and the move has ricocheted on both of them.”
It’s not at all clear to me what the political ramifications are, but it is clear that the reaction from the White House and Liberals has been swift and hair-on-fire furious. OK, it’s clear in that respect, but otherwise? Pissing off Liberals is not a “ramification”. Nor is it clear that this was a “colossal mistake”. It’s not even clear to me that it was a mistake at all but we’ll see what kind of case Robinson can make for that later. Here, though, in the same sentence, Robinson characterizes this as Boehner “conspiring behind President Obama’s back”, and there in the first sentence of his piece we can see that this column was clearly a colossal mistake.
So, Boehner “conspired” with Netanyahu – it’s a conspiracy – as if this were a crime instead of an invitation to speak before our government and the American people. Israel is an ally of the United States, a liberal (note the small “L”!) republic with more freedoms than all other Middle Eastern countries combined, and as such I have no problem with his speaking here in the Capital on American foreign policy issues which are of vital importance to the survival of his country. Note that this spirit of open dialog does not extend to the enemies of the United States, such as “Supreme Leader” (*giggle-snort*) of Iran, Ali Khamenei, whom I invite, along with every other member of that criminal cabal, to go screw a goat.
“The big, scary issue underlying the contretemps — how to deal with Iran’s nuclear program — is a more complicated story. I believe strongly that Obama’s approach, which requires the patience to give negotiations a chance, is the right one.”
You don’t just believe it, Eugene, you believe it strongly. Of course you do. For Liberals, when dealing with the enemies of America, negotiation is the only path, whether it succeeds or fails. Negotiations, sweetened with incentives, and forgiving of transgressions and insults, is the way they snuggle up to our enemies. There’s a soft spot in their hearts for our enemies because they both share a similar anti-Americanism. Conversely, our allies get undermined and slighted, as with the United Kingdom, Australia, and of course, Israel, because in their minds the allies of the United States share in the imperialistic and capitalist crimes of the United States. Only the far Left says this out loud but it’s a sentiment which runs through all but the most centrist Liberals, and it’s a sentiment which gets translated into policy when Leftists come into power.
“To the extent that a case can be made for a more bellicose approach, Boehner and Netanyahu have undermined it.”
Well, no, they certainly are trying to dissuade us from this course, but it’s far from clear whether it’s working or not. For Liberals, it’s worth pointing out that the very act of “undermining” – well, actually, opposing and advocating for something different – their President is unacceptable, and that’s conditional on it being their President, i.e., of their party, whereas opposing the President when he’s a Republican is all kinds of patriotic speaking of truth to power.
“First, the politics. Why on earth would anyone think it was a good idea to arrange for Netanyahu to speak to a joint session of Congress without telling Obama or anyone in his administration about the invitation?”
Oh, dear, this has to be explained to Eugene. OK, here goes: Boehner violated the protocol of getting the informed consent of the President before inviting a foreign head of state to speak in Congress. This would be an issue if that foreign representative were from a hostile country, but we’re talking about Israel, our ally. The White House took extraordinary umbrage at this protocol violation because they do not consider Israel to be their ally – yes, an ally of the United States, but not the ally of the Liberal Left; again, something they dare not say out loud.
Boehner did this because he knew that the POTUS would try to put the kibosh on it. Israel doesn’t have a seat at the table of these “negotiations” and the Administration would like to keep Netanyahu from speaking to the United States government and people on this matter. Hearing the head of Israel tell us that these negotiations are a very, very bad thing for both Israel ans America is not what they’d like you to hear, and so they would have tried to put a stop to it before it happened, and especially before the offer was made public, the better to kill it quietly, in the crib.
So intent is the Administration to prevent further sanctions being levied on Iran that Secretary of State John Kerry falsely claimed that Mossad chief Tamir Pardo had opposed more sanctions on Iran. I’ll give them this: it takes a lot of chutzpah to tell a whopper like that. Still, with the Administration making up astonishingly flagrant lies like that, you can see how both Boehner and Netanyahu would want to address the American government and people directly.
“Yes, Congress has an important role to play in international affairs.”
In acknowledging this Robinson is also dismissing it; you can almost hear him add, sotto voce, “but not really…” Not so much now that Congress is controlled by Republicans, that is. When it’s a Democrat Congress vs. a Republican President, Robinson will be right there to tell you just how very important that role really is.
“And yes, the days are long gone when disputes among officials over foreign policy ended at the water’s edge; members of Congress routinely gallivant around the globe and share their freelance views of what the United States should or should not be doing. But inviting a foreign leader to speak at the Capitol without even informing the president, let alone consulting him, is a bald-faced usurpation for which there is no recent precedent.”
A usurpation! Our king Obama is being usurped! Although the definition of that word relating to the throne may not have been the one Robinson had in mind, it was the word that came to his mind, and the association doesn’t bother him or he doesn’t even hear himself. “Bald-faced” is, literally, “unshaven”, but in American English it is associated with the phrase “bald-faced liar” (and no other) and connotes “flagrant”, which is the word Robinson was looking for but could not find. Happy to help, Eugene – see above for an example of the proper use of the word “flagrant”.
“Pending legislation, which Obama threatens to veto, would automatically impose tough sanctions against Iran if the drawn-out, multiparty nuclear negotiations fail.”
Now, remember, Robinson just asked the question of why Boehner would invite Netanyahu to speak before the House without checking with POTUS Obama. It’s as if he can’t see the connection between the two, but it’s right there. POTUS Obama’s threat of a veto in the event that negotiations with Iran fail means that the Administration wants for there to be no consequences for the failure of negotiations. For the Administration, and Liberals, the failure of a negotiated deal would necessitate another round of negotiations, as has happened multiple times in the past. This is not an acceptable outcome for Israel or the American Right because this series of failures is a win for Iran as it gives them more time to develop nuclear weapons and to produce weapons-grade fissile material. Sanctions have hurt Iran and slowed down their work, and stronger sanctions can be expected to have a greater effect on the slowdown of their nuclear weapons push. You don’t need to extrapolate here: the Obama Administration is running out the clock which will give Iran time to get the bomb. Again, something they dare not say out loud.
“If Boehner wanted to build support for sanctions, he failed spectacularly. Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee and a vocal hawk on Iran policy, announced Tuesday that he would not vote for his own bill imposing automatic sanctions — at least not until after a March 24 deadline for negotiators to produce the outlines of an agreement. Nine of his pro-sanctions Democratic colleagues in the Senate joined him, meaning the bill is unlikely to win the necessary 60 votes for passage.”
In other words, Obama turned the screws hard on Democrats who are now falling in line, to the extent that these Democrats are willing to put off the vote on additional sanctions – until after negotiations fail. Not exactly a spectacular failure, but whatevs, Eugene.
“If Boehner’s aim was to paint Obama as somehow soft on Iran, he failed at that, too. The speaker inadvertently turned the focus on himself and has had to spend the week explaining why he went behind the president’s back, not even giving the White House a heads-up until hours before the March 3 speech was announced.”
Boehner doesn’t need to “paint Obama as somehow soft on Iran” (“somehow“!). We have ample evidence that POTUS Obama is soft on Iran. Also note that here Robinson admits that Boehner did give a heads-up to the WH some hours before the announcement; recall that he started out this opinion piece by accusing Boehner of “going behind the back” of POTUS Obama and repeats it in the same sentence, because giving advance notice to the WH vs. going behind the back of the WH is completely the same, apparently.
“Netanyahu, for his part, may have thought this was a way to boost his prospects in the upcoming Israeli election, scheduled for March 17. Or he may have fantasized that somehow, by openly siding with the Republican Party, he could snatch U.S. foreign policy out of Obama’s hands. Judging by the pounding he is taking from the Israeli media, he was mistaken on both counts.”
If you think the Liberal media in Israel is giving Netanyahu a pounding – and, yes it’s the Liberal media in Israel giving Netanyahu a pounding – then consider what the Obama Administration had to say to the Israeli government: Netanyahu “spat in the face” of Obama, and “there will be a price”. Would that they would speak so forcefully to the North Koreans.
“Note to all foreign leaders: We have one president at a time. Americans respected this fact when George W. Bush was president, for better or worse. And we respect it now.”
It’s hard to know what Robinson means by his use of the word “respect” in this context, but no, Liberals did not respect POTUS W, neither in his being POTUS nor his being the only POTUS. They didn’t even believe he was the POTUS; they thought he’d stolen the election from Gore.
“The speech episode borders on farce, but the larger debate over Iran’s nuclear ambitions could not be more serious. The central issue is whether a negotiated deal will leave Iran with the theoretical capability to build a nuclear bomb if it were to decide to do so. No amount of diplomatic legerdemain, it seems to me, can avoid answering this question with a simple yes or no.”
Or, as the Blogfather noted in the comments of a WaPo “Right Turn” blogpost, the Iran nuclear deal will amount to this: “Iran pretends they don’t have a nuclear weapon program. And we pretend to believe them.”
“If you say yes, as Netanyahu does, then Iran must be stripped of all ability to enrich uranium. It is easy to understand why the Israeli government sees a nuclear-capable Iran as an existential threat — and also worries that other regional powers concerned about Iran’s growing influence, such as Saudi Arabia, might decide that they, too, need to get into the nuclear game.”
As the above paragraph clearly demonstrates, Robinson is not oblivious to the issues or stakes, which makes his position on a nuclear-armed Iran and these negotiations all the more despicable.
“Iran insists, however, that it has the right to a peaceful nuclear program. The government in Tehran is unlikely to give up that right but may be willing to limit itself to low-grade enrichment that produces material incapable of being used in a bomb. At least some infrastructure for high-grade enrichment would remain, however — and so would some risk of an eventual Iranian bomb.”
Wink-wink, nudge-nudge, the Iranians will pinky-swear to keep their uranium enrichment low-level, say no more, say no more! And make no mistake: Liberals are A-OK with that. When the Iranians nuke Israel, directly or through a terrorist proxy, Liberals will wring their hands and lament it as if it were an act of nature, something that just sort-of happened, like a tornado that nobody could have seen coming, and in their next breath they’ll condemn Israel for bringing it on themselves.