Isn’t it customary to allow the president of the United States conduct foreign policy? And isn’t it unwelcome when other American political leaders interfere directly with sensitive negotiations that are taking place?
Welcome to the new world of political brinkmanship.
House Speaker John Boehner has poked President Barack Obama in the eye by inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress — without consulting with the president.
Why is that a big deal?
Well, Boehner wants to impose further economic and political sanctions on Iran while the Islamic Republic is negotiating with the United States and other powers on a deal to disband its nuclear program. Netanyahu is on Boehner’s side, so he’s going to speak to Congress next month to make that case.
Bibi won’t visit the White House while he’s in-country, which is customary, given that he and his Likud Party are about to face parliamentary elections in Israel. Indeed, Netanyahu himself has decried the practice of using foreign visits to further political ends in his country — and yet, here is doing, what he once condemned.
The aggravation comes in large part because Boehner has inserted himself directly into this matter that is underway between the State Department and its counterpart in Iran. U.S., allied and Iranian negotiators are seeking a way to avoid Iran obtaining nuclear weapons, which virtually every civilized nation on Earth says is unacceptable.
Now we have the head of government of our most reliable Middle East ally coming here seeking to undercut that effort — with the blessing of the speaker of the House of Representatives.
It was leaked some time back that a White House aide referred to Netanyahu as a “chickens***.”
That term actually applies to Speaker Boehner.
2 thoughts on “Boehner, Bibi are dissing the White House”
What Boehner has done is actually against the law. The Logan Act, passed in 1799 and amended in 1904, states that no citizen of the United States can act on behalf of the United States government without its explicit approval. Boehner, as a Member of Congress, is not authorized to conduct foreign policy dealings that are explicitly the purview of the executive branch. Maybe he should try to sober up before making any move that might be illegal. Sobering up might not be possible.
Not quite so sure about breaking the law, but clearly the speaker — in my mind at least — is stepping into an area where he doesn’t belong. Thanks once again.
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