Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 6, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

PELOSI IN SYRIA....Can we all please get a grip on the Pelosi in Syria story? Please? It's hardly unheard of for members of Congress to visit foreign countries and talk to their leaders, and it's not as if Pelosi was negotiating a treaty or something. As for "undermining" the president's foreign policy, that's just laughable. "Nobody gets to talk to the Syrians" hardly qualifies as a foreign policy in the first place.

At the same time, the Speaker of the House really does have different responsibilities than your average pol. That doesn't mean Pelosi isn't allowed to travel, but it does mean that it's obviously a different thing for her to have a chat with Assad than it is for a couple of obscure backbenchers. Come on, people.

Kevin Drum 5:03 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (80)

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Nancy is being interviewed on NPR right now.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 6, 2007 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

Frankly, if Felix the Cat went to visit foreign countries on our behalf, it would be an improvement over the current bunch of half-wits.

Posted by: craigie on April 6, 2007 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

Half-wits? That is too generous by far.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 6, 2007 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

Newt Gingrich actively and publicly contradicted the White House on its Mideast and China policies, far more strongly than Pelosi is doing now. Gingrich called Clinton a terrorist coddler in Jerusalem. And he had a "bring it on" moment vis-a-vis China when he made them lose face by publicly proclaiming that the US would militarily defend Taiwan if China got uppity.

And remember, Gingrich was taking these extraordinary and reckless actions with a President who was not only working within the historic norms of American foreign policy, who had not only won every military engagement he'd been involved in during his term, but he did it with a President who was NOT losing TWO wars in the mideast while petulantly refusing to speak with half the nations in the region because they were "evil."

Nothing Pelosi is doing comes close to what Gingrich did to Clinton, and Clinton was running his foreign policy WAY better than Bush is.

Since the media isn't going after Pelosi because she's doing anything out of bounds, it stands to reason they're going after her for some other reason. My question is whether they're going after because she's a Democrat or because she's a woman.

It's definitely a double standard, the only question is which one--because she's a Democrat or because she's a woman.

My money is on it being because she's a Democrat.

Posted by: anonymous on April 6, 2007 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

(better situated...)

Now the right and even MSM are piling on Pelosi for the Syria visit, and shaking on her for supposedly violating the Logan Act. However, it says one must act "...with
intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any
officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the
United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States,..." - are there any specific measures being thwarted? Also, it says about going "without the authority of the United States" [meaning who?]

In any case, in addition to U.S. Republican Congressman Darrell Issa (CA) meeting President Bashar Assad on Thursday, now it should be told that Republicans (mostly) negotiated against
Clinton re Kosovo in 1999, subject to confirmation:

http://www.b-info.com/tools/miva/newsview.mv?url=places/Bulgaria/news/99-05/may14e.rfe

Yugoslavia: U.S. Legislators Defend Duma Talks On Kosovo

By K.P. Foley

Washington, 14 May 1999 (RFE/RL) -- Several U.S. legislators who worked out
a Kosovo peace proposal with a delegation from Russia's parliament defended
their actions Thursday against sharp criticism from fellow members of
Congress as well as the State Department.

The group of 11 members of the House of Representatives is sponsoring a
resolution that calls on President Bill Clinton's Administration and the
leaders of the House and U.S. Senate to support their joint Russian-American
effort. The resolution would not have the force of law, but approval would
add more pressure on the Clinton Administration and the NATO alliance to end
the air offensive against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Despite its non-binding status, Undersecretary of State for
Politico-Military Affairs Thomas Pickering told a hearing of the House
International Relations Committee that the initiative was an "uncoordinated
free-lance," effort.

On Wednesday, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had already tried and
failed to convince the congressional group to withdraw its proposal from
consideration. Her spokesman -- James Rubin -- said the State Department did
not, in his words, welcome a proliferation of envoys.

The leader of the congressional group, Representative Curt Weldon -- a
Republican from the northeastern state of Pennsylvania -- told Thursday's
hearing that his group did not consider itself to be a negotiating team. He
said:

"Our goal was to not negotiate. We laid out at the outset, with a State
Department employee with us the entire time, that we were here to support
our administration and its five NATO objectives. And what we said is that we
want to try to reach a parameter, a parameter for negotiations to move
forward."

Weldon said his group, which was comprised of six Republicans, four
Democrats and the lone Independent member of Congress, met with the Duma
delegation on April 30 and May 1 in Vienna. Weldon said they met at the
invitation of the Russians, who first proposed traveling as a group to
Belgrade for a meeting with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

Weldon said U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott advised against
meeting Milosevic but did encourage the legislators to meet with the Duma
members at a neutral site.
...
Abercrombie said he and his fellow delegation members are convinced that,
"using the good offices of Russia offers the best chance for successful
negotiations to end the war in Kosovo and the rest of Yugoslavia."

© 1995-1999 Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, Inc., All Rights Reserved.
http://www.rferl.org

Posted by: Neil B. on April 6, 2007 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, it didn't bother the White House that Republican Darryl Issa was in Syria three years ago visiting Assad giving aid and comfort to terrorists or whatever, but they were forced to (lightly) criticize his visit this week in an effort to keep people from discovering that they are in fact nothing but weak, partisan idiots.

Posted by: trex on April 6, 2007 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

But guys! Remember, it's always okay if you are a Republican! They never have craven motives! They are as pure as Ivory Snow!

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 6, 2007 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

Most of the criticism is simple misogyny, in my humble opinion. Bush & Co. have turned our Mideast policy into one great male pissing contest, and Pelosi's visit genuinely drives them nuts because it seems to suggest that 'we can't control our women'. Yes, Rice, but it's fine when Rice goes because she's under Bush's control.

Posted by: lampwick on April 6, 2007 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

You are right on all of youyr statements Kevin. Exactly right; and it should be noted that Congressman Issa DID make statements in Syria contrary to Bush, while Pelosi did NOT. This all much ado about nothing and is merely an attempt at distraction by the right wingnuts.

Posted by: bmaz on April 6, 2007 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

Let me make this real simple:

Solve the Middle East problem real fast.
Real fucking fast.

Because global warming is all that really matters.

Got that?

Or should I say:

Got that stupid fucking humanity?

Posted by: koreyel on April 6, 2007 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

A nice bit of High Broderism, Kevin.

Posted by: mary on April 6, 2007 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

Monica Goodling has resigned. Just heard it on NPR.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 6, 2007 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe Speaker Pelosi wouldn't have felt compelled to go to the Middle East, if only George W. Bush and his neo-conservative, neo-Confederate, neo-reactionary, neo-maniacal, neo-corrupt, neo-er-to-God-than-thee pseudo-neo-Christian administration were actually doing their fuckin' job in at least a halfway-responsible manner, as most Americans vainly hoped that they would back in Jenuarry 2001.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on April 6, 2007 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

I find it pretty damn hard to get the grip on the fact that an innocuous diplomatic visit has been hysterically and dishonestly trumpted as some bad action on Pelosi's part. So she taked with Assad - SO FUCKING WHAT? Did Pelosi announce she made a mutual aggression pact with Syria against Israel? Did she sell them some yellowcake from Niger? Is Assad going to take these talks as the perfect moment to invade Pearl Harbor?

What the hell? Never actually mind that Gingrich has paid such visits when he was Speaker, a group of Republicans had visited days defore, and there were Repubican congressmen in the GROUP SHE WAS TRAVELLING WITH. When the Republican Nosie Machine is activated, just watch the media jump up and down screaming about an issue that DOESN'T ACTUALLY EXIST!! Frankly, it's staggering to see how a Democrat can get her reputation "tarnished" and her actions attacked over nothing at all! And with our neverending war in Iraq and the scandals plaguing the justice department, such bullshit actions can only be seen as a deliberate attempt to distract the American people and interfere with the democratic process.

-L-

Posted by: a1 on April 6, 2007 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

Pelosi may have different duties and responsibilities than back benchers, but she doesn't have different duties than Hastert did when he told South American countries to bypass Clinton and negotiate directly with Congress.

Posted by: anandine on April 6, 2007 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

Aiyeee! Feminazi terrorist-loving Defeatocrat traitors! Treason! Surrender! Capitulation! Weakness and cowardice!

Arrest them and imprison them! Bomb Syria into a glass parking lot!

Aiyeee!

Posted by: bleh on April 6, 2007 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl, Red State: "Monica Goodling has resigned."

Aloha, Monica. Pray to that judgmental, warmongering god Aries you worship that the door doesn't hit you really hard in your boney right-wing ass on your way out.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on April 6, 2007 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

Seems like Kevin has been taken to the woodshed for his recent forays into the the world that really understands what the Bushies are really about.

Posted by: gregor on April 6, 2007 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

Never actually mind that Gingrich has paid such visits when he was Speaker

Exactly. Via Josh Marshall:

But as Speaker himself in May of 1998, Gingrich aggressively inserted himself into American foreign policymaking abroad when he took a high-powered Congressional delegation to Israel. He openly denounced the White House's Middle East policies and made public comments in direct defiance of the White House. Right before his trip he even described then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright as an "agent for the Palestinians."

In other words, despite the fact that the White House opposed her trip to Syria, Pelosi -- who claims she delivered the White House's message, unlike Gingrich -- has in many ways been more respectful of the White House than Gingrich was on his trip abroad. Yet CNN somehow can still ask without any irony whether Pelosi is on her way to becoming the "most controversial House Speaker yet."

Where is the outrage from the wingers?

Posted by: trex on April 6, 2007 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

The White House and the Republicans are lashing out about anything they can. Pelosi will be vilified no matter what she does.

I am more intrigued by the fact middle aged women adore the babushka.

Pelosi beamed in the pictures I have seen and Laura Bush looked pleased wearing hers also. I think that is interesting, especially as Pandagon thinks it is part of the dreaded patriarchy. Maybe the Pandagonians are not grandmothers.

Posted by: Brojo on April 6, 2007 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

Can we all please a grip on the Pelosi in Syria story?

I think you're missing a "get" in this question.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 6, 2007 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

From the Saudi Gazette:

Saudi Gazette, Saudi Arabia

Nancy Pelosi: The Alternate President

"U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reminds us of the ambitious office worker surrounded by dunderheads who can't or won't get the job done. So she rolls up her sleeves and says for all the world to hear: 'Well, it looks like I'll have to do it myself.'

Posted by: TJM on April 6, 2007 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, didn't leave the link:
http://www.watchingamerica.com/saudigazette000017.shtml

Posted by: TJM on April 6, 2007 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

Can she be arrested under the logan act?


Posted by: Nancy's mom on April 6, 2007 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

Felix the Cat?

Didn't he work tirelessly behind the scenes when they were cobbling Yalta together?

Posted by: skeg on April 6, 2007 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

No Quarter is pushing back hard on this, and good on 'em.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 6, 2007 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

AHHHH the Neo-cons they sound really scared.The American public might just see that Dems can do Foreign policy.Because Condi can't.

Posted by: john john on April 6, 2007 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

ABCNews.com is running the headline "Pelosi's Visit a Felony?", though when you hit the jump that bit goes away.

This is not an even-handed situation, here.

Posted by: Nicholas Beaudrot on April 6, 2007 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Kevin: atrios is a wanker.

They must have put something in the water over there.

Posted by: am on April 6, 2007 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

Here is the story of Newt Gingrich's 1997 trip to China
...This is, of course, totally different than the right-wing outrage scandal de jour:
New York Times, March 31, 1997 -- reporting on a trip to China by House Speaker Newt Gingrich, one week after Vice President Al Gore's trip:
Speaking with startling bluntness on an issue so delicate that diplomats have tiptoed around it for years, Newt Gingrich said today that he had warned China's top leaders that the United States would intervene militarily if Taiwan was attacked.
As he left for Tokyo after a three-day trip to China, Mr. Gingrich said he had made it absolutely clear how the United States would respond if such a military conflict arose.
Referring to his meetings with China's leaders, Mr. Gingrich said: ''I said firmly, 'We want you to understand, we will defend Taiwan. Period.'" ...

Posted by: Mike on April 6, 2007 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

Also in '97, Hastert was traveling all over South America
...telling leaders that they should ignore the Clinton White House and negotiate directly with the Republican congress:

In 1997, Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) led a delegation to Colombia at a time when U.S. officials were trying to attach human rights conditions to U.S. security assistance programs. Hastert specifically encouraged Colombian military officials to “bypass” President Clinton and “communicate directly with Congress.”
... …a congressional delegation led by Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) which met with Colombian military officials, promising to “remove conditions on assistance” and complaining about “leftist-dominated” U.S. congresses of years past that “used human rights as an excuse to aid the left in other countries.” Hastert said he would to correct this situation and expedite aid to countries allied in the war on drugs and also encouraged Colombian military officials to “bypass the U.S. executive branch and communicate directly with Congress.”
Subsequently, U.S. Ambassador to Colombia Myles Frechette sent a cable complaining that Hastert’s actions had undermined his leverage with the Colombian military leadership.
In other instances, Hastert actually guided congressional staff to unilaterally reach deals with Colombian officials:...

Posted by: Mike on April 6, 2007 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

Mike, thanks for a reminder I knew was out there but too lazy to fetch. That was way over the line on foreign policy. But then Gingrich is always way over the line. He has no realistic grip on his "self". Spoilt little boy who still thinks he's the cat's pajamas. Oh,... like you know who!

Bush is using the same old pulpit. It he repeats it often enough it WILL be believed. Despite all evidence to the contrary. What's new?

These guys need to be investigated out of here.

Posted by: notthere on April 6, 2007 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK
As a direct result of Reagan's primitive instincts and his policies toward the USSR, the Soviet Union ceased to exist.

I don't think that the spending race between the well-developed West and the essentially third-world Soviet Union that began as WWII ended and proceeded without let-up until it resulted in the collapse of the USSR during the first Bush presidency can be fairly attribute to the "primitive instincts" or policies of Ronald Reagan.

But don't let facts get in the way of your mythology.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 6, 2007 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

One last article:
To Damascus with Nancy Pelosi
Why neocons are so apoplectic about the speaker's visit to Syria.
By Joe Conason
...Although Olmert later attempted to embarrass Pelosi by declaring that he had given her no message for Assad, his own spokeswoman issued a statement after their meeting on April 1, which clearly indicated that they had discussed what she might say to the Syrian president. According to that statement, Olmert told her that he would enter negotiations with Assad only if Syria withdrew its support for Hamas and Hezbollah. There is no evidence that Pelosi said anything different in Damascus. Why she expressed optimism about eventual peace talks between the Syrians and the Israelis remains to be seen.

....Liberal Democrats are not to be trusted to act like responsible adults in foreign affairs... mhr at 6:44 PM

Like everything, you have that assbackwards. Your Bushistas are acting like petulant whiny 2-year olds. I realize that you are nothing but a recording of debunked RNC talking points, but the reason for the fall of the Soviet Union was Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev

Posted by: Mike on April 6, 2007 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

What's with this namby-pamby "at the same time" crap? This story is a White House lie without substance, just like the Air Force jet story was a lie without substance. It's a pretend scandal, because they are trying to distract people from the forest of real scandals that spring up every day.

The Bush people are throwing all the slime they can at her because she is saying things like this: "On this very important matter I would extend a hand of friendship to the President just to say to him; Calm down with the threats. There's a new Congress in town. We respect your Constitutional role, We want you to respect ours. This war must end. The American people have lost faith in the President's conduct of the war."

Pelosi is speaking truth to power, and it's scaring the bejeezus out of the power.

Posted by: Alan Bostick on April 6, 2007 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK
These guys need to be investigated out of here. notthere at 7:08 PM
Agree, but it isn't just the crooks and liars in government and the RNC, it's also the worthless American regular media which has been just as bad as FoxNoise, Limbauger, and the rest of the rightist spin machine. I've been sending a flurries of emails to these clowns the last couple of days. Posted by: Mike on April 6, 2007 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

The centrist, sensible voice of reason, repeating the talking points of both sides. Is Time magazine looking for another house liberal?

Posted by: Martin Gale on April 6, 2007 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

I've been sending a flurries of emails to these clowns the last couple of days.

You and me both. Every missive to CNN, I have asked them when the C ceased to stand for 'Cable' and started standing for 'Craven.'

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 6, 2007 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin seems to be missing the fact that the media have made this a non-stop attack on Pelosi and the Democrats.

This is what the rightwing does when they have no facts, no candidates, and no policy- they crank up the noise machine. If they get away with these attacks on Pelosi, they'll do it again.

I may not know exactly what to do about this, but I know what I'm not going to do, and that is, calm down. If you see a tv spewing this nonsense in a public place, talk back. If having televisions in public places causes arguments, well, maybe they should put a good movie on or just turn the damn thing off.

Then it might make a little more sense to calm down.

Posted by: serial catowner on April 6, 2007 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl, Red State: "Remember, it's always okay if you are a Republican! They never have craven motives! They are as pure as Ivory Snow!"

So was Marilyn Chambers, the "Ivory Snow Girl" of the '60s and early '70s -- at least until she went on to a more lucrative career in adult entertainment.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii, Drinking Mai-Tais on Waikiki Beach on April 6, 2007 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

It only took three hours for Donald to hit that meatball I tossed over the plate outta the park...

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 6, 2007 at 8:43 PM | PERMALINK

Mike: "Here is the story of Newt Gingrich's 1997 trip to China."

I rather like Newt Gingrich's story the other day, when he apologized in his finest high school freshman Spanish for his ill-considered "language of living in a ghetto" remarks.

It wasn't the Insatiable Newtster's first foray into the world of American bilingualism. I specifically remember when, as Speaker of the House, he issued a proclamation in Spanish that honored Mexico's Cinco de Mayo holiday.

Under his official signature on that proclamation was the self-inflicted title Hablador de la Casa. Because unbeknownst to either him or his communications staff, "Hablador" is the common colloquialism for "Loudmouth".

P.S.: The correct Spanish-language title for Speaker of the House is Presidente de la Camara de Representantes.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii, Drinking Mai-Tais on Waikiki Beach on April 6, 2007 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

THe danger here is that Pelosi undermine's the President's foriegn policy.

In the war on terror, nothing is more important than a show of unity to the rest the world. But the Democrats don't want to win the war. They want to play politics and "understand" arabs. Did Churchhill "understand" Nazis?

But the worst travesty here is the multiethnic sell-out act of Pelosi donning the islamic headdress and echewing her American culture. Thats a slap in the face to every decent, hardworking American out there. I guess being PC is more important than showing American solidarty.

Posted by: egbert on April 6, 2007 at 9:16 PM | PERMALINK

Egbert, Laura Bush donned the scarf to enter a Mosque too. Did she sell out her "American culture"?

By the way, you drooling, mendacious fucktard, look up thread to the references to 1997 and the usurpation of presidential authority by not one but two Repukeliscum Speakers of the House. Hastert and the reptile Newt went far beyond what Pelosi did.

I just think it is terribly sad that Ms. Pelosi had to sacrifice her time off with her family to do the job that the incompetent sniveling Condi could not manage lo these many months.

What. A. Pathetic. Loser. Moron. You. Are.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 6, 2007 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl, Red State: "It only took three hours for Donald to hit that meatball I tossed over the plate outta the park..."

Hey, you just left it dangling out there, and although I really tried to ignore it because it was offered up by someone on our side, it eventually was like teasing my cat with her catnip mouse toy on a string -- especially since there are no cheap piñatas offered this afternoon by right-wing trolls. The more I saw it, the more I thought, "Hell's Bells, somebody has to do it!"

Besides, great trashy liberal minds truly think alike.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on a Pau Hana Friday on April 6, 2007 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

But the worst travesty here is the multiethnic sell-out act of Pelosi donning the islamic headdress and echewing her American culture. Thats a slap in the face to every decent, hardworking American out there. I guess being PC is more important than showing American solidarty.

For heavens sakes, Egbert, pay attention in class instead of just sneering and pouting. Western women wearing kerchiefs in and around Moslem holy places is a standard act of courtesy in diplomatic circles. The other blogs have posted pictures of both Laura Bush and Condi Rice doing the same thing.

In the war on terror, nothing is more important than a show of unity to the rest the world.

If showing unity in the war on terror is important, how about uniting with the vast majority of Americans and most freedom-loving people around the world and help us get the United States out of Iraq? The Iraqis were a useful bulwark against Islamic extremists for decades before we overthrew Saddam Hussein. They could be again if we let them have their country back. We could also put our military resources to work hunting terrorists instead of trading atrocities with the Iraqi militias.

Posted by: Berken on April 6, 2007 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

In the war on terror, nothing is more important than a show of unity to the rest the world.

In the war on terror, nothing is more important than catching the terrorists. You know, people like Osama bin Laden.

Posted by: Boots Day on April 6, 2007 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, egbert, you finally arrived!

Dude, I was gettin' so bored, I was about to go out and randomly beat up right-wing tourists in Waikiki.

(F.Y.I., you can spot the wingers out here by their penchant for wearing dark socks with their Mexican sandals -- it's a dead giveaway, every friggin' time!)

egbert: "Did Churchhill 'understand' Nazis?"

He certainly understood them far better than 90% of his political contemporaries. Churchill also innately understood that the key to victory is knowing your enemy even better than you know yourself.

You oughta start by reading The Art of War by Sun Tzu, you pathetically medacious human equivalent of a sick cockatiel's droppings. How can anyone be so willfully obtuse?

There now, I feel so much better.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii, Ready to Kick a Little Right-Wing Ass on April 6, 2007 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

I think it's on his reading list, Donald. He will get to it right after he finishes his book report on Go, Dog, Go.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 6, 2007 at 9:53 PM | PERMALINK

If Nancy is engaging in foreign policy, it is only because there is such a tremendous void to be filled. The mideast is more dangerous than ever, South America is going "red" two decades after we supposedly won the cold war, and God knows what Putin is up to.

Posted by: Tom F on April 6, 2007 at 9:54 PM | PERMALINK

egbert: "THe danger here is that Pelosi undermine's the President's foriegn policy."

And exactly what foreign policy is that, you amorally flatulent little right-wing rodent?

Your Mom's calling you to come up from the basement. If you know what's good for you, you Xanax-initiated addlebrained neocon apologist, you'll ignore her and just accept this round of much-deserved abuse like the man you always wished that you could've been but never were.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii, Breakin' Out the Waterboard and 1% Peroxide Solution on April 6, 2007 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

BGRS: No Quarter is pushing back hard on this, and good on 'em.

Yes, indeedy.

As other posters have documented, Pelosi isn't setting any precedents in her visit to Syria: Repub Issa recently and three years ago, contentious Speaker Gingrich during Clinton's presidency, Curt Weldon and 10 other Reps, Speaker Hastert...

What is deviant is George Bush's behavior. No Quarter:

There is one common denominator to every American president from Eisenhower through Clinton, and it is this: America negotiates with enemies and adversaries, as well as with friends and allies, to achieve our goals.
Kennedy said we should never negotiate out of fear, but never fear to negotiate. This was followed by the most conservative and the most Republican presidents. Eisenhower talked to the Soviets when the Soviets were at their worst. Nixon talked to the Soviets and to the Chinese communist leaders. Reagan talked to the Soviets, and not only Gorbachev - he also wrote a personal plea to Brezhnev.
The policy of George W. Bush is deviant, extreme, radical and unprecedented in the history of Republican and conservative U.S. presidents, indeed of all previous U.S. presidents.
George W. Bush is inexplicably hostile to achieving American goals through diplomacy on those matters, which are many, where he prefers to achieve American goals through war, in ways destructive to American goals, leading to disaster.
Bush? He no talk. He no like Iraq Study Group. He no understand. He rule. He king. He mad and huffs and puffs.... "Harumph! Let me finish... harumph!" That's our wingnut preznut's diplomacy in action and "I'm a uniter" skills. Wingnut TV and radio cheer.

Meanwhile, the adults move on.


Posted by: Apollo 13 on April 6, 2007 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

Nancy stepping up
doing what has to be done
to salvage our name

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 6, 2007 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

Yee haw!

Posted by: Apollo 13 on April 6, 2007 at 10:18 PM | PERMALINK

Apollo, did you know that a federal appeals court yestday ordered the immediate release of a political prisoner? Now we know to what lengths some of the 85 USA's were willing to go to prove they were "Loyal Bushies."

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 6, 2007 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

Off topic, but anyone who wants to really dig into the Purge scandal should be reading the posts by Corpus Juris at Watching Those We Chose.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 6, 2007 at 10:22 PM | PERMALINK

Globe,
That Georgia Thompson story is chilling. You are right to question how many others are rotting in prison under the Bushie loyalist regime. How very Soviet of them.

I'll check out Corpus Juris in a few.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on April 6, 2007 at 10:30 PM | PERMALINK

IT'S GREAT:

Hey; I'm all for Pelosi's trip. Anything that further confirms the Democrats are perfectly fine with the eradication of Israel (which they are, practically speaking and all see-through rhetoric aside) is excellent news for the USA. It means more and more money and votes for the only party truly interested in the well-being of the USA and all Americans, the Republicans. The Democrats are only for policies that allow them to derive kick-backs from taxpayer funded unions and private anti-civil-liberty-of-hard-working-business-people (the civil liberty to hire whom one likes and pay what what wants to pay) non-civil service unions or allow them to pay people to vote for them virtually directly. But helping the poor or defending the USA - no way; not if it interferes with the Democrat $$$ machine.

The Democrats are a disturbed hybrid of the Apple Dumpling Gang, the Sopranos, Stalin, and Mussolini; where they lack in actual physical brutality they do so for lacking the power for such; but they outsource physical brutality to union thugs and corner men, both of whom they keep out of jail and in the black.

TOH

Posted by: The Objective Historian on April 6, 2007 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

Whatever TOH - just your handle alone brands you a DBL - since history is anything but objective.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 6, 2007 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

The Objective Historian: "Hey; I'm all for Pelosi's trip. Anything that further confirms the Democrats are perfectly fine with the eradication of Israel (which they are, practically speaking and all see-through rhetoric aside) is excellent news for the USA."

You know, you really need to lay off the alternating shots of Cuervo and Jäegermeister.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii, Breakin' Out the Waterboard and 1% Peroxide Solution on April 6, 2007 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

Donald, your handle gets more entertaining with every Mai Tai.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 6, 2007 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, Nancy Pelosi might undermine Bush's foreign policy---a policy that cost the US half a trillion dollars, a policy that sacrificed 3000 American soldiers, a policy that cost us the support of our allies, a policy that turned Iraq into a wasteland and killed tens of thousands of Iraqis and produced millions of refugees, a policy that is on the verge of losing control of Afghanistan to the Taliban, a policy that has turned the world against us. When you're going to hell in a handbasket, you certainly don't want anyone undermining the integrity of that basket.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on April 6, 2007 at 11:04 PM | PERMALINK
Pelosi undermine's the President's foriegn policy.... eggbutt at 9:16 PM
Bush has a foreign policy? Who knew? It's too bad that Bush wants more American men and women to sacrifice their lives for his ego-trip since he fails to provide the tools to win, and the hospital services to recover, but, hey, it's not as if any body important to Republicans was being asked to sacrifice. Tax Cuts come first, oil second. Maybe he could plan an exit strategy and find someone to create a winning doctrine, like, call it a Powell Doctrine. Now if he only had someone like that in his government...

I'm impressed that you care so much about head scarves, since Condi and Laura also wear them. It's time those cultural enemies of the US are made to pay for their crimes.

Posted by: Mike on April 6, 2007 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK
You and me both... BGRS at 7:31 PM
Anyone else interested in playing, here are some pertinent addresses:

headlinenews@cnn.com,
late.edition@cnn.com,
dana.bash@turner.com,
glenn.beck@cnn.com,
wolf.blitzer@turner.com,
situationroom@cnn.com.
ed.henry@turner.com,
jon.klein@cnn.com,
reliable@cnn.com,
suzanne.malveaux@turner.com,
cnn.feedback@cnn.com,
miles.obrien@turner.com,
bill.schneider@turner.com,
jim.walton@turner.com,
paula.zahn2@turner.com,

Keep on slammin'

... Newt Gingrich... in his finest high school freshman Spanish... Donald from Hawaii at 9:08 PM

Newt is the give that keeps on giving, isn't he? My Spanish isn't much better, but at least I don't embarrass myself so publically with it. I hope they nominate him. He's Mr. Republican and deserves all the party can offer.
The Democrats are a disturbed .... The Ignorant Historian at 10:31 PM

Where would you be without strawmen? You really need to read a book or two, if you can, so as not so be so stupid. Remember, it was Democratic administrations that defeated Hitler and Mussolini and contained Stalin. Wasn't it Raygun who was so found of the Teamsters when they were most corrupt? Yes, it was. Indeed it was. I've yet to encounter a schoolyard bully who wasn't a coward, and RepubliConTarians are schoolyard bullies if nothing else.

Posted by: Mike on April 6, 2007 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

We should be so lucky that someone undermines the idiotic foreign policy, if blustering and posing and thundering and threatening can be called 'foreign policy', that the Bush administration has been implementing for the last six years.

Posted by: gregor on April 7, 2007 at 12:25 AM | PERMALINK

"Donald, your handle gets more entertaining with every Mai Tai."

And the sun's still up over here, so the evening's still quite young.

Cheers.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii, Watching the Sunset in Waikiki on April 7, 2007 at 12:42 AM | PERMALINK

it's not as if Pelosi was negotiating a treaty or something.

I am glad you made that clear; some supporters of her trip seem to believe that she is bringing peace. She does seem to have bungled whatever message she carried from Israel to Syria.

I did like her visit to Saudi Arabia, where she ditched the headscarf. That was cool.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on April 7, 2007 at 12:44 AM | PERMALINK

"Nobody gets to talk to the Syrians" hardly qualifies as a foreign policy in the first place.

In this administration it does; even a photo appears to be verboten:

And by that, I mean, photo opportunities and/or meetings with President Assad lead the Assad government to believe they're part of the mainstream of the international community...

Posted by: has407 on April 7, 2007 at 3:03 AM | PERMALINK

so, mrh, since Tip's trip was followed by the downfall of the Soviet empire, do you think Pelosi's trip will be followed by the downfall of terrism?
Otherwise what the hell is your point, if you actually have one?

Posted by: secularhuman on April 7, 2007 at 3:13 AM | PERMALINK

Did Nancy remember to take the kneepads when negociating with the Islamo-Nazis?

Posted by: nikkolai on April 7, 2007 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

BGRS and Donald from Hawaii,

Once that Green Door closed, there was no turning back for re-purification.

Mike, thanks for the Hastert update - And I thought he had only gone there to find a "diet plan he could snort".

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 7, 2007 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

There needs to be a derisive term for the manufactured Republican outrage that created the Pelosi airplane story and now this faux controvery about her trip to Syria. Now that Democrats have some power again the Republican Outrage Machine is gearing up to give us fake scandal after fake scandal.

I think it would help to have a pithy, concise, dismissive term to sum up their fake outrage du jour.

Posted by: Greg VA on April 7, 2007 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

And how about Jimmy Carter being forbidden from visiting Syria?

and this mhr-style bigotry baiting is typical; get some respect

Posted by: Cassandro on April 7, 2007 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

a voice in Lebanon objects:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=5&article_id=81211

in short: she is boosting Hezbullah and speaking contrary to UN Security Council Resolutions.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on April 7, 2007 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

Would we be having any of this outrage if Nancy Pelosi were a man? The company line is Pelosi must get permission from the White House before she visits a foreign country and speaks to a head of State. Like Newt Gingrich gave two cents what Bill Clinton's White House thought. Has anyone even checked to see how many other members of Congress have gone to Syria within the last six years? Its not about speaking with one voice on foreign policy, the whole world nows the US foreign policy establishment is torn to shreds. Its about slapping down an uppity woman and distracting from other scandals. Get a grip.

Posted by: aline on April 7, 2007 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

aline: Would we be having any of this outrage if Nancy Pelosi were a man?

Probably so. Henry Waxman is travelling with her. If he were saying what she is saying, instead of keeping mum, I expect he'd be criticized.

The other thing is that she has held the office of Speaker of the House for only a short time.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on April 7, 2007 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK

Absurd..."Undermining" this administration's policy? They have no policy. That is why the the people put the Dems back in charge, now some of them have finely figured out what they were elected to do...perform rational, adult governance, that at some point will eventually pull this nation out of the nose dive the Republican party has embraced.

Posted by: benmerc on April 7, 2007 at 11:33 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney accuses Pelosi of bad behavior, and what Cheney and King george has been doing since they have taken office is what????LIE LIE LIE typical republican everyday life. King george is not going to stop the war in Iraq because that thief has to much to gain, such as more money in his pocket by keeping his private war going, this war of his has nothing to do with 9-11 or terrorist as he says but it has everything to do with more money for the bush family vault.

Posted by: Al on April 8, 2007 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

Speaker Gingrich let the power go his head. He even referred to himself at one point as if he were the prime minister. His overreaching resulted in him losing his job. Let's hope that Speaker Pelosi learns the lesson, although judging from the events of the past two weeks, that seems unlikely.

Posted by: DBL on April 8, 2007 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

dbl.....maddam speaker has two advantages newt didn't have....

1. bush hasn't been above 50% in the gallup poll (to name one) for 2-years...

2. she's not a republican...


Posted by: mr. irony on April 9, 2007 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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