Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 13, 2010

WHEN THE 'WATER'S EDGE' STANDARD DISAPPEARS.... If our political system made more sense, this would be an astounding scandal that would dominate the discourse.

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday during a meeting in New York that the new GOP majority in the House will "serve as a check" on the Obama administration, a statement unusual for its blunt disagreement with U.S. policy delivered directly to a foreign leader.

"Eric stressed that the new Republican majority will serve as a check on the Administration and what has been, up until this point, one party rule in Washington," read a statement from Cantor's office on the one-on-one meeting. "He made clear that the Republican majority understands the special relationship between Israel and the United States, and that the security of each nation is reliant upon the other."

This just isn't normal. Laura Rozen called the meeting itself "unusual, if not unheard of." But it's what Cantor said that's astounding.

We're talking about a powerful member of Congress engaged in foreign policy, vowing to a foreign government to oppose the administration's policies regarding that government. Ron Kampeas from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency news agency said he can't remember any U.S. official ever doing this. "[T]o have-a-face to face and say, in general, we will take your side against the White House -- that sounds to me extraordinary," Kampeas said this week.

It is that and more. Cantor not only met in private with a foreign leader to undercut the foreign policy of the elected American president, he proceeded to brag about it.

Also keep in mind, a few years ago, Speaker Nancy Pelosi traveled to Syria and met with Bashar al-Assad. At the time, none other than Eric Cantor personally accused Pelosi of possibly violating the Logan Act, "which makes it a felony for any American 'without authority of the United States' to communicate with a foreign government to influence that government's behavior on any disputes with the United States."

As Adam Serwer noted yesterday, "Based on Cantor's own standard, he's just committed a felony."

In 2007, John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, insisted, "I would simply hope that people would understand that, under the Constitution, the president conducts foreign policy, not the speaker of the House."

OK, but can we apply that same standard to the House Minority Whip?

Remember, Republican standards in this area seem to vary widely based on the president's party.

This is going back a bit, but Glenn Greenwald had an item last year that seems especially relevant now.

Here's what happened in 2006 when Al Gore gave a speech at a conference in Saudi Arabia in which he criticized Bush policies towards the Muslim world -- as summarized by The New York Times' Chris Sullentrop:

"As House Democrats David Bonior and Jim McDermott may recall from their trip to Baghdad on the eve of the Iraq war, nothing sets conservative opinionmongers on edge like a speech made by a Democrat on foreign soil. Al Gore traveled to Saudi Arabia last week, and in a speech there on Sunday he criticized 'abuses' committed by the U.S. government against Arabs after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. A burst of flabbergasted conservative blogging followed the Associated Press dispatch about the speech, with the most clever remark coming from Mark Steyn, who called the former vice president 'Sheikh al-Gore.' The editorial page of Investor's Business Daily accused Gore of 'supreme disloyalty to his country'. . . ."

TigerHawk does the best job of explaining why speeches like this get some people so worked up:

"There is simply no defense for what Gore has done here, for he is deliberately undermining the United States during a time of war, in a part of the world crucial to our success in that war, in front of an audience that does not vote in American elections. Gore's speech is both destructive and disloyal, not because of its content -- which is as silly as it is subversive -- but because of its location and its intended audience."

The Wall St. Journal's James Taranto accused Gore of "denouncing his own government on foreign soil" and quoted the above accusation of "disloyality." Commentary was abundant all but accusing Gore of treason for criticizing the U.S. in a foreign land.

And that was just Gore criticizing. This week, Eric Cantor met privately with a foreign head of state to promise to undermine the foreign policy of the United States.

Remember when American officials were supposed to think foreign policy issues stopped at water's edge?

This is a legitimate scandal worthy of far more attention. When dealing with foreign policy and climate change, Republicans believe in trying to deliberately sabotage the position of the U.S. government. The same is true of U.S. policy towards Iran, and in the case of New START, possibly even U.S. policy towards Russia. Now it's true of U.S. policy towards Israel, too.

It's obviously not unreasonable for Americans to debate whether the Obama administration is pursuing the correct course on foreign policy, and I fully expect members of Congress from both parties to demand accountability of the White House. People can and should speak out when they disagree with the administration's approach to Israel, Iran, Russia, or any other country.

But Cantor's move is something altogether different. Just a few years after he suggested it was literally criminal for an American official to talk to a foreign leader and work against the sitting president. Now, Cantor has done just that.

Where's the outrage?

Steve Benen 11:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (99)

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Where's the charge of sedition?

Posted by: Twin City Joan on November 13, 2010 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

. Cantor not only met in private with a foreign leader to undercut the foreign policy of the elected American president, he proceeded to brag about it.

I thought that was AIPAC's job

Posted by: martin on November 13, 2010 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK


Posted by: billgerat on November 13, 2010 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

Where's the outrage?

Everywhere. Cantor's entire caucus is such an outrage and insult to sentient life, just their continued breathing is offense enough.

I read somewhere that Cantor's behavior scrapes the edge of outright sedition. Anyone know if that's rigth?

Posted by: Josef K on November 13, 2010 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

What about C Street congressmen and senators meddling EXTENSIVELY in foreign affairs: the congressmen who flew off to support the coup in Honduras that our DOS condemned; the many congressmen who've gone to Uganda to get them to pass the kill the gays law; and their LONG history of supporting vicious dictators in other countries (how long before they do so here?). All in the name of a "Christianity" that they believe has been misunderstood to favor the poor, when Christ actually favored the rich and powerful. Read The Family by Jeff Sharlet.

This is actually treasonous work and should be called to a halt.

Posted by: jjm on November 13, 2010 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

Cantor should be held accountable for his crimes. The man is a traitor.

Posted by: George on November 13, 2010 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

953. Private correspondence with foreign governments.
Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, 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, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply himself, or his agent, to any foreign government, or the agents thereof, for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.

1 Stat. 613, January 30, 1799, codified at 18 U.S.C. 953 (2004).

Posted by: Old Patch on November 13, 2010 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

At the risk of making the understatement of the ages: consistency really isn't the Right's strong suit.

Posted by: kth on November 13, 2010 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

The question isn't "Where's the outrage?" but "Who is enforcing this provision?". Who needs to take that first step and charge Eric Cantor. The government? A private citizen?

Posted by: wilder on November 13, 2010 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

Wasn't it Pence "The Dense" who, when in China last year, undermined Obama, or was it someone else? Kirk maybe? Anyone remember?

Posted by: c u n d gulag on November 13, 2010 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

OK, the Republicans have finally shocked me. I expect poor behavior from them but this verges into seditious behavior. I would go so far as to call it criminal as well. These people and their Supreme Court are trying to take down my country and it makes me furious.

Posted by: maggie on November 13, 2010 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

Cantor has volunteered himself as an agent of a foreign power.

Isn't this espionage?

Posted by: cld on November 13, 2010 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

Obama should go after him for treason. but he won't because he thinks it's better just to ignore the children. But if he doesn't he's enabling them. Children need limits to be set. Obama needs to start setting them.

Posted by: Elizabeth on November 13, 2010 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

Where's the outrage?

Sorry. Still too weary.

It's often troubled me how President Obama has so closely parroted the traditional stance of hawkish presidents that say we'll side with Israel when the chips are down. It might be okay to think it, but when you just put it out there, how are we to plausibly act as peace broker when we admit we are biased? I find it a display of admirable patience that the Palestinian authorities even bother sitting down with us in hopes of producing a more harmonious world.

At the time, I was disappointed to hear Obama say there'd be no distance between our countries. Normally when there's no distance between people, someone is getting screwed. That's usually good, but with Israel as our partner, sometimes I wonder.

Cantor's sycophantic entreaties would make more sense if our president hadn't already expressed mindless fealty to a treaty that may be, on occasion, diametrically opposed to our national interests. (e.g. West Bank settlements commencing the day a Vice President shows up to discuss Middle East peace. Thank you, Israel. Thank you sideways for that.)

Point is, if Cantor wants to be a "check" against Obama, my question is "HOW????"

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on November 13, 2010 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

cu n d gulag, it was Kirk advising the government of China to ignore the U.S. budget.

Posted by: JackD on November 13, 2010 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

Plain and simple Cantor is a treasonous bastard. If any Dem had done that the repubs would be going after them. It's time to start prosecuting these traitors. Outing Plame and the rest of this nonsense has to be prosecuted. These incredible pricks think that they can just get away with this nonsense like it's some sort of game. BULLSHIT! It's got to stop.

Posted by: Gandalf on November 13, 2010 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

Meh, good luck getting the media to get worked into a lather over this. We simply don't have a top rated news cable network pumping their fists 24/7 demanding the rest of the "media" to make a story out of it. What gets me is this part of his released statement:

"He made clear that the Republican majority understands the special relationship between Israel and the United States, and that the security of each nation is reliant upon the other."

Does it? Does the United States of America, home of the biggest baddest motherfucking military on planet earth, rely on Israel for security? A special relationship, yes. Important militarily, I suppose. But reliant?

If the Democrats want to make hay out of this, enough of them need to act offended that we rely on Israel for our protection. That will give the story traction. Then act offended at subverting the President and his foreign policy powers. Think like a Republican to beat on a Republican. Demand Cantor step down from his position but only after you set the narrative first.

Posted by: AndThenThere'sThat on November 13, 2010 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

Eric Cantor had better watch it or his office could get shot up.

Perhaps he should be whipped by minorities?

Which is your favorite clown at the circus?

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on November 13, 2010 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

I see no fundamental difference between what Cantor has done and the activities of W.'s defence team, people like Feith and Abrams. They seemed to have trouble distinguishing between the interests of Israel and of the USA.

Posted by: davidp on November 13, 2010 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

Where's the outrage?

Sorry man... I'm all out of it. Spent it all on the continuity of the war crimes regime. See what good it did anyone?

Posted by: s9 on November 13, 2010 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

Cantor is a bit confused - he thinks he's a member of the Israeli hockey team! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on November 13, 2010 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

It's the ultimate Special Case: GOP + Israel.

If it had been a GOPer who criticized Israel or told the Palestinians he would help them just being a GOPer wouldn't have been enough to save him.

Remember Chuck Percy.

Posted by: Mimikatz on November 13, 2010 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

The GOP would serve a blank check, the President would sign and make it out for any amount the GOP would demand (even with no majority in any branch of government, save the high judicial), then the GOP would cash it and complain about it.. Nothing new here!

Posted by: Trollop on November 13, 2010 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

This one has ginormous implications. The President and the Democratic leadership need to push back on this one -- civilly, but with a clear purpose, that this kind of treasonous behavior will not be tolerated, period.

This is one of those existentialist conflict moments, and Obama must pursue with strength or resolve.

Posted by: BrklynLibrul on November 13, 2010 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Not just Kirk in China, but Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma)told international delegates in Copenhagen not to work with Obama on climate change in 2009, Palin criticized Obama in Hong Kong, Huckabee told Israel to denounce American foreign policy in relationship to Israel, & Eric Cantor led a 25 member GOP trip to Israel and did the same in June 2009. I'm sure there have been more examples, but those are the ones that come to mind. Sedition is becoming a habit for some of the republiscum.

Posted by: NWells on November 13, 2010 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

"...the security of each nation is reliant upon the other."

Utter bullshit. The security of the U.S. in no way depends upon Israel's.

Posted by: Half Elf on November 13, 2010 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, I was too lazy to Google this morning.

Posted by: c u n d gulag on November 13, 2010 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

There is a deep seated fear at the top, of kicking the hornet's nest. Cantor's actions are easily worthy of examination, and possibly prosecution. But it ain't gonna happen. Boat rocking isn't this administration's style, especially when the seas are already high.

And for every one of these sorts of incidents that is, for all practical purposes, ignored, the credibility of our gov't to police itself and repair itself is eroded.

We are fundamentally losing the ability to go back and fix the damage. There's no longer a valid fear factor associated with wounding actions such as Cantor's. At least not by the perp. The rule of law is being flouted with insolence, and total confidence that no penalty will be forthcoming. Cantor is calling out Obama with intimidation and disrespect. If Obama doesn't call Cantor's bluff, Cantor, and the r's, win yet another hand.

Posted by: burro on November 13, 2010 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

"If it had been a GOPer who criticized Israel or told the Palestinians he would help them just being a GOPer wouldn't have been enough to save him."

Our newly elected GOP congressman, Justin Amash (Tea Party darling), has an interesting background that might prick his conscience on occasion when he deals with the GOP attitude described above:

"There was no wealth in the Amash household in 1956, when Attallah’s parents and their seven children arrived in Muskegon from Palestine. The family had been living in refugee camps after being thrown out of their home near Bethlehem by a young Israeli nation trying to re-establish itself in the Middle East.

"Despite his family’s background, Justin Amash has resisted taking sides in Middle Eastern affairs. He supports the formation of two separate states, Israel and Palestine.

“'I’m an American, and I look it at from that perspective,' Amash says. The family has no contact with relatives in Palestine today. Attallah Amash says the conflict that drove his family out of Palestine is in the distant past."

Posted by: deNorte on November 13, 2010 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

The GOTea Sedition Party only wants Dems to be held responsible for anything. All the outrage over the Bush Usurpation and eight catastrophic years of misrule Never included elected officials of the majority party calling for armed rebellion or secession, but "patriotic" officials now have a different idea of how to preserve government functioning-- end it!
In an age when War Crimes are perfectly acceptable to boast about and courts are a mere impediment to justice, not its agent, no one is held accountable for anything.
And this is not even the first time the minority party's arrogance has led individuals to carry out their own foreign policy. Look at what they pulled in support of that Honduras coup: http://tinyurl.com/24c2usv
And remember seditionist Rep. Mark Kirk telling the Chinese not to believe what the US was telling them? http://tinyurl.com/nevggu
It's all of a piece with Sinjin McCain spouting off about Obama killing off soldiers in order to get elected. Casual treason is the order of the day or else Bush and Cheney would be on trial already and one or more of the Supremes would be getting impeached.
Maybe it's all of a piece with the White House demonstrating an almost total inability to Lead, even in defense of core party principles-- or even in defense of core American principles, actually.
Just what IS it that these "conservatives" are trying to conserve? Can't be our Constitution or our way of life, that's for sure.

Posted by: Tomm Undergod on November 13, 2010 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

You miss the point. Pelosi effectively changed the rules. That nothing happened to correct her actions validated the rules. The Republicans have simply adjusted to the new rules made by a Democrat--to do less is to live in the past.

Posted by: swats on November 13, 2010 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

After his own foreign minister undermined him at the UN, Netanyahu probably didn't even notice or even care about Cantor's nutty offer to lick his boots. Bibi's only fear is displeasing his father who is even more crazy then he is. Cantor and his ilk are just useful idiots to the Likud Party, second rate fools you acknowledge with a wink and a nod on the way to the latest U.S. buffet full of state of the art weapons. Some things never change.

Posted by: max on November 13, 2010 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

It is nice to see that Eric Cantor has finally found time to meet with his constituents.

Republicans must have decided in 2008 that American-style democracy wasn't working so well. We apparently have traded the Senate for the House of Lords (the British weren't really using theirs anyway), created "loyal" opposition parties complete with shadow governments, and turned the presidency into something of a constitutional monarchy. I didn't realize there were so many anglophiles in a party that has such reverence for the Constitution and the founding fathers. Go figure.

Posted by: broken arrow on November 13, 2010 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

Just a thought: HUAC.

Posted by: Lars on November 13, 2010 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Is the Current House Minority Whip making deals with foreign governments against the POTUS all that far from the belligerence and threats of other conservative legislators, Michelle "stay armed" Bachmann, for example? We also have we have a 24/7 propaganda machine peddling Republican lies, a castrated national media, a stacked Supreme court and a flood of secret money to fund further disinformation campaigns.

The fact is that a set of crazy people with a lot of money funding them are refusing to be citizens of a democratic nation; they refuse to be governed. It is their way or no way. They regard resistance to the will of the majority as a kind of heroic action. They have all seen Star Wars too many times and read too many Tom Clancy novels.

In basic game theory, tit-for-tat, when someone fails to cooperate, you smack them. But who is in a position to smack these clowns? The justice department? I don't think so, not after running away from the Bush years war crimes. The President? I assume he has some power to spank Fox and discipline Cantor, but I doubt he will use it; He hasn't so far. The electorate? Ha.

So unless we can figure out a mechanism to stand up to these bullies they will just keep escalating. They obviously feed on the drama.

Posted by: PTate in MN on November 13, 2010 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Haven't you figured it out? IOKIYAR, because Republicans only consider Republican presidents to be legitimate. Democratic presidents are usurpers, so it is fine to be disloyal to them.

Basically, Republicans are royalists. There is room for only one legitimate ruling house, and they are it.

Posted by: rae on November 13, 2010 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Is there ANY line the traitorous creeps of the GOP are unwilling to step over?

Posted by: angryspittle on November 13, 2010 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

"Where's the outrage?"

That's adorable.

Posted by: Bill on November 13, 2010 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

Obama, with his unrelenting insistence on playing together politely, has created a power vacuum. No Democrat will scream about Cantor stepping in 1) because DC abhors a vacuum; 2) it just wouldn't be nice.

Posted by: jennifer f on November 13, 2010 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

That isn't the same thing as volunteering yourself as a general agent of Likud interests.

Posted by: cld on November 13, 2010 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

The significance of this is being overplayed. The Republicans did the same thing with Clinton and he survived. It's just a hazing process. Okay, so Obama is likely to respond in a more "conciliatory" way. What of that? Every president has his own style and Obama was very clear from the outset what his would be.

People need to stop freaking out. There are ups and downs in every game of political chess. And -- NEWSFLASH -- we do elect human beings, not action figures who conquer all within 20 minutes of regularly scheduled programming.

Deep social change takes time. The neanderthals are in it for the long haul. Are we?

Posted by: Dr Lemming on November 13, 2010 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

High profile hearings on Cantor's Seditious Acts Against These United States of America would be a fun way to spend the lame duck session.

Bur seriously, Dems should accept nothing less than Cantor being stripped of any and all committee assignments and his caucus' leadership post. They should go to the mat on this one.

Posted by: JoeW on November 13, 2010 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, this is wrong and even outrageous. No, it's not the same as giving a speech. A personal conversation is not a speech, and the comparison is unnecessary due to being inaccurate. You should have left out that whole part of your article.

Posted by: Jason on November 13, 2010 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

Cantor is a Jew. That's material.

Posted by: Johann on November 13, 2010 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

Johann: "Cantor is a Jew. That's material."

For what? To prove Jews always side with Israel?

No, a small minority of Jews always side with *Likud*, then guilt-trip other Jews and non-Jews into believing that this is the only acceptable pro-Israeli and/or pro-Jewish behavior.

As a Jew, I call bullshit.

Posted by: Dave in NY on November 13, 2010 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Jews always side with Jews.

Posted by: Johann on November 13, 2010 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

To be fair, Cantor is such a complete imbecile that he may genuinely not have realizes that Israel isn't one of the states. Or, indeed, that it's on a different continent.

Posted by: Steve (Not that one) on November 13, 2010 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

I'll bet Darryl Issa can't wait to launch an investigation...

Posted by: nemisten on November 13, 2010 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

"High profile hearings on Cantor's Seditious Acts Against These United States of America would be a fun way to spend the lame duck session."

Heck, I want a 50-50 effort in the whole next senatorial session on hearings into Republican malfeasance past and present, and making the republiscum go to the mat again and again to block or defeat popular and populist bills. Nothing good can pass the House and the Senate over the next two years, so until the R's start to behave responsibly we might as well settle in and play good politics for a while.

Posted by: N.Wells on November 13, 2010 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

Bush disclosed classified information to Prince bani Sadr of Saudi Arabia. Where is the criticism of this act?

Posted by: ghostcommander on November 13, 2010 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

How is this man not under arrest? Am I just a starry-eyed optimist? Is every single legal principle now for sale?

Nonviolent revolution now, before it's too late.

Posted by: Kordo on November 13, 2010 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

Why aren't people calling for a Congressional hearing during the lame duck session? He doesn't seem to be protected by Article 1; Section 6 ("and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place".)

Rather than wonder why there isn't outrage on the right, where is everyone else's outrage? Is it a lack of confidence that makes everyone keep an eye on the radical right, always playing defense, instead of just reacting?

Posted by: Seould on November 13, 2010 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, creepy hypocrisy and on behalf of the Liduknik bloc etc. Tangential: for support of how well Obama actually did, see the Rolling Stone article if you didn't already (sadly didn't bring enough youth to the polls:) The Case for Obama.

Posted by: neil b on November 13, 2010 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

Netanyahu is now the proud owner of a pet poodle.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on November 13, 2010 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans get away with playing by different rules because Democrats allow it. If the situation were reversed, every Republican would have his or her talking points memorized, and every reporter would get an earful about the disloyalty and the sabotage being committed by people who don't understand that the president is in charge of foreign policy. But that only applies to Republican presidents.

The news media assume that if Republicans do something and Democrats don't contest it, then everyone agrees that it's fine.

Posted by: Joe Buck on November 13, 2010 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

PJ nailed it.

Posted by: Trollop on November 13, 2010 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

Explain to me again why the security of the US is dependent upon the security of Israel.

All we do is feed them. All they do is bite our hand.

Posted by: joe on November 13, 2010 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

You want outrage? You're gonna have to wait til Cantor spends too much money on a haircut.

Posted by: Roddy McCorley on November 13, 2010 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

So, what? Republicans break the law constantly. Everyone already knows it is impossible to enforce a law of any kind against any of them. In that respect, our government is worse than monarchy because we don't know who rules us.

Posted by: Ron on November 13, 2010 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

And the WH reaction is?

I will reserve judgment for a couple of news cycles, but the WH should push back against Israel as much as they should against Cantor. Perhaps a few meetings with Netanyahu's political opponents might get the point across.

Posted by: square1 on November 13, 2010 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

What happened to America first?

Posted by: Mike on November 13, 2010 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

Exactly how much more pro-Israel can we get? I guess the GOP wants us to pay mortgages for settlers in the West Bank.

Posted by: beejeez on November 13, 2010 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

This isn't about Israel; it's about a political party (the GOP) that's been taken over by the seditionist- and seccessionist-lunatic fringe; a political party that will use any avenue of recourse to attain its ultimate goal of overthrowing the duly-elected government of these United States. In this particular instance, the "avenue of recourse" is Israel.

Cantor and his ilk are the Baathists of America---and they deserve no less a reply than the Baathist Saddam received at the hands of his non-Baathist countrymen.

Posted by: S. Waybright on November 13, 2010 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

The difference....Fox News and Republicans would be talking about this until 2012. Democrats won't talk about it at all.

Posted by: justmy2 on November 13, 2010 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

As I've written elsewhere, hypocrisy and the use of double standards are not merely personal failings of right wingers, they are endemic to right wing politics itself.

The fundamental principle of liberalism is consistent application of universal and impartial principle because principles equally and consistently applied are the only tools we have to create a Great Society by building bridges between different groups.

Since the aim of right wing politics is not the connection of diffeent groups but the protection and advancement of a particular group, principles and their consistent application are of significantly secondary importance. Hence the constant hypocrisy, which really does not bother right wingers like Cantor, who would object strongly if you charged him with duel loyalty and of advancing the interests of Israel at the expense of America.

Posted by: Ted Frier on November 13, 2010 at 8:48 PM | PERMALINK

It's called treason.

The Justice Department will do zero about it, though, just as they have neither handed over the past administration's self-avowed war criminals (George W. Bush, Dick Cheney) either to the International War Crimes Tribunal or a US grand jury and independent counsel.

I'm so fed up with this sad excuse of an administration, which bows and scrapes every chance it gets, overseas and back here before the crazy GOP that I am counting down the days till it is out of office in 2012. If it wants us to have a quasi-Republican administration in office, we might as well have the real, fully extreme thing to completely destroy what's left of our poor country.

Posted by: thabbaht on November 13, 2010 at 9:05 PM | PERMALINK

c u n d gulag it was Mode Squad Kirk who told the head of the Chinese central bank not to trust the administration or lend us more money because Democrats were planning on spending a lot more cash than Obama was letting on. He was not only traitorous he was wrong. Bush's deficit 2009 $1.48 trillion, Obama's deficit 2010 $1.29 trillion.

Posted by: markg8 on November 13, 2010 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

Didn't President Obama give a half-assed reason about defending DADT and DOMA, because he has no choice but to have the DOJ defend the law? Um, this seems to fall under that statement. Have the DOJ serve an indictment and prosecute "Mr. President"

Posted by: Mark on November 13, 2010 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

well, beejeez, we're paying for all the illegal immigrants in this country as it is. Why don't you dems get a grip?

Posted by: chai on November 13, 2010 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

The Republicans have one God and that is the God, Profit. (The sub god is profit for the big corporations.) They could care less about America and Americans. Cantor is obviously just working for his god ....and if his own pockets are filled at the same time.... he wouldn't mind.

Posted by: Evergreen2U on November 13, 2010 at 9:52 PM | PERMALINK

Think this is bad? Wait until the Republican Caucus decides that it's time to invade Iran.

Posted by: Rasputin22 on November 13, 2010 at 10:09 PM | PERMALINK

Yet the ADL will claim there is no dual loyalty or that those who say it are bigots.

Iran War for Israel is next.

The simple fact is that 300 million Americans naively believe the USA is run for Americans, when the fact of the matter is that Israel is first consulted by our government traitors.

Posted by: Average me on November 13, 2010 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't this exactly what Nancy Pelosi did with Syria in 2007? Except she actually traveled to the country, despite strong discouragement from the White House, who did not want to engage in diplomacy with a terrorist state. She then proceeded to misrepresent a message from Israel to Syria, in what can only be described as a classic Nancy Pelosi move.

Posted by: George Chappel on November 13, 2010 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK

Conservative = conserve over-concentration of power, starting with the Pharoahs. Over-concentration of power almost always leads to abuse of power which almost always harms many while helping few.

Progressives need to identify abuse of power, the harm it causes and the motivations for it, in the broadest possible way.

What Cantor did was abuse the power of the stature of his office. The harm that he did is to weaken the world's perception of the US as a strong, unified nation. His motivation was perpetuation of the oil-dominated political collusion of wealthy Republicans and Middle Eastern dictators

Posted by: Imalib on November 13, 2010 at 11:36 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Jason, I know you feel strongly, but slow down, take few deep breadths, thick about what you want to say, and write a thoughtful well considered post. As it is your posts are verging on incoherent. Also, try to avoid stacking your posts. You might get more traction this way, then again probably not.

Posted by: J. Frank Parnell on November 14, 2010 at 12:27 AM | PERMALINK

Where's the outrage? It may be that 60-70% of the american people has no idea who you are taking about.

Netanya who???

Cantor oh yeah you must mean Eddie Cantor...

A collective yawn might heard over the din of complaints that Obama wasn't born in the U.S., is a Muslim and has turned the U.S. into a Communist Marxist totalitarian state.

Posted by: mickster99 on November 14, 2010 at 12:57 AM | PERMALINK

Cantor's actions are indeed questionable, but his motivation seems clear and simple--he's seeking AIPAC and wealthy Jewish American financial support for the 2012 elections.

Posted by: tessablue on November 14, 2010 at 12:58 AM | PERMALINK

If Osama's really still alive, he must be chuckling to himself. Cantor, Lieberman, Netanyahu . . . the gifts that keep on giving.

Posted by: Squeaky McCrinkle on November 14, 2010 at 1:30 AM | PERMALINK

The security of each is dependent on the other? What bullshit! The security of israel is dependent on the suckers of a lot of other nations, none of which is secure from the terror of israel. Wake up and shake this parasite from our backs!

Posted by: jack on November 14, 2010 at 2:10 AM | PERMALINK

Are you kidding? What Cantor said is exactly what the president says, and in fact what every U.S. diplomat and president has said for fifty years. The U.S. DOES have a special relationship with Israel. You liberals are a hoot - you're like a flock of silly geese thrown into a panic.

Posted by: J.P. Travis on November 14, 2010 at 2:50 AM | PERMALINK

The President is the Commander-in-Chief. Granted, the House of Representatives has certain significant powers. It has the power of the purse and certain other restrictive powers. It can grant the President _permission_ to engage in foreign wars-- or refuse such permission. If the President declines to ask for a foreign war, the House does not have the power to require him to engage in one. The same goes for maintaining troops overseas, or maintaining an Army at all. The House's powers are essentially negative-- like dragging a dog out of a fight with the use of a leash and choke-collar. That is the way the American constitution and system of government are set up. The default setting is no army at all.

I think President Obama would be delighted if Rep. Cantor assumed the responsibility for disengaging the United States from the Middle East. He would simply make a speech to the effect that in obedience to the Republican House majority's orders, he was immediately withdrawing all American troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, and that he would immediately cease to pay any mercenaries, contractors, etc., and all of this in obedience to the Republican House majority's orders!

Of course, "unfortunately" [crocodile tears] in the absence of the Republican House majority's permission, it would not be possible to spend money to collect weapons and bring them home again. Any American soldier who took it upon himself to blow things up, in order to prevent them from falling into enemy hands, would be guilty of the charge of destroying government property. The puppet regimes in Baghdad and Kabul would come into possession of assorted tanks and helicopter gunships, which would soon be taken over by Islamic militants, and used to fight Israel-- by the order of the Republican House majority!

Posted by: Andrew D. Todd on November 14, 2010 at 2:52 AM | PERMALINK

It's never been an empty boast when leading Israeli politicians claim they "have the US in their back pocket."

Posted by: SteinL on November 14, 2010 at 4:08 AM | PERMALINK

The US is Israel's second state.

Posted by: SteinL on November 14, 2010 at 4:10 AM | PERMALINK

Netanyahu is now the proud owner of a pet poodle.

He's always owned a poodle. The poodle is called Congress.

Posted by: Hubertus Bigend on November 14, 2010 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

Prosecute cantor for the felony that he has committed. Surely he does not claim that he is above the law, does he?

Posted by: Al Zachariah on November 14, 2010 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Martin, the AIPAC shot was hilarious.

Posted by: angryspittle on November 14, 2010 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

1.7% of the US population? Eric Cantor is still selling every word of the official government 9/11 story. Eric protects the Federal Reserve, Wall Street, and AIPAC. Controlled Media loves Eric Cantor

Posted by: nader paul kucinich gravel mckinney on November 14, 2010 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

and I'm sure you all would like the previous instances prosecuted as well correct?

Posted by: aaaa on November 14, 2010 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

No outrage again because the mainstream media is controlled by those sympathetic to Israel.

Posted by: Anthony on November 14, 2010 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

"As a Jew, I call bullshit."

Too late, Dave. You're all in with the Johanns of the world whether you like it or admit it or not.

Posted by: Gary Rosen on November 14, 2010 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

Blah blah blah anti-Semitic bs. Israel is an ally notwithstanding that many posters here hate the jooz. Meanwhile, a casual reader would gather from the hysterical foam-flecked fear mongering that a lot of folks here certainly have visceral hatred of Israel and its Jewish suporters (how dare Bibi meet with Cantor) but would never have guessed from the anti-Semitic exaggerations that, well, Bibi and Obama have actually been working on a deal and Bibi has not been undermining the President at all--the Larouchian headbanging lunacy notwithstanding.

For sure there is market space in America for an official anti-Semitic party with its usual double standards--Americans can meet however much they like with foreign leaders as long as they are not Israeli, then they are Zionist AIPAC stooges.

Well, at least you guys got a website to hang your hat on.

Meanwhile the real Obama and the actual Bibi are cutting real deals.

But what's anti-Semitism without self-induced conspiratorial hysteria?

Posted by: Paul Freedman on November 14, 2010 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

"Special relationship?" It's special alright, like the relationship a dog has with fleas. Name one benefit this "special relationship" has had for the US. The US should cut this little turd of a country loose and let it's neighbors deal with it.

Posted by: j r on November 15, 2010 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Cantor's actions - shameful, very shameful. We all know he's not the only minion for Israel. They reside in both parties. Who is for once going to represent the American people rather than sone nazi-redux nation like Israel.

Posted by: Big Man on November 15, 2010 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

it's a curious things. I'm a Republican (barely) and I had concerns about this. It's not a partisan issue. And as long as it's bantered about as a partisan issue, it will go NOWHERE. No doubt the Rep's will blast Charlie Rangel for walking out of his hearing today. They'll do the same thing. They'll make it a partisan issue. This will be the downfall of the USA. We've framed EVERY discussion in the context of R's vs. D's. Folks, these can't be partisan issues. It won't get us anywhere. These hate-filled discussions feed the machine. Love 'em or Hate 'em, the Tea Party did one thing very well. They held their own party accountable on several issues. Not sure if the 'voices' of the Tea Party will weigh in on this, but I know regular members will have a problem with Cantor's comments.

Right is right and wrong is wrong. If the voting public can extricate itself from the political bantering for a little while, perhaps issues can be addressed in the context of right and wrong... rather than D vs. R.

It would be nice to see those filled with such self-righteous animosity towards Cantor come out with the same intolerance towards issues involving D's (for example... Charlie Rangel... who walked out of his hearing today because he said he couldn't afford a layer).

If we want change, we much be change. I, for one, want to see changes in the Rep party and I press my representatives for that change.

Wish folks would aim a bit higher than to just spew hatred.

Posted by: snarfblat on November 15, 2010 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

as long as american citizens bitch about a problem from the safety of their computer,the problem will not be taken care of.the only way to take care of varmit infestation is to get your rifle and shoot the little jewish-looking rodents,so WHO IS GOING TO BE THE HERO? if you are not part of the solution,then you continue to be part OF THE PROBLEM.turn your computers off and shut the hell up!!

Posted by: CHARLIE on November 15, 2010 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

hey dirty israel first jew. how about putting the U.S. first

Posted by: pete D on November 16, 2010 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: Childrens Games on December 17, 2010 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK



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