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Yup, this is great progress

With the elections last November, we were all treated to endless blatherings about how the new, Democratically-controlled congress would be would be cleaner, more honest, more responsible, more responsive to the American people, and far, far more ethical. So, what have the Democrats done now that they've retaken the majority?

Well, let's just look at two of the women who were committed to cleaning up the House (and Senate).

First up, Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) gave up her long-standing position on the Military Construction Appropriations Committee, after it came out that she had funneled literally hundreds of billions of dollars to her husband's company. (There was no word on whether Jack Abramoff was involved, and Representative William Jefferson Clinton was overheard to say "DAMN, she makes me look like an amateur!")

Then, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced that she would be leading a Congressional delegation to Syria, where they will be meeting with "dorktator" Bashar Assad. Apparently Ms. Pelosi is a bit too busy trying to act as a "shadow president" to read the Constitution, which clearly dictates that the governance of our nation's foreign relations is primarily the bailiwick of the executive branch, with the legislative given a secondary, "advise and consent" role.

This, combined with Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean's recent statements that he had been meeting with foreign governments and "trying to build relationships with other governments in preparation for a Democratic takeover... there is an opposition in America and that we are ready to take power and that when we do, we are going to have much better relationships with them."

There was a time when "politics stopped at the water's edge," and Americans kept their disagreements at home. Now, partly because of the explosion in the communications field and partly because of the incredibly polarizing nature of politics these days, we have high-ranking officials of one political party (both those holding public office and those not) working towards setting up a second government alongside the legal first one, circumventing such inconvenient niceties as elections, laws, traditions, or even common decency.

This is not unheard of in democracies. England actually has formalized the process, with the party out of power setting up its own "shadow government" of officials ready to step up and take the reins of power. But it works there, largely, because in England they have no fixed election cycle. The governing party can change almost literally at the drop of a hat.

Here in the United States, it works differently. Pending highly unusual circumstances, George W. Bush will remain president until January 2009, and Congress will remain Democratic until that date. There is no chance that an election will be called before then that might upset that balance.

What Pelosi and Dean, among others, are doing is at the minimum a violation of the Logan Act (which forbids private citizens from engaging in formal negotiations with foreign governments without government authorization) and, at worst, high treason. They are undermining the current government's ability to negotiate in good faith today, by promising these other nations that if they just hold out until 2009, they'll get a much better deal from the Democrats.

There was a huge stink about an alleged "October Surprise" from 1980, when Ronald Reagan's campaign was accused of interfering with the Iranian Hostage Crisis. Critics said that Reagan had pledged concesions to Iran if he was elected president -- if they did not release the hostages before the election, which would have given President Carter a huge boost in the polls. Nothing conclusive was ever proven, several thorough investigations came to the conclusion that the story was bogus, and I personally think it was a load of crap.

Here's where the Dan Rather-inspired "fake but accurate" meme comes in handy. The allegations against the Reagan campaign were most likely bogus, but they demonstrate just how important a principle is being violated here. Pelosi and her travelling buddies are meeting with Bashar Assad of Syria, one of the biggest backers of terrorism in the world (I think Iran edges them out), and I would be tremendously surprised if the topic of how a Democratic government would deal with Syria never came up.

It should be noted that Syria is on the State Department list of nations that sponsor terrorism, has dominated Lebanon for decades, is implicated in several high-level assassinations, has been a sponsor of Hezbollah and Hamas, and has been supplying terrorists in Iraq with weapons.

So, just what the hell is Pelosi doing? I have my theory.

One of the weaker points of the Democrats has always been seen as their stance on foreign policy. Jimmy Carter's legacy in that field left a deep mark, when lofty principles led to "the perfect being the enemy of the good" and long-standing allies of the United States who weren't the best of people were cast aside, while glib promises and gentle words from the most brutal and vicious dictators were taken as gospel. In fact, much of our problems today can be directly linked to the actions of Jimmy Carter -- although, to be fair, he didn't cause them, but certainly exacerbated the hell out of them.

So what Pelosi, Dean, et al are doing is simply trying to bolster their foreign policy credentials by publicly meeting with foreign states, discussing weighty matters, and in general looking like they deserve to be trusted with the reins of power.

While this might help their efforts back home, what they don't see -- or don't care about -- is the incalculable damage they are doing to not just this administration, but our very system of government. It is an assault on the Constitution itself, on the principle of separation of powers, of three separate but equal branches. They are attempting to insert the Congress and the Democratic Party into what has been, for centuries and by Constitutional edict, the province of the Chief Executive.

They are showing just how incredibly myopic they are. Sure, irritating the Bush administration scores points with some voters, and it is a good political tactic -- irritated people tend to make mistakes, mistakes that can be capitalized upon. But the damage they inflict will not simply go away on January 20, 2009. The precedent will have been set that Congress can bypass the President and make its own foreign policy, conduct its own talks with foreign nations, and leave the Chief Executive unable to exercise his Constitutional duties. Somehow the thought that these very same rules might apply to a Democratic president and a Republican congress -- even though just such a state existed less than a decade ago.

One of the reasons that the United States has not only survived, but prospered as a nation is that while politicians come and go, and parties rise and fall, the fundamental precepts remain solid. We have a democratic republic. We live by the Constitution, amending it when necessary. We have three branches of government, co-equal, with separate powers and areas of responsibility, but with the ability to check the actions of the others.

The Democrats want to hold political power. That's no big deal. So do the Republicans. It's the nature of political parties. (With some exceptions. I've always thought of the Libertarians' goal was to hold political power with the intent of NOT using it, but simply to keep it out of others' hands, and I like that notion.) But there are acceptable ways to achieve that, and the traditional way has been through elections and other legal processes.

But here, the Democratic leadership -- damn them -- are committing a flagrant, naked, unconstitutional power grab. And the Bush administration and other Republican officials -- damn them -- are simply letting it happen with token protests.

The main fear seems to be of a Consitutional crisis. There is a tremendous fear of triggering one, where all three branches will find themselves fighting it out over just which branch can do which things, and the losers get publicly humiliated, stripped of some of their power, and -- quite probably -- earn the scorn and dismay and distrust of the American people.

But such things are sometimes necessary. They tend to have a cleansing effect, as well as clarifying the fundamental principles of our nation and our system of governance.

I think that we need just such a thing, to put into place just what the balance of power between the Executive and the Legislative branches should be in matters such as war and other elements of foreign relations. I think we desperately need it, and need it now.

But I don't think it's going to happen. It, like so many other problems, will be pushed back and allowed to continue to grow and fester until it simply can't be avoided any longer.

If President Bush is truly starting to get concerned about his legacy, he could do worse than to push for a true resolution into just how Congress and the President divide up the powers involved with foreign policy (including war). But I don't see that happening, either.


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Comments (79)

And the demicrats talk abou... (Below threshold)

And the demicrats talk about Bush trashing the Constitution. Talk about cajones. Well, pequeno ones that is.

I read the post till I got ... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

I read the post till I got to the part where you allege that democrats are "at worst" committing "treason", and "negotiating" with foreign countries. Then, of course, I had to stop since whatever credibility you might have blew out the window.

[Just to be clear about something Jay. Remember when Jesse jackson went to Syria and Kosovo to successfully "negotiate" the release of our captured servicemen, that was treason. Correct? he should have been tried, convicted and perhaps executed or imprisoned?]

Whenever I opine that you write like a right wing flack you bristle and deny it. Well, I am more convinced than ever with your latest screed. Deny, deny, deny - just like the Bushies do.

Hugh, since Jay annoys you ... (Below threshold)
goddessoftheclassroom:

Hugh, since Jay annoys you so much, go away. Don't come back. Don't read postings and comments.

At least don't comment yourself.

Thanks, gotc. And funny how... (Below threshold)

Thanks, gotc. And funny how Hugh skipped right over the part where I lambasted both sides, including Bush. He read just enough to confirm his prejudices, then stopped -- he'd had enough, no need to confuse the issue with facts.

And Hugh, you're more than welcome to start your own blog, or even register for the Bomb Squad. No one's forcing you to continue reading and commenting.

J.

Why read past an inane comm... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Why read past an inane comment that accuses people of treason? You have no credibility after that Jay. It's the old, worn-out, inane and stupid label the right so loosely tosses around. No different than the stupid chicken-hawk some on the left toss around here. You tossed the bomb jay, you do it frequently and then get pissed when called on it. I simply responded to the intellectual dishonesty of your bomb.


I gather from your silence you do think Jackson should have been accused of treason.

And goddess, the last time I checked the internet(s) are free unless it's a membership site. Charge money or make it a registration and I'll make you happy and be gone. By the way Jay doesn't annoy me. I wouldn't give him anywhere near that much power. What does annoy me is folks like you with comments like yours.

Hugh lost his bip, again.<b... (Below threshold)
kim:

Hugh lost his bip, again.
================

The last six years have see... (Below threshold)
groucho:

The last six years have seen a "flagrant, naked, unconstitutional power grab" of epic proportion. It's no secret that Cheney and the rest of the "brains" of this outfit have, from day one, been bent on expanding the role of the executive branch. If you happen to think that this is a positive thing in terms of what it does for the check and balance model the founding fathers had in mind, then I guess it's all good.

I see the Dems pushing back on an out of control, secretive, almost megalomaniacal White House who gives no thought at all to the rule of law. Signing statements, hidden provisions that expand gov. power to search, seize, etc, the politicization of the Federal Judiciary. It's a pretty long list. Six years of cronyism and its accompanying privatization have left US bloated, weak and stupid. Nov o6 showed people are starting to wake up to this fact.

This is the most power-drunk crew ever, hell bent on turning this country into the personal fiefdom of the corporate ruling class. This government needs oversight and the restoration of equal power among the three branches. And soon. It may be painful, but it will happen, one way or another.

[Just to be clear about ... (Below threshold)
Taltos:

[Just to be clear about something Jay. Remember when Jesse jackson went to Syria and Kosovo to successfully "negotiate" the release of our captured servicemen, that was treason. Correct? he should have been tried, convicted and perhaps executed or imprisoned?]

Treasonous? No, I don't think it amounts to aid and comfort of the enemy. However, it was a rock solid violation of the logan act. I'm not sure what the sentencing provisions are for it though.

Kim, I may have lo... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Kim,

I may have lost my bip but I still retain my grip. (I'll never say on what though).

H

This is the most power-d... (Below threshold)
Taltos:

This is the most power-drunk crew ever, hell bent on turning this country into the personal fiefdom of the corporate ruling class. This government needs oversight and the restoration of equal power among the three branches. And soon. It may be painful, but it will happen, one way or another.

Open a history book. When it comes to executive authority Bush has been downright timid compared to past presidents.

As for equal powers, the judiciary has absconded with more power than the other two branches combined over the years. The legislature is trying to catch up.

You've retained your grip o... (Below threshold)
kim:

You've retained your grip on ennuyance, for sure.

Right, Taltos, but no matter how circumspect Bush has been, groucho is still going to hear the tiptoes of tyrants. Sic semper paranoia.
===============================

Hugh, instead of responding... (Below threshold)

Hugh, instead of responding like a blockhead, why don't you do a little research on the subject matter and point out where and why he is wrong. I thinnk it's an interesting issue and I'd like to learn more about it.

Don't you think, for instance, it's necessary for someone like Howard Dean to speak with people in the State Department before and after he goes to a foreign country utilizing an official title to discuss relations between the countries?

Or do you think he should be allowed to go wherever he wants and say whatever he wants, if it advances his cause to strengthen the Dems chance of capturing the WH? That's what it's all about?

At least in Jackson's case, he had the sense to meet with NSA Berger before he left and was given a message to carry to Milosevic. At least he could have been (modestly) trusted by Clinton not to be acting four-square in contravention of the President's foreign policy. I doubt the same could be said of Howie.

Hugh,Please look abo... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

Hugh,
Please look above at Taltos' post. He/she also disagrees with Jay but qualifies his take on the matter. Sort of, 'I disagree but here is how I see it'. You never seem to be able to get that far. I don't know if it is also typical of the way you to respond to people with whom you disagree in person, but if you do, most people probably don't give you much time. Sad, really. You might change someone's mind if you actually offer an alternative opinion sometime. You don't see any of us insulting you because you think Paris Hilton is talented.

So "Stretch" Pelosi and "Sc... (Below threshold)
nikkolai:

So "Stretch" Pelosi and "Screamin'" Howard Dean are making backdoor deals with terrorists and madmen. Figures.

The self-correcting process... (Below threshold)
kim:

The self-correcting process here is that what fools overseas will depend on promises by these out of power Democrats? Besides al Qaeda and Ahmadinejad, I mean? Look, when you've descended to cozying with Bashad, you've come a long way, Baby.
================================

I mean, just exactly who is... (Below threshold)
kim:

I mean, just exactly who is Dean talking to. Maybe we should know, not for purposes of prosecution under the Logan Act, but for a campaign ad. How about a YouTubie, Howie? Let's see all your good patriotic work.
==============================

wavemaker:i will a... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

wavemaker:

i will admit that when i see people so freely toss around labels like treason or chicken-hawk, any argument they are making loses credibility with me.

He's wrong when he tosses out words like treason. He's right when he asserts there is a power struggle within the government. What's wrong with a power struggle? Wasn't the whole idea of the founders to have checks and balances for all 3 branches? There is no question that Cheyney's philosophy is to have a stronger executive. Obviously Bush has accepted that philosophy of governance. The dems are pushing back. One would hope that the end result would be something somewhere in the middle. Again, I think that was the founders internet.

Dean has no official government title. He carries no authority of the government. Should he tell the State Department his intentions? Sure he should. Is he being treasonous? That's absurd.

Reagan did not want Jackson to go to Syria when he did if I remember correctly.

Where's JibJab when we need... (Below threshold)
kim:

Where's JibJab when we need them?
=====================

If treason and traitor aren... (Below threshold)
kim:

If treason and traitor aren't allowed, Hugh, how about comic opera and buffoon?

Don't worry, the adults are in charge, and will see that you get your bip back.
====================

JT, very interesting post. ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

JT, very interesting post. I too am appalled that the dimmers are using foreign policy for political gain. For the learning impaired, Jesse Jackson is not an elected official let alone a congressional leader. This will set precedent, and no matter what party is in control of the presidency, this will happen again and again. JT, I will advise you that you should not expect the dimmers to obey or uphold any laws that will put America and GW in a bad light. Party before Country, that is their motto.

As far as a secretive administration, I would say the amount of "secrets" that were exposed proves otherwise. GW's administration does not know how to keep secrets.

Lincoln and FDR would have lost their wars is limited to the rules the dimmers demand. ww

Actually I was looking for ... (Below threshold)

Actually I was looking for a little research. Never mind, I'll do it myself. Unfortunately, "treason" is one of those words that sounds inflammatory but nonetheless has a literal and legal meaning. If a guy with the title Chairman of the Democratic National Committee is saying things to a hostile government that undermine the current administration's foreign policy (whether you agree with it or not), then I want to know about it, and I want to know the facts. It's certainly as important as The Big AUSA Scandal. I doubt any of the "victims" of the firings are intent on flying planes into the Capitol. I can't say the same for terrorists based in Syria.

That's right Kim, the adult... (Below threshold)
Jo:

That's right Kim, the adults are in charge, and I think that's what pisses off the libs. They are perpetual children, without a clue in the world how things are done. But all the time whining and throwing temper tantrums. Hopefully they'll grow up someday.

And just exactly why is it ... (Below threshold)
kim:

And just exactly why is it not aid and comfort?
============================

Taltos wrote, "As for equal... (Below threshold)
tyree:

Taltos wrote, "As for equal powers, the judiciary has absconded with more power than the other two branches combined over the years."
That certainly is true out here in California where the 9th Circuit Court has been overturned more times by the Supreme Court than any other.

"What Pelosi and Dean, amon... (Below threshold)
Herman:

"What Pelosi and Dean, among others, are doing is at the minimum a violation of the Logan Act (which forbids private citizens from engaging in formal negotiations with foreign governments without government authorization)" -- Jay Tea

Well, Mr. Tea, if what you allege is true, will the Bush Administration and its Justice Dept. charge Mr. Dean (and eventually Ms. Pelosi) with crimes??? Yes or no, Mr. Tea? What's your answer, dude? And if your answer is "no," is the Bush Administration incompetent, or does it merely believe instead that Mr. Dean hasn't engaged in any crimes with his discussions? (Before answering, please observe that "discussions" does not equate with "formal negotiations.")

"One of the weaker points of the Democrats has always been seen as their stance on foreign policy. Jimmy Carter's legacy in that field left a deep mark..." -- Mr. Tea

Jimmy Carter got the U.S. hostages taken by Iran out alive. If Reagan had been left to deal with the matter, not only would they have been killed, but 40,000 or so Iranians would have been too, happily "martyred" while fighting the Great Satan. Hey, you conservatives aren't in to diplomacy, it's not your thing.

On second thought, perhaps I'm wrong, maybe instead of massacring thousands of Iranians, Reagan would have traded arms for hostages (like he sought to do later, anyway), and then later lie about it. What do you think, conservatives?

Jimmy Carter's "foreign policy legacy" is best exemplified by the lasting peace between Egypt and Israel, and in part for his role in establishing this peace, Jimmy Carter would win the Nobel Peace Prize. Now, if they gave out a "Nobel War Prize" you conservatives and your leaders would be first in line to receive it.

*********************************
Bush Quotation of the Month for March: "I truly am not that concerned about him [Osama been Forgotten]." -- George W. Bush, March, 2002

Woof, Herman, which end of ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Woof, Herman, which end of the retrospectoscope are you looking through? You have amazingly misconstrued facts and fantasized meanings.

Gaza is peace? Do you have any idea of the torments Allah is inflicting right now on Yassir Arafat for betraying his people? Think what he has in store for Carter.
==================================

Surely you people run acros... (Below threshold)
kim:

Surely you people run across a fact now and then that messes up the storyline, don't you. Jimmy Carter freed the hostages? In what alternative universe have you been educated, that you'd give him credit for that.
======================================

"Pending highly unusual cir... (Below threshold)
Herman:

"Pending highly unusual circumstances, George W. Bush will remain president until January 2009..." -- Mr. Jay Tea

And what might these circumstances be, impeachment by the House followed by conviction by two-thirds of the Senate? But Mr. Tea, such a conviction has zero chance of happening, so you needn't have even brought up the matter. While the House may possibly impeach Mr. Bush's sorry ass, there's no chance of conviction in the Senate, as Republicans have shown repeatedly that they don't give a damn about being lied to. (Unless of course it's a Democrat lying to cover up an extramarital affair, then they'll literally make a federal case about it).

Herman is crabbing to himse... (Below threshold)
kim:

Herman is crabbing to himself about his own lack of imagination. Please, find him a bip, too.
=====================

I don't think JT is throwin... (Below threshold)
epador:

I don't think JT is throwing terms around lightly. We've gone through this banter about verbiage before. It generally is brought up when the keywords are used repeatedly in posts to inflame emotion and divert threads. It is also criticized when the inflammatory claims are made with no merit. I don't see how that can be the case in the posting, and the mention of treason is embedded in arguments for that accusation.

I would suggest to call it MADONNA [malicious-actions-destroying-our-notorious-national-authority] if that would please Hugh and keep him reading, and responding to the stated argument instead of descending into haughty holier-than-thou tripe. It might please his British sensibilities, since I hear she's still popular across the pond. Then again, tripe is popular over there too.

Kim, Carter freed the host... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Kim, Carter freed the hostages but it wasn't for lack of trying by the parallel team of Casey, Reagan and Bush senior to hold back the deal. According to Jay was the October surprise 1980 a load of crap before or after Iran Contragate?

Steve, you don't seriously ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Steve, you don't seriously credit Carter with freeing the hostages, do you? Do you not remember that it was the democratic will, exerted through the election of Reagan that freed the hostages?

You seem to have such a petty mind.
=======================================

Yes, Mr. Carter gave us des... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Yes, Mr. Carter gave us destabilizing revolutions Iran, Nicaragua, Afghanistan during his term of office, and thereafter, certifying corrupt elections in Venezuela, Haiti, Dominican Republic.

His NSA man, Brezsinski, said in a speech this week that the nation is "terrorized" by the war on terror, as if it were all a thing concocted by the government against us. Like we are cowering in corners, too afraid to function.

They just never get it; so if you vote for them, expect a repeat of what they brought us then.

The Iranians freed the host... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

The Iranians freed the hostages simply because a republican conservative who believed in peace through strength was becoming president. The Iranians blinked. What Carter did was let the hostages become humiliated by their captors because they saw the spineless dimmers as what they are. Afraid.

I believe Herman is Rosie. Anyone else? Only she can say such dimwhitted drivel. ww

Of course, Reagan in that e... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Of course, Reagan in that election said he would never deal with terroists..Subsequently, it was proven that not only deal with them for hostages (in Lebanon) he sold the terrorists sponsors-Iran arms and lots of expensive arms to secure their release, when he was in office, or don't you remember Iran-Contra gate.

Well Mr Bush is following c... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Well Mr Bush is following close behind Mr Carter with a destabilizing bloodbath in Iraq which, as a natural course, has resulted in British marines being taken capture/hostage by Iran. The Israeli,Palestinian,Lebanon on-going crisis' has occurred under Bush's watchful eye. The N. Koreans, and Iran are busy trying to build a bomb to annihilate everyone. But, other than that, Bush has done a bang-up (no pun intended) job. Oh, I forgot, after looking into Putin's soul and giving him the Bush blessing, Russia is becoming a totalitarian state again and undermining us all over the place while supplying the "Axis of Evil".

Yeah Mitch, and you think Carter was a disaster, eh?

Kim. in case you don't rem... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Kim. in case you don't remember, which seems to be a common affliction of conservative. this might help you remember Walsh, a lifelong Republican who shared the foreign policy views of the Reagan administration, the Iran-Contra experience was life-changing. obviously not for the Bushies , many of the Machivalean principals and principles are still there.

With the quantity of lefty ... (Below threshold)
metprof:

With the quantity of lefty posts (including the usual history rewrites) you can gauge how close to home you've hit. Bush is responsible for Iran and North Korea having the bomb, Carter freed the hostages, Cheney is really Darth Vader in disguise, etc. And NO ONE can call them traitors or question their patriotism.

Nice work Jay.

Hugh displays his brillianc... (Below threshold)
kim:

Hugh displays his brilliance at logic by demonstrating beyond objection that the capture of British Marines by Iran has resulted, as a natural course, from the events in Iraq. And he only gets worse from there.

He'd like to blame Bush for the Palestinian/Israeli conflict.

He seems to think the Chinese don't have the North Korean generals under their thumbs, and that Bush is to blame.

He seems to think Bush and Putin are allies.

What is it on which you have a grip, and with what?
====================================

Then, House Speaker Nancy Pelo... (Below threshold)
Then, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced that she would be leading a Congressional delegation to Syria, where they will be meeting with "dorktator" Bashar Assad.

Fer-cryin-out-loud, doesn't anyone ever enforce the Logan Act?

They were briefed by the St... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

They were briefed by the State Department and there are lots of Repubican representatives in the Congressional delegations in Syria

kim,Carter transfe... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

kim,

Carter transferred $7.9 billion to Iran to free the hostages.
Was it Iran's money frozen in US accounts (funny that the funds were in US and not frozen Iranian accounts)? Opinions differ.

Since US entities demanded this amount for loss of oil revenues, etc, when Khomeini came to power, the same amount demanded for releases of the hostages was apparently a ransom pay-off with symbolic meaning attached.

So Carter did enable the end of tha crisis in a perhaps ignoble way. But it definitely greased the skids for Reagan.

Poor old "hughie" is gettin... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Poor old "hughie" is getting dumped on so I will help him a "little". Hughie if you use PH you can get Jay's foot out of your ass much less painful. Now now don't thank me, I was just trying to be helpful.

"Mr. Carter gave us destabi... (Below threshold)
Herman:

"Mr. Carter gave us destabilizing revolutions Iran, Nicaragua, Afghanistan during his term of office..."
-- Mitchell

So the Iranians, Nicaraguans, and Afghans themselves had nothing to do with getting rid of dictatorships and choosing in some manner or other the governments that would represent them, and Carter was blessed with "magical powers" to stop revolution outside the U.S., powers which he did not use, huh?

Dang, sometimes you conservatives can just be so dumb.

If the White House is as c... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

If the White House is as concerned about Pelosi's visit as Spokeswoman Dana Perino said: "Someone should take a step back and think about the message that it sends and the message that it sends to our allies." they might be addressing their own diplomatic gaffes to 'personas non grata' and what messages that sends to our allies or foes? Hey, but what do you expect from a White House, led by the President who when asked if he googles anyone replied "Occasionally, one of the things I've used on Google is to pull up maps" Teach Bush To Google.

Attempt to rewrite history ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Attempt to rewrite history any way you want. I was an adult at that time and Carter screwed it all up. Iran, double digit unemployment, double digit inflation, gas lines, communist governments moving for takeovers of countries, the list goes on. Oh! I forgot, it was Bushes fault. Don't bring a knife to a gun fight dimmers. ww

Carter got the hostages fre... (Below threshold)
Hermie:

Carter got the hostages freed?

Yeah...sure...the minute Reagan became President.

Freeing the hostages after Carter left the Presidemcy was Iran's little way of rubbing his nose in the mess he helped make. They made him look like the fool he is, and that's why he is such a bitter old man.

Pelosi's trip will do nothing but to encourage the Syrians and the Iranians to continue on their path, since Pelosi is so willing to make deals on behalf of the Dem party's attempt to get back the White House.

"Traveling with Pelosi will... (Below threshold)

"Traveling with Pelosi will be Reps. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., Nick Rahall, D-West Virginia, Tom Lantos, D-Calif., Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and David Hobson, R-Ohio."

1. A more committed band of lefties (excluding, perhaps, Rahall) they couldn't assemble. I really trust Waxman and Lantos, expecially, o return with a balanced report.

2. Why didn't Hobson get the memo? There was no memo? Or is he being sent merely to observe and report?

I'm sure they'll include him in all of the late-night confabs.

wavemaker, that's one deleg... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

wavemaker, that's one delegation.. there is another in Syria led by an Alabama Republican "Perino's remarks come as a group of Republican lawmakers has embarked on their own trip to Syria. Michael Lowry, a spokesman for Representative Robert Aderholt, said that the Alabama lawmaker will visit Syria as part of a Republican delegation led by Representative Frank Wolf, a Virginia Republican. Wolf is the top Republican on the House appropriations subcommittee that funds the State Department"... Strangely, no word of criticism from the White House, on that one.

Kim:I have a grip ... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Kim:

I have a grip on you honey. Right where it hurts.

Kepp up the engaging discourse. I'm terrifically underwhelmed by your contributions.

The trolls here seem to hav... (Below threshold)
nikkolai:

The trolls here seem to have a bad case of "Rosie-itis." Fat, drunk, ugly and stupid is no way to go through life.

"Wolf is the top Republica... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

"Wolf is the top Republican on the House appropriations subcommittee that funds the State Department"... Strangely, no word of criticism from the White House, on that one."

Guess what dummy , President Bush is a REPUBLICAN not treasonous RAT , GOT IT?

Democrats are such infantile traitorous basturds who think they can behave like children and pretend that they don't know what they are doing. They need to be smacked upside the head with the main gun of an M1A1 Abrams.

Hughie it works for Kim's f... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Hughie it works for Kim's foot also. (snicker snicker)

Rob LA Ca:I'm glad y... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Rob LA Ca:
I'm glad you brought up Abrams and law-abiding REPUPUBLICANS. or do you mean this Republican, Independent Counsel, Lawrence Walsh according to who he was prepared to present a multi-count felony indictment against this Abrams to the Grand Jury for its consideration in early October 199, for Iran Contragate Abrams, through his counsel, was invited to consider a plea of guilty. Before an indictment was presented, Abrams entered into a plea agreement on October 7, 1991, and pleaded guilty to two counts of withholding information from Congress"...the same Abrams who is now in charge of pushing Bush's freedumb global democracy agenda especially in the middle east..Yup, this is great progress..I wonder if these officeholders have learned their lessons that Jay pontificates on "We have three branches of government, co-equal, with separate powers and areas of responsibility, but with the ability to check the actions of the others."or are they the Rovians and neo cons just as pompous about lying to Congress and the American pepole as they always have been. Of course th Capitol hill hearings that are taking place now, that can check an Executives power, Wizbang determinely ignores.

What Pelosi and De... (Below threshold)
jpe:
What Pelosi and Dean, among others, are doing is at the minimum a violation of the Logan Act

I didn't know Pelosi was a private citizen. I also didn't know that Dean was engaging in discussions of a foreign policy controversy. If it weren't for your courageous dispatches from your alternate world, I wouldn't be very informed on the goings-on in fantasy land. Keep up the journamalism. It's an invaluable resource of truthiness.

Lawrence Walsh according... (Below threshold)
Taltos:

Lawrence Walsh according to who he was prepared to present a multi-count felony indictment against this Abrams to the Grand Jury for its consideration in early October 199,

I think the statute of limitations may have run out on that one.

I didn't know Pelosi was... (Below threshold)
Taltos:

I didn't know Pelosi was a private citizen. I also didn't know that Dean was engaging in discussions of a foreign policy controversy.

Pelosi doesn't qualify under Logan, but she's violating seperation of powers. As per US v. Curtiss-Wright the president is sovereign in matters of foreign affairs. So unless she has specific authority from the president she's not allowed to conduct any sort of negotiations with a foreign power.

Dean is covered by Logan. Since Syria is classified as a supporter of terrorism, pretty much any negotiations in contravention to the presidents will would qualify for the "disputes of controversies" required.

Herman, since you obviously... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Herman, since you obviously know nothing of what you speak, as is clearly apparent from your other posts, I will now have to do your thinking for you lazy bastard.

Carter funded Islamic radicals in Afghanistan to throw off the Soviets--guess where the Islamic radicals who blew up large things on 9/11 trained/

He withdrew all aid from Nicaragua in the face of a partially Soviet abetted effort led ostensibly by a Marxist, Daniel Ortega. Who was better for Nicaragua, Somoza or Ortega--most people in Nicaragua would prefer to live under Somoza. I know, because I have been there and married a Nica.

Similarly, Carter withdrew aid to the Shah in Iran in the face of a push by vicious Islamic radicals to take the Shah down. Again, which would you, and likely most Iranians, want to live under. The Shah wins that one, hands down.

So, the chief sponsor of terrorism in the world today was spawned under Carter's watch and in no small measure by his refusal to aid the Shah in the face of it.

We can thank God more such Democrats have not held office. You should be ashamed for your party, if you had any shame. So many lives destroyed due to this gross incompetence.

"negotiations?"... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

"negotiations?"

The only thing that plastic faced bitch is going to discuss is that they get their talking points straight and that they are on the same page so that their media and the democrat media can further undermine President Bush and get more US Soldiers killed as they continue to give a thumbs up to the ememie not to give up.

What's the matter Steve, you seem to be all sensitive about the prospect of Congress being lied too. Why not the same sensitivity to those in Congress who are punk ass liars?

Oh I see , those lying traitorous democrats are your masters. I understand.

And just exactly why is it ... (Below threshold)
kim:

And just exactly why is it not aid and comfort? Suck on that one, Hughie.
================================

Kim:I do so get a ... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Kim:

I do so get a kick out of your ongoing inanity. You are a good substitute for the comics.

Would you care to try to ad... (Below threshold)
kim:

Would you care to try to address my points or is it just gonna be comments on style? At which you suck.
=================================

For starters, try addressin... (Below threshold)
kim:

For starters, try addressing the inanities in your 11:34 AM post yesterday. Metprof and I both criticized your interpretation of history in that one.

So, get real, or stay precious. Your choice.
=============================

Well Kimmy....you are good ... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Well Kimmy....you are good at snarky, but not much good at reading comprehension, interpretation or history. Keep up the cute, snarky and inane comments and I will continue to be entertained. You don't make much sense but you are kind funny in a cute way.

Criticism is to be expected when one comments. Unfortunately you offer nothing of substance to criticize. Just cuteness. But I like cuteness.

"Carter funded Islamic radi... (Below threshold)
Herman:

"Carter funded Islamic radicals in Afghanistan to throw off the Soviets--guess where the Islamic radicals who blew up large things on 9/11 trained/" -- Mitchell

Ah, but were these Islamic radicals members of Al Qaeda??? Nope!! That organization didn't come into existence until 1988, when Reagan was president. Heck, in 1988, Mohammed Atta was still in college studying architecture. But the important issue here that Mitchell is incapable of understanding is that the Afghans didn't want any part of the Soviet-installed government, and they themselves overthrew it If Carter provided aid to those Afghans seeking to rid themselves of the Soviet-installed government, didn't your beloved Reagan do the same thing, Mitchell???

"He withdrew all aid from Nicaragua in the face of a partially Soviet abetted effort led ostensibly by a Marxist, Daniel Ortega. Who was better for Nicaragua, Somoza or Ortega--most people in Nicaragua would prefer to live under Somoza. I know, because I have been there and married a Nica." -- Mitchell

First, give your wife my sympathies, Mitchell, as you are such an idiot!!!! The stupidity of your statement has been shown by the last election in Nicaragua. Who was the winner, Mitchell??? I'll give you a hint: his first name is "Daniel." And of course, unlike, say, Somoza, the brutal dictator who you support, it wasn't the first time the Nicaraguans elected Ortega. Indeed, how many times was Somoza elected by the Nicaraguans, Mitchell??? Give us a nice round number (hint: very round).

"Similarly, Carter withdrew aid to the Shah in Iran in the face of a push by vicious Islamic radicals to take the Shah down. Again, which would you, and likely most Iranians, want to live under. The Shah wins that one, hands down." -- Mitchell

This idiotic statement assumes that with U.S. support, the Shah could have remained in power for the rest of his life, that the U.S. alone can determine what government another country shall have simply by providing that government with some support. Mitchell would have us believe that hardliners like Khomeini are completely unpopular in Iran, and that its people long for the return of a dictator like the Shah. If that's the case, Mitchell, please explain why in Iran's last election, Rafsanjani was defeated by the hardliner, Ahmadinejad (who got close to 62% of the vote). "The Shah wins that one, hands down," says Mitchell. Yeah, right.

Except for male-only draft registration (which isn't, relatively speaking, that big of a deal), Jimmy Carter did nothing for which I am ashamed. On the other hand, I am proud of him winning the Nobel Peace Prize. The Republican Party, on the other hand, used the CIA to overthrow democratically elected governments in Guatemala and Iran, replacing them with brutal military dictatorships (and tried hard to do the same thing in Nicaragua). The current Republican Administration has violated international law to inaugurate a war based on lies. No, it's not me who should be ashamed.

Not snark. You are complet... (Below threshold)
kim:

Not snark. You are completely full of shit about Israel, Palestine, Iraq, North Korea, Iran, and nearly everything else you talk about, then refuse to defend.

Under direct challenge, you still don't respond. I'm beginning to feel mean. C'mon, do not go gelatinously into that good fight!
=========================

Kim:I like it bett... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Kim:

I like it better when you are nasty. So, I posit an argument. You offer your usual 2 liner essentially saying;" you're full of shit, now defend yourself." I've been around too long to fall for that one honey. Why don't you just debunk it with facts, something I've never seen you do. I will be mighty impressed should you take a stab at it.

it's pretty simple even for a snark. My comment was, in essence, that the Middle East has fallen into more turmoil than in a long time while Bush has been president. I also, in essence, said that nukes are close to be beginning to glow in 2 of the famous "Axis" countries under his watch while he stands around with his hands in his pockets. And, this was in a response to some rightie positing that, essentially, the whole world has fallen apart because of Jimmy Carter.That simple enough to understand even for you?

Herman, your understanding ... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Herman, your understanding of history in these three countries is about a milimeter deep.

For instance, in Nicaragua, you might be surprised to learn that 62% of Nicaraguans voted against Ortega--he only won with 38% of the vote due to a corrupt pact he has with another corrupt political party. That's the lowest vote percentage he's ever gotten in all his candidacies--starting back in 1990. So, you are actually quite the idiot, and like a typical lib., all you know about anything is a quick 2 minute google of some headlines. Sad.

Some of the Afghan radicals Carter funded became al Quaeda, so while you may score points on semantics, you lose on substance. Once done with Soviets, they were off onto the next "crusade." The Afghan "people" had little to do with it.

In Iran, there are only candidates for President approved by the Council; there is not open election. Many do not vote since there is no real choice, but only what Khamenei and his gang allow. Again, your lack of even a cursory understanding of Iranian politics makes you look absurd.

In the Iranian and Nicaraguan cases, both enjoyed vibrant economies under rightist dictators--personal liberties were actually much more extensive than they are under the radicals.

Leftists and Islammists are anti-modern, and anti-capitalist, and therefore they ruin there economies--so, as between the right and left/islamic regimes, in the long run, the right regimes have allowed economies to propsper, and eventually, create there own liberalization. You'll never get that under a Marxist, if that's what your thinking.

Latin America is littered with countries having chased the Marxist fantasy. The ones that prospered the most avoided Marxism, as for example, Chile did. Augusto Pinochet made that possible. Allende did not.

Herman, if you want to continue this, I'd be happy to, with the proviso that you actually read a bit more about these countries and know some relevant history.

By the way, don't ever talk to a Nicaraguan about Jimmy Carter. They think he's a pussy. They see the games he's played in Venezuela and the other countries I mentioned holding elections. His Carter Center is an abomination as it proclaims faith in democracy, but abets its demise by certifying false elections.

Pardon the typos above, but... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Pardon the typos above, but Herman's post was just too easy not to smash. So much easier than dealing with my opponents at work, where you have to actually know things.

Anyway, I saw a great moniker for Carter today, referring to him as:

"The Smiling Eunuch"

That's perfect!

Hugh, I don't believe Israe... (Below threshold)
kim:

Hugh, I don't believe Israel/Palestine is any worse a mess than it has been for half a century. Arafat is more to blame for the mess there than Bush. North Korea is completely pusillanimous; it is to remind the world's civil authorities, the functioning democracies, that China owns a junk yard dog. Bush has Ahmadinejad well in hand. No nukes for the Persians, not Khan's bomb, anyway, not on Bush's watch.
====================================

Kim:Thanks for the... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Kim:

Thanks for the response. I don't blame Bush for the mess in Israel/Palestine/Lebanon. I blame him for his ineptness in in trying to do anything about it. While N. Korea may be pusillanimous at he moment, the attempt to make the bomb goes on. Ahmadinejad is not the power in Iran - he has no real control of anything. And, if having Iran in hand means they are stirring up much of the shit inm Iraq, well then god help the Middle East. The Irani's are emboldened to do what they did with the Marines as as result of Bush's Folly in Iraq. At least Reagan wouldn't have put up with their bullshit. Iran is major supplier ofd trouble and supply in Iraq. That lies with George Bush. the Saudis are pissed (you may say who cares) and pretty much most of the world would like to see us have our asses handed to us. We have no credibility with much of the world which I think harms us greatly.Again, Bush.

So that's my take. Probably wrong on some and right on some. What's yours?

"For instance, in Nicaragua... (Below threshold)
Herman:

"For instance, in Nicaragua, you might be surprised to learn that 62% of Nicaraguans voted against Ortega" -- Mitchell

Actually, I wasn't, knowing beforehand that Ortega had gotten less than 40%. When you get cases where you have more than two strong political parties, the winner could easily get less than half the vote. But in any case, Ortega got more votes than any other candidate, which is something Bush couldn't say about himself in December, 2000. And the first time Ortega and the Sandinistas ran for election, when the memory of Somoza's brutal dictatorship was still fresh in people's minds, the Sandinistas easily got more than half the vote. All of which shows that your statement, Mitchell, that "most people would prefer to live under Somoza," to be utter rubbish. Would you have us all believe, Mitchell, that in 1795 most Americans would prefer the unelected King George to the elected President, George Washington?

"That's the lowest vote percentage he's [Ortega's] ever gotten in all his candidacies--starting back in 1990." -- Mitchell

Well, you should go back to not terribly long after Somoza was overthrown, 1984, when Daniel Ortega and the Sandinistas got 63 percent of the vote. Ortega first ran for office before 1990, Mitchell, your stupid insinuation notwithstanding.

"Some of the Afghan radicals Carter funded became al Quaeda..." -- Mitchell

But far, far more became Taliban. Just how many of the the Sept. 11th hijackers were Afghans? Give us a nice round number, Mitchell. In any case, Reagan supported Afghan resistance to the Soviet-installed government for a much longer time than Carter ever did.

"In Iran, there are only candidates for President approved by the Council; there is not open election." -- Mitchell

Knew that too. But this still doesn't eliminate the fact that Ahmadinejad easily beat Rafsanjani, with Wikipedia reporting turnout at 60 percent (about what it is here in the U.S., I believe).
Certainly, the defeat of Rafsanjani by the hardliner comprises no proof at all of your assertion that Iranians would prefer to live under the Shah dictatorship.

"Chile did. Augusto Pinochet made that possible." -- Mitchell

Another unelected brutal Fascist dictator you're supporting, right, Mitchell? The Chileans were just so enamored with Pinochet that they wanted to indict him, but he died first. And they recently showed their love for his reactionary economic policies, policies that you favor, by electing a socialist to lead the country. Shades of Allende!

Bush is no worse than Clint... (Below threshold)
kim:

Bush is no worse than Clinton and predecessors about Palestine/Israel. What makes you think North Korea can get itself up off the mat to threaten anybody? You've been spooked by a mirage.

I agree Ahmadinejad is not the real power in Iran; the mullahs are, and Bush's velvet glove re sanctions and the iron fist of the fleet have them saying prayers, and now the Russians are squeezing a little, too.

The Saudis are scared shitless that there little satrapy is vulnerable. You know most of their oil lies under Shia populated territory.

And see the recent news about how middleastern leftists can't understand why European and American leftists support radical Islam. Neither can I. Why do you, you cognitively dissonant so and so? That goes double for you, Herman.
================

Gee Kimmy I was beginning t... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Gee Kimmy I was beginning to give you credibility until you played the " I'm really stupid" card, i.e. "you support the terrorists."

Why are you a Nazi Kim? Pretty stupid statement eh?

Ding, Godwinned. Why are y... (Below threshold)
kim:

Ding, Godwinned. Why are you such a putz?
=========================

Alright, my namecalling is ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Alright, my namecalling is a stupid as yours, but not as extensive.

I agree with the way the US, Great Britain and a coalition of the world's functioning democracies have chosen to combat Islamofascism. You don't. What is your alternative plan?
============================

Ahhh, first you have to to ... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Ahhh, first you have to to tell me what it is as it changes from press conference to press conference.

Wow, Herman. You'd really ... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Wow, Herman. You'd really prefer living under Marxist or Islamic dictators, to Samoza or the Shah. That says alot about you. I still don't believe you know anything about these countries. I'm sure you don't about Nicaragua.

The Nicaraguan economy was one of the strongest in Latin America during Samoza. Managua, before the earthquake, was the most vibrant city in the region outside Havana.

The 10 year tyrrany of Ortega in the '80's which you appear to trumpet set them back to being in last place ecomonically in the hemisphere. So, if this is your view of progress, I'd say you would be in the extreme minority of people in just about any place I can think of. And if you think Ortega had "free" elections in Nicaragua in 1984, think again. That's why I used 1990 as a reference point, which you failed to grasp, obviously.

Ortega ran a pact with a discredited, but powerful politician there--actually from the old Samoza Party (there's your Ortega "principles" for you) who controlled the majority of congressional votes, and got rid of the run off election which required 50% + 1 after the first round, to a winner take all above 35%. They figured out he had at least that much support--and they subverted long-standing democratic practices to deliver the presidency to Ortega. He's very unpopular with all except the lowliest peasants.

There are many poor who detest him. And the indians in the north east of the country hate him because he conducted a genocide campaign in the '80's. By the way, there is credible testimony from his step-daughter and others that he raped her, but his judiciary appointees kicked the rape case out of court. Samoza looks like a pussycat compared to this joker.

Why is it so difficult for liberals like Herman to understand this? Perhaps it makes you feel better to think well of these miserable leftist dictators, assuaging your "white guilt" or whatever, but you really haven't a clue.

Nicaraguans largely would prefer to live under honest government like all people would. But they don't have alot of choices now. When Ortega and Aleman pass into their sad contribution to history, they may have a chance yet again.

You would prefer the destruction of economic and personal liberties on a much grander scale of a leftist, or Islamist, but find the much less destructive policies of a right wind dictator so troubling. Perhaps you are not really well informed as you think you are--I can guarantee that.

At least I have travelled extensively in Nicaragua, and asked questions of friends and average people there about the history, and I did not put all my faith in historians of left persuasion who are the ones largely writing on the topic, erroneously as it turns out.

But I suppose you will go on believing your uninformed opinions, and be satisfied with that.

What, no substance? I aske... (Below threshold)
kim:

What, no substance? I asked what your plan was. I'm beginning to think you're just a great big bag of gas.
====================================




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