Political Gamesmanship and Spring Break

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The U.S. Congress is in the midst of a two-week “spring break” after delivering a war funding bill that is absolutely loaded with spending that has nothing to do with the war and that has an exit plan that they know will be vetoed by the president; this shows that we have elected a majority of senators and representatives who are totally irresponsible . . . these are senators and representatives (on both sides of the ‘isle’) who should be serving their very last terms in public office*. We know, however, that that won’t happen — these people are experts at duping the public into believing their ‘justifications’ for even the most reproachful behavior.

What a certain group of these representatives are doing on their spring break is also a topic of controversy that has the Right and the Left once again butting heads. A story on the Los Angeles Times website (along with hundreds of other news sources) highlights this; the LA Times story is titled: “Pelosi going to Syria despite Administration objections”. The bottom line of this story is: U.S. House Speaker Nancy Peolsi and an entourage of U.S. Representatives are on a fact-finding mission in the Middle-East and have the intention of including a visit to Syria on their itinerary. The administration (read, President Bush’s advisors) thinks that this side-trip to Syria is a bad idea; in the words of State Department spokesman Sean McCormack, “In our view, it is not the right time to have these sort of high-profile visitors to Syria.” White House spokeswoman Dana Perino added some context to the State Department’s message when she said: “This (Syria) is a country that is a state sponsor of terror, one that is trying to disrupt the Saniora government (Fuad Saniora is prime minister of Lebanon) . . . and one that is allowing foreign fighters to flow into Iraq from its borders.” From all reports, Ms. Perino’s statement is unequivocally true but it does not really answer the question: ‘Why is this “not the right time” for a sit down with the President of Syria?

It may sound jaded to say so but I truly believe that, from the administration’s perspective, NO time is the right time for the Democratic House Speaker to make a diplomatic trip! Below the surface they are basically saying that it makes our country and its leadership (in the eyes of our enemies) look disorganized and fractious to have Rep. Pelosi, the third most powerful politician in Washington (in the sense that she is third in line in presidential succession) in a clearly hostile country, against the stated wishes of the administration, and in a situation that has the potential for an improvement of our relations with Syria. Not that any diplomatic breakthroughs are likely but what if . . .?

Syria is, without a doubt, aware of the political dynamics and the upcoming elections and will, very possibly, allow Rep. Pelosi to return from this trip with news of a softening of some previously held Syrian position or even something bigger; the objective, of course, would be to hurt President Bush and his party by helping his political opposition.

From Rep. Pelosi’s perspective, making the president appear to be ineffective and weak is exactly what she wants. I don’t doubt for a second that Rep. Pelosi cares far more about her political ambitions than she does about a Middle-East peace and anything that makes the current administration look bad furthers her ambitions while satisfying her deep-seated contempt for the president. Above all, I believe that Rep. Pelosi has her eye on the prize, the pot-o’-gold at the end of the rainbow: the presidency in 2012 or possibly 2016; any measure of ‘success’ that can be claimed as a result of this trip will be another step toward that prize and, in the near term, another step toward the total defeat of the Republican party in 2008.

If my (admittedly jaded) analysis is correct, it would appear that neither the Left or the Right is as concerned about the Middle-East as they are about playing political games. It’s all about politics and power to those ‘sceptered’ few who sit and hold the reins of our government. The future of America, to them, appears to lie no further than the next election cycle.

http://signatures.mylivesignature.com/

Links:

Los Angeles Times website: Pelosi going to Syria despite Administration objections

San Francisco Chronicle: Pelosi to take message from Jerusalem to Syria

*No More Incumbents: “Working to insure natural term limits by removing all incumbents from office”

What bloggers are saying:

The Liberal Gambler: Kudos to Nancy Pelosi

Thespis Journal: A Fool’s Errand

News and commentary by: Whymrhymer can also be found at the Blogger News Network and at The American Chronicle Family of Journals

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3 thoughts on “Political Gamesmanship and Spring Break

  1. Seeing this as raw politics on Pelosi’s part is innaccurate, not to say that Pelosi isn’t a political animal, they all are.

    That being said, it is interesting how Pelosi was singled out for this trip, while a delegation of Republican congressmen were in Syria the day before.

    Does this mean that those Republicans were doing the President’s bidding? I would think not based upon the argument that Rove, etc.. make on behalf of the Pelosi trip.

    This may appear to be a political end run, but it isn’t. It is merely an attempt by both delegations of Congress, who has the power to declare war, to engage in diplomacy in the face of a lame duck President.

    The only arguments out there now from the Bushie’s are simply weak, and perhaps this is merely a political attempt to take the media’s attention away from the woes of the AG.

    It’s only going to get worse for Bush. Why? Accountability from Congress, something that this administration is not used to at all having had the rubber stamping of the Republicans for many years.

    Regardless of one persons views, there is change coming in this Country, and for the better (finally). All Americans should be concerned about the losses of their Constitutional rights under this administration, and many Republican Americans (both elected and unelected) are finally waking up.

  2. You make some good points but I remain skeptical of Rep. Pelosi’s motivations — to me she is a symbol of much (not all) that is wrong with American politics.

    Nor do I have sympathy for Bush — he reacted inappropriately to the WMD acusations and continues with blunder after blunder; I believe he is sincere and believes he is doing the right thing but I can’t agree with his ‘strategy.’ Your interpretation that the increased security and surveilance put in place since 2001 equals a loss of Constitutional Rights is, however a bit far-fetched; there have been some abuses and there is no excuse for that but doing everything possible to keep our country safe from terrorists is not a loss of anyone’s Constitutional rights.

    I’ll also agree that a change is coming and while some of it may be “for the better” I sincerely believe that either a far-Left or a far-Right administration between ’09 and ’12 will do a lot of damage to our country. I see the need for a sensible moderate and, right now, RUDY is as close as you can come to that position. It is still, however, a long way from November ’08 and I am ‘married’ to no candidate yet.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

  3. You should do some research on the Military Commissions Act of 2006 which effectively eliminated the right of habeas corpus from our Constitution. In addition, the power grab by this administration is corrupting the original document and many of the add ons to the Patriot Act come at a loss of our freedom, the very thing which our men and women in uniform have fought and died for throughout our history (recent history possibly excepted, these wars pertain more to oil and natural resources than protecting our freedom).

    In fact, this country is not any safer under this administration, the constitution has been trampled upon and Bin Laden is still alive and kicking (and regrouping). Look, I am no uber-fan of politicians regardless of Party, even though I once ran for public office. My experience was a rule of thirds when it comes to office holders: 1/3 inept and/or stupid, 1/3 corrupt and/or slimeballs and 1/3 give a real damn. This knows no party bounds, although over the last 6 years, it just seems that the Republicans have had more than their share of corruption in office.

    Rudy has absolutely no chance at being elected President in 2008 and if he should become the nominee, he will go down as the “george McGovern” of the Republican Party. The far right will simply not tolerate his baggage.

    Don’t get me wrong here either, I am not really a big fan of Hillary either. Her quest has reeked of political opportunism over the last several years with her activities in Congress more about positioning for 2008 than about liberal thinking. If you want a true moderate however, look to her…you would be very surprised.

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