Tea With the Despot of DamascusCongressional cat herder, Nancy Pelosi, visited the Middle East this week. Sporting a festive new do-rag, she visited Israel for a chit-chat with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert before going on to visit Syrian strongman, Bashir Assad.
The visit prompted calls to fire departments across the nation to peel conservatives off their ceilings. They believe La Nance has set up a shadow State Department. They see her trip as one branch of government unfairly meddling in the province of another - a little like Rummy's intramural plan to set up a shadow intelligence shop to replace inconvenient CIA reports. They do have a point, conducting foreign policy is a Presidential prerogative and in a normal situation, freelance Condies usually cause more harm than good.
However, times ain't normal.
Nancy Takes Tea
We have a President with a head made of finely polished mahogany and a Veep whose grasp on reality is like a single bruised finger holding a free climber to a Grand Canyon wall. To get either one off their thumb-in-ass merry-go-round takes desperate measures and in light of that, afternoon tea with Assad seems a pretty limp-wristed encouragement, regardless of whether you take one lump or two. There's nothing illegal about her visit. Freelance peacemakers are a cottage industry manned by officials and civilians alike. In fact, many administrations choose to outsource this sort of behind the scenes diplomacy. The only thing different about Pelosi's visit is that Blackwater and Halliburton didn't profit on the outsourcing contract.
Despite Big Dick's claims that her visit unravels his carefully laid plans for flower-choked Middle Eastern democracies - and word to Dick...that boat already sailed - the visit probably won't amount to much except a few conservatives visiting Walter Reed in the last throes of advanced hypertension. Nancy knows she has no fiat to make policy and Assad knows it too. That doesn't excuse grandstanding, but at the end of the day, can things be any worse on the diplomatic front? Whatever damage Pelosi could cause at this point pales by comparison to Shrub's tsunami of ineptitude.
Bipartisan Freelance Diplomacy
Shooter calling Nancy a "bad actor" - apparently confusing her with Fred Thompson - is more than a little disingenuous. He and the rest of the 101st Fightin' Keyboardists forget - like memory-challenged Gonzos in mid-testimony - one small fact. The visit was bipartisan. Five republicans accompanied the six democrats and presumably they were at the talks and equally unlicensed to operate diplomacy in a Middle Eastern zone. If not, perhaps they left Nancy to do the dirty work and went for a boondoggle to help Walnuts McCain shop for rugs in a cozy and safe Baghdad market. Lindsey Graham says there are some ass-kickin' deals over there.
The administration also conveniently forgets to besmirch loyal republicans and close friends who muck around in their foreign policy playpen. I'm sure defrocked Ambassador John Bolton poking his mustache into the US/Saudi alliance is as dangerous as Nancy having tea with the Despot from Damascus. Perhaps Bolton's audacity has merely struck the wingnuts speechless for a change - even ace bloviator Rush This is Your Brain on Drugs Limbaugh has nothing to say about that.
Yes, in a perfect world there would be no reason that others shouldn't stay off the President's foreign policy freeway. We should have a capable leader conduct foreign policy consistent with common sense and the will of the people . But, we don't.
"I don't remember."
Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Friday, April 06, 2007