“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Does Pelosi step over the line or fill a vacuum?

Legislator or Diplomat - Pelosi Steps Over Line
Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, has taken her newfound power and misinterpreted it. She recently told the President of the United States to “calm down” and has crossed over into State Department territory.

Ms. Pelosi has gone to Syria to visit puppet, Syrian President Basher Assad, supporter of terror. Assad, like his protege, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, would like to see Israel blown off the face of the earth, and sends terrorists into Iraq to kill U.S. and coalition forces.
The President and State Department had asked Pelosi not to visit Syria but she insists she is using the Iraq Study Group report as her guide, in addition to her power hungry ego, the driving force in her visit.

Pelosi and her Liberal ilk want to undermine the Presidency and bring down the Bush administration at all costs. Pelosi and company has no time for the U.S. troops as they have gone on spring recess without passing a legitimate funding bill.

Pelosi and company has, however, attempted to control the U.S. military, the President, and U.S. commanders in Iraq by setting deadlines to leave Iraq and the fight against al-Qaeda.

Visiting Syria is further evidence that Nancy Pelosi and the Left-Wing Nut House only care about taking over the White House in 2008 and increasing their Congressional power as well. No President, no troops, no military commanders will get in their way.

It’s power first and somewhere down the line America is included in the plan after Syria, Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah and al-Qaeda.

Nancy Pelosi tells the President of the United States to "calm down" in front of the media and then proceeds to play diplomat against the wishes of the professionals at the State Department.

Pelosi’s actions are much like a coups d’├ętat and Madame Speaker is running the Junta.

Congressman Tom Lantos, who is a member of the delegation that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is leading to Syria, put the mission clearly when he said:

"We have an alternative Democratic foreign policy."
Pelosi and the Democrats, including Republicans like Rep. Hobson of Ohio, who visit Syria, especially against the wishes of the White House, are sending a message to terror groups that there is disunity in the U.S. government and it’s ok to continue your reign of terror and meddling in Iraq.

Nancy Pelosi and the Congressional Democrats are stepping in to carry out their own foreign policy, by their own admission and their own military policy on troop deployment, by their own legislation — all the while denying that they are intruding on the President’s authority.

Instead of speaking to the world with one voice, Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats, are speaking alone, separating America into divisions, while taking over government responsibility from diplomats and the State Department.

The Iraq Study Group recommended face-to-face meeting with Iran also, which were recommendations and further meddling with real U.S. foreign policy. Does Ms. Pelosi plan a trip to visit Ahmadinejad in Iran? The only stopping at present is the hostage situation with 15 British military personnel.

Pelosi and the Democrats say they speak for America, or America has spoken in the narrow election victory in 2006. The Liberals are mistaken if they really believe they speak for America while they trample our present foreign policy.

Pelosi and the Democrats are showing the world they have no respect for the authority of the Office of the United States President or the United States Department of State.

Power and self-made authority has blinded Pelosi to matters of importance to America and freedom loving countries worldwide. Pelosi turning her "ego trip" into a diplomatic debacle that may result in extraordinary negative consequences in the war on terror and the lives of our troops on the ground in the Middle East.

Nancy Pelosi’s actions border on "high crimes and misdemeanor’s" and as Speaker of the House, she is now accountable to the American people, including the many who do not support her or her actions.

Legislators should do their jobs and stay out of diplomatic circles. The American public votes the President of the United States into office nationally while Senator’s and Representatives are elected in State elections.

The Speaker of the House and other’s in Congress cannot negotiate on behalf of the United States; the Presidential administration determines American policy. Pelosi has clearly stepped over the line in asserting power she feels as an entitlement of her office. The Speaker couldn’t be more wrong.


  1. Well over the line, along with the other Congresspeople that went, before her, as well.

    Her activity has a number of linked articles at RCP.
    Also there is a piece by VDH advising economic action against Iran and one by Mr Baker who says if Mr Bush would embrace his "Plan" it'd cut the radical Dems off at the knees.

    The real issue of stepping over lines and filling vacuums is seen in the Matthew Dowd story.

    Mr Dowd, a Texas Democrat, went to work for Mr Bush as his pollster in 2000 and then his chief strategist in 2004.
    Mr Bush's internalized Reconciliation project.

    The results are that Mr Dowd has, for a month now been less than loyal to his old boss, the President.

    "Now, near the end of his presidency, when many of us thought we would have helped solve the problem of polarization, we're in an even more polarized place," he wrote.

    Which he blames on Mr Bush. Shocking to both Mr Dowd and Mr Bush, DC ain't much like Austin.

    One can forgive Mr Dowd the idealism, but Mr Bush, he'd worked in the White House with his Dad, Bush 41. George W. knew the city, yet came unprepared for the caustic enviorment, retrospectively.

  2. Not that i am thrilled by ole' nancy visit to her eye doc...

    But i truly wonder as to the real effect...

    From my POV i love the idea that ole' bushie is being painted as weak, stupid and a fool...

    I HOPE for the causus bellum that our ememies will infact do/cause..

    of course they will then blame us for setting up a response to their felony-like action claiming we lured them in (see israel-hezbollah summer war as example) sorta like the abascam of today...

    But Achhmed, those USA Patrol boats are REALLY ZIONIST nests of Israelian spies, we must destroy them.. Yes Mohammed, forget the USA flags, blow up the zionazis NOW...

    .....but it is the Great Satan's fault for making us think it was the little satans's nest of israelians...

    Nancy should take Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton with her as well as Jhimmy carter too...

    Please make us look weak, make us looks stupid, make us look feeble...

  3. George Bush's idea of diplomacy is embargos, air strikes, and kidnapping diplomats. He is under the delusion that the United States is a monarchy and demands a blank check for his war with no requirements for benchmarks to indicate Iraq is moving toward the ability to defend itself. The White House objection to Nancy Pelosi's visit is that America should "speak with one voice" on foreign policy. By shunning a key player in the Middle East, Syria, America is speaking with no voice at all.

  4. Bush is acting like a petulant child whom isn't getting his way. He has stuck his fingers in his ears refusing to talk to 'enemies' all the while leading US incompetently to a dead end. Simply sitting back, shutting up, and following his lead is a foolish option to pursue at this stage in world affairs. The past congress rubber stamped away and look where that got US. Nope, challenge his foolish leadership at ever opportunity and hopefully we can move toward a better outcome. The governing of the USA is not a dictatorship; though that may be an easier and more efficient form of government.

  5. And the beat goes on.

    WASHINGTON (Associated Press)
    -- President Bush named Republican fundraiser Sam Fox as U.S. ambassador to Belgium on Wednesday, using a maneuver that allowed him to bypass Congress, where Democrats had derailed Fox's nomination.

    The appointment, made while lawmakers were out of town on spring break, prompted angry rebukes from Democrats, who said Bush's action may even be illegal.

    Democrats had denounced Fox for his donation to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth during the 2004 presidential campaign. The group's TV ads, which claimed that Sen. John Kerry exaggerated his military record in Vietnam, were viewed as a major factor in the Massachusetts Democrat's election loss.

    Recognizing Fox did not have the votes to obtain Senate confirmation in the Foreign Relations Committee, Bush withdrew the nomination last week. On Wednesday, with the Senate on a one-week break, the president used his power to make recess appointments to put Fox in the job without Senate confirmation.

    This means Fox can remain ambassador until the end of the next session of Congress, effectively through the end of the Bush presidency.

    JFKerry's moment of savoring the sweet taste of vindictive success, fleeting at best. Now there is only the bitter taste of being bested, once again, by his frat brother. That's gotta burn.

  6. I quite enjoyed this Wolcott missive. An excerpt:

    "April Fools

    According to my hourglass wristwatch, it's approximately 11:38 to 11:54; I wonder how long it will take for some sedentary militant at Pajamas Media or a similar venue to invoke Neville Chamberlain regarding Iran's imminent release of the British sailors, which brings the brewing hostage crisis to a somewhat pleasant anticlimax. Those ratcheting up the steely rhetoric (such as this poor fellow, hosting a premature wargasm in his pants: "I hope, by the time you read this, the destruction of Iran?s military infrastructure is underway") can not be cheered by the soft hand Britain displayed in this game of international poker. "Just as Neville umbrella...peace in our time...Hitler...appeasement...Churchill...a weakened Tony Blair..."--yes, I can see Michael Ledeen or Victor Davis Gladiator Roll-On Deodorant stringing the familiar beads together to deplore this latest capitulation by the West. The padded cells in the right blogosphere are already rocking with fury and sneering disdain over Nancy Pelosi's wearing a hijab during her visit to Syria; a quite fetching head scarf, I might add, though I don't think it's an Hermes. Yet another sign of Democratic dhimmitude, according to the usual hysterics (it's only a matter of time before the proprietess of Atlas Shrugs chimes in, if she hasn't already). But lookee here--Amy Kellogg is reporting for Fox News from Teheran and she's wearing a head scarf too! Not as stylish a skull wrap as Speaker Pelosi's, but still, I wonder if the wee folk Little Green Foot Fungus will find it painfully necessary to add Fox News to their ever-expanding list of Islamo-enablers."

  7. The meanings of words are important, some like "civil war" or "success" are flexible, depending upon the speaker's perspective.

    We all know that the situation in Basra has been touted as a Coalition success. Success enough to allow the Brits to begin a withdrawal.

    "... The four British deaths _ the biggest loss of life for British forces in more than four months _ came a day after Iran released 15 British sailors seized two weeks ago off the Iraqi coast.

    The British patrol struck a roadside bomb and was hit by small-arms fire about 2 a.m. in the Hayaniyah district in western Basra, 340 miles southeast of Baghdad, British military spokeswoman Capt. Katie Brown said.

    In addition to the deaths of the British soldiers and the Kuwaiti civilian interpreter, another British soldier was seriously wounded in the attack, Brown said.

    "Now it is far too early to say that the particular terrorist act that killed our forces was an act committed by terrorists that were backed by any elements of the Iranian regime, so I make no allegation in respect of that particular incident," Blair said.


    "Just as we rejoice at the return of our 15 service personnel so today we are also grieving and mourning for the loss of our soldiers in Basra, who were killed as the result of a terrorist act," Blair said.

    The Basra explosion created a 3-foot-deep crater. Hours after the attack, the helmet of a British soldier was still in the streets as well as dozens of spent bullets.

    Police in Basra said the British patrol had earlier detained 1st Lt. Haidar al-Jazaeri of the Interior Ministry's Major Crimes unit, and were on their way back when they were attacked.

    Depends upon how success is to be defined. A lot like is, is.

  8. PMO: Pelosi did not carry any message from Israel to Assad

    By Yoav Stern and Amiram Barkat, Haaretz Correspondents and AP

    The Prime Minister's Office has strongly denied that Israel relayed a message to Syria, accepting its calls to renew peace negotiations.

    The bureau responded to questions raised yesterday by a statement made by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, following a meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad. Pelosi said she had relayed a message from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, to the effect that Israel was ready for peace talks with Syria.

    The Prime Minister's Office was quick to issue a denial, stating that "what was discussed with the House speaker did not include any change in Israel's policy, as it has been presented to international parties involved in the matter."

    In a special statement of clarification, the bureau stressed that Olmert had told Pelosi that Israel continued to regard Syria as "part of the axis of evil and a party encouraging terrorism in the entire Middle East."

    According to sources at the Prime Minister's Office, "Pelosi took part of the things that were said in the meeting, and used what suited her."

  9. re: The British patrol struck a roadside bomb and was hit by small-arms fire about 2 a.m. in the Hayaniyah district in western Basra

    An ambush by anyother name.

  10. Politics makes strange bedfellows. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with who is whom.

    Another Use For Post-It Notes

    Only the Lonely


  11. Yeah, they arrested that Iraqi Police Lt, most likely had him dropped off at a holding facility, known location and were heading home, along a known route.

    High probability that Iraqi Interior Ministry employees set the ambush and pulled the triggers.

    Just a hunch, from afar.
    Sucess was defined this way, by Mr Snow, on 5 December

    MR. SNOW: The way out of Iraq is to have an Iraq that can sustain, govern, and defend itself, to be an ally in the war on terror and also an example to the region that democracy can succeed. So that is the way out.

    Q Does he really think he can achieve such a thing?

    MR. SNOW: He believes the Iraqi people can achieve it, and it is our goal to help them develop the capacity to do so.

    Q To follow on that for a second, it sounds like the job -- he's not leaving until the job is finished. And the job is defined as an Iraq that can sustain, govern, and defend itself. Last week you said --

    MR. SNOW: And be an ally in the war on terror.

    Why would the Brits be arresting the Iraqi Ministry of Interior Lt, if he was an ally?Or there is a flexible definition of "success" or "ally".

  12. Why weren't the Iraqi Federals arresting this Iraqi police Lt?

    If they are capable of self governing, without Coalition involvement. Self governing and ALLIED in the War on Terror, which is also being declared defunct, as a Mission title.
    No longer an expense catagory,
    the "War on Terror"

    Iraq and Afghanistan both being "local civil wars". As far as any aQ combatants the US detains and does not turn over to the host country, as criminals.

  13. WaPo: Pratfall in Damascus:
    Never mind that that statement is ludicrous:

    As any diplomat with knowledge of the region could have told Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Assad is a corrupt thug whose overriding priority at the moment is not peace with Israel but heading off U.N. charges that he orchestrated the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri.
    (neither Pelosi or Terrorita want to take that into account)
    The really striking development here is the attempt by a Democratic congressional leader to substitute her own foreign policy for that of a sitting Republican president. Two weeks ago Ms. Pelosi rammed legislation through the House of Representatives that would strip Mr. Bush of his authority as commander in chief to manage troop movements in Iraq. Now she is attempting to introduce a new Middle East policy that directly conflicts with that of the president.

    We have found much to criticize in Mr. Bush's military strategy and regional diplomacy.

    But Ms. Pelosi's attempt to establish a shadow presidency is not only counterproductive, it is foolish.

  14. Can you tell us the Time and place of the "Air Strikes" in Syria, Terrorita?
    I really wish it was a long list, we'd be in better shape.
    But sometimes Ms T is a Hawk, and other times a Dove.

  15. Commentary
    Bush versus the Constitution -- again
    Nancy Pelosi is not an interloper. She is the leader of a co-equal branch of the U.S. government and has every right and responsibility to participate in foreign-policy decision-making, says writer JOHN NICHOLS


    From Thursday's Globe and Mail

    George W. Bush's presidency has been distinguished by nothing so much as his consistent disregard for the U.S. Constitution. He wages war without required congressional declarations. He orders spying in direct conflict with the Fourth Amendment. He permits tortures and extraordinary renditions that violate the Eighth Amendment. Above all, the President disregards the basic requirement of shared governance. He shows little respect for the separation of powers, let alone for the system of checks and balances that requires Congress to participate in domestic and foreign-policy decision-making.

    Mr. Bush's anti-constitutionalism was on full display this week, as he and his aides asserted that it is somehow inappropriate for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to travel to Syria -- a country the White House has tried, with almost no success, to isolate from the international community.

    "Going to Syria sends mixed signals, signals in the region and, of course, mixed signals to President [Bashar] Assad," Mr. Bush said. "And by that I mean, you know, photo opportunities and/or meetings with President Assad lead the Assad government to believe they're part of the mainstream of the international community, when in fact, they're a state sponsor of terror."

    Mr. Bush is upset that Ms. Pelosi has chosen to take seriously the recommendations of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, which recommended multilateral diplomacy with Iraq's neighbours, including Iran and Syria, to promote stability in the region. Despite the fact the ISG was essentially led by his father's former secretary of state, Mr. Bush has rejected the sort of bilateral diplomacy that allowed his father to work so well with Syria during the tense days before and after the first Gulf War.

    Sending delegations doesn't work. It's simply been counterproductive," the President said this week, illustrating the ahistorical approach to global affairs that has defined his presidency.

    Just as the present President chooses not to be informed by the record of his father's era, he also rejects the intent of America's founding fathers.

    The U.S. Constitution makes clear that Congress has broad authority to actively participate in foreign and military affairs. After all, the founders created the legislative branch as the first defined branch of government and afforded to it the power "to regulate commerce with foreign nations," "to define and punish . . . offences against the law of nations," "to declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water," and "to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof."

    House and Senate leaders have a long history of being regular travellers abroad, and they have sometimes overstepped their boundaries. Famously, according to documents obtained by the National Security Archive at The George Washington University, former House speaker Dennis Hastert, a Republican, secretly advised Colombian authorities to ignore the human-rights requirements attached to U.S. military aid allocations made to Colombia during Bill Clinton's administration.

    But, while there are always fine lines to be walked by legislative leaders abroad, there has never been any real question of the intent that they should travel, consult, gather information and otherwise prepare themselves to check and balance the executive branch's international initiatives.

    Translation: Ms. Pelosi travels to Syria and other diplomatic hot spots with the encouragement of James Madison and George Mason, if not Mr. Bush. No, it's not her job to negotiate treaties or engage in the fine-tuning of diplomatic relations. That is usually, and appropriately, the work of the State Department, where the secretary in charge serves, yes, at the pleasure of the president but, also, with the approval and the oversight of Congress.

    It is Ms. Pelosi's job to open and maintain the lines of international communication that allow her -- and, by extension, Congress -- to be full and active participants in the forging of U.S. foreign-policy priorities. She does so not as an interloper on executive authority, but as the leader of a co-equal branch of the federal government.

  16. I think she over stepped. I wrote a column about it

  17. Ash:
    Pelosi right, Olmert Wrong ON OLMERT???
    The WaPo is wrong, Pelosi right on Baby Doc?
    Give me a Break!

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  19. joe seems a cool dude, a voice from northeast:

    I was the 2006 Republican Nominee for the U.S. House in the Pennsylvania 11th Congressional District. I am a Conservative Republican and having run a grassroots, shoe-leather, underfunded campaign for office, I have a unique insight into the issues facing our country.
    What you’ll get here is my honest insight into the goings on in today’s political world.

    Leonardi's point of view

  20. This fater and son team is now to be considered Fondaistas?

    Bing West, a correspondent for The Atlantic, is currently on his 12th trip in Anbar Province. Owen West, his son, is a managing director at a Wall Street bank and just returned from Anbar where he was a Marine adviser.

    Civil war between the Sunni tribes and the extremists has broken out in Anbar Province, the stronghold of the insurgency, and the U.S. and Iraqi government should support it. Anbar is like the American West in the 1870s. Security will come to towns in Anbar as it came to Tombstone--by the emergence of tough, local sheriffs with guns, local power and local laws.

    Bing West linked to the WSJ


    Iraq's Real 'Civil War'
    Sunni tribes battle al Qaeda terrorists in the insurgency's stronghold

    As good of news as there could be.
    Real numbers and perceptions as to what may be important.

  22. White House Rejects National Intelligence Chief's Recommendations for Deputy

    04-05-2007 2:12 PM
    By KATHERINE SHRADER, Associated Press Writer

    WASHINGTON (Associated Press) -- The new national intelligence chief is still searching for a deputy after six candidates were either rejected by the White House or turned down the job, according to people familiar with discussions about the key slot.

    The nearly yearlong vacancy has come up repeatedly in talks on Capitol Hill and in private discussions at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

    The new spy chief, Mike McConnell, has addressed the issue with his employees during at least one town-hall-style meeting at his Bolling Air Force Base headquarters.

    Several individuals in and out government described the personnel struggle on condition they not be identified.

    Chad Kolton, a spokesman for McConnell, said the director is committed to filling the opening soon.

    "It is an absolutely vital intelligence community and intelligence reform position," Kolton said Thursday. "But in addition to moving quickly, we want to make sure we find the right person for the job."

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  24. Two of those four Brits killed in Basra, in the post arrest IED ambush, were females.

  25. "Incredible to remember that the Syrians fought - well, "fought" - on our side in the Gulf War.

    That took some doing, don't you think?"

    Baker went to Syria 14 times and traded the Syrians Lebanon.

    They actually just sat there, because we were too afraid of friendly fire to send them forward (since they used the same equipment as the Iraqis).