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So is USA Today’s editorial "kooky" as well?
Posted by: McQ on Friday, April 06, 2007

I was amused by the attack some on the left yesterday mounted on the Washington Post's editorial yesterday about Pelosi. The WaPo denounced Nancy Pelosi's overreaching and meddling in diplomatic affairs and reminded her that Constitutionally, that wasn't her job. Some on the left characterized the editorial as "kooky."

Today, we have another "kooky" editorial from USA Today saying essentially the same thing that the WaPo crew said:
Democrats in Congress have been busy flexing their foreign policy muscles almost from the moment they took power in January, for the most part responsibly. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi crossed a line this week by visiting Syria, where she met with President Bashar Assad. She violated a long-held understanding that the United States should speak with one official voice abroad — even if the country is deeply divided on foreign policy back home.

Like it or not (and we do not), President Bush's policy has been to refuse to negotiate with Syria until it changes its behavior. That behavior is malignant. Syria has long meddled destructively in neighboring Lebanon and is widely seen as the bloody hand behind the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri. Syria has aligned itself with Iran and supports the violently anti-Israel groups Hezbollah and Hamas. It foments violence in Iraq by allowing suicide bombers and jihadists to cross the Syria-Iraq border.
See the highlighted sentence? That is the essence of her political faux pas. And as is evident, she has completly confused the situation in the Middle East through her "diplomacy for dummies" move. Not only that, she's managed to give one of the worst regimes in the Middle East a veneer of legitimacy, and some "face".

Point 2:
Also along was House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos, D-Calif., who said the meeting was "only the beginning of our constructive dialogue with Syria, and we hope to build on this visit." That suggested Democrats are going beyond unobjectionable fact-finding and getting-to-know-you conversation into something closer to negotiations, undermining U.S. diplomacy.
The second whine has been, "but there were Republicans along as well, why aren't you saying something about them"? Well for a very good reason. So far no one has seen them doing anything but what all Congressional delegations are welcome to do ... fact-finding. In fact, these junkets are usually billed as fact-finding missions. However, I've never heard of one billed as a diplomacy mission, have you?

Point 3:
Pelosi's office defended her trip by noting that the "administration's cold-shoulder approach has yielded nothing but more Syrian intransigence." As true as that is, the place for Pelosi to make the case is not in Damascus. It's not up to the speaker to unfreeze relations with Assad.
Precisely. Pelosi claims that the latest election meant that the American people wanted change. Fine. But that change was to be effected within the Congressional mandate that Congress is granted by the Constitution, not anything more. It is Pelosi, et al, who love to talk about how the executive branch is attempting to expand its power. What Pelosi has engaged in with Syria is a blatant a power grab as anything the Bush administration has attempted. Might be a good idea for the Speaker to remember the admonishments she issued the executive branch about such attempts.

Note to Nancy: Don't like how foreign policy is being conducted? That's what the '08 election is for. Until then, butt out.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Another commenter here asserted:
I’m not surprised that Pelosi is getting good reviews so far (at least when you get away from hostile blogs).
Maybe at Democratic Underground, but the MSM seem to be coalescing around the idea that this trip has been a fiasco.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
The point is, overseas, you do not undermine the countries foreign policy. Politics stops at the “Waters Edge”, while here criticize all you want to. That the job of “The loyal opposition”. When a high official goes overseas they are seen to represent the United States irrespective of their political party. If they send a message contradictory to the administrations foreign policy they are confusing other governments, making it harder for the administration to carry out a coherent foreign policy. That harms the country.
 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://faroutfishfiles.blogspot.com/
this WSJ link suggests it is felony offense

http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110009908
 
Written By: the_casual_observer
URL: http://
McQ,

I see my use of the word "kooky" got your attention. For the record, the "kookiness" of both this editorial and the WaPo have less to do with the ideological premise behind them and everything to do with their mischaracterization of the facts.

Let’s review. Here are the facts which have not been established, but which are fundamental to this critique:

1) That Pelosi said anything that contradicted U.S. policy.

2) That Pelosi said anything different than what any of the numerous Republican delegations to Syria said.

3) That what Pelosi is doing now is any way unprecedented for Speakers of the House.

What you, the WaPo, and the USA Today all fail to mention in any specificity is what Pelosi said that is so contrary to U.S. Policy. Is it just that she went to Syria? If so, why the focus on her and not all Republicans who have visited?

Moreover, as a number of people have pointed out today, Newt Gingrich made a regular habit of traveling abroad and saying things that contradicted U.S. policy. He did this on trips to China and Israel, both times creating major diplomatic snafus that had to be smoothed out by the Clinton administration. Pelosi’s conduct in Syria doesn’t even compare to either of those incidents.

As for this howler:
The second whine has been, "but there were Republicans along as well, why aren’t you saying something about them"? Well for a very good reason. So far no one has seen them doing anything but what all Congressional delegations are welcome to do ... fact-finding.
That’s just BS. Did you happen to read any of the quotes from Congressman Issa (R-CA) yesterday, McQ. He went out of his way to criticize Bush, something Pelosi did not do.
 
Written By: Anonymous Liberal
URL: http://www.anonymousliberal.com
except, of course, when Gingrich went to China, or the Republican party interfered with Kosovo operations or Rohrbacher made friends with the Taliban, or ....

etc.
 
Written By: Francis
URL: http://
this WSJ link suggests it is felony offense
I’m not sure her position as Speaker of the House exempts her from the rule. Of course, it will however.

We couldn’t even bring Sandy Berger to trial for stealing and destroying top secret documents from the National Archives under a Republican administration (but by God, we got Scooter Libby for lying in an investigation where the real culprit was already known to the prosecutor!). What would make anyone think anybody would even begin to consider prosecution of the Speaker of the House under this code:
§ 953. Private correspondence with foreign governments.
Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
except, of course, when Gingrich went to China, or the Republican party interfered with Kosovo operations or Rohrbacher made friends with the Taliban, or ....
No Francis, if they attempted diplomacy as a Congress member rather than fact-finding then they were just as wrong as Pelosi.

Given those examples and your apparent belief they were wrong, why can’t you find it in yourself to admit that Pelosi is wrong?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
this WSJ link suggests it is felony offense
Which, by the way, is a totally ridiculous, crackpot suggestion. And the WSJ crew just loved it when Republicans conducted their own separate foreign policy during the Clinton administration. I guess it’s okay if a republican does it, illegal if Democrat does.
 
Written By: Anonymous Liberal
URL: http://www.anonymousliberal.com
He did this on trips to China and Israel, both times creating major diplomatic snafus that had to be smoothed out by the Clinton administration.
except, of course, when Gingrich went to China, or the Republican party interfered with Kosovo operations or Rohrbacher made friends with the Taliban, or ....
You clowns, none of that should be of any comfort to you. That doesn’t make Pelosi right, it just makes her as wrong as Gingrich was.

What a typically weak defense.
You’d think she might have learned from his screw ups.


 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
1) That Pelosi said anything that contradicted U.S. policy.
Engaging in diplomacy with Syria without them meeting the stipulations laid out by the State Department of the US does contradict US policy.
2) That Pelosi said anything different than what any of the numerous Republican delegations to Syria said.
They’re not the Speaker of the House and they didn’t supposedly deliver a "message" from the Israeli PM which mischaracterized his position and wasn’t something he authorized her to relay.
3) That what Pelosi is doing now is any way unprecedented for Speakers of the House.
Oh this is just childish. "But Johnny did it!"

See may answer to Francis above.

So you condemn the expansion of executive power but the expansion of Congressional power is ok with you because it’s your guys running the place.

Is that your "principled" argument? Because we all know the Constitution is a "living document", eh?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Given those examples and your apparent belief they were wrong, why can’t you find it in yourself to admit that Pelosi is wrong?
McQ, I’ll grant you this. If Pelosi was the only member of Congress to visit Syria and she had delivered a message that directly contradicted U.S. policy, she would deserve to be criticized. But she was just one of numerous members of Congress to visit Syria, including many Republicans, and there is no evidence that she said anything that contradicts U.S. policy (at least, nothing that wasn’t said in equal measure by every other Congressman and Senator to visit that country). This is an exercise in faux outrage by a bunch of people who have very selective memories and are holding Pelosi to a standard that makes no sense.
 
Written By: Anonymous Liberal
URL: http://www.anonymousliberal.com
I guess it’s okay if a republican does it, illegal if Democrat does.


Like, uh, lying under oath - whups, wrong way round! Just forget I mentioned it then.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
McQ, I wouldn’t throw around the world "childish" when you’re the one trying to make a big deal out of this nonsense.

The whole crux of your argument boils down to this:
Engaging in diplomacy with Syria without them meeting the stipulations laid out by the State Department of the US does contradict US policy.
By, by that standard, any U.S. member of Congress who visits Syria is contradicting U.S. policy (and even that doesn’t seem right because the Bush administration apparently helped coordinate the most recent Republican visit). But only Pelosi is being criticized. Why is that? The best explanation you can come up with is this:
They’re not the Speaker of the House and they didn’t supposedly deliver a "message" from the Israeli PM which mischaracterized his position and wasn’t something he authorized her to relay.
Two points. First, this is just factually incorrect. Fred Hiatt twisted a statement by the Israeli government to make it seem as if they were rebuking Pelosi. In fact, they just issued a gentle clarification to make sure everyone understood the message Pelosi had actually conveyed. There’s no evidence at all that she didn’t convey the exact message she was asked to convey.

More importantly, though, the idea that somehow it’s okay for regular Congressman to visit Syria but not for the Speaker of the House is just stupid. The Speaker has no special foreign policy authority, nor does she claim to. Why should she not be allowed to visit Syria like any other member of Congress?
 
Written By: Anonymous Liberal
URL: http://www.anonymousliberal.com
Like, uh, lying under oath - whups, wrong way round! Just forget I mentioned it then.
Good one, Looker! In case no one has ever explained this to you, no one thought that Clinton’s deceptive testimony was "okay". They just thought it probably wasn’t perjury (because it didn’t meet the "materiality" prong of the statute) and that even if it did, it certainly wasn’t an impeachment worthy offense. There’s nothing whatsoever inconsistent with believing that and also believing Libby’s lying to a grand jury in a criminal probe is a more serious offense.

But I digress...
 
Written By: Anonymous Liberal
URL: http://www.anonymousliberal.com
A.L., did you have a link for statements by Darrell Issa? I’m very interested in checking them out. Thanks!
 
Written By: Mary in LA
URL: http://
McQ, I’ll grant you this. If Pelosi was the only member of Congress to visit Syria and she had delivered a message that directly contradicted U.S. policy, she would deserve to be criticized. But she was just one of numerous members of Congress to visit Syria, including many Republicans, and there is no evidence that she said anything that contradicts U.S. policy (at least, nothing that wasn’t said in equal measure by every other Congressman and Senator to visit that country). This is an exercise in faux outrage by a bunch of people who have very selective memories and are holding Pelosi to a standard that makes no sense.
A) She did contradict US policy, as pointed out, by engaging in diplomacy prior to them meeting stipulations as laid out by the US State Dept.

That’s been very clearly explained and available through numerous sources for those interested in the truth of the matter.

B) None of the other members engaged in diplomacy (delivered a ’message’ from another head of state and mischaracterized his position in an attempt to start "peace talks" with another state which had yet to meet the stated stipulations).

There is not "faux outrage" and you acknowledge, with your caveat, that what Pelosi did was wrong, however you’re willing to excuse it because you claim that "others" engaged in the same thing.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
A,L, Neither Clinton nor Libby committed an offence that warranted more than a “Slap on the wrist”. Politics turned a molehill into a mountain, each time.
 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://faroutfishfiles.blogspot.com/
In fact, they just issued a gentle clarification to make sure everyone understood the message Pelosi had actually conveyed. There’s no evidence at all that she didn’t convey the exact message she was asked to convey.
Well, no, none at all, provided you ignore the citations given to you yesterday.


And from Israel, further clarification.
The Prime Minister’s Office has strongly denied that Israel relayed a message to Syria, accepting its calls to renew peace negotiations.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=845618&contrassID=2&subContrassID=1&sbSubContrassID=0
...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..."
...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."

The same sources explained that the decision to issue a statement of denial stemmed from questions from Israeli and foreign press regarding a change in Israel’s official stance on negotiations with Syria....
Oh, that’s right, you’re still arguing that her private statements could have been perfectly in line regardless of what she said publicly, which the Israelis felt had to be just as publicly denied.
that even if it did
Okay. I’ll remember the "even if it did" defense.
You do realize you keep saying things along the lines of
"it wasn’t wrong, but even if it was..."
"it might have been wrong, but everyone else did it too...".

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Mary in LA, here’s a link to some of Issa’s quotes.

James E. Fish, I find the accusation that Patrick Fitzgerald, a career Republican prosecutor and Bush-appointed U.S. Attorney, somehow was driven by "politics" to be totally ridiculous.

McQ, Pelosi did not "engage in diplomacy." She just talked. She wasn’t negotiating anything or bargaining for anything. She was just doing what every other member of Congress did when they visited. And you still refuse to back up your claims that she did anything other than convey the exact message she was asked convey. Bush administration officials were at the meeting and even they are making no such claim. Asserting something doesn’t make it so.
 
Written By: Anonymous Liberal
URL: http://www.anonymousliberal.com
Pelosi did not "engage in diplomacy." She just talked.

Is there a definition of diplomacy that doesn’t involve meeting and talking?

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
See my post over at OTB for links. Nobody has ever been prosecuted under the Logan Act.
 
Written By: Dave Schuler
URL: http://www.theglitteringeye.com
Bush administration officials were at the meeting and even they are making no such claim. Asserting something doesn’t make it so.
And how about a citation on what members of the administration were present during the private meeting. You seem to have a lot of this inside information that I haven’t run across in any articles so far.
Not with her on the trip, with her, at the meeting.

As you say, asserting something doesn’t make it so.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Engaging in diplomacy with Syria without them meeting the stipulations laid out by the State Department of the US does contradict US policy.

McQ is a liar and a bad fact checker. So, sh@thead, the others who visited (rethugs) they adhered to the State Dept stips? Did they? You don’t know anything and it is embarrassing for you to publicly show off your ignorance. Your worship and reverence for the WORST president in our history is a frightening thing for America. Just the fact that people like you make babies and vote is the scariest thing to sane members of our country. You want a monarchy - we want our country back. See the difference, no?
 
Written By: Tom
URL: http://
McQ, Pelosi did not "engage in diplomacy." She just talked.
Good grief ... that’s pretty pathetic.

Define "is" for us, will ya AL?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
McQ is a liar and a bad fact checker.
Tom,

This isn’t DU and you don’t get away with calling me a liar.

Calling me a bad fact checker is within the lines. Calling me a liar crosses it.

Apology expected or you’re gone. If you can’t find it in yourself to apologize (and frankly I don’t think you have the sand to do it), then you’re gone as well.

Oh, and save the ’free speech’ argument ... this is a private enterprise and we get to draw the lines. You want to play in this sandbox, those are the rules. If you don’t want to play in this sandbox that’s fine too.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Oh, and AL:
And you still refuse to back up your claims that she did anything other than convey the exact message she was asked convey.
Since when is it the job of the Speaker of the House to "convey" diplomatic messages and speak publicly about them?

That’s the crux of the argument. But the fact that she must not have understood that wasn’t within her authority to do is a bit telling isn’t it? Wasn’t she the one claiming Bush was incompetent?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
"A,L, Neither Clinton nor Libby committed an offence that warranted more than a “Slap on the wrist”."
I suppose that’s true regarding President Clinton; provided one thinks that being forced to resign one’s membership in the Bar to avoid being disbarred is indicative of an offense that deserves a slap on the wrist.
 
Written By: notherbob2
URL: http://
this WSJ link suggests it is felony offense

http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110009908
Sandy Berger

Joe Wilson

Jimmy Carter

The left never gets the length of rope it has coming to it, so don’t hold your breath for Speaker Pelosi’s trial either.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
The fact is, Pelosi went to undermine the President, and made some amateurish remarks to the press.

It is telling that the left is so vociferously defending it...

As someone said of Gingrich, and which should be equally applied to Pelosi...
has absolutely no standing in the arena of foreign relations. The Constitutional gives this task to the President — recognizing that the nation must speak with a single voice during negotiations with foreign powers. And it is the Senate, not the House of Representatives, which confirms or denies treaties and some agreements made by the White House.
Unless of course, you want to play a double standard. I don’t recall even knowing about Gingrich’s trip to China...
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
As Bill Schneider pointed out on CNN today, Pelosi did not go beyond what a lot of Congress people do on trips. Congress is a co-equal branch of government, and should not be afraid to go gather facts, talk to foreign leaders, and definitely should not simply do what the President wants. Nothing she did undermined foreign policy; in general, be it a Republican or a Democratic President, Congress should be willing to assert some power over the executive. An overly strong executive branch is dangerous (and when Trent Lott criticized Clinton during the Kosovo war and at the time of Desert Fox, I thought he was right to do so.)
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
James E. Fish, I find the accusation that Patrick Fitzgerald, a career Republican prosecutor and Bush-appointed U.S. Attorney, somehow was driven by "politics" to be totally ridiculous.
I didn’t say that. Politics was involved long before he was appointed. The whole mess was driven by politics of both parties.
Congress should be willing to assert some power over the executive.
As long is they are on American soil they can try. It’s overseas where they get into trouble. Ms Pelosi is in line for the Presidency. Her trip to Syria was a slap in the face to Bush.
 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://faroutfishfiles.blogspot.com/
resign one’s membership in the Bar to avoid being disbarred is indicative of an offense that deserves a slap on the wrist.
That is a slap on the wrist.
 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://faroutfishfiles.blogspot.com/
Congress is a co-equal branch of government
Being a co-equal branch doesn’t mean they have the same powers. Foreign policy rests with the Executive branch, not with the Legislative.

Using your logic, the Executive could then pass laws and rule others unconstitutional.
 
Written By: steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
I must say, it’s rather amusing to read all the lefties do what they so vociferously condemn amongst Bush supporters. Not surprising, just amusing.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Since when is it the job of the Speaker of the House to "convey" diplomatic messages and speak publicly about them?

That’s the crux of the argument. But the fact that she must not have understood that wasn’t within her authority to do is a bit telling isn’t it? Wasn’t she the one claiming Bush was incompetent?
McQ, point me to the part of the Constitution where it says that members of Congress can’t pass along messages. Give me a break. You want to make it like Pelosi committed some huge diplomatic snafu, but you can’t seem to actually explain what it is she did that so undermined Bush’s foriegn policy (much less what she did that was any different than a handful of Republicans did as well).

It’s pathetic. All smoke. No fire.
 
Written By: Anonymous Liberal
URL: http://www.anonymousliberal.com
McQ, point me to the part of the Constitution where it says that members of Congress can’t pass along messages.
Who has the Constitutional authority to conduct diplomacy and foreign policy?

Yeah, I know, if you don’t like the Constitution, just ignore it, right AL ... well, if you’re a Congressional Democrat.

Micromanage the war, engage in diplomacy and try to set foreign policy ... a great Constitutional role for Congress, no? Executive branch? We don’t need no stinkin’ executive branch.

Show you the part of the Constitution where it says members can’t pass along messages?

Give me a break. Characterize it properly at least.

The messages passed along were diplomatic in nature. Pelosi’s proper recourse would be to turn them over to the State Department. That’s why we have the department and that’s their job. As Steverino pointed out, obviously you’d be quite content with the president passing his own laws and declaring unconstitutional those he didn’t like. Right?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Being a co-equal branch doesn’t mean they have the same powers. Foreign policy rests with the Executive branch, not with the Legislative.
Wrong. You must be thinking the US is France.

Presidents Formal Constitutional powers
These are at first glance Apparently very limited
* Receive and send ambassadors
* Commander in chief of the armed forces (but cannot declare war)
* Can negotiate treaties with foreign powers
* Heads executive branch agencies

Congress Formal Constitutional powers
* Must confirm Treaties and appointments by 2/3 vote for those treaties and appointments to be validthis power belongs to the Senate. (NoteTreaties, once ratified by a 2/3 Senate vote, become the official law of the land, though they cannot violate the Constitution, and can be overturned by later statute).
* Congress is the only body who can declare war. It hs done so five timesthe War of 1812, the Mexican War (1846-48), the Spanish-American War (1898), World War I, and World War II. Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Kosovo were all wars that were undeclared.
* Congress is the only body authorized to fund the military; thus Congress can withhold funds from the President if they disagree with his/her decisions, theoretically halting any Presidential action.
* regulates commerce between the US and other states.
* investigates the executive branch, including military and foreign policy making agencies.

Congress seems more powerful. It seems, at first glance, that founders wanted Presidential power inhibited, worried about a "king, and did not want to have foreign policy totally in the hands of the Executive.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
The messages passed along were diplomatic in nature. Pelosi’s proper recourse would be to turn them over to the State Department.
No, that would have been silly. If Olmert gives her a message to pass on, she certainly can pass it on. That is not at all unconstitutional.

Congress has willingly sacrificed most of its power to the President on foreign policy. I’ve thought for over 20 years that Congress should aggressively re-assert itself.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Wrong. You must be thinking the US is France.
You really are reaching on this on, Erb. In your own words, you cite that the President has the authority to negoiate treaties, and that Congress merely approves of them. Congress cannot negotiate treaties. It’s up to the Executive branch to conduct foreign policy, Congress simply approves of any treaty negotiated.

As for declarations of war, sure Congress declares war. But it’s the Executive who commands the military. In theory, the Executive can simply ignore Congress’s declaration and not wage war. So, who’s got the real power?

Investigating the Executive branch in foreign policy matters is NOT the same thing as conducting foreign policy.



I can’t believe you’re really so dense as to believe that the Constitution entrusted Congress with foreign policy power. I think you’re just trying to twist words around to get out of the corner you’ve painted yourself into.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
The Israeli government can use Darth Vader, Nancy Pelosi, POTUS, or anyone else it chooses to pass messages to another country. This messenger does not have the right or power to change or interpret this message, as Pelosi did. Pelosi also has the right, as a US citizen and member of Congress, to debate what US or Israeli foreign policy should be. She does not have the right or power to define or create it.


"Wrong. You must be thinking the US is France...."

So precisely which fragments of foreign policy belong to each branch? Which committee of which house controls which fragment of congress’s foreign policy? A political scientist like yourself should be able to explain, in detail, how your system works. What would you teach your students?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
You really are reaching on this on, Erb. In your own words, you cite that the President has the authority to negoiate treaties, and that Congress merely approves of them. Congress cannot negotiate treaties. It’s up to the Executive branch to conduct foreign policy, Congress simply approves of any treaty negotiated.
You are simply wrong. The President is not in complete control of foreign policy. Congress doesn’t merely approve, it can also disapprove, cut funding, it is the ONLY BODY able to declare war, and it can reject any of the President’s appointments. It also can investigate the executive branch and demand information.

Moreover, if you look at original intent, it’s clear the founders distrusted having too strong a President. The Constitution clearly does not envision the President as dominating foreign policy. Bottom line: Congress can and does have a role in foreign policy, can gather information, can travel and meet world leaders (both parties do this, I even met the Prime Minister of Greece in 1985 on a trip with a Senator I worked for — a Republican Senator, by the way).
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
You are simply wrong. The President is not in complete control of foreign policy
Please show me where I said the President is in complete control of foreign policy.

The fact is, the Executive branch is empowered to conduct foreign policy. Congress is not given that power. Congress may approve or reject treaties (but not anything that falls short of a treaty), but it may not negotiate them. Congress may authorize war, but it may not conduct it.

Each branch has a check on the other two, but that does not mean that their powers in all aspects of government are equal.
 
Written By: steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
Libtard separation of powers: Whatever branch we control is superior.

Which is why before November you saw all the carefully crafted leaks of classified info from various non-political bureaucrats. The Democrats will always have effective control of unionized government employees.
 
Written By: SDN
URL: http://
Fact finding, if it involves talking with foreign leaders, seems very close to diplomacy. In fact, even if it occasionally crossed the line, I think it would be no big deal and easily handled.

The real problem is the PR that they wanted...quiet diplomacy works best, and I’d say the same for fact-finding. Having a press conference in various cities seems more like grandstanding than a junket.

Also, anyone note how when McCain had his press conference in Baghdad, the press jumped all over him in the news stories like this one? Pelosi should have gotten equal treatment, IMO.

 
Written By: Harun
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Vicious Capitalism

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Slackernomics by Dale Franks

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