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San Fran Nan really stuck her foot in it
Posted by: McQ on Friday, April 06, 2007

From the Lebanon Daily Star. Seems Nancy Peolisi's popularity just keeps on growing (/sarcasm):
We can thank the US speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, for having informed Syrian President Bashar Assad, from Beirut, that "the road to solving Lebanon's problems passes through Damascus." Now, of course, all we need to do is remind Pelosi that the spirit and letter of successive United Nations Security Council resolutions, as well as Saudi and Egyptian efforts in recent weeks, have been destined to ensure precisely the opposite: that Syria end its meddling in Lebanese affairs.
This just gets better and better doesn't it? Cue the apologists: "but she was just talking". Oh, oh, and "but Gingrich went to China".

She spends a few days in the area, sets diplomacy back 20 years and there are those on the left who defend her overreaching even while they condemn the administration for trying to expand executive power. Make sense to you? Wait it isn't about sense, its about politics. You only defend the indefensible when it is your side doing it ... right?

Anyway, read the rest of the article cited to understand the gist of what Pelosi stuck her size 9s in and that of which she managed to make a mess. A very complex situation with all sorts of permutations as well as active diplomatic efforts, all of which she apparently managed to misunderstand.

Wonderful.

As an aside, she did manage to take Gonzales off the front page. Heh ...
 
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You only defend the indefensible when it is your side doing it ... right?

When the Republicans controlled Congress we were told that it was necessary to be hard on them because they were the party in power. Now that the Democrats control Congress we are told that their misdeeds are excusable if there exists a historical example of a Republican doing something arguably comparable.


BTW - Did someone forget to lock a ward door at DU? You guys don’t usually get moonbats like "Tom" in here.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
BTW - Did someone forget to lock a ward door at DU? You guys don’t usually get moonbats like "Tom" in here.
That’s because people like Tom usually take the time to determine they’re out of their depth before posting here.

But there are always a few who don’t take that simple precaution and eventually pay for it.

I wouldn’t worry about Tom, though, Aldo. He won’t have the integrity to apologize and I’ll eventually drop his IP and email address in the "bye bye" hopper.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I wouldn’t worry about Tom, though, Aldo. He won’t have the integrity to apologize and I’ll eventually drop his IP and email address in the "bye bye" hopper.
Tell him to give our regards to MKULTRA if they meet up in the Q and O poop chute.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
She spends a few days in the area, sets diplomacy back 20 years
Congratulations, McQ. That’s the dumbest, mostly insanely hyperbolic thing I’ve read all day. Do you honestly believe that? Pelosi wasn’t in Syria to negotiate anything. And she didn’t even say anything controversial. Her trip will literally be forgotten in a week if it hasn’t been already. Take a deep breath, my friend.
 
Written By: Anonymous Liberal
URL: http://www.anonymousliberal.com
Congratulations, McQ. That’s the dumbest, mostly insanely hyperbolic thing I’ve read all day. Do you honestly believe that? Pelosi wasn’t in Syria to negotiate anything. And she didn’t even say anything controversial. Her trip will literally be forgotten in a week if it hasn’t been already. Take a deep breath, my friend
Tell that to the Lebanon Daily Star, AL.

You know this is hilarious. The left parses everything George Bush says and tells us of how it negatively effects the world and then when one of their own manages to screw up on a truly epic level, want to claim that what they said was of no importance.

Yet Hizbollah is now quoting her and now we have an example where Lebanon is none to happy with her performance. And Israel? Fuggetaboutit.

And still you’re engaged in frantically rationalizing her conduct and excusing it.

Maybe it’s you who needs the deep breath.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Pelosi wasn’t in Syria to negotiate anything. And she didn’t even say anything controversial
This may be true, however her presence has symbolically sent a message American foreign policy speaks with a forked tongue. Syria now may believe if they wait two years, they will have a sympatric Democratic Party governing to deal with. This is not good.
 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://faroutfishfiles.blogspot.com/
And she didn’t even say anything controversial
Tell that to Israel.


OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPS!
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Her trip will literally be forgotten in a week if it hasn’t been already
By the media and those want us to forget. Unfortunately, the WRONG people will be remembering this trip a long time.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPS!

As I said in another comment thread, it isn’t always about the internal politics. You lefties are so damned laser-focused on the domestic political game, no wonder you neither know nor care about anything that happens abroad.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
LOL! Set diplomacy back 15 years? Hogwash. She did nothing out of the ordinary. What’s interesting is that except for a few op eds, she was able to do this with generally favorable coverage. The reason is that Bush is now in lame duck territory, and it will be difficult for him to recover. The political winds have shifted; c’est la politique.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
when one of their own manages to screw up on a truly epic level, want to claim that what they said was of no importance.
McQ, you are seriously detached from reality here. Please explain to me what "epic screw up" you’re talking about. I want to know what exactly Pelosi did and what bad consequences will flow from it. Please be specific. And be sure to include some explanation for why these consequences are uniquely attributable to Pelosi and not to the dozens of other members of Congress who have recently visited Syria. I’ve read all your posts on this subject and you haven’t yet come anywhere close to answering these questions.

Pelosi does a meet and greet in Syria, which by the way, there is no law, policy, or precedent against doing. She does and says nothing that hasn’t already been said by numerous Republican Senators and Congressmen. But somehow this is an "epic screw up" that will set diplomacy back 20 years. That’s just totally nutty, McQ. It makes no sense at all.
 
Written By: Anonymous Liberal
URL: http://www.anonymousliberal.com
And she didn’t even say anything controversial
Tell that to Israel.
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPS!
Yeah, Shark. Israel is just ever so bent out of shape about this. So much so that some low-level guy issued a press release stating that Israel’s position hadn’t changed. God, how will we ever undo the damage? Our relationship with Israel may never recover. How totally "epic" a blunder.
 
Written By: Anonymous Liberal
URL: http://www.anonymousliberal.com
But somehow this is an "epic screw up" that will set diplomacy back 20 years.
Pelsoi’s playing a “shadow” Secretary of State it a shot across Bush’s bow. The message is “We are going to give you Hell for the next two years”. It’s part of the total political war being raged in Washington. House Democrats are trying to usurp power from the President, and the administration is fighting back. We are in an time when the relative power between the legislative and the executive branches is in flux. During this time Political Power, trumps National Welfare. That is a sad fact.
 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://faroutfishfiles.blogspot.com/
Pelsoi’s playing a “shadow” Secretary of State it a shot across Bush’s bow. The message is “We are going to give you Hell for the next two years”. It’s part of the total political war being raged in Washington. House Democrats are trying to usurp power from the President, and the administration is fighting back. We are in an time when the relative power between the legislative and the executive branches is in flux. During this time Political Power, trumps National Welfare. That is a sad fact.
Sigh. I really doubt Pelosi or anyone else in the Democratic caucus wants to be a "shadow" Secretary of State. Would they like to encourage the Bush administration to follow the Baker/Hamilton commission’s recommendation and actually try to engage Syria? Of course. Was this trip meant to encourage the Bush administration to do that? Probably (as were the Republican trips). But there’s nothing wrong with that. Members of Congress have been doing that forever, and Pelosi did nothing that even remotely resembles the kind of shadow diplomacy Newt Gingrich was notorious for. This wasn’t an attempt to usurp executive power. How exactly would Pelosi do that even if she wanted to? She’s not in a position to make concessions or actually negotiate anything with Syria. You guys sound more than a little paranoid.
 
Written By: Anonymous Liberal
URL: http://www.anonymousliberal.com
McQ, you are seriously detached from reality here. Please explain to me what "epic screw up" you’re talking about. I want to know what exactly Pelosi did and what bad consequences will flow from it. Be specific.
What part of this did you miss AL?
Nancy Pelosi, for having informed Syrian President Bashar Assad, from Beirut, that "the road to solving Lebanon’s problems passes through Damascus." Now, of course, all we need to do is remind Pelosi that the spirit and letter of successive United Nations Security Council resolutions, as well as Saudi and Egyptian efforts in recent weeks, have been destined to ensure precisely the opposite: that Syria end its meddling in Lebanese affairs.
Do you suppose the UN, Egypt, Saudi Arabia or Lebanon are pleased with her misstatement? If you read the article the answer would be a resounding no. Not to mention the fact that she’s now the darling of the terrorist organization Hezbollah.

Or this:
Almost instantly, Olmert’s office issued a clarification saying that Pelosi had mischaracterized Israel’s position: The Jewish state will not negotiate with Syria until it ceases its sponsorship of terrorist organizations, stops destabilizing Lebanon and stops making common cause with Iran.
Or that the US’s position is identical with that of Israel as it pertains to Syria?

Or that the stated purpose of her visit to Syria was to open a new line of communication?

That’s. Not. Her. Job.

That is the job of the State Department as directed by the President of the United States.

The fact that you don’t seem to understand that (or choose to willfully ignore it) is telling. She was uniformed and clueless and attempted to act in areas she had no authority. The results have shown a level of incompetence that even George Bush would be pushed to equal.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
The results have shown a level of incompetence that even George Bush would be pushed to equal.
Please, McQ. It’s not even possible to be more diplomatically inept than the Bush administration.

As for the rest, may I suggest that you’ve fallen quite a ways short of establishing that Pelosi "set back diplomacy 20 years" or committed an "epic screw up." Your point about Lebanon is incredibly weak. Some editorial writer in Lebanon may be upset today, but he’s got far more important things to worry about than what one Congresswoman of the opposition party meant by some highly ambiguous statement. There’s just no way that Pelosi’s remark will have any substantive or lasting impact on the situation in Lebanon (and you know this). Moreover, some perspective is in order. The Lebanese hate us because we said and did nothing while Israel bombed them back into the stone age last summer using weapons we’d provided them. On their list of grievances with us, Pelosi’s statement is approximately 9000th on the list. If you want to see an example of something that may actually have set back relations 20 years, Bush’s handling of that crisis is where you should look first.

As for the part about Israel, this is even weaker. Our relationship with Israel isn’t even remotely damaged by Pelosi’s trip (and you know this as well). And you still haven’t provided any evidence that she failed to convey exactly the message she was given. There were state department officials at the meeting. They haven’t contradicted Pelosi’s account.

Finally, your claim that it is somehow not within Pelosi’s job description to travel overseas and meet heads of state, well, that’s just ahistorical. It is well within the prerogative of members of Congress to make such trips and they have routinely done so throughout our history. Five Republicans met with Assad just this week.

And on a final note, it’s worth pointing out that we have diplomatic relations with Syria. We have an embassy there. They have one here. Bush can change that if he really wants to cut off official ties. But he hasn’t. There’s nothing remotely unusual or improper about Congressional delegations visiting such countries and nothing about Pelosi’s trip violated administration policy toward Syria.
 
Written By: Anonymous Liberal
URL: http://www.anonymousliberal.com
You’re behind the times, AL. We RECALLED our Ambassador to Syria in 2005 after an increasing amount of evidence pointed to their culpability in the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri along with several other Anti-Hezbollah, Anti-Syrian-Interference members of government and journalists. We haven’t closed the embassy (yet) but we have frozen all official diplomatic contact with their government indefinately. So no, we do NOT have diplomatic relations with Syria.

Second, We have complete and conclusive evidence that "she failed to convey exactly the message she was given" because the person who gave her the message, namely Olmert, had to issue an official statement pointing out that she misrepresented the Israeli position.

Third, it is well within the perogative of members of congress to make fact-finding trips, not to speak in matters of foreign policy or diplomacy to foreign leaders. If you cannot tell the difference between fact-finding and diplomatic meetings, that’s your failure of both intellect and knowledge of political theory.

A good effort, though. Would you like to try twisting the facts again?
 
Written By: Lysenko
URL: http://
Nice try, Lysenko.
You’re behind the times, AL. We RECALLED our Ambassador to Syria in 2005 after an increasing amount of evidence pointed to their culpability in the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri along with several other Anti-Hezbollah, Anti-Syrian-Interference members of government and journalists. We haven’t closed the embassy (yet) but we have frozen all official diplomatic contact with their government indefinately. So no, we do NOT have diplomatic relations with Syria.
I’m well aware that we recalled our ambassador, but we still have a working embassy in Syria manned by diplomats and there is no policy against members of Congress visiting there (which is why half of Congress has recently).
Second, We have complete and conclusive evidence that "she failed to convey exactly the message she was given" because the person who gave her the message, namely Olmert, had to issue an official statement pointing out that she misrepresented the Israeli position.
Complete and conclusive evidence? What rubbish. Olmert’s deputy was clarifying a public statement reported in the media, not what Pelosi actually told Assad. There’s no evidence whatsoever that Pelosi didn’t convey the correct message, and if there was we’d likely have heard it because there were state department officials present at the meeting.
Third, it is well within the perogative of members of congress to make fact-finding trips, not to speak in matters of foreign policy or diplomacy to foreign leaders. If you cannot tell the difference between fact-finding and diplomatic meetings, that’s your failure of both intellect and knowledge of political theory.
Political theory? WTF? Look, Pelosi just did what every other Senator and Congressman to visit Syria did. In fact, she was careful to repeat the Bush administration’s message and admonish Syria for its role in sponsoring groups like Hezbollah. At no point did she contradict the Bush administration’s position. She’s just being singled out in a cynical effort to score political points by misrepresenting what happened.
 
Written By: Anonymous Liberal
URL: http://www.anonymousliberal.com
She’s not in a position to make concessions or actually negotiate anything with Syria
No, but she can wisper sweet nothings of pleasures to come, in two years, into Assad’e ear.
 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://faroutfishfiles.blogspot.com/
Please, McQ. It’s not even possible to be more diplomatically inept than the Bush administration.
Like when the Clinton administration paid the Norks to build nukes as long as they kept it secret? Whatever Bush’s failings have been, he hasn’t subsidized a hostile dictator to build nuk-ya-ler weapons.

When you characterize points in the extreme, they’re easy to blow apart.

We are in an age of overstatement. Motivivated in part I suppose by a desire to stand out from the crowd and have our voices heard above the din of a suddenly (electronically) vocal world, we’ve taken to the practice of making outrageous claims and statements. However, statements that feature "never", "most ever", "sets diplomacy back 20 years" and "not even possible" are emotional expressions of frustration and anger, not rational examination and discourse. They are also easily pulled apart in argument, and render good points lost due to over-reaching in that desire to make everything the most totally awesomest, coolest, bestest/worstest thing that ever happened. A little more Plato, or even Ralph Waldo Emerson or Milton Friedman, and a little less Madison Avenue would serve us well.

What Pelosi did was so stupid that even the Washington Post called it stupid. Bashar Assad and those he represents are our enemy, not just in practical terms, but in the deepest philosophical terms as well. She just lent some measure of legitimacy to a man who is either actively engaged in killing Americans, or at least passively allowing those who are doing so haven and passage through his country. It is not only folly to show good will to such people, it is supportive of one’s enemy. Add to that her amateurish relay of Israeli statements (or non-statements), and you have something that goes beyond stupidity, and into definite counter-productiveness, possibly even with criminal implications.

While I will admit that her appeal eludes me to begin with, I was never under the impression that those she does appeal to find her as such due to any particular insightfulness or acumen. She does seem to offer a bit more leadership than her predecessor, which isn’t difficult, but leadership down the dead end roads of Socialistic economic practices and the Appeasement of dictators really isn’t the direction I’d like to see the United States of America travel.

[glass house mode]To put it bluntly, with nothing more to offer than a deer-in-the-headlights facial expression and a large set of well-dressed granny knockers, the best she could hope for as a Republican would be the media-maligned wife of someone important, but as a Democrat, she gets to be in charge [/glass house mode].
 
Written By: Augustus
URL: http://
Watching AL here certainly solidifies my view of what the left is all about. I gave up trying to debate with them 2 years ago. It is utterly pointless. All discussions are always in bad fate. All you can get out of it is humor since they really have nothing to say that does not parse through a narrow partisan window.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
I see AL is into recycling, repeating the same idiotic lines he used on previous threads. How boring.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
LOL! Set diplomacy back 15 years? Hogwash. She did nothing out of the ordinary. What’s interesting is that except for a few op eds, she was able to do this with generally favorable coverage. The reason is that Bush is now in lame duck territory, and it will be difficult for him to recover. The political winds have shifted; c’est la politique
Again, all the left cares about here is the internal power struggle.

THERE IS MORE TO THESE SITUATIONS THAT A FEW FRICKING OP-EDS IN US PAPERS

Which is exactly why they are undeserving and unqualified to ever hold power.

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Actually, I was at least partial to Armed Liberal’s points yesterday, but if Middle Eastern sources are seeing it the same way that McQ et al is seeing it, it becomes true, and no amount of spinning can make that go away. All that’s left is maybe that she meant well, which counts for almost nothing in my book even if I believed it.

No matter what she meant, the balance sheet of this visit is clearly in the negative for the US. (Exactly what positive could have emerged from it I’m not clear on anyhow, since she had no power to effect any positive change in the first place.) You’re reduced to demanding proof of the negative and trying to spin the total negative value down, but have you noticed that you stand no chance of establishing a positive value?

In fact, is it just me or is there a symmetry in play here? You demand the same sky-high standards of proof for a negative outcome from Pelosi as you would demand for a positive outcome for Bush, no? Have you considered the obvious logical belief outcome of this valuation system? Have you compared your current beliefs to that logical outcome?
 
Written By: Jeremy Bowers
URL: http://www.jerf.org/iri
At least you’re not pushing the headscarf.

Being irritated about Congressional meddling in Presidential foreign policy is understandable, but the constitutional case against it is weak. Both Congress and the President have rights, duties, and powers in the area of foreign affairs and exercise them regularly. It’s an interplay, a push-and-pull - Congress attempted to tie Clinton’s hands repeatedly vis-a-vis the Palestinians, for example. If the President’s foreign policy is a good one, it can make a certain degree of trouble. If the President’s foreign policy is terrible, it can be a pragmatically good event.

Bush has had six years to give Assad the cold shoulder and we have yet to see much results. The military forces to take him out are not on the table. He knows he’ll get a better deal from a Democrat in ’08 whether Pelosi visits or not. He has the ability to sabotage any plans in the reason that don’t involve him, and there’s not much we can do about it. Syria has as least as much control over Hizballah as Iran. As for Israel, they’re already negotiating with Syria.

So Pelosi’s move is symbolically irritating to people who like strong presidential foreign policy, but the practical consequences are minimal. Bush and his security council resolutions could stand around with a frowny face till h*ll froze over - Assad is not about to hand in his leverage for free.

The people at the Daily Star don’t like seeing Assad get positive PR. I understand that. It’s pretty trivial. I don’t know what Pelosi was doing there. I don’t know what the message was. Neither do any of us. Either way, the leverage isn’t there for the Syria policy to bear fruit, with or without
Democratic footsie with Assad.

AL, I think McQ knows it’s not an epic disaster undoing a masterstroke plan to convert Syria into Gandhi that was ticks away from fruition. Good or bad, it matters about as much as anyone PR visit matters - very little. He just doesn’t like to back away from his rhetoric.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Or that the stated purpose of her visit to Syria was to open a new line of communication?

That’s. Not. Her. Job.
She has considerable leeway in defining her job. It’s not like the political system is structured like some kind of military with a clear chain of command.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
It’s not like the political system is structured like some kind of military with a clear chain of command
Um......no.

Actually, the exact opposite of what you said is true.

And you TEACH!??!?
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
The people at the Daily Star don’t like seeing Assad get positive PR.
Oh, I don’t know. Maybe it has something to do with Syria assasinating the Prime Minister.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
She has considerable leeway in defining her job.
In this case her job is defined by the Constitution. It says nothing that allows her to act as a surrogate Secretary of State.
 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://faroutfishfiles.blogspot.com/
Watching AL here certainly solidifies my view of what the left is all about. I gave up trying to debate with them 2 years ago. It is utterly pointless. All discussions are always in bad fate. All you can get out of it is humor since they really have nothing to say that does not parse through a narrow partisan window.
Actually, I’ve seen no one here effectively refute the facts as AL has laid them out. Giving up the "debate" because you can’t win it seems to show a lack of good faith to me.
 
Written By: Xanthippas
URL: http://threewisemen.blogspot.com
When AL lays out some facts I’ll refute them. Unfortunately, AL is a fact-free zone.
 
Written By: SDN
URL: http://
Being irritated about Congressional meddling in Presidential foreign policy is understandable, but the constitutional case against it is weak. Both Congress and the President have rights, duties, and powers in the area of foreign affairs and exercise them regularly.
Umm, Actually, it’s not weak at all...
§ 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.
And since foreign policy is expressly placed in the perview of the executive branch, and they didn’t give her authority, it would seem that she has, actually violated the law...
 
Written By: Scott
URL: http://
"Actually, I’ve seen no one here effectively refute the facts as AL has laid them out."

1) " as AL has laid them out". One word, sophistry.

2) You evidently have not read the other threads where people have refuted his "facts".
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Anyone else think Pelosi’s case of BDS meant she thought these problems would be easy to solve "if we just sat down and talked to these people?"

It seems like the opposition party always thinks they could do soooo much better once they are in charge, and then once they get in power does about the same as the last people did.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
In this case her job is defined by the Constitution.
Where? The only mention I see of the Speaker of the House is in Article 1, Section 2: " The House of Representatives shall choose their speaker and other officers; and shall have the sole power of impeachment."

Congress is given broad powers, and nowhere does the Constitution give the President sole foreign policy power. Article 2, Section 2 states:
" The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States; he may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices, and he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.

He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law: but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments."


The President is commander in chief, but cannot declare war. The Senate has advice and consent powers in every other aspect of foreign affairs that are mentioned, but nothing here seems to grant the President sweeping foreign policiy powers; comparing Article 1 with Article 2 seems to grant Congress more power in that regard (and especially the Senate — of which, of course, Pelosi is not a member).

Section 3 states:
He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in case of disagreement between them, with respect to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper; he shall receive ambassadors and other public ministers; he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and shall commission all the officers of the United States.
The fact the President "shall receive ambassadors" can be interpreted as saying that the President will be the primary person to deal with foreign officials, but the literal meaning of that phrase does not convey that meaning.

So I guess I don’t see how people define for the President sweeping foreign policy powers from the Constitution.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm

 
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