There is a reason that Congress is tasked with ratifying treaties while the President, via the State Department, is responsible for negotiating them. The simple fact is not every Tom, Dick, and Harry should be a diplomat. Nancy Pelosi proved that with her recent trip to Syria.
Mr. Bush said that thanks to the speaker’s freelancing Mr. Assad was getting mixed messages from the United States. Ms. Pelosi responded by pointing out that Republican congressmen had visited Syria without drawing presidential censure. That’s true enough — but those other congressmen didn’t try to introduce a new U.S. diplomatic initiative in the Middle East…
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… 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.
I’m not sure at what point the Democrats in Congress lost all sense of reason, but this one really takes the cake. If Newt Gingrich had taken it upon himself to resolve the situation in Haiti, or negotiate a peace in Northern Ireland, or meet with Somali warlords during the Clinton administration, the howls from Democrats would be deafening.
The precedent that Pelosi has set is dangerous for our Union. Should the Democrats reclaim the White House, I would suggest every Republican with some frequent flyer miles to burn should start globe trotting as a self-appointed Deputy Secretary of State. The Democrats in Congress truly believe, despite clear Constitutional direction to the contrary, it is their prerogative to micromanage American policy – both foreign and domestic.