Democrats Slam Boehner for Using Netanyahu To Undermine President Obama

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After three painful weeks of power gone so bad that Dana Milbank corrected Speaker Boehner’s attempt to label it a “stumble”, writing it is more of a “pratfall”, Republicans are facing yet another humiliating moment after Speaker John Boehner invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address to Congress on March 3.

A few problems with this scenario: It takes place in the lead up to the Israeli elections and Speaker Boehner never asked the White House, in fact he went around the White House in an attempt to use Netanyahu to force a play against the President’s foreign policy.

In a letter three House Democrats plan to send to the Speaker, according to Jake Sherman at Politico, they don’t mince words, accusing Speaker Boehner of undermining the President’s foreign policy and inviting a foreign leader to influence United States policy.

The Democrats urged Boehner to postpone the visit, writing according to Sherman, “Our relationship with Israel is too important to use as a pawn in political gamesmanship.” More via Politico:

Reps. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, Steve Cohen of Tennessee and Maxine Waters of California said Boehner’s invitation for Netanyahu to speak March 3 is “harmful for three reasons: it undermines the president’s foreign policy; it puts a close ally in the middle of a domestic political debate, and it elevates a candidate in a foreign election.”

The letter accuses Boehner of launching “an attempt to promote new sanctions legislation against Iran that could undermine critical negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran.”

“At the State of the Union President Obama made it clear that he will veto new Iran sanctions legislation,” they write. “The invitation to Prime Minister Netanyahu enlists a foreign leader to influence a Presidential policy initiative. We should be able to disagree on foreign policy within our American political system and without undermining the Presidency. Aside from being improper, this places Israel, a close and valued ally, in the middle of a policy debate between Congress and the White House.

They add: “As members of Congress who support Israel, we share concern that it appears that you are using a foreign leader as a political tool against the president. We should not turn our diplomatic friendship into a partisan issue. Beyond threatening our diplomatic priorities, the timing of this invitation offers the Congressional platform to elevate a candidate in a foreign election.”

The Prime Minister has spoken two times to Congress, as Leader Pelosi pointed out in a press conference Wednesday:

On the other hand, in terms of invitations to speak to Congress – the Prime Minister has spoken two times. The only person who has spoken more is Winston Churchill. One of the times, my father was in the room; December 26 – the day after Christmas – 1941, right when we were going into World War II. It’s a serious, big honor that we extend. That it should be extended two weeks before an election in a country, without collaboration among the Leaders of Congress, and without collaboration with the White House, is not appropriate. It is not appropriate.

It is not appropriate and since it forced Democrats to chose between their President and the course of action Boehner is angling for that some of them were going to support, it has left Boehner with legislative egg on his face again. But this time the stench is more ominous than just blatant incompetence.

As Milbank summed it up, Republican leadership has thus far amounted to a long, legislative pratfall involving a banana peel and a slide into a wedding cake:

What has happened since Republicans took full control of Congress three weeks ago has been less a stumble than a pratfall involving the legislative equivalent of a banana peel, flailing arms, an upended bookcase, torn drapes and a slide across a laden banquet table into a wedding cake.

Not exactly screaming “competence”.

And now Republicans — in their eagerness to outmaneuver a President who won’t play Lame Duck and pretend he wasn’t elected twice – have invited a foreign leader to influence the foreign policy of the United States.

There are surely better ways to show their patriotism than this.

The political press like to call this Republicans learning that it’s hard to govern, but if that were the case, this would happen to both parties when they suddenly got power and it has not. In recent times, this kind of heady drunken delusion has befallen only one party. It’s the party that former President Bill Clinton turned into festering hypocrites cutting off their own noses to spite him.

But hey. President Obama is just in the fragile middle of an attempt to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. By all means, let’s watch the Speaker trip over another Republican banana peel and just hope he doesn’t land in nuclear disaster.

Have you heard the one about the banana peel and the traitor? Stay tuned.

36 Replies to “Democrats Slam Boehner for Using Netanyahu To Undermine President Obama”

  1. If Netanyahu addresses the Congress, the Democrats from both houses should boycott the address, and protest the speech. They should accuse Boehner of treason, and accuse Netanyahu of espionage.

  2. I keep saying it… the Dems need to show some backbone and boycott Boehner’s pony show…

    a joint session of Congress with only Republicans would be very poor optics for the ‘we’re going to show we can govern’ Republicans…

  3. We, the US taxpayers, give Israel billions. In return, we receive nothing but arrogant disrespect. Until she repudiates Netanyahu and sends him packing she enjoys neither my respect nor my support.

  4. Once again (when will they/he learn) in their spiteful attempts to undermine President Obama, they have stumbled and look foolishly inept in doing their nasty gamesmanship with/against him. “Leader” Boehner has taken his troops too many times in the wrong direction and wound up LOST.
    And Netanyahu should keep his butt outta American politics. BTW what has he done for the USA lately? As the 51st State or the “Staunchest Ally”….(Ahem). Could someone list any? I am curious.

  5. I, for one do not want my tax dollars to
    support Netanyahu, I would rather they support the poor of this country.

  6. Our allies in the negotiations have also called Orange Julius out on this. Is the Bone so arrogant that he will alienate them in his desire to spit in the President’s face? He will go down in history as the worst Speaker Congress ever had.

  7. leisch: You said it!
    — He will go down in history as the worst Speaker Congress ever had. —-
    I second that. All one has to do is look at the poll numbers for the 113th and the present 114th Congress which he leads. 16% approval rating? You bet…in the gutter. Instead of flaunting their shameful disapproval ratings and do NOTHING stance they should be looking for ways to clean up their image. But it seems that they don’t care. Full speed ahead: Into the wall or over the cliff.

  8. Bibi already sees it is wrong, that is why he attacked a convoy in Syria, causing the attacks in the Golan Heights. He knows that is what has kept him in office. The blatant murder of people in the region.

  9. Speaker Boehner and his party have been practicing Domestic Terrorism for quite a while now. The MSM chooses over and over to try and sugar coat the facts.
    These people are enemies of the USA and as such they deserve to be treated as any other Terrorists for their choices and behavior. All those that support their actions are not Americans they are traitors and a disgrace to the Americans that have died protecting this country.

  10. The unintended consequences of Boehner’s invitation to Bibi—Democrats unite behind Obama

    G.O.P.’s Invitation to Netanyahu Is Aiding Obama’s Cause on Iran
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/29/us/politics/netanyahu-invitation-helping-obama-within-his-party.html?_r=1

    Mr. Netanyahu’s planned speech, a provocation of the president that many Democrats found distasteful and undiplomatic, has helped shift the political dynamic.
    “For the prime minister to accept made it extremely political, knowing how the invitation played out,” said Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia and a frequent critic of the White House. Mr. Manchin was one of 10 Democrats who signed a letter agreeing not to vote on a sanctions bill until after the March 24 deadline to have a framework of an agreement in place with the Iranians.

    IMO what these buffoons have done has weaken support for Israel among Americans who still love their country and not some foreign government

  11. “There are surely better ways to show their patriotism than this”.

    Well, there surely would be, if they were actually patriotic. But we know the answer to that.

  12. John, I totally agree. Matter of fact, that what I was thinking when I heard about this whole Netanyahoo thing.

    Democrats should not attend the session.

  13. I can’t believe I haven’t found this website sooner!

    You guys are awesome!

    It’s nice to read comments from like minded people after having to fight off the crazies that post on nbc.com!

  14. I agree but the acts of treason have already been done and Boehner needs to be charged. Of course, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, et al are still not charged and did worse.

  15. Thank you so much for your comments and the link.
    It it a well written piece that tells it just as it is.

  16. IF Boehner ever sobers up, he will realize what a mistake this is. Maybe he could invite Sarah Palin to introduce Bibi?

  17. Everybody knows Boehner is a 24/7 drunken alcoholic, who will do anything his money sources tell him to do.

    He should be in a sanitarium, going through rehab.

  18. Boehner HAS NO BUSINESS BEING SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE.

    If he can’t even control, nor get 100% support from his caucus, how in the hell is he expected to do the right thing for the country, while dealing in a positive manner with the President of the United States who he deems to be HIS enemy. Boehner seems confused and pulled in different directions, thus he makes a lot of bone head mistakes.

  19. very good link Dj sounds like the Netanyahu may be trying to find a way out of the pile of dung he put himself into…He’ll still smell tho

  20. Netanyahu has done what he always does: run through US taxpayer dollars as they are his very own and create more deadly enemies for Americans.

  21. It appears to me that Democrats are beginning to make a case of Boehner having violated Federal law, specifically, the Logan Act.

  22. The Israeli Ambassador is throwing Boehner under the bus. He blames him for not informing the White House, saying that Boehner had told him that he would take care of that.

    Let’s not forget that Ron Dermer is an American-born (Miami, FL) former Republican operative. He helped get G.W.Bush re-elected in Florida.

    From the New York Times:
    Mr. Dermer, an American-born former Republican political operative who is so close to Mr. Netanyahu that he is often called “Bibi’s brain,” became Israel’s envoy to the United States in 2013.

    White House officials were at first wary that Mr. Dermer would politicize relations between the United States and Israel, but over time cultivated a working relationship with him after concluding that there were advantages in his closeness to Mr. Netanyahu.

    The last week has borne out their initial concerns.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/29/us/politics/white-house-expresses-displeasure-over-speech-planned-by-netanyahu.html

  23. Here is another law his orangeness may have broken

    Foreign Agents Registration Act. Under definitions in FARA, “(1) any person who acts as an agent, representative, employee, or servant, or any person who acts in any other capacity at the order, request, or under the direction or control, of a foreign principal or of a person any of whose activities are directly or indirectly supervised, directed, controlled, financed, or subsidized in whole or in major part by a foreign principal, and who directly or through any other person—
    (i) engages within the United States in political activities for or in the interests of such foreign principal;”
    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2009-title22/pdf/USCODE-2009-title22-chap11-subchapII.pdf

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