Republicans and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu are facing potential humiliation as congressional Democrats are in full revolt and refusing to attend the Israeli leader’s planned speech before Congress.
Politico reported that a meeting to try to end the Democratic revolt has only served to make things worse:
Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein rushed to meetings on Capitol Hill on Wednesday trying to calm a furor created by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned speech to Congress next month and quell a Democratic revolt that has dozens threatening a boycott.
It didn’t work.
If anything, Democrats finished the day more frustrated. According to a source in the room, one Jewish Democratic member of Congress even accused Dermer of being insincere when he claimed not to have anticipated the partisan uproar he’d ignite when he skirted protocol and went around the White House and scheduled the speech only with House Speaker John Boehner.
The White House isn’t providing any guidance to congressional Democrats, but the reports that Vice President Biden may skip Netanyahu’s speech are a powerful non-verbal signal. Anyone with an ounce of political sense understands that Boehner and Netanyahu cooked up this scheme in order to humiliate the president and pressure him to drop the nuclear talks with Iran. Republicans misread the political landscape. Boehner assumed that his Netanyahu invitation would divide Democrats and split what he presumed was a weakened Democratic Party.
The exact opposite has happened. The Democrats have emerged from the 2014 midterm as a revived party. Their resurgence has been powered by President Obama. The president has seen his poll numbers steadily increase as he has chosen to take on Republicans on a number of issues. Democrats have formed a unified front with their president that has led to Republicans struggling to get their agenda off of the ground.
Boehner and Netanyahu have entered damage control mode. They can’t cancel Netanyahu’s address, so the conservatives are trying to get Democrats on board. The prospect of Netanyahu addressing Congress and looking out upon dozens to hundreds of empty seats is becoming very real. Democrats are rebelling against the speech in order to expose it as the partisan stunt that it is.
The entire fiasco could have been avoided if Netanyahu and Boehner had followed protocol instead of attempting to humiliate the President Of The United States.
Boehner and Netanyahu’s scheme to humiliate Obama has backfired into an embarrassing public disaster for the conservatives.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association