Isn’t it funny how Democrats deride Republicans for doing the same things they do? Isn’t it amusing how going behind a president’s back to communicate with a foreign leader is “treason” when Republicans do it and completely acceptable when it’s the other way around?
When 47 Republican senators sent an open letter to the Iranian leadership last week, Democrats leapt to condemn their actions. Some called it treasonous. Some called it racist. Some, like Vice President Joe Biden, said it was “beneath the dignity of an institution I revere.” After signing their name to the letter, even some of the senators expressed regret.
To be sure, this wasn’t the GOP’s finest moment, but then, this hasn’t been the GOP’s finest year. But while there is plenty of blame to go around, let’s not forget that Republicans have been put into extraordinary circumstances by a president willing to bend and break the law to get what he wants. If the news media were the unbiased, investigatory body they claim to be, the narrative on this president would be far different. And thus, the actions Republicans have taken to limit his executive authority would also be seen in a different light.
All those political complaints aside, though, one point of presidential hypocrisy has gone almost unnoticed. It took PJ Media columnist Michael Ledeen to point out that going behind the president’s back to undercut Iranian negotiations is not a novel concept. In fact, none other than Senator Barack Obama did the exact same thing in 2008. The then-presidential hopeful sent an emissary to the Iranian capital, imploring the leadership to hold off on any nuclear agreement with the lame-duck Bush administration. He promised that negotiations would be much more friendly once GWB was gone.
Was Obama’s “treason” less noteworthy because he kept it shrouded in secrecy (foreshadowing the approach he would take to his new job.)? Wouldn’t that make it worse? Shouldn’t Republicans be praised for making their statement in public? Isn’t our federal government supposed to be about transparency? Shouldn’t the American people be invited to discuss negotiations that could arm a reprehensible theocracy with a nuclear weapon?
Weak President, Weak Foreign Policy
President Obama has done little to make our country safer. He has instead gone back to the well-worn liberal policy of appeasement and apology. He doesn’t see the United States as a beacon of strength. He doesn’t see our exceptionalism. He wants us to take a backseat role going forward, submitting to the authority of the UN and the EU. That’s not what America is, and it’s not what makes America the greatest country on the planet.
As the world’s strongest superpower, we owe our allies the protection of our unmatched military power. Isolationists want to avoid unnecessary war, and that’s an admirable cause. But you don’t avoid war by giving in to your enemies any more than you avoid bullying by handing over your lunch money. Inevitably, the bully will see you for the pushover you are, and he’ll keep demanding more. He’ll keep pushing.
Is a war with Iran inevitable? No. But if we don’t show solidarity and resolve, it will come to our door eventually. And it will be armed with a nuclear warhead.