As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, October 02, 2009

Politics Doesn't End At The Water's Edge

The US government long ago decided that what happened to Honduras President Mel Zelaya was a coup. The whole "waking him up in the middle of the night in his pajamas and putting him on a military plane" must have been the giveaway. Since then diplomatic efforts have attempted to resolve the crisis, but to no avail. Zelaya snuck back into the country, and has been holed up at the Brazilian Embassy. The leaders of the new regime in Tegucigalpa, after trying to take away civil liberties to suppress dissent, have finally warmed to the idea of restoring Zelaya to office with limited powers until the next Presidential election ends his term in January. That would be a responsible compromise for both sides and would put an end to the crisis.

It is at this moment when Sen. Jim DeMint (R-Bugfuckistan) decides to lead a Republican delegation to meet with the ruling regime, which no country on Earth has recognized as a legitimate government. To quote Steve Clemons:

In other words, Jim DeMint is acting on behalf of, in cahoots with, and against the foreign policy of the United States of America in encouraging post-coup Honduran government officials defy the United States. He is encouraging a political leadership which has no legitimacy and which not recognized by other democracies in the region -- while the ousted President makes cell phone UN General Assembly statements from a couch-bed in the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa.

A US Senator alone does not make the America's foreign policy, and working against the policies of the United States in collaboration with foreign officials. . .well. . .there are words that come to mind to describe this behavior, but I want to be civil towards the Senator.

But let me be less blunt. Should we require Senator DeMint to register with the Foreign Agents Registration office at the Department of Justice?

I don't think this is a violation of the Logan Act any more than it was a violation for Nancy Pelosi to meet with members of the Syrian government. But at least that was a recognized world body.

The President and Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry tried to block the trip, but Mitch McConnell intervened, and DeMint and three House Republicans - Reps. Aaron Schock (IL), Peter Roskam (IL) and Doug Lamborn (CO) - will attend the meeting.

DeMint calls it a fact-finding mission. But he has been blocking two Obama Administration nominees for Latin American foreign policy in protest of the Honduras policy. Clearly, the Senator is intervening in an area of international diplomacy for naked political reasons. DeMint's response to that is interesting for a variety of reasons:

"Sen. DeMint cannot prevent Sen. Reid from bringing the nominees to the floor, he can have a vote at any time. Sen. DeMint has objected to unanimous consent," said Denton, also adding: "In fact that's all you can do. In the Senate when, someone says you're holding up a bill or a nominee, what one Senator can object to is passage by unanimous consent. No one Senator can stop the Senate working the majority of its will through 60 votes.

I hope the Democrats recognize that when it comes to health care.

I don't see anything legally wrong with DeMint's trip. From the standpoint of foreign policy, it's damaging and corrosive - and there was a time when members of political parties saw themselves as Americans first and party regulars second.

...And you can extend this out to the nonsensical Olympics controversy. As Alan Grayson said today, "Someone should remind them what team they're on." Actually, I think they know. Team GOP.'s part of a pattern.

Labels: , , , , , , ,