Pelosi takeover: New Speaker of the House should stick to her own job
So, let’s get this straight: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is now the new emissary of good will from the United States to Syria.
On the surface, that seems innocuous enough — a high-ranking member of the U.S. House of Representatives is making a goodwill trip to another country to spread the good word about American interest in forging a relationship with its leadership or shoring up an existing one.
Unfortunately, that’s not exactly what happened.
It seems Speaker Pelosi decided to ignore White House instruction that such a visit would send a bad message and undermine U.S. national policy and took it upon herself to make the journey anyway.
And no matter which party you pull for — that should scare you.
The Speaker of the House is not a qualified negotiator when it comes to diplomatic dealings, and when she decides to fly in the face of the leadership that is directing that policy, she sends the message to the world that this country is in turmoil and that there is no one in charge.
She needs to stay home and get about the business of handling the job she was elected to manage.
There have been several early incidences that have suggested that Nancy Pelosi might have a bit of the queen complex — her own jet, fancy inauguration celebration.
And while the other stories have generated a laugh or two and little else — this one is dangerous.
Imagine how it must look to this nation’s enemies and its allies — a sitting official of the government ignoring instructions from the chief executive and interfering in policies she has no qualifications or constitutional authority to undermine.
Contrary to what Mrs. Pelosi might believe, she was not elected president — and she is not charged with executing a takeover bid. Her job is to run the U.S. House of Representatives, not to create controversy and turmoil in the government of a nation in the middle of a war. Her forum is the halls of Congress, not the world stage.
What she did is not just presumptuous. It could be dangerous.
Contrary to what some believe, the Democratic party was not given a carte blanche to take on the business of straightening out the government. There is a sitting president and a bevy of advisers — military and otherwise — who are directing the course of the war in Iraq and this nation’s future relationship with the Middle East.
While everyone should have a say — that is the American way — there is still one man in charge. And until there is an election that changes that name — the Democratic leadership ought to respect that office.
Published in Editorials on April 4, 2007 11:00 AM