With President Obama about to finish what will no doubt be a dangerous new deal with Iran, House Speaker John Boehner today announced that he has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Washington to speak next month to Congress directly, bypassing the White House.
Obama, who mostly stuck it to Congress with a State of the Union speech that was long on flowery rhetoric about unity and cooperation and short on proposals that might unite, now finds himself on the receiving end of an insult. Boehner didn’t even consult the White House about the invitation.
It’s highly unusual for Congress to assume diplomatic powers for itself. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest today whined that it was a “breach of protocol” because foreign leaders are first supposed to reach out to the White House before making plans to come to America. But with Obama writing his own legislation in the form of executive orders, the White House can hardly complain about protocols.
Everyone knows that Obama has no stomach for war with Iran. And everyone knows that the deal he will strike with Iran is likely to set Iran up to become a nuclear power on a moment’s notice. What better way to outline the dangers an Iranian bomb represents to all then to have Netanyahu come by and talk about it to the nation?
Obama has ignored Democrats and Republicans alike and treated the latter with disdain, even outright contempt. Same goes, pretty much, for his treatment of Netanyahu. What’s more, he’s on his third deadline with the Iran deal. He should not be surprised that the Republicans and the Israelis are taking matters into their own hands.
Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, who backs immediate new sanctions on Iran, accused the administration of placating the Iranians by worrying about how they would react to sanctions. “The more I hear from the administration and its quotes, the more it sounds like talking points that come straight out of Iran,” Menendez said during a hearing at which administration officials appeared. “And it feeds to the Iranian narrative of victimization, when they’re the ones with original sin.”