It didn’t take long after President Obama’s State Of The Union Address on Tuesday night for Congressional Republicans to respond by once again trying to undermine the President and his policies. U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner announced Wednesday that he has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress on the subject of Iran, in the same venue as the President’s speech on Tuesday. Mr. Boehner’s invitation came as a surprise to officials at the White House, who were uninformed of his actions beforehand.
Currently, officials in the Obama Administration are conducting negotiations with their Iranian counterparts regarding that country’s nuclear program. President Obama has expressed concern that any further sanctions imposed by Congress at this time could disrupt or derail the sensitive talks. So, once again, the Republican response to the President is a back-handed effort to embarrass and belittle this President and his policies. Mr. Boehner’s actions are neither patriotic or justified. They are, at best, vengeful and cowardly. They could also very well be dangerous and harmful to our foreign policy, not only with Israel and Iran, but globally.
President Obama was twice elected by the American voters to lead this country. Mr. Boehner was endorsed by his fellow Republicans in the House to be their leader. The President’s approval rating continues to climb, as that of Congress is at its lowest ever. According to a CNN poll taken after the President’s State Of The Union message, 72 percent of the American people believe that President Obama’s policies will move the country in the right direction. This President has succeeded in areas that others have tried and failed. And he has done so in the face of the worst opposition to a President in modern times. Since taking office, President Obama has endured an unending onslaught of personal and political attacks from the far right; not just disagreements with his policies, but full-scale attacks on his very personhood. Members of Congress, who were entrusted to do the people’s business, have chosen instead to pursue their personal and political agendas, and to discredit this presidency. The Republicans have made no effort at bipartisanship in seeking viable solutions to the problems we face. It seems as if they would prefer to have our nation fail, than to let this President succeed.
A healthy debate on policy between the Executive and Legislative Branches of our government can produce beneficial results. But it is never justifiable to use disagreements as a means to obstruct and discredit the efforts of our government while trying to negotiate agreements with other countries. Mr. Boehner’s actions were unprecedented and unsanctioned. He is playing politics with our nation’s foreign policy, and that is disturbing and dangerous. Mr. Boehner needs to step aside.