Presidential Diplomacy

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R, OH) has invited Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address the full Congress in early March. The purpose of the visit and address is to advise the Congress on matters of diplomacy and threat in the Middle East, in keeping with Congress’ duty to be sufficiently informed that it can maintain its oversight of the Executive Branch.

Naturally, President Barack Obama has his golfing knickers in a twist because the Congress, which he so assiduously ignores on other important matters, didn’t say, “Mother, may I?” before inviting Netanyahu. Indeed, Obama is refusing to meet with Netanyahu while the PM is here, having already found a previous engagement with which to occupy his own time. Formally, Obama says it’s too close to the Israeli elections, and he doesn’t want to influence them.

Obama’s formal excuse comes after he had invited British Prime Minister David Cameron—and embarrassingly, the man accepted—to actively lobby our Congress on a wholly domestic matter with the explicit purpose of influencing Congress’ deliberations.


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