It is frankly astounding to me that people aren't making a bigger deal of the colossal impropriety of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's unauthorized trip to Syria. Where is the outrage?
I realize Democratic leaders and those they answer to have unmitigated contempt for President Bush. I realize they believe the public rewarded their hatred and their antiwar posturing in the November congressional elections.
But according to the latest news reports, President Bush is still in office. This means he is still commander in chief and primarily in charge of U.S. foreign policy.
Democrats have long been opposed to the administration's stern policy toward terrorist-sponsoring states like Iran and Syria. They apparently believe their evil tyrants mean well, and if we will just open a dialogue with them, we can build a lasting peace. After all, the vaunted Iraq Surrender Group recommended that very thing.
But the president has emphasized he does not want to negotiate with Syria, a nation that is supporting our enemies in Iraq, sponsoring Hamas and Islamic Jihad organizations, provides weapons to Hezbollah, is a proxy of Iran and is dedicated to the destruction of our ally, Israel.
President Bush strongly urged Pelosi not to go. But in keeping with her flagrant disrespect for President Bush and, manifestly, for the presidency itself, she openly defied him and went anyway.
Her action is indefensible. She was not legally representing the United States, since the president refused to authorize her mission. And if she wasn't purporting to represent the United States, her trip was pointless. But she was.
Pelosi and her delegation were clearly attempting to influence American foreign policy by pressuring the Bush administration to open a dialogue with Syria.
What's wrong with that, you ask? What's wrong is that she didn't just lobby the president to begin diplomatic talks. She conspired with the Syrian regime to alter the president's policy toward that regime. Is it beginning to sink in out there?
If you believe the Pelosi delegation was merely "fact-finding," which characterization is laughable, listen to its own post-trip assessment. Delegation member Tom Lantos boasted that the meeting "reinforced sharply" the potential benefits of talking to Syria. "This is only the beginning of our constructive dialogue with Syria, and we hope to build on this visit."