This morning, less than 24 hours after the President’s State of the Union address, I ran through the headlines to find Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner has invited Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to address the Congress of the United States regarding U.S. policy with Iran. And Netanyahu, has accepted. He’s going to be here to address the Congress on February 11th. Almost like they had it planned in advance.
Gotta admit, this really rocked me back on my heels. My initial reaction focused on the degree to which it will strengthen the position of conspiracy theorists who believe the Israel lobby already has far too much influence over the U.S. Government. Now it looks like they’re turning Netanyahu into competition for a sitting president.
There’s also the fact that pretty much everybody who reads the papers or watches the news on Al Jazeera or the BBC knows exactly how Netanyahu feels regarding Iran’s nuclear program, not to mention Iran itself. So there’s no need for a speech, particularly one designed to raise a giant middle finger to the President of the United States.
Political barbs and challenges are routine. They’re to be expected. It’s that other thing, about Netanyahu letting the Republicans use him as their tool, serving as a de facto replacement for President Obama that troubles me the most.
They may not like Mr. Obama, but he is still our president. Not Bibi Netanyahu.
One wonders if Netanyahu realizes the degree to which he is being used and how his move to upstage a sitting President might damage the image of Israel in the United States?
Or is Netanyahu using the United States to bolster his image in Israel, where there’s an election coming up in March?
I can think of no better argument for the legalization of marijuana than extremists like Boehner and Netanyahu. And no, I do not smoke pot. But they need to. Repeatedly and often.
If the Republicans have a problem with the President, then they should sit down and hammer out a compromise, not call in a foreign leader who has failed miserably at handling his own nation’s international affairs. That’s not the way the system is supposed to work.
It feels as though we are coming apart at the seams.