January 22nd, 2015

Mr. Boehner requests the honor of Netanyahu’s presence

I think the invitation Boehner extended to Netanyahu to address Congress on the issue of Iran was one of the most clever moves Boehner has made.

Which isn’t saying all that much, since Boehner hasn’t made too many clever moves. But still—and although in the end it probably won’t stop Obama from doing what he wants to with Iran—it shows a certain amount of (to coin a phrase) chutzpah on Boehner’s part:

But Boehner told members of the GOP House Conference on Wednesday morning: “The president warned us not to move ahead with sanctions on Iran, a state sponsor of terror. His exact message to us was: ‘Hold your fire.’ He expects us to stand idly by and do nothing while he cuts a bad deal with Iran. Two words: ‘Hell no’.”

And it should come as no surprise whatsoever that Obama does not plan to see Netanyahu on his visit here in February. I doubt Netanyahu will be weeping into his beer at the slight.

The most interesting question is whether the legislation proposed by Republicans, which would impose sanctions on Iran to kick in if Obama’s negotiations fail, will have enough votes to override Obama’s veto.

There’s also this:

Aside from the sanctions bill, a Senate committee was considering a separate bill on Wednesday that would give Congress a vote on any nuclear deal.

27 Responses to “Mr. Boehner requests the honor of Netanyahu’s presence”

  1. Daniel in Brookline Says:

    Mr. Boehner seems to have learned the lesson that, if the President can bypass Congress, Congress can likewise bypass the President.

    If so, good for him. I hope the lesson sticks.

    A wiser man than Mr. Obama would have said: here comes a new Congress, rather different from the old one. Let’s make some small good-will gestures and try to work with them. If I can, wonderful; if I can’t, it’ll be a long two years.

    But Mr. Obama did no such thing. He started out with a thumb in the eye, in the form of executive orders guaranteed to raise the ire of the new Congress. There was nothing especially urgent about this; he could have tried to work with Congress, decided it wasn’t panning out, and issued his executive orders in the spring or summer of 2015. But no, he seemed to want to set a tone with the new Congress, of showing them who is boss.

    Problem is, he’s not; he heads but one branch of the government. And now that he’s shown bad will in ignoring Congress, he has no grounds for complaining when they return the favor.

  2. T Says:

    IMO Boehner’s invitation has at least two important facets. First, it may well support and help Netanyahu in the upcoming Israeli elections — especially if he is robustly received by the congress. Second, it is an overt move to reclaim the identity of congress as a body independent of the executive branch — an identity which was virtually lost under the chair of Harry Reid.

    Whether this has any domestic consequences remains to be seen, but given Nancy Pelosi’s grousing it puts the Dems in an awkward position. Will they not show for Netanyahu’s address to support the Executive branch? If so the Dems could never raise the issue of “friends of Israel” in this session. If they do show, then it’s in spite of the executive branch. To an administration which relies so heavily on the symbolism of office (remember the “office” of the president-elect?) even the invitation itself is a direct slap in the political face.

    Well played! Don’t stop there.

  3. T Says:

    Daniel in Brookline,

    “. . . now that he’s shown bad will in ignoring Congress . . . .”

    Remember several years ago (also at the SOTU) he showed bad will by denigrating SCOTUS, too. So now he’s insulted two of the three branches of the govt triumvirate. This has to be a record of some sort.

  4. physicsguy Says:

    As I said just a short while ago on a thread from yesterday, I’ve been a very vocal critic of Boehner. However I give him props for this move which has set the rats scurrying for the first time in 6 years. If he and the rest of GOP keep it up, then there will be some hope.

    “a Senate committee was considering a separate bill on Wednesday that would give Congress a vote on any nuclear deal. ” Maybe my constitutional knowledge is rusty, but doesn’t Congress have to approve any such treaty??

  5. T Says:


    If memory serves it is the Senate that approves treaties. Perhaps such a bill is intended to be a shot across Obama’s bow to not think he can unilaterally approve (or approve of) such an issue.

  6. parker Says:

    Cruz interview on fox yesterday was great. He wants to send bho good bills even if congress knows they will be vetoed. I could not agree more. Bho will either become angry and start losing his ‘cool’ or become whiny and pout revealing the pampered boychild.

  7. Sam L. Says:

    Barry will complain regardless.

    Glad to see the bone in Boehner is backbone.

  8. T Says:


    I agree. We know we have a petulant president with skin the thickness of a Planck’s length. It should be brought out into the open. By making him squirm, his ineffectiveness will give lie to his oratory.

    He claims things are rosey? Send him good bill after good bill and let him veto them again and again; show the LIV just how rosey things are. He’s for the middle class? Let him veto tax reform that helps the middle class. Let him veto the elimination of the medical device tax that can help lower middle class health insurance premiums. Let him veto the Keystone Pipeline that would provide tens of thousands of good-paying middle class union jobs.

    The list is extensive.

  9. Ann Says:

    Netanyahu has now postponed his visit until March:

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will postpone his controversial speech to a joint session of Congress until March, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced Thursday.

    Boehner said Netanyahu, who was originally asked to speak on Feb. 11, had requested the change because he intends to attend the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in Washington in early March. But that also means Netanyahu will speak just two weeks ahead of the Israeli elections, which polls indicate could be close.

    The shift to March 3 could also be read as an olive branch to the Obama administration, which was not consulted before Boehner extended the invite.

  10. parker Says:

    Yes T,

    Poke that thin skin until it bruises and reveal the inner petulant narcissist.

  11. M J R Says:

    Daniel in Brookline, 2:56 pm — “A wiser man than Mr. Obama would have said: here comes a new Congress, rather different from the old one. Let’s make some small good-will gestures and try to work with them. If I can, wonderful; if I can’t, it’ll be a long two years.”

    Daniel, I have appreciated your comments for a long time here, but I’m gonna respectfully disagree here. [Off-topic: I dated a Brookline girl for a couple of months back in 1967. A quality person if ever there was one. Back on-topic now . . .]

    Y’know, you and I and neo and everyone knows, and knew going in on election day minus one day, that President Hopenchange and the new Congress were going to be 100 percent at odds from the get-go.

    My point? I think we easily may as well have skipped the kabuki theater of “mak[ing] some small good-will gestures and try[ing] to work with them.” There’s already plenty of kabuki theater and dancing the dances to last lifetimes in Dee Cee.

    [ smile ] Now pay attention, ’cause this is one of the very few times M J R will be agreeing with an action or lack thereof on the part of President Hopenchange:

    Good for him [sez M J R]. Why waste time dancing the ridiculous dances? We all may as well get on with it.

    It’ll be a long two years.

  12. parker Says:


    There is nothing to be done, when impeachment and more importantly conviction, are not options, except congress administering 1,000 cuts. Real conservatives are somewhere around 20% of the population, and moderate conservatives around 35 %. When 6 or 7% stay home on election day – for whatever reason – we lose.

  13. Oldflyer Says:

    Boehner may turn out to be stronger than we–I–expected. Of course he may be looking over his shoulder at the “Young Turk” Conservatives, and that could stiffen his spine a bit.

  14. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Boehner told members of the GOP House Conference.. “He expects us to stand idly by and do nothing while he cuts a bad deal with Iran. Two words: ‘Hell no’.”

    Strong words. Which we’ve heard before from this man. Follow through is everything. The Republicans have such a majority in the House that nothing can prevent them from sending whatever they wish on to the Senate. Thus inaction is unequivocal capitulation.

    However, it’s uncertain that enough votes will be found in the Senate to send a bill to Obama that would pressure him to work toward a better deal. (Which even if he signed it, he could then ignore) I’m certain that a veto by Obama would not be overridden. But forcing Obama to veto it would then put the responsibility for a ‘bad deal’ even more firmly upon Obama’s head.

    If it doesn’t pass the Senate but is brought to a vote on the floor, those voting against it then share responsibility with Obama. But if McConnell takes a poll and allows the bill to die in committee because the “voters aren’t there” with no one having to go on record… then its “the same old Potomac two-step shuffle, Jack”. One step forward and two steps back.

  15. Steve Says:

    The mangling with Iran here and there looks more Hot-air than real dealing with a regime have a lot of passion to destabilizing ME region in all.

    Recalling the section on Iraq with instrument where employed to make it tough and harsh for the regime despites losses of lives and hanger that Iraqis went through but it was the tool that made regime’s pyramid to collapses so fast when military action take place.

    However Iran now in different time zone and we speak but looks the section not really affective and the regime finds more back doors to get with it especially from Iraqi pro Iran government to Syria regime also and Lebanon.

    Let not forgot Iran benefits much from trade and people who worked in UAE and the number close to 1 Million Iranians there with control of highly effective business and sector specially banks and real stare and trade.

  16. Steve Says:

    May this read give some thoughts in deep the dealing with Iran

    the secret dealings of israel, iran, and the united states
    Yale university press / new haven and london

    Israeli-Iranian relations remain a mystery to most analysts in spite of the profound impact that these countries’ tensions have had on the Middle East and on U.S. national security. The political sensitivity of the issue has prompted most U.S. experts to refrain from studying the subject in detail.

    Instead, the poor state of relations between these two former allies has been treated either as an inexplicable phenomenon or as purely the result of deep-seated ideological antagonism. All the while, its impact on U.S. foreign policy has been conveniently ignored at a great cost to U.S. national interests.

    While it is widely believed that the key to peace in the Middle East is the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, little attention has been given to the key geopolitical rivalry between Israel and Iran, which has had a decisive influence on this and other regional conflicts.

  17. Geoffrey Britain Says:


    There’s no way to say this gently. That is a piece of utter rubbish. Iran and Israel, former allies? When the Shah ruled, they mostly ignored each other but Israel and Iran have never been allies.

    News flash! The regions ‘tensions’ have always extended far beyond Israel and Iran. U.S. experts refrain from even studying the subject in detail because of the “political sensitivity of the issue”?. Please, this is beyond ludicrous.

    The poor state of relations between Iran and Israel is neither inexplicable nor a phenomenon. But there is deep-seated ideological hatred for Israel on Iran’s part. On the other hand, Israel desperately wants to be left alone.

    Until Obama, Iran’s impact on U.S. foreign policy was not ignored and it is the West’s need for stable oil prices that accounts for our involvement. Otherwise we would have left long ago and told them to go pound sand.

    Since Islam is adamantly opposed to peace, the key to peace in the Middle East and the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is to create an inescapable situation, where the consequence for continued terrorist attacks is anathema for Muslims.

  18. James Says:

    The Democratic party is an amalgam of groups who really have nothing in common. Jews are one small piece of that group. The rest of the groups have no interest in the Jews at all.

    I wonder if they can be peeled away under certain circumstances? They wouldn’t miss anything except their own chains.

  19. Bob From Virginia Says:

    Nice analysis Geoffrey. That piece must have appeared in Foreign Policy magazine, the Jerry Springer show of academia. It is tragic how college profs are protected from natural selection by institutional tenure. They could make a far greater, and briefer, contribution to mankind if they could be forced to survive by their wits in the bush.

  20. Japan Says:

    You may your right to some degree but in may cases there is romers talking about se sort of deales btween Iran, Israel& US.

    I dont lnow if you came accross the words of one senior staff with Iran regime in 2003 when publicly said that iran helpd US in Afghanistan and Iraq, let not forgot the iraqi pro Iraninan govemet with top leders from JaAfry, Malik even Alabadi all are tials for iran while US talking them on borfe , most importantly US well knew The Shadow Commander in iraq while he is most wanted head by US

    Youneed to follow the dots to find more in this matter, i suggest reador about Iran contra woepem deal also dinner with siayd Thomas Friedman in NYT in 2004

  21. Nolanimrod Says:

    I would like to think that if Obama vetoes sensible Iran-sanction legislation and Iran gets the bomb we would not be troubled by Progressives, the Democrat Party, or Diversity for a generation. But I know that, 5 years after the Brits elected Churchill to save them from Hitler and his NAZIs, they booted him out so they could be ruled by the same crew who, from 1932 to 1939, had spared no effort nor expense insisting that World Peace and General Disarmament could be achieved by giving Hitler everything he wanted and by not making him mad. The very same folks who went on to create the post-war horror that Orwell used as the basis for 1984.

  22. Daniel in Brookline Says:

    Since Islam is adamantly opposed to peace, the key to peace in the Middle East and the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is to create an inescapable situation, where the consequence for continued terrorist attacks is anathema for Muslims.

    Well put, sir!

    Of course, we get into trouble when we get into specifics. What anathema consequences would result in fewer terrorist attacks?

    Israel was able, in years past, to identify certain tactics that the terrorists hated passionately, and made a point of using those tactics in response to terror attacks. This was successful, for a while. (One such tactic was to identify the terrorists responsible, and to destroy their family homes. Another was to establish a new community — what our press calls a “settlement” — on the site of the terror attack. This latter action, often, was actually spontaneous; the Israeli government merely stayed out of the way.)

    But my question would be — what would it take to curb terrorism, by making the costs of terrorism unacceptable to the terrorists? And would that cost be one we are willing to demand?

    That, of course, is part of what the terrorists are counting on — that we will not have the stomach to do what is needed to stop them.

  23. Daniel in Brookline Says:

    MJR: many thanks for the kind words.

    Perhaps I should have said more than just “a wiser man than Mr. Obama”. But I think we agree that, had Mr. Obama been able to admit to mistakes and correct them, a great many things would be different.

    My guess is that we’d also agree that, were Mr. Obama a wiser man, he might well have kept the kid gloves on for a while. By dropping the mask immediately, he has served the Republicans notice that no quarter would be given — and Mr. Boehner has taken up the challenge.

    He might have gotten a few months of concessions out of the Republicans. (He might get them anyway.) But he chose to get out the long knives right away… not a very smart move on his part.

    Then again, I’ve never accepted the Valerie Jarrett thesis that Barack Obama is so much smarter than the rest of us.

  24. Cornflour Says:

    Yesterdays column in the Jerusalem Post, by Caroline Glick, points out that Iran now has an ICBM capable of reaching the United States. Iran’s nuclear threat is no longer limited to just Israel, or even to Europe. Photographs of the ICBM have been recently broadcast on Israeli television, so we can assume that Obama has known of the direct threat posed by Iran — a threat beyond proxy wars and terrorists. That’s the context for Netanyahu’s invitation to speak before Congress. At this point, I’m curious about how effectively the media will be able to suppress his message. So far, they’ve been able to portray this is little more than political gamesmanship by Republican leaders. When will there be widespread recognition that Iran will very soon become an existential threat to the United States?

    As always, I’d recommend reading all of Caroline Glick’s column. Here’s the link http://carolineglick.com/iran-obama-boehner-and-netanyahu/

  25. Bob From Virginia Says:

    I am rather curious why the Iranians want an ICBM? A boat sailing into New York harbor would be a far more secure, certain and easier way of delivering a nuke to the US.

  26. Ymarsakar Says:

    The ICBM is to deter people from doing things to them while they control the people, similar to North Korea. Offensive nukes would be more likely to be delivered in a more anonymous fashion.

  27. blert Says:


    Think it through:

    America is ALREADY watching ALL the world’s seaborne traffic — to the limit of our technical means. (fantastic)

    ANY floater that transits from Iran towards our harbors will be stopped.

    The resulting politics would be terminal for Tehran — and perhaps Barry Soetoro.

    ( Even with shielding, SOME trickle of radiation leaks from a bomb. The technical issue is how sensitive your detector might be and how sloppy the shielding might be. So creeping into NY harbor is not a viable delivery method — risks (to Tehran) being what they are. )

    An Iranian attack (atomic) upon America MIGHT even trigger retaliation from Jerusalem — if Barry Soetoro stays true to his Muslim marriage ring.

    Yes his college/ marriage ring is holds a highly stylized, compressed, ode to Islam. (!)

    That’s SOME Christian we have there!

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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