At the Water’s Edge

Throughout the 200 years of this nation’s history,  just about all honorable Senators, Representatives, even ex-Presidents and Vice Presidents adhered to the general principle that politics ended at the waters edge.

That meant that in a time of war or national crisis they stepped back from bloviatring about foreign policy and international decisions and supported the elected president, creating a united front to those who would harm us. If they had some alternative idea they communicated that, not to the public or in the press and definitely not to the enemy, but to the department heads and  administration executives who were then free to listen and utilize, ignore or modify the advice, based on their judgment as the operating part of the elected government.

Interestingly, when he was chairman of the Republican Party, Michael Steele took a stand inside the formerly Grand Old Party. Addressing his internal critics he said,

“I’m the chairman. Deal with it,”

“I tell them to get a life, I’m looking them in the eye and say I’ve had enough of it. If you don’t want me in the job, fire me. But until then, shut up. Get with the program or get out of the way.”

He was not actually talking about international problems or decisions, but his comments do apply in this way.

I think the President should say something similar, such as;

“I am the elected President.

Deal with it.

If you disagree strongly with my decisions work towards winning the next election, but till then shut up about foreign policy and for God’s sake stop giving aid and comfort to our enemies.”

And make no mistake about it, the constant criticism of every statement and decision made by this president and his administration, small, large and intermediate, foreign or domestic, are both giving aid and comfort to our international enemies as well as firing up our own lunatic fringe to the point where I am as afraid of their irrational actions as I am of some Al Quida operative damaging an aircraft in flight.

Those who persist in joining in with the disaffected minority and use their position to attempt to conduct their own private foreign policy seem to have forgotten this concept, one that had served to make this country great, especially those discarded presidential candidates who failed in their efforts to win he votes of the citizenry. There is a reason Senator McCain and later Ex- Governor Mitt Romney, for instance were not chosen to run the country. The people , in their collective wisdom, who are supposed to make that decision evaluated their pro-offered comments and policies and decided that neither was worthy of the office. And judging by their recent complaints and proposals the electorate did the right thing.

And the people who blindly nod their heads without thinking about what their terrorist fellow travelers are really saying and doing are also a part of the effort to give aid and comfort to those who wish us and our system no good.

Starting during the Clinton Administration some members of the Republican Party began to act in total opposition to anything the elected president attempted culminating in the disgraceful obstructionist policies we have been seeing these last few years.

I am glad that the Democratic MAJORITY in the Senate found the intestinal fortitude needed to act like a MAJORITY even to the extent of altering the rules of the Senate concerning cloture. In most democracies majority rule means just that and the gentlemen’s rules enacted by the Senate in the eighteenth century have outworn their usefulness,

Failing that it is time to fold our tents in Washington and admit that under the current arrangement the country is ungovernable.

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