A Quick Glimpse at the Constitutional
Mechanism of International Relations
We may have quit doing a lot of this,
but it remains in the Constitution.
To begin, we can spend just a short moment taking an over view of how the United States government is supposed to do business with the rest of the world.
The executive: We have a President for a reason. By the time the Constitution was written the founders already knew that committees utterly sucked at things like fighting wars, negotiating with foreign governments, granting pardons, speaking for the government on international matters and so forth. The alternative to this confusing approach was to elect a President with the job of doing all these things more or less publicly, and who would then "face the wrath" of voters if he strayed too far from the straight and narrow.
The Senate: So far as treaties went, the Senate would have the final word on ratification. The Constitution spelled out very carefully that, once a treaty had been ratified this way, its terms became the law of the land. The Senate was, apparently, given this job because it was supposed to be a "deliberative body."
The House of Representatives: With respect to waging wars the House of Representatives would sit in the driver's seat because wars cost money, and the House had the money. The House could neither declare a war nor a peace, but the money angle would always turn out to be the controlling factor sooner or later. Likewise with trade agreements, but not with everything. [For example the current House Republicans have tried to "de-fund" both the ACA and President Obama's executive orders regarding immigration policy, but have not really managed in either case so far. On the other hand the same bunch has managed to "de-fund" the closing of Guantanamo.]
In all three of these cases the "committee in charge idea" was set aside for a variety of pretty good reasons, but MeanMesa [who makes absolutely no claim to be a scholar of Constitutional history...] suspects that one of the main reasons was that the "committee approach" was too susceptible to being swayed by bribes, extortion, gifts, special deals and other "less than Constitutional influences." Regardless of whether it was the 1770's or 2015, wars, treaties, pardons, trade agreements and the rest have always been swarming with "loose dollars" ready to make their way into just the "right" pockets to produce just the "right" decisions.
Boehner's Invitation to Netanyahu
A Billionaire's dream of war with Iran
It is tempting to characterize this Constitutional arrangement as "separation of powers," but in this case [the subject of this posting] that might introduce some unnecessary confusion. Rather than a Constitutional assignment of specific powers to the various bodies of the government, the present issue with Boehner and the Israelis turns out to be more of a Constitutional "suggestion for good manners."
Nonetheless, even seen this way Boehner's machinations with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu reflect horrible manners for the Speaker. The planned visit will probably take place roughly as it is presently outlined, but it will be provocative -- and it will be provocative in the most detestable sense.
Nothing is going to materialize from Netanyahu's predictably maudlin histrionics before the House of Representatives. Nothing can materialize. The House cannot start a war, no matter how much they are salivating over the prospect. So, given these realities, what is spurring Boehner to such a reckless act of political provocation?
MeanMesa suggests a profound miscalculation on Boehner's part, a miscalculation similar to the embarrassing example we saw when Mitt Romney arrived after the 2012 election without a concession speech. In this case with the Speaker the miscalculation is similar, has similar origins, similar causes and, most likely, will have somewhat similar consequences. There are simply no longer a sufficient number of tragically blinded "Revelationist voters" to carry another hare brained GOP election campaign.
First, Boehner has been convinced that there really is this "actionable political majority" encompassing enough of the base voters of both Parties to make this risky charade worth undertaking. The "majority" we refer to here is made up of Biblical voters who remain steadfastly adherent to the canonical factuality of Saint John the Divine's nightmarish Revelations about the ultimate destiny of Jerusalem.
Both Boehner and Netanyahu consider the "apocalyptic US voters" to be the ultimate of all precious, constituent treasures. Talk about "low maintenance!" The only duty required to keep this crowd in a state which will very dependably deliver its voting block every time is the exercise of a reasonable caution to never cross the mythology's strained boundaries, that is, to be continually and convincingly apocalyptic in a non-provocative, non-denominational manner.
Second, while such a statistical misperception would have normally been dispatched by contradictory reporting conducted by America's "free and independent press," Boehner has replicated the Romney mistake of listening exclusively to right wing hate voices. This has resulted in a dangerously skewed image of the American electorate's actual priorities -- a skewed vision the Speaker, like Romney, has eagerly embraced for at least reassurance and comfort, but, most likely, also for political necessity. There are very few credible "arrows" remaining in the GOP's heavily soiled quiver, and this isn't one of them.
MeanMesa concludes that playing the "Bible card" is a sign of right wing political desperation. Such tactics have worked before, but the numbers have been changing. This has been famously described as the Earth moving under the GOP's feet -- while they failed to notice.
Boehner is, according to what information is available, apparently a "devout Catholic." It is a religion with a usefully adaptable authoritarian spine for any politician willing to exploit its parishioners. Further, the Crusade-like obsession to rush to the "fight to free the Holy City" has, traditionally, also been one of the sweetest, most dependable Biblical incitements for going to war for centuries among the non-Catholic dominionists, evangelicals and others, too. One need look no further back in history than the Six Day or Yom Kippur Wars [res: 1967, 1973. Read more WIKI - Six Day War and WIKI - Yom Kippur War ]to measure the eager, war making sentiment of the American electorate accompanying such events.
Boehner is convinced that the Netanyahu invitation has the potential to "beat plowshares into swords" politically, even though there is essentially no possibility that the President, acting as Commander in Chief, would ever declare war on such a basis. [Confused? Maybe you're thinking about the last guy.]
The hackneyed gambit of either creating an actual crisis or simply fabricating a convincing artificial picture of one is as old as the hills. American voters are in no mood for a repetition of the Bush Jr. Iraq.War on Terror fraud. Not every dime of Sheldon Adelson's Iran hating billions will be enough to sell another version of this pocked, wormy apple while the bruises and scabs of the last time are still so fresh.
Third, Boehner is also hoping that this maneuver will further the oligarchs' think tank scheme to deluge voters with on-going propaganda that the President is not sufficiently engaged with the "Jerusalem question" to merit being considered righteous by the true believers. If the President can be imaged as being "in over his head" when faced with dealing with such an issue, these already "fact free" Biblical voters will have even less confidence in him than ever.
Actual facts would straighten this out quite quickly. There is no immediate "Jerusalem issue" other than the Halloween candy Mr. Netanyahu will be bringing to the party. The President is more effectively involved in Arab/Israeli relations than the last Republican President was or than any of the Republican Presidential candidates since then have proposed in their platforms. Conditions meriting the violent military action as it is described by both St. John the Divine and Mr. Netanyahu are static, unchanging flash points. The actual conditions and challenges "on the ground" are fluid, quite dynamic and not without constructive opportunity.
Fourth, Boehner's sudden rush back to the Biblical, trailer park voters with his release of antics such as the Netanyahu invitation has been choreographed in a very suspicious schedule. The Speaker was hardly "hiding" his plan for the Israeli Prime Minister's visit prior to the President's State of the Union speech, but immediately afterward the right wing's obedient media was ordered to begin publicizing the invitation broadly.
The President's State of the Union Speech
Things seemed to be going so well
until this hurricane suddenly appeared.
The Netanyahu visit scheme actually amounted to "damage control" for the GOP's austerity exhausted base. This frantic PR calculation was apparently made essentially in "real time" while the President was still at the podium.
The populist ideas in the speech which suggested that the Federal Government might actually do something -- anything -- for common voters without lobbyists harpooned a vein of real terror through the halls of the think tank bunkers. These were precisely the kinds of ideas which might lure GOP base voters who had previously been infatuated with patriotic, "old rugged cross" suffering to wander out into the sunlight.
Pursuing this speculation even further, we note that the President's popularity has overwhelmed the manufactured doldrums which had been so carefully and relentlessly fabricated by the media. Although there has been less openly spoken reference to it, the dream of impeaching Barack Obama still constitutes the primary food group for the bigots in the tea bag caucus. The interesting question which surfaces here like a WWII German U-boat on a foggy morning is whether or not the billionaires still consider that popular opinion and approval ratings have anything to do with their enduring appetite for impeachment and the continued looting it would make possible.
We also need to remember that the President's recitation of the rather remarkable facts of his administration's accomplishments during the State of the Union speech was the first time that many Americans had ever heard a single word of such a narrative. With such a refutation of the endlessly repeated propaganda out in the open, some -- although certainly not all -- of the FOX manufactured "failure imaging" began to slip, releasing perhaps more than a few of Murdoch's wing nut media victims from their zombie-like political trance in time for the 2016 election.
Netanyahu's Road Weary Diatribe
Israel's frantic CPR for war with the old Ottoman Empire
Historic villains such as Artaxerxes and Tissaphernes may have inconveniently slipped from view for history challenged Americans, but the Ottoman Empire's violent military efforts to retain control of Jerusalem are as fresh a fodder for the Biblical Right as a blistering episode of the Seven Hundred Club on a particularly good day. Israel's constant, Mafia-like extension of settlements into Palestinian territory guarantees that the endless real estate war will continue for the foreseeable future.
|Something positive? [image source]|
We can assume that Netanyahu's "speech" to the House will fall considerably short by the measure of war making inspiration of Demosthenes's Philippics, but it will be designed to spark new Biblical vengeance into the drooling tea bags at the back of the chamber. However, the ambitions go even further. While the Prime Minister will be endeavoring to shore up the fading leverage of St. John the Divine's hallucinatory ramblings on international war politics, the cynical eyes of the Republican caucus will be glued to US opinion polls, searching for a dent in the President's surging approval ratings.
This is a chillingly clear case of dabbling with war in Iran for domestic political advantage.
The most bellicose of the House chicken hawks will be grinding the bones of military corpses in the midnight hours to exploit their moment in the spot light to the maximum. The billionaires' think tanks will have ordered an extra truck load of coal to rev up the power levels of their fact twisting machinery. These preparations are underway now. Netanyahu is scheduled for March.
Another OIL War
and Behind the Scenes Money Making
Of course a war with Iran would carry a few other "delectable" tid bits for GOP snacking.
The list is sickeningly familiar.
1. Iran has huge oil reserves.
2. The military procurement expenditures for such a war would be immense. Iran is not at all similar to the "push-over" victims of the effeminate Bush Jr. This country has teeth.
3. A Republican looter seated in the Oval Office could ram additional "emergency, no bid, war making contracts" through a strangely cooperative House as "emergency supplements" to the Federal Budget. This is what happened during the frenzied attack and occupation of Iraq. Tax payers watched helplessly as the Iraq war funding reached a billion dollars per week. No one could stop it.
4. Once Iran had been demolished as an "unfortunate necessity" in the war, massive oil field service contracts would, of course, be vitally necessary to "stabilize the world market." Americans are prone to view the actual crude oil as the ultimate prize in such a scheme, but oil field services required to rebuild and improve fields and equipment after being subjected to military violence hurled Halliburton from a comatose corporate failure state to an amazing "business resurrection" that saw stock prices sky rocketing and...uh..."hard working" millionaires being made from whole cloth.
Maybe We're Being Too Mean
Could Boehner be cooperating with Obama in the national interests?
There's a first time for everything...
Please be sure that you are seated. While it is extremely unlikely that the Owners of the Republican Party could have experienced such a shocking shift in perspective, there remains the faint possibility
that the Speaker is actually "on board" with the Iran nuclear negotiations and has decided to suffer the probable embarrassment of the Netanyahu visit as a voluntary act of "willing, self-sacrificing patriotism." If the Iranians see the Israeli fascist spewing forth war talk before the addled Republican House members, perhaps they would be inclined to "pick up the pace a bit" in the already tediously painful nuclear negotiations.
|The self-sacrificing patriot. [Huff Post]|
Can a leopard change its spots without surgery?
Yes, but usually only if it has some reason to make the change.
MeanMesa, while satisfied that this last, unlikely possibility should be included in the post simply for completeness, gives the proposition very little credibility. This skepticism can be explained by looking at the record of John Boehner's tortured political performance.
Can anyone else recall John passing out checks from the tobacco companies on the floor of the House before the vote on a financial regulatory over haul? [Read more here - NY Times ] John Boehner is a sold-out, unrepentant political creature from the GOP's exoplanetary extreme right. MeanMesa must confess that there is little to suggest any detectable evidence of a possible, looming change of heart.