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By Geoff Metcalf

April 10, 2007

Alistair Cooke once defined golf as �an open exhibition of overweening ambition, courage deflated by stupidity, skill soured by a whiff of arrogance.� If true, then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is a lot like golf.

Many are comparing Nancy Pelosi to Neville Chamberlain, the infamous British appeaser. The comparison frankly does a disservice to Chamberlain.

Chamberlain�s name has been trashed by history and has become synonymous with appeasement (specifically of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany). However, after he was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1931 he spent six years reducing the British war debt and tax burden. Good stuff. He became Prime Minister in 1937 and just about anything he did beyond appeasement of Nazi Germany is overlooked. However (notwithstanding being too little and too late) he did enter into a Mutual Defense Pact with Poland. His sins already prevented him from doing �Jack� about Hitler, be he DID at least deliver an ultimatum to Hitler, and he did declare war on Germany and launched attacks on German shipping.

Chamberlain was a huge failure and was succeeded by Winston Churchill. However, in fairness, not everything he did was a failure (just most of it). History has not been kind to Neville. How will history deal with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi?

There is a law, the Logan Act, which is form without substance. It is a United States federal law that was first passed in 1799 and last amended in 1994. It forbids unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments. Violation of the Logan Act is a felony, punishable with imprisonment up to three years. It is poorly written (probably intentionally) and is way broad in it�s stated purpose of addressing attempts of any US citizen trying to conduct foreign relations without authority. As far as I can find, there is no record of any prosecutions or convictions under the Logan Act�that is too bad.

Pelosi isn�t the first to violate the letter and intent of the Logan Act. However, if ever anyone qualified for having personified a Logan Act violation; for sure it is Nasty Nancy.

Pelosi willfully flipped off the administration and her own party�s council to stroke Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian ophthalmologist turned dictator.

  • President of Syria.
  • Regional Secretary of the Baath Party
  • Son of Hafez al-Assad, former Syrian President.
  • Landlord of Operations control for Palestinian Islamic Jihad
  • Ally of Hezbollah AND Iran
  • Stated goal is the extermination of the Middle East Jews and Victory of terrorists in Iraq.

Assad is a bad guy.

Pelosi was �used� by Assad and she didn�t get anything. She may incorrectly have assumed the exploitation was mutual and she was using her guests as much as they were using her�but she was way wrong.

In between photo ops and saccharin smiles, Pelosi steps on toes (including her own) and did significant harm.

Pelosi muddied the already stagnant waters, sent mixed messages to duplicitous bad guys, and arrogantly presumed that her clearly defined job description includes a wild card she may use with impunity as her ego desires. As I noted last week, the three branches of government (executive, legislative, and judicial) are co-equal. Each branch has specific duties and responsibilities which, at various times throughout history, various individuals have seemed intent on ignoring.

Conventional wisdom may indicate that the Foggy Bottom crowd is, and has been, a gaggle of ineffective jerks, but they are �our� ineffective jerks and they are the professionals. The last thing our mucked up fractured foreign policy needs right now is amateur ineffective jerks, stepping on toes, kissing butts, and contaminating crime scenes. If there is a way to �fix� the State Department�cool�but recreating the whoopee cushion ain�t it.

In her C.Y.A. efforts to defend the indefensible, Pelosi said that members of Congress had a clear responsibility to play a role in national security issues. However, she also said they need to be able to gather information on their own, and not be dependent on the White House. Huh?!?

Does she want a Congressional CIA and FBI? Should the Executive and Judicial branches likewise poach on the congressional territorial imperative? If true, Congress had better amend the constitution and get rid of laws prohibiting her conduct and create new laws requiring it (keeping in mind that when the partisan tides turn the �other guys� will be able to use whatever excessive and unconstitutional powers the Dems grab).

Critics may not like it the cold chill of reality�or the messenger, but Vice President Cheney was right when he said, "She doesn't represent the administration. The president is the one who conducts foreign policy, not the Speaker of the House." That is not partisan rhetoric, but constitutional fact.

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Beyond the basic turf battles, Pelosi soiled the sheets big time when she told Assad that Israel was ready for peace talks. Kinda/sorta/Not Really, maybe IF�.The office of the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, issued a statement saying that such talks could take place only if Syria stopped assisting terror groups. This is a significant caveat that apparently Nancy neglected to include in her chat with Assad.

The Speaker should focus on the Speaker�s job and not presume lofty goals not her�s

� 2007 Geoff Metcalf - All Rights Reserved

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"Geoff Metcalf is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host for TALK AMERICA and a veteran media performer. He has had an eclectic professional background covering a wide spectrum of radio, television, magazine, and newspapers. A former Green Beret and retired Army officer he is in great demand as a speaker. Visit Geoff's

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Chamberlain was a huge failure and was succeeded by Winston Churchill. However, in fairness, not everything he did was a failure (just most of it). History has not been kind to Neville. How will history deal with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi?