OpEdNews.Com readers are not going to agree with me here so fire away with your comments. I post this in the hope that we may have a constructive discussion without name calling.
I came to Washington DC the first time in 1972 to work in the office of a liberal Democrat Ohio Congressman. I took away from that experience my first taste of the unwritten rules governing good conduct and decorum that most groups stick to, from your local Elks Club to the U.S. Senate.
Most call it the culture or the ethos the organization lives by.
Unwritten rules exist to help an organization or team function harmoniously despite severe difference. For decades, even at the lowest moments of despair and disharmony, the Senate and in fact the United States of America, operated smoothly and got business completed. If two lawmakers wanted to lock horns, they were encouraged by the leadership to "take it outside." Of course there are historically significant altercations on Capitol Hill but they served only to reinforce the rules.
Here are a few of the unwritten rules of Capitol Hill:
1. Disagree about international relations all you want on Capitol Hill; but when we travel overseas we stand as one nation and never criticize the president or his foreign policy.
2. When troops are fighting and dying in the field we do not undermine them or give the enemy hope.
3. Our Nation's senior military officers who have served with distinction for 30 or 40 years deserve to be heard and given some level of respect.
What I cannot abide about the current Democrat leadership in the U.S. Congress is that they have no sense of any of this.
I respect the fact that many of our Democrat Congressional leaders feel deeply honor bound to end the war. I also realize that they believe they have a mandate from the American people to end the war, given to them by last November's election.
It is not what the Democrat Congressional leadership is doing that upsets me: it is they way they are going about it.
In my view, Nancy Pelosi had no business in Syria discussing national and international matters. I think this was a breach of etiquette certainly and perhaps a violation of law that prohibits foreign policy freelancers and limits serious discussions of international matters to the President, Cabinet officers, the Secretary of State and appointed Ambassadors, diplomats and Special Envoys.
Harry Reid, it seems to me, has undermined our Soldiers and Marines on the ground who are fighting and dying for his and my and our country. I seem to recall some prohibition against giving aid and comfort to the enemy. This is why Jane Fonda was despised by Vietnam era military men for visiting Hanoi and sitting on an anti-aircraft weapon that could have been used that same day to kill U.S. aircrews.
It is a matter of "not getting it." Jane Fonda didn't get it. Now Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader, enters the arena to prove that people that don't get it still exist and persist.
Harry Reid said already that the war in Iraq is lost. Does that give aid and comfort to the enemy? You decide.
Yesterday, Senator Reid accused the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace, of lying to the Senate and the American people. General Pace has served his nation honorably in more than one war for over forty years. He has proven that he is dedicated to his nation, to his Marines, and to all our military men and women.
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