At first I thought congress members’ boycotting Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session would be the best way for them to show their displeasure with Speaker Boehner’s disrespect to a sitting President in inviting a foreign head of state without coordinating with the White House as well as their annoyance with Netanyahu’s accepting such an invitation in spite of his having to have known that such acceptance could only be seen as a patent and to many citizens an unjustifiable intervention in the internal political affairs of our nation.
But after thinking upon it some more, I came to think that the better course would be for those Democrats (there are probably some Republicans too who feel as their fellows across the aisle do) to demand that Boehner and Netanyahu agree to ad hoc questioning of the PM from the floor of congress by the legislators assembled for the occasion; in addition, those members should demand that Boehner and McConnell invite the President to debate the manifestly arrogant Israeli PM. Remember: Republicans’ justification for the invitation was supposedly to provide a better understanding of possible consequences of the negotiations with Iran.
What better way could there be to achieve that objective than to have the world leader most opposed to continued negotiations be questioned in open session, and for the President also to make the case for continuing those talks, through debating his Israeli “opponent” and answering as well questions from the floor?
All of this would, of course, be broadcast to the people of this nation – and the world – as an educational moment regarding a very important issue of foreign policy and a lesson on whether or not congressional representatives are able to work together, civilly and constructively, at least in some small degree.
© Gregory V Driscoll 2015