White House’s Pelosi Criticism Still Doesn’t Make Sense

The Bush gang’s criticism of Speaker Pelosi for leading a congressional delegation to Syria was exposed several days ago as being misguided and hypocritical. I’d hoped that reality would deter the White House from any additional nonsense on the subject.

I should have known better.

At the White House, President Bush criticized Ms. Pelosi’s visit, saying it sent mixed signals to the Middle East and to President Bashar’s government.

“Sending delegations hasn’t worked,” Mr. Bush told reporters. “It’s just simply been counterproductive.”

First, there was a Republican congressional delegation in Syria immediately before Pelosi. Asked if the White House was equally concerned about their trip, spokesperson Dana Perino dodged the question. You think it’s possible that politics is driving Bush’s criticism?

Second, if diplomatic outreach is a mistake, why did Bush’s State Department recently initiate some tentative discussions with Syrian officials?

Third, there’s some evidence that the Bush administration helped facilitate the Republicans’ trip at the exact same time it was criticizing the Democrats’ trip.

If there’s even one angle to this story that conservatives have gotten right, I don’t see it.


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